2 min Read
July 30, 2015

So you want to run a successful crowdfunding campaign?

By now I’m guessing at least one of your friends have asked you to help fund their latest album, restaurant, invention, medical expenses, honeymoon, or other exciting venture. You may have even gotten a request to donate to a nonprofit organization’s project… or even created a crowdfunding campaign of your own. [Scratching your head over this terminology? Read up on what crowdfunding is or dig into these five common questions about launching a crowdfunding campaign.]

I’ve enjoyed helping lots of nonprofits raise money from their community and the challenge of getting donors to invest in a particular project OR to transform donors into fundraisers (a practice typically referred to as social or peer-to-peer fundraising, but sometimes lumped into a crowdfunding discussion) is an exciting one. I also love donating to these type of campaigns, taking note of the story behind it, the set-up and ease of giving, and what the organization sends me throughout the lifespan of the project. Just this month, I’ve been drawn to the #ForEVERYGirl campaign by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington which took to one of the most popular crowdfunding site refusing to abide by a donor’s stipulation on a major gift. The campaign was simple with a clear tie to their mission, “Help us raise back the $100,000 a donor asked us to return because we welcome transgender girls.” And the results are phenomenal. In just one month, they raised over $300,000 from more than 7,000 people.

If you are thinking about running a crowdfunding campaign of your own, check out this great article by activist and nonprofiteer Rebecca Andruszka. On the heels of launching her own campaign, Rebecca outlines three simple steps (including some advice from yours truly):

  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Have a Story
  3. Communicate With Your Donors—a Lot

Easy peasy, right? Crowdfunding, like all good fundraising campaigns, comes with lot of ups and downs, and I’m happy to talk about it! Should you find yourself at the Direct Marketing Association’s New York Nonprofit Conference next week, I hope you’ll come find me. Even more, I hope you’ll join the discussion I’ll be hosting with Megan Keane from NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network at 10:30am on August 5. Our session, “Go Fund Yourself:  How Crowdfunding & Peer to Peer Is Dangerously Changing Fundraising” will examine the evolving landscape of fundraising and share how you can tap into the passion of your community to raise money and deepen engagement.

Let me know if have other questions on this topic, great stories or tips to share, or if I might see you next week at the conference, or this post-conference 501 Tech NYC happy hour!