Capture the Power of Crowd Caring
Thanks to the Internet, you can literally reach the hearts and minds—and wallets —of millions of people in an instant.
“Crowdfunding,” also known as “Fundsourcing,” is a powerful way to invite people to donate, support, volunteer, and thereby create a community of like-minded individuals working toward a common objective. As a non-profit, you can raise funds, cultivate new volunteers, and spread the word of your great work.
How can you tap into the power of the crowdsourcing community?
We’ve gathered some crowdsourcing and crowdfunding tips and techniques that have proved successful for other nonprofits. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you’re starting out and don’t know quite how to go about it and have a million questions, ask for help! Crowdsourcing is a great way to connect with others who are happy to share their knowledge and experience. Tap into this invaluable resource tool and see all the good that starts to take shape.
- Research the best models and platforms for your particular needs. Decide what you want to accomplish and the best way to go about it. Target the audience that’s most likely to be interested in your message, then formulate an outreach strategy for getting the word out to the right people. If you’re using a crowdfunding site—two popular ones are Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) and Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com)—make sure you go with the one that’s best suited to your funding goals and approach.
- Get the message out. Make the most of social media to spread the word on your cause, and encourage everyone in your circles to continue carrying the message to all of their networks of people. The goal is to keep passing it forward. The more people hear about your cause and efforts, the more money you’re bound to raise.
- Keep it clear, concise and compelling. Most people want to help; they just need to know what to do! So spell out simply what you want the crowd to do, how, when, and why. Breaking down goals and tasks into smaller, doable projects usually leads to success.
- Set reasonable expectations. While crowdfunding is definitely an effective way to solicit funds, remember that the crowdfunding community is largely populated by “ordinary” people who may not have huge amounts of money and who may have other financial needs and obligations of their own. So don’t ask for—or expect—large amounts. Keep it modest. Every little bit counts and brings you closer to your ultimate goal.
- Be a stickler for transparency. While crowdfunding may be a more informal and personal 21st century way to raise money, it still needs to be based on the traditional rules of fundraising. You must establish and maintain credibility and integrity. You have to be transparent on how the funds will be used. And you have to maintain and track financial records and project outcomes.
- Put your best face forward. Humanize and personalize your “ask” with a moving and inspiring hook. People are more likely to lend a hand if they can connect your cause with a human face and a real need rather than a generalized, vague objective. And this also applies to presentation; make sure your group and all of its representatives always stay upbeat and positive when interacting with the community of potential givers and supporters.
- Keep working the crowd! Always look for opportunities to ask questions or seek feedback from your donors, partners, volunteers, social media followers, and fellow crowdfunders and mentors. This will not only solicit helpful advice and effective practices, but also keep your crowd members engaged and active in your cause, not to mention contributing money.
- Have a good time doing good! Everyone wants to be part of the fun. If you and your group show that you enjoy and are passionate about what you’re doing, chances are that other people will likely want to join the party! And whether you’re talking parties, social activism or crowdfunding, it’s always a case of the larger the crowd, the better!
Where can you go for more info?
For more tips, suggestions, examples, and ways to connect, check out the following:
Go Fund Me (the world’s number one crowdfunding website)
Give Forward (the #1 way to raise money for a loved one, the website features “real people” who coach you on ways to raise funds)
Rockethub (offers crowdfunding visibility through partnership with A&E Project Start Up)
FundRazr (helps you raise money for anything from personal causes to nonprofits and entrepreneurial projects)
GoGetFunding (website has raised millions for life-changing personal fundraising campaigns)
Start Some Good (website for social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and others committed to making the world a better place)