Top 5 Basics of Crowdfunding

Woman watering plants with kids

Written by Ashish Singh, Global Giving

Getting crowdfunding right isn’t easy, but we’ve broken it down to its basics to make your crowdfunding experience easier. 

  1. What Is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. Crowdfunding is not a new idea, but has become extremely popular over the past two decades with the creation of online crowdfunding. With online crowdfunding nonprofits can: 

  • Build their reach and raise awareness for their cause
  • Create an online supporter base, 
  • Access more flexible funding.
  1. Choosing The Right Platform

Before you start, it is important you choose the right platform for your organisation to join. Some platforms are donation based where people give money and do not expect anything in return. Other platforms are rewards based, where donors give money to your cause, but expect something in return, e.g. merchandise. You should also consider the reach and reputation of the platform – and what returns you get from putting your campaign on there. Most importantly, you should consider what fees your organisation has to pay on the platform and what features it is providing you with in return. 

  1. Posting A Project

Once you have chosen what platform to use, it’s now time to post a project. Your project is a specific programme/activity that you have a plan of action for, and need a set amount of money to carry out. When posting your project on the platform there are some basic ways you can make yours stand out more:

  • Action Oriented Title: it should be 5-8 words long and include who you’re helping, how you’re helping, and where you are based 
  • Engaging Image: have people in the photo with positive imagery (e.g. show them smiling) 
  • Concise Summary: jargon-free summary of your project that explains the who, what, where, and why of your organisation
  • Creative donation options: as well as having the total amount money you are trying to raise, you can engage donors by showing them how far their money goes in carrying out the task  
  • Data: either through images or text showcase how many have benefited from your project
  1. How To Use Your Network

A common misconception is that by simply putting your project on a crowdfunding platform you will start receiving loads of donations. However, you can’t just join a crow– you have to create some noise first within your close network that you can rely on to support your cause. They can be: 

  • Family
  • Friends 
  • Volunteers 
  • Donors 
  • Local Companies

You should consider the different types of value that they can bring to your organisation, such as:

  •  Influence 
  • Passion 
  • Contacts 
  • Time 
  • Cash 

By building up a stronger base network, it becomes easier to reach the outside world. So no matter how small you are, you can easily expand your organisation’s reach. 

  1. Engaging Donors With Online Communications

To achieve your crowdfunding goal, you need to communicate your project in a way that engages donors. To do this, you should talk about your passion and be authentic to your cause, so donors can feel what you feel about the project. It is vital that donors clearly understand why you are fundraising. You can do this in multiple ways:

  • Demonstrate Impact – By identifying the problem and then highlighting the solution 
  • Effective Character –  Include the story someone who has benefited from your project 
  • Positive Imagery 
  • Convey Passion
  • Build a Sense of Urgency (which ends with a call-to-action to donate)

Individuals are more likely to be drawn in to donate by other by individuals, so a good way to authentically engage donors is to include a personal connection in the story. 

Remember to engage your current crowd to access a wider network on the right platform that suits your nonprofits needs. If you follow these tips, you can start your crowdfunding campaign with confidence. 

GlobalGiving invites charities and community groups to join GlobalGiving’s platform via the September Accelerator programme, a digital fundraising training programme that provides digital fundraising training and entry in to a crowdfunding campaign to raise £4,000 for a chosen project. Graduates of the programme become permanent partners on the GlobalGiving platform and will gain access to additional corporate funding and training opportunities. 

To apply, click here. The deadline to apply is 26th July.


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