Your crowdfunding campaign’s success depends on your participants’ ability to raise funds from their network of supporters. How can you prepare your peer-to-peer fundraising participants to get better results with their crowdfunding pages? Here are ten recommendations that can help your supporters reach their goals and beyond during a crowdfunding campaign.
1. Work with participants to get their pages set up before your launch date.
Before the official public launch of your crowdfunding campaign, work with fundraisers to help them get their pages set up and ready to go. Reach out with handouts sent through email, a group conference call, or even have staff contact them individually. Provide your participants with a timeline for your campaign event (e.g., 1-2 weeks), what the expectations are for them as participants, and what they can do to encourage people to donate.
Incentivize your fundraisers to have their pages set up and ready before your campaign begins with a pre-campaign match. Partner with a major donor or sponsor that will give a specific amount (e.g., $100) for each donation page that is set up before the campaign start date.
2. Provide templates or scripts that participants can use to ask others for money.
Keep in mind that your crowdfunding participants most likely aren’t fundraising professionals. You can help them to ask friends and family for donations by providing sample fundraising templates like these.
3. Collect some donations before the official launch.
Crowdfunding campaigns that can reach 30% of their goal within the first week are more successful. Boost your chances of success by reaching out to a few trusted donors to collect donations before your campaign’s official start date. You’ll build up momentum and take the pressure off your participants by showing progress as soon as your campaign is launched.
Don’t limit advance donations to only those collected through your form. Since DonorPerfect Online Forms lets you acccept offline crowdfunding donations, you can easily apply checks or cash that are immediately reflected in your goal thermometer.
Having offline donations available to your crowdfunding campaigns allows you to solicit check-only type supporters for pre-campaign contributions. Constituents who donate to your organization through Donor Advised Funds, for example, might be a great resource. If you reach out to these donors well ahead of your campaign’s start date to let them know what you are doing, they may consider supporting your crowdfunding efforts.
4. Boost giving 35% by using a goal thermometer.
The best way to communicate your campaign’s fundraising goal and effortlessly provide instant status updates for all participants is to use a goal tracking thermometer to show your fundraising progress. Fundraising thermometers motivate your supporters to reach your campaign goals and increase overall giving by 35% on average over sites that don’t use one. A progress meter helps your fundraisers see how much money was raised and how far they have to go. Goal thermometers also encourage healthy competition and motivate participants to raise more donations. DonorPerfect’s crowdfunding tools let you set an overall goal for the entire campaign and encourages individual fundraisers to set personal goals.
One interesting side-effect of having a progress meter on your crowdfunding page is the “double-donor.” Several nonprofits tell us that as they get close to reaching their fundraising goals, they’ll see individual donors giving again. These are donors who already gave during their crowdfunding appeal. They donate again to help reach the target of your progress bar.
When Should You Raise Your Goal?
It’s not uncommon to reach your original fundraising goal before your crowdfunding campaign ends. It’s ok to raise your goal once during the campaign window, especially if you are halfway (or less) through your campaign’s timeline. Raise your goal by an achievable amount that will challenge supporters.
5. Provide a brief but compelling campaign story.
Connect to your supporters with a brief but compelling campaign story that ties them to your mission and motivates everyone to participate. Campaign projects that raise the most money have a 300-500 word count, so longer is not necessarily better. Adding video to your crowdfunding campaign will help you raise 150% more, so consider adding powerful images or a video to your story to increase your impact. For ideas about what storytelling elements to include on your campaign page, check out this list.
6. Earn 126% more with frequent status updates.
Crowdfunding campaigns get 126% more donations when you update your supporters, with the most successful campaigns providing an average of 4 updates. Regular status updates will remind participants about your campaign and inspire them to keep fundraising.
Some ideas for updates include:
- Messages from staff, volunteers, or program recipients thanking donors for their support
- Progress reports that show the impact of donations raised so far
- Motivating calls to action that drive fundraisers to reach the next milestone
- Tips from top fundraisers on how to share their story and ask for donations
- Public recognition of new pages, top fundraisers, or other kudos.
- Incentives like matching gifts or merchandise for different fundraising levels.
7. Plan to reach out to specific fundraisers during the event.
In addition to regular campaign status updates, plan to check in with specific individual participants during your campaign. Focus on these two groups of fundraisers for the best results:
Some fundraisers may need some extra help setting up, sharing, and running their crowdfunding page. They may not be good with technology or not comfortable with fundraising in general. Reach out to these engaged supporters to see how you can help them set goals and move forward.
Phone or email the participants of your top-performing pages to celebrate their wins and milestones. This super engaged group may be willing to offer advice to other fundraisers and could be a potential resource for different needs in your organization down the line. They are excellent prospects for board members, committee members, or could be a good fit for other needs in your organization.
Campaign Status Report
Use this report to find out how your crowdfunding campaign is doing, how much money you’ve raised, and how to find inactive fundraisers.
8. Get inspired by what others have done.
Keeping the flame going for your fundraisers will be easier when you, yourself, are motivated. Get inspired by these stories of how other nonprofits, just like you, achieved amazing results with their crowdfunding campaigns. They did it and you can too! You’ve got this!
- Read the encouraging story of how Island Harvest Food Bank brought their community together during COVID-19.
- Learn how the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless raised 3X their crowdfunding goal in just 24 hours!
- Be inspired by this 12-year-old who raised $1 million toward critical medical research for a rare, fatal, genetic condition called Batten Disease.
9. Replicate the success of the nonprofits in this recorded webinar.
What does it take to pull off a successful crowdfunding campaign? During this recorded webinar, NPOs Share Their Crowdfunding Campaigns, you’ll hear from other nonprofits and learn the steps they took to achieve great results with their crowdfunding campaigns.WATCH THE WEBINAR
10. Equip your org for peer-to-peer fundraising.
When you’re ready to jump into your next Crowdfunding campaign, we can help! DonorPerfect Crowdfunding offers the essential tools fundraisers and their supporters need to succeed at raising money through social media.
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