5 Common Questions about Nonprofit Crowdfunding

Are you coming to our crowdfunding webinar on April 29th? Brady Josephson will be teaching us all how to run more effective crowdfunding campaigns. Click here to register.Recently I asked Brady Josephson of RE: Charity and, a crowdfunding company in Vancouver, Canada, if he would answer a few commonly asked questions about crowdfunding.

Question 1: What are the best things to crowdfund for?

  • Specific projects. It doesn’t have to be tangible per se (help us buy a bus or pay for rent) but the purpose and outcomes need to be specific. Typically, new projects or things that won’t be able to happen unless funding is secured is best as opposed to things that you’ll do anyways and are already funded.

Question 2: What is the ideal amount to ask for?

  • The average ‘crowdfunding’ donation is about $80 so one way is to think about how many people you can ask and reach, times by a conversion rate and that is a rough goal.
  • I often suggest organizations pick a goal then divide it in half and that’s your project goal. We fundraisers often overestimate and a big key to crowdfunding is momentum and appearance of success so setting a lower goal is better – especially starting  out
  • A friend of mine built a handy little fundraising planning tool with a crowdfunding template which can break it out a bit more:

Question 3: What is the best length of time to run a crowdfunding campaign?

  • 30 days is the most common recommended time frame for people fundraising for you (more the peer to peer method) but I suggest 30 – 90 days tops for charities. It’s better to do prepwork (plan it out, get pre-commitments from board and volunteers, etc.) and then launch with a shorter timeframe to add urgency to the campaign.

Question 4: What are the best ways to raise awareness that you are crowdfunding for an item/project?

  • Having a great story to coincide with the project (preferably video) is important. Makes it easy to understand and easy for people to share.
  • Getting momentum in the form of donations, staff buy in and supporter knowledge (amongst the hardcores) that a campaign is coming can be useful so they all spread and share when the campaign is active
  • You’ll get some donations from social, some organically and maybe some from the crowdfudnign platforms user base but don’t count on those avenues for success – those are the things that make a great campaign amazing. You still need people to care about you and give (mainly via email and direct ask).

Question 5: How often should you crowdfund?

  • Really depends but once or twice a year seems to be pretty good for most organizations.

If you’d like to learn even more about crowdfunding, come to our April 29th webinar, it’s free! It’s from 10am PT to 11am PT.

And if you can’t make it on April 29th, 2015, we will be sending the recording to all participants.

Just click here to register.

crowdfunding webinar 2015

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