It can be intimidating to give crowdfunding a try. You might feel stuck or unsure of how to proceed. But don’t worry! We’ve got nonprofit best practices and examples of organizations putting them into practice to help you out. Learn from their success! You can use their stories as inspiration, or incorporate aspects of their strategy into your first Mightycause campaign.
Nonprofit Best Practices
Crowdfunding strategy is part art and part science. These best practices will help you check your nonprofit as you gear up for your first campaign on Mightycause.
Crowdfunding is all about relying on the kindness of your crowd. Nonprofits and individuals who find success through crowdfunding are honest with their crowd and build trust. So, when you’re gearing up for your first campaign, make sure you make the time and space to include information about your nonprofit’s financial need and how you plan on spending money you raise. You know that your offline donors want this information. Of course, online donors are no different! And in the internet era, donors expect accountability and transparency from crowdfunding campaigns.
Have an “angle”
One thing successful nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns all have in common is an angle, or a hook. And as a nonprofit professional, you know that people won’t fork over their hard-earned money just because you ask. You need an angle. You need something that pulls donors in, makes them click on links and inspires them to open their wallets. And this is especially important online, because people have even smaller attention spans. You have less time to make your case and pull them in. So, if you’re gearing up for your nonprofit’s first crowdfunding campaign on Mightycause, keep in mind that just talking about the work you do won’t cut it. Find an angle that makes your campaign stand out from the crowd!
People like to be told what to do … when it comes to crowdfunding, at least. Suggesting amounts to your donors with donation tiers has always been effective in nonprofit fundraising. And because the crowdfunding space was built on rewards and support levels, it’s even more important. So, it’s important to provide donation levels, even though Mightycause does not have rewards. People also like to know what their donations help provide, so set custom donation suggestions and add information about what the donation helps your nonprofit do.
It sounds funny, but redundancy will help your nonprofit crowdfund successfully. And what we mean by that is to give people the opportunity to donate in as many places as possible. Meet your supporters where they are and provide a way to donate to your crowdfunding campaign at every entry point online. That means you should have a way to donate on your website, social media channels, emails and even in person. You may think crowdfunding is all about social media, but successful nonprofit crowdfunders create redundancy in their online presence so they don’t miss any potential donors to their campaign.
Focus on storytelling
A great story is what’s at the heart of every great crowdfunding campaign. So, when you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll need to tell a good story. Dig into the work your nonprofit has done in the past year, or find a situation you’re trying to assist with now. You’ll need a story your crowd can connect with emotionally and use to find a context for your work. This is especially true of big issues that can feel intimidating to the average person, like homelessness or poverty. Putting a human face on issues that feel insurmountable is more than a nonprofit best practice. It’s essential.
Nonprofit Case Studies
Solitary Watch throws Lifelines To Prisoners With Project Page
Solitary Watch is a nonprofit organization committed to reporting on the use of solitary confinement in the United States, bringing this human rights issue out of the shadows and into the public eye.
Lifelines to Solitary began with Ridgeway and Casella writing letters, sending cards and newsletters to individuals in solitary to let them know they were not forgotten. That program expanded into a prison correspondence program that now has hundreds of participants. Student groups, community and faith organizations exchanged letters with penpals in solitary, using a P.O. box. Students from Princeton University and members of a Buddhist temple in New York are among the groups that have participated.
Each year Lifelines to Solitary sends holiday cards to prisoners in solitary confinement — in 2016 they set a goal to send 5,000 holiday cards.
The fundraiser ended up raising more than $13,000 to help the organization send its holiday cards to prisoners in solitary confinement. They made sure to add powerful photos right into the Description to break up the text and make their story pop, kept up engagement with Updates and continue to promote the fundraiser throughout its duration. Learn more about their efforts.
Animal Humane Society Boosts Impact With Donation Tiers
It’s easy to feel the impulse to give to an animal organization when you see images of dogs and cats on television. But, how do you know the impact of your gift?
As the leading animal welfare organization in the Upper Midwest, Animal Humane Society is committed to engaging and serving local communities of people and animals and providing comprehensive programs and services to compassionately serve all of the stages of an animal’s life.
Animal Humane Society emphasizes the impact of a donor’s gift by including tangible descriptions. A $30 donation helps provide medical care. A $100 donation can provide a spay/neuter surgery. Just $250 can give two animals in need an x-ray.
The impact levels have made a difference: most donations the Animal Humane Society receives through Mightycause align with a suggested donation amount.
Mightycause presents donors with suggested levels and descriptions at check out. This helps to re-emphasize the message of how much impact each donation amount can have on animals in need.
Pair donation levels with your organization’s key messages to continually emphasize the topline points you’d like donors and supporters to know about your organization’s impact.
Ryan Seacrest Foundation Makes It Easy To Give With Donation Widget
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and educated-focused initiatives. RSF’s first initiative was to build broadcast media centers, named Seacrest Studios, within pediatric hospitals for patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media.
Their Mightycause page includes captivating photos in the gallery and donation levels to emphasize impact. However, their biggest success is with their donation widget. The donation widget can be found on the left side of their website, ryanseacrestfoundation.org, in the News section. Blog posts have a subtle “call to action” next to them:
This is an effective fundraising strategy. Nearly all of the individual donations the foundation has received through Mightycause have come from the donation widget. When you’re highlighting work in your blog, it’s important to have a call to action nearby.