The Velocity of Crowdfunding Take-off
Have you been watching all the space travel activity lately? Seems like a rocket is taking off more often than I take the New York City subway—which is never by the way.
Now, I love watching the take-offs. I totally nerd out to all the energy in the command center. Elon Musk crying and what not. Is there really anything more exciting? And it’s educational; you actually learn cool stuff. For example, Israel launched a rocket to the moon (sans the landing… you’ll get ‘em on the 2.0 version!). About half way through the show, I watched the simulation of how, once the propulsion of take-off subsides, the rocket would actually get to the moon. Spoiler: It’s all about velocity. In case you missed science class (like me), velocity is the rate of speed an object moves along with a specific direction.
In an April article, I talked about the “togentum”―togetherness momentum needed for peer-to-peer fundraising to work. The velocity of the crowd. But momentum is not all that needs to happen.
Fundraisers Need Velocity!
Fundraising, like any enormous endeavour, is like a rocket. People often believe you need “speed” alone to travel through the stratosphere. This is a mistake. Any attempt to launch and travel on speed alone will end in one kind of disaster or another. What you need is velocity―speed with direction. The instantaneous burst that breaks past the forces that are holding it back.
A fundraiser needs velocity. It needs to be focused and channeled to maximize every bit of energy expelled. It is with exhaustive planning and meticulous execution that the power harnessed in a rocket or campaign is unleashed and set to soar high above the clouds of expectations.
In fact, it’s the emergence of several factors that creates the necessary velocity to make your crowdfunding campaign successful. Start your engines…
1.Timing Your Marketing and Influencer Promotion
There are so many lessons to be learned from this; mostly on what moral boundaries to never cross, but there are some core lessons that can be gleaned. How did they generate such incredible buy-in? What were some of the ingredients to creating such hype? For one… a well-oiled social influencers’ campaign.
But it wasn’t just about having hundreds of influencers posting. It was the fact that they timed it so that all the influencers would post within a few hours of each other. Creating a storm, which led to a combustion, which led to instant virality. It’s about understanding that holding back on your marketing and not releasing until the perfect moment is equally as important as the marketing itself.
This is true not only for volunteers, it’s true for all of your marketing. Do not, I repeat, do not press send on any email until you have your entire email plan set up, including the days and times that every email will go out. It’s about the perfect timing between sending, receiving and forwarding emails to avoid fatigue and maximizing attention. Imagine all of all your preparation as a slingshot—the further you pull back, the farther you’ll reach.
2. Length of Campaign
Take the time that you planned your campaign would be live for, and cut it in half… then cut that part in half... then that part. Okay, now you’re ready. Fear does funny stuff to us. We fear that the word won’t penetrate, so we think if we spend more time fundraising, we’ll raise more. So then we plan campaigns for as long as 30, 60 or 90 days.
Because more time equals more money, right? Wrong. (The old “right-wrong” trick. My favorite.) If you spend the weeks and months before the campaign organizing your messaging and volunteers, your live campaign will need much less time than you think to reach its goal.
3. Urgent Messaging
Not the urgent you’re thinking about―“help us or we’ll die.” A different type of urgency. Urgency of the cause, yes; but more importantly, the urgency of a small window of opportunity for the donor to make a real difference. Is that fabricated? No.
There are ways to fully legitimize creating a sense of urgency: a) a mega donor will put up a match for a limited amount of time; and b) a “public phase” that is scheduled for a specific day, where the energy of the collective is focused. Give your donors a reason to act now, and not later.
4. Multiple Points of Contact
Persuading someone to care about your online message today is harder than ever. Never has there been a time when multiple points of contact were needed for your message to penetrate the hearts of your donors. So it's all about integration today. We need to see your message on the screen, in our mailbox, inbox and feed. On our phones, our street corners and on a t-shirt!
Wow, I feel like I’m onto something here. Maybe this is what my book will be about: “The Velocity of Crowdfunding.” Maybe. Until next time.
Moshe Hecht, winner of the 2017 NonProfit PRO Technology Professional of the Year, is a philanthropy futurist, public speaker and chief innovation officer of Charidy, a crowdfunding platform and consulting company that has helped 3,000 organizations raise over $700 million.
Moshe's passion lies at the intersection of technology and charitable giving. When Moshe is not at the office, he is writing music and enjoying downtime with his wife and three redheaded children.