Crowdfunding is a savvy new way to raise money, and it requires a savvy audience. Old fashion fundraising is still effective for most nonprofits, but there is a brave new world of “online investors” who love to give money and be a part of something.
Crowdfunding has also become a social addiction for many people, but in a good way. They can anonymously get online, seek out projects, movies, books, games, and make a donation of any size and quickly become involved in a world-wide community; and maybe get a cool trinket out of it. The group of message sign professionals who created SignVine believe crowdfunding will work for the message sign industry too, but it may take some time.
SignVine launched its crowdfunding site in March of this year and quickly found out that while they have a great idea praised by many, execution is slow-going.
SignVine project director, Paul Martin, stated,“I continue to believe that the sign industry is always going to be 20 years behind the ‘technology’ curve; maybe 15 years now. We have a bunch of old dogs set in their ways.”
“I mean no disrespect, because many of them are successful and content. So, savvy new ‘online’ tools are slow to integrate. And, now, crowdfunding? Even though it has been severely effective for raising money from potato salad to medical treatments and feeding the hungry, it’s going to take some time to convince or show (and educate) the sign industry how it can be effective for them.”
This month, SignVine introduced a lot of new changes to help the message sign industry learn about this new trend. They revamped their site to be more of a ‘donation-only site’ with a lower funding fee. Now, a non-profit looking to raise money for an outdoor message sign can sign up for a free campaign, uploading their story, picture and even a video. When the campaign is over, they only owe SignVine 5% of the total amount raised. Donors can even cover this fee when making a donation.
Martin noted, “We took a second look at what non-profit organizations needed, and we always get directly involved in every crowdfunding campaign from beginning to end. We have a donation campaign kit to assist the campaign plan, media tools like a press release, and made the website more donor-oriented with an interactive and engaging timeline. We are pretty much the new SignVine 2.0- bigger and better!”
Sign companies are already working with non-profit organizations, so SignVine is making efforts to educate and work with sign companies to show how crowdfunding can help them close more sales. SignVine created a new brochure, a new video, and even started a new blog to further help the sign industry understand the power of crowdfunding.
“It’s all an effort to help sign companies and their nonprofit clients. We work directly with the nonprofit, so there is no extra workload for the sign company. When the money is raised, we turn the client back over to them to fulfill the project.”