Monthly Archives: March 2014

How To: Crowdfunding

What exactly is crowdfunding? What do you need to know to run a successful campaign?

Crowdfunding, or peer-to-peer fundraising, is a way for organizations or individuals to raise money online. It has become a platform for businesses of every nature helping companies to raise thousands, or even millions of dollars for their business.

To be successful in crowd funding, you need to have an organized blueprint and strategy before you even launch the fundraiser. Like any other effort to raise money, crowdfunding requires planning, people and a unified purpose: fundraising.

The Plan:

Prior to launching your campaign, you need to sit down with your team and set the goals for the campaign. You will need to discuss logistics such as expenses, staff support and social media. Organizational efforts that should be discussed at this time include who is currently on your email list and who your core supporters are – they are extremely important for word-of-mouth when you actually launch your campaign.

Then, you need to discuss what the marketing pitch will be. It is helpful to have an elevator pitch as well as a longer description on a portal for those who want a detailed understanding. The elevator pitch should be short, sweet, and to the point – try to limit it to 1 minute.

Once your team decides on the marketing pitch, it is time to work on the campaign design: the website, social media pages, blogs, or any other form of media you may be using for the fundraiser. Depending on your campaign, using images and videos can help to attract attention and connect with your customers. Incentives, such as a free T-shirt if you donate a certain amount of money or being entered into a raffle to win a prize, will raise awareness and interest in the fundraiser.  Be creative with your incentives, but remember, there is a lot of time and cost involved in sending out 1,000 T-shirts across the country.

The People:

People, whether they are staff members or students involved in your endeavors, are vital to any fundraising effort. You and your team need to begin recruiting supporters for the campaign. The “core” supporters of your company need special attention at this time because they are the ones that are going to give you, or get you, business. They are the ones that spread the word and raise awareness about your efforts. And who would turn down free marketing, especially from people who will talk up your company?

The Fundraising:

Now you are able to implement the plan you and your team devised during the planning stage.

Create an email to be sent to out to your email list that was created in the planning step. You should include links to your online efforts so people are able to look more in depth about the fundraiser and increase traffic to your websites. During the soliciting period, you should send various emails and be posting on your social media pages. However, do not keep adding people that do not accept your invitation. Focus your time on people interested in your fundraiser and post various things to attract their attention and support.

If you decided to use incentives, it is important that you inform people about them and how they work. Post it on your social media and add it in your email so people are aware of it. Incentives were created for a reason – make sure its common knowledge.

Throughout the whole process, you and your team should be able to be constantly adapting to people’s reactions to your campaign. If people are positively responding to videos, add more. If people love your Instagram posts, make sure the content is similar and intriguing.  Continuing to use the strategies which you are receiving positive feedback about will increase awareness and support, which leads to the most important part: your funding.