When considering how to fundraise for your charity, cause or business venture, settling on a method and applying yourself can be a project by itself! When considering a fundraising methodology, one has to consider the audience, the cause and the amount of funds needed.
Over time, crowdfunding is becoming more than just a viable option for various types of fundraising efforts. Every year billions of dollars are raised via crowdfunding platforms for all sorts of causes. For certain types of projects, crowdfunding is becoming a go-to approach.
There are many reasons why crowdfunding has become such a popular form of fundraising. A few are as follows…
- Crowdfunding is 24/7/365
Crowdfunding campaigns can receive funds at all hours of the day for weeks or months on end. The only time constraints are those imposed by the platform you list on. In general, most campaigns last 30 to 90 days. That event you’ve been throwing every year may only last for a few hours! Crowdfunding lets project backers contribute on their time.
- Crowdfunding capitalizes on online networks – This was discussed at length in our previous post regarding virality on the net. To summarize, online social networks are powerful fundraising tools because they can expose friends of friends, that secondary level of connections that can quickly grow your reach exponentially.
- Crowdfunding is a chance at an emotional appeal – If you’re great at crafting a compelling story via text and rich media, you may be a crowdfunding success in waiting! Video pitches have proven especially effective in drawing funds from potential backers, so if your cause lends itself to video you should definitely consider crowdfunding.
Now that crowdfunding has been around for a while, your options are numerous and growing. Whether you’re trying to raise money for your daughter’s cheerleading squad or trying to build the next Fortune 500 company, there is a suitable platform out there.
Here are a few tips for how to fundraise effectively using a crowdfunding platform…
- Market like a pro – Although it has been around for a while now, crowdfunding is still somewhat new and media outlets of all sorts are happy to cover people that use it. Crowdfunding stories appear in publications of all sorts, from your local newspaper to the New York Times. Touch base with relevant media outlets before your campaign and let them know you’re going to be crowdfunding. A bit of coverage may help you reach your goal and reach people you don’t know. The publication can toss a link to your campaign in the story, which catches the reader at the exact moment of initial interest. It’s a powerful thing.
- Don’t limit yourself to the Internet – Crowdfunding is almost always more effective when used in tandem with offline appeals to potential contributors. Before your campaign, consider holding a party with your immediate network. Instead of asking for money at the event, ask for a pledged amount and an email address. Use the event to get your immediate network excited about your cause, and use it as a chance to read how they react to your pitch. It may give you ideas for how to hone your delivery before going live. This approach also adheres to the crowdfunding rule of thumb: have 30% of your goal lined up before you launch. This lends legitimacy to your campaign. Nobody wants to be the first on the dance floor.
- Be responsive – Almost all crowdfunding platforms have a means by which you can communicate with contributors in real time. Check your campaign’s comments often and respond to questions and concerns. Many of those who are considering a contribution take responsiveness into effect.
In conclusion, crowdfunding doesn’t have to replace other forms of fundraising that have been successful in the past. It can be used to supplement or augment existing efforts. One thing is certain: as an option for how to fundraise, crowdfunding is here to stay.