It isn’t easy for charities to stand out from the crowd nowadays. It takes a lot of planning, networking and commitment to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
These 10 tips on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign have been put together from my personal experience of running several crowdfunding campaigns for Human and Hope Association, a Cambodian charity. With each crowdfunding campaign, I developed my knowledge, worked out what didn’t ‘speak’ to people, and understood that many different factors contribute to whether a crowdfunding campaign is a success or not. Here are some tips on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign for your charity.
It pays to plan ahead. When I run a crowdfunding campaign, I put together a comprehensive document with all the details. These details include a comparison of crowdfunding platforms (with my preference being Chuffed), the text of the campaign, social media images, mail out text,
Set achievable goals
Sit down with your team/workmates/board and work out an achievable goal. It is good to be ambitious, however, if you aim too high you may end up feeling deflated and not appreciating the funds that you DID raise. Try and calculate how much an average donation might be by looking back at previous donation records, searching for crowdfunding campaigns with a similar purpose to yours, or asking around your network.
The market is full of crowdfunding campaigns, with everything from people fundraising for medical costs, voluntourism trips, or the next big invention. It pays (literally) to be creative, otherwise, your campaign will get lost in the crowd. Take a look at Edgar’s Mission. They have held several engaging, cute and inspiring crowdfunding campaigns over the years on Chuffed. Their message is always clear and positive, their images are bright and hopeful, and their videos tell a great story.
Have excellent perks
Being a charity with limited funds, it can be challenging to find perks that engage people. Remember though, perks don’t have to cost you a lot! If you are fundraising for new tables for your classroom, offer to write the donor’s name on one. If you are raising funds for care packages for a women’s shelter, go for the ‘buy one, give one’ model. Or you can even hold an exclusive VIP night for donors, and use it as an opportunity to meet them face to face and generate more revenue.
Have a strong social media game
Social media is crucial for crowdfunding campaigns. However, you can’t just rely on your posts to be shared. You will need to invest in advertisements on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and ensure that your target audience is on point.
Recruit crowdfunding champions
This is something I have always struggled with. From the get go, you need to have a reliable team of champions who are willing to go above and beyond for your crowdfunding campaign. They need to be passionate about the cause, committed to it and have the right attitude to promote it. By getting a team of 5 – 10 crowdfunding champions on board,
Make it urgent
Crowdfunding campaigns should only last for one month, to keep the message urgent. Any longer, and it just drags on. Trust me – I once ran a crowdfunding campaign for three months, and it was excruciating to spend so much time each day on it. When the campaign ended, we were $700 short. That evening, a donor contacted me and pledged the remaining funds. I always regret spending so much time and energy on that campaign. Urgency is key!
Connect with the media
The last crowdfunding campaign I ran for Human and Hope Association generated support from plenty of people who had never heard of us before. I had reached out to numerous bloggers, and as a result, our online presence was strong. When you are in the planning stages, spend a few days researching potential media outlets, bloggers and influencers that can relate to your cause, and come up with a way to entice them to write about your cause.
Keep your team motivated
If you don’t keep your team motivated, they will lose focus and your crowdfunding campaign is bound to fall flat. Use rewards, such as a small party when you reach your goal. Set individual targets for people with their input. Share stories with them about the people your organisation has helped, and keep their eye focused on the end goal.
Celebrate and learn
Take the time to stop and celebrate your achievements. I know that this is something I find difficult, as I usually move onto my next fundraising strategy before I have even finished this one. But you DESERVE IT. Running a crowdfunding campaign is NOT easy, and you should be commended for your efforts.