10 Basics For Crowdfunding Success

Posted Sept. 4, 2014 by Arnon Shafir

(guest post published on Nonprofit Funderland, Aug 18)

So you want to raise money for your charitable crowdfunding campaign, and you’re not quite sure how to go about it. You’ve seen lots of campaigns be successful, but just as many fail. So what are the secrets to achieving your fundraising goal faster?

As a pioneer in internet technology and having spent the last 7 years with thousands of nonprofit executives like you, maybe this would help. I’ll share what we’ve learned at give2gether helping hundreds of nonprofits grow their networks, inspiring thousands of civil philanthropists to engage in their crowdfunding campaigns and raising more money online.

I believe you too can reinvent social fundraising. Now each person can be measured by how much they care, how much they share and how much they raise through their network. Beyond those tips, we share some breakthroughs based on over 10 years of research at the “X-lab” at UC Berkeley and uncovered some startling new insights that will boost your crowdfunding results.

Here are your 10 basics for crowdfunding success

1) Your Campaign Title is Key. Just do it: Sounds familiar? Well, NIKE is using it as its “tag line”. How about “We try harder?” That’s right, Avis. Now, what’s yours? Seriously, for the web, your campaign title needs to be boiled down to 3-5 words! Not an easy task, but a very important one. It also has to answer 3 questions: what, when, why now?

2) Your 1-2-3 pitch: People like being told what to do. That’s right – tell them what they need to do, they expect you to. After all, they want to know what you are doing with their money. Online, most people don’t read, they skim and look for the link or button to click. Make sure you pitch like a pro: tell them what is at stake, what change you are trying to achieve and how can they help to make it happen. 1-2-3

3) Use the BLUF approach: BLUF stands for Bottom Line Up Front. You don’t have the time or the real estate online to tell a lengthy story – do your elevator pitch right at the top of your campaign . Make sure you tell your donors what they need to do and why, then repeat what you just said.

4) Make it personal: Personal stories are much better than general messages. People connect to personal, simple, real life examples with simple explanations. Bring the stories of your supported community to the forefront. Place your testimonials (written and recorded), on your campaign page and throughout your campaign. Share your success stories with your supporters.

5) Be specific: You have only 12 seconds to win your donor’s attention. You heard that right – tell your donors What needs to happen, When you need it, andWhy. Be as specific as you can be. Avoid general terms – instead of “help us save the world” consider “Help our Shelter save 100 dogs by March 30″.

 6) If a picture is worth a thousand words: What about video? Effective video triples your crowdfunding results. You can create an amazing 30 second video for free with Animoto. It is VERY easy and fun to create and you’ll be boosting your donations 3 fold.

7) Fundraisers: 6% of your donors will become fundraisers. They will champion your cause and raise 60-70% of your total goal!! That’s a tremendous result. Signing up fundraisers or champions is key to success. A successful champion can bring in 20X -50X more than a single donor. And new champions create buzz and competition on your fundraiser’s leader-board!

8) Inspire your fundraisers: They are your crowdfunding rocket fuel so they should be getting your best attention and treated like VIPs.

9) Tune your call to action: Often, we fall in love with our initial message.Look carefully and often at your fundraising results and fine tune your messaging if your emails aren’t getting good response rates.

10) Acknowledge and promote your successes: Your fundraiser’s success is your success. One of the best ways to encourage more fundraisers is promoting your individual, real life fundraising success stories as part of your weekly communications. And remember that 75% of your fundraiser’s supporters will be 1st time donors. That should get them the “Rock Star” treatment.

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Arnon ShafirArnon Shafir is the co-founder and CEO of give2gether, a ‘simply intelligent crowdfunding’ company, which Forbes named one of the “top 100 crowdfunders” and Mashable dubbed as “the Google Analytics of philanthropy.” Already, give2gether has helped charities fund over 400 projects and through over 20,000 personal fundraising pages.

A graduate of Tel Aviv University and the 8200 Best Start-Up Winner, Arnon embodies the best of the Start-Up Nation. A pioneer in Israeli Internet technology innovation since 1996, Shafir is a passionate entrepreneur and has a highly effective track record designing and evangelizing Self Service Support Systems, eCRM and Content Management Systems serving companies such as Bell South, Packard Bell, NEC and AT&T.

Shafir is committed to changing the world, one dollar at a time.

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