In recent years, crowd funding has become a very popular source of income for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations are looking for opportunities to bring in income in an efficient manner without a lot of overhead. Board of directors are also looking for fundraisers that are alternatives to door to door solicitations and merchandise sales of items that the general public may not be that interested in purchasing in the first place.
So what is crowd funding? Crowd funding is defined as the practice of supporting your organization by bringing in small amounts of money from a large variety of donors and businesses. The most common way to bring in this income is through the internet websites, such as Gofundme or Kickstarter. Recent reports state that over $34 billion dollars was brought in 2015 through various crowd funding sources.
Do Your Research
The first step in getting started with crowd funding is to research the potential online platforms to utilize. As previously mentioned, GoFundMe and Kickstarter tend to be the most popular websites to use for this fundraising program. This can be useful when approaching the public because they are internationally recognized and donors are more likely to utilize platforms that they are more familiar with and trust their reputation. Also, these websites have created their websites to be user friendly and mobile accessible. In addition, these websites have made it easy to share your personal campaign through your website and social media.
You will also want to take into consideration the fees to use their website. Most sites will keep a percentage of the income that they bring in to cover administrative expenses. Your board of directors will want to complete some research and determine which service provider would best meet your needs.
Discuss Your Campaign and Work Out the Details
The next step is to meet with your board of directors to discuss your campaign. Some organizations are looking for support for their general operating costs. This means that they need funding to cover all of their program and administrative costs. The funding that they receive will be used to keep all of their programs going. Other organizations are looking for support for a specific program or need. For example, a nonprofit organization may be seeking support to add on an afterschool mentoring program to their already existing programs.
Some other organizations may seek support for building costs, such as an organization that may be fundraising to build an orphanage facility in Haiti. All of the funding that they receive will be utilize for the specific program that they are detailing. Take the time to meet with your directors and determine what your financial needs are and how the community support would be utilized.
Choose Your Platform and Customize It to Suit Your Needs
The next step is to create an account on the platform that you have selected. Most of these platforms have created their site so that users can set up their account in just a few minutes. Part of your profile will include uploading a description of your organization’s mission and the specific needs that are you raising support for. It is crucial that you recruit an individual that has experience with writing grants and corporate sponsorships to write your campaign description. This component needs to be written in a captivating manner that will compel donors to contribute to your mission. However, it needs to be efficiently written with a description that can be read in just a few minutes.
Your organization will also need to upload photos that emphasize your need or will portray the need that your organization is trying to meet. If your organization operates a youth sports program, including photos of your participants in action will greatly contribute to your campaign. If you are seeking funding to update your program facility, you can also include photos of the areas in need of repair or the proposed future facility. Be sure to upload quality photos that are not blurry and are in focus. If your organization does not have photos available, your organization can look into purchasing professional photos from photo stock agencies. However, the more personal photos that you can include, the better it will be for your fundraising campaign.
Step into the Spotlight
After your campaign has been created, now is the time to start sharing your fundraising opportunities with the public. The first step your organization will want to take is to share the campaign through your social media. You will also want to include direct links to giving opportunity via your website. You can also utilize your campaign to reach out to past donors. A popular fundraising method for charitable organizations is to facilitate email campaigns. Several times a year, nonprofits will reach out to their supporters and community members with a newsletter. This is an opportunity to update them on the progress that they have made in the past year, thank their donors for their support and make an appeal for future support. With crowd funding opportunities, donors can contribute with just a few clicks. Donors will also feel secure that they can contribute using their secure credit card or PayPal account.
Your organization may also want to utilize the email campaign with campaign link during the holiday seasons. Statistics have shown that this is a time when donors are most likely to donate to nonprofits that they have a personal relationship with. Your organization can also utilize the email campaign during early springtime. Your directors can send out an email reminding previous donors that they can write off their donation on their upcoming tax return.
Let Donors Know They Have Made A Difference
Including a paragraph on the difference that you have been able to make with their support can also greatly appeal to donors to continue contributing in the future. This is also a great opportunity to include a link to your current campaign.
Be sure to send the campaign link to your board of directors and fundraising team. This will provide them with the opportunity to pass along the information to their friends and business contacts. The more community individuals that you can get your campaign in front of, the great chance you have for success! A great way to expand your campaign reach is to assign each volunteer with a minimum amount of individuals to approach with the crowd funding campaign.
If you are looking for support for your program development and are seeking fundraising resources, please contact CharityNet USA at 407-857-9002.