Charity Crowdfunding: Is it right for me?

Crowdfunding

Charity crowdfunding is a popular and growing concept for many charities and often works well when fundraising for new campaigns. However, just how successful is it and is it really right for my organisation?

Traditionally, fundraising takes place face-to-face between a charity and their potential donor, relying solely on personality to build a rapport and land a donation. However, the advancement of the internet has made it easier for charities to exploit and promote their organisation in a fresh, innovative way. Online fundraising has grown significantly and in the last five years, the UK has seen the evolution of new types of fundraising, such as crowdfunding.

Charity crowdfunding is the process of raising money to support a particular cause, fund or project. Typically these are smaller amounts and are usually made online by many individuals. Ultimately, it is a great way to bring awareness to a specific cause.

For charities and not-for-profits, crowdfunding provides two benefits, including:

  • Reaching a wide or a niche audience: Being that campaigns are run online, you can gain exposure to tens of thousands of individuals. Furthermore, it is easier to seek donors that have a keen interest in your cause.
  • Promoting a particular cause or project: If you have any large fundraising projects, which you need to raise the profile of, crowdfunding may be a great place to start. It will give you the chance to diversify your ideas, attract donors and promote your brand.

Although crowdfunding is a great addition to not-for-profit fundraising, it is not suitable to all charities nor should it completely erase all other forms of fundraising. Many charities who fundraise online fail to see that it does not guarantee instant success nor is it a quick fix. Consequently, crowdfunding should be used to help facilitate a campaign and not for general or long term fundraising campaigns. As a guide, a successful crowdfunding campaign will:

  • Include a Plan of Action: Having a secure plan of action will allow you to get the most of the crowdfunding experience. A solid plan will ensure you are accounting for as many opportunities as realistically possible; covering any probable threats and ensuring that you are meeting all aims and objectives in a timely manner.
  • Create a Social Buzz: Creating a social buzz around your campaign will help to make it as fruitful as possible. Not only will it get people engaged, it should make it easier to get donors
  • Reward Donors Effectively: With crowdfunding, donors are giving you something. In return you should thank them. This does not have to be a physical object or anything expensive, it could simply be a personal shout out on your social media platform.
  • Be Innovative and fun: There are thousands of crowdfunding campaigns running at present. To distinguish yourself from all the other campaigners, you need to do something fun and exciting. Possibly run a competition or run a league to get as many people showing interest as possible.
  • Have Realistic Goals and Expectations: Although setting the bar high is always a good thing, being realistic is a must. Be realistic especially if you have never done any crowdfunding work and have nothing to benchmark yourself against.

Crowdfunding is great for small and medium not-for-profits, especially when looking to attract and reach a diverse and wider market. However, failing to plan effectively can have a negative impact on your image. If you would like to discuss crowdfunding or any other alternative finance opportunities, please contact me directly at Suda@raffingers.co.uk.