By Adam Weinger
Many fundraising experts have recommended crowdfunding as the most inexpensive and quick way for organizations to raise money—and with good reason! Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes can use crowdfunding to rally their supporters to raise money and awareness for their cause.
With an influx of organizations jumping on the crowdfunding bandwagon, it’s more difficult than ever to make a campaign that stands out and draws your donors’ attention.
Luckily, creating a memorable crowdfunding campaign isn’t impossible. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five strategies to help you create a unique campaign:
- Customize and brand your page.
- Craft a killer crowdfunding description.
- Amp up your fundraising page with visuals.
- Share your crowdfunding campaign frequently.
- Offer incentives or giving levels.
Before you jump into our tips, check out Double the Donation’s Guide on Crowdfunding. This guide can refresh your memory on the basics to help enhance your campaign even more!
1. Customize and brand your crowdfunding page.
Let’s face it: we’ve all come across crowdfunding campaigns that don’t reflect the organization that launched them. A branded fundraising page can seriously impact the success of your campaign for a variety of reasons:
- Branded pages are clear and distinct. Donors will instantly know which organization is running the campaign and have an idea of how the money will be used.
- Branded pages look professional and secure. When you have a branded page, donors will be less hesitant about contributing because they trust your organization.
- Branded pages are unique. No matter what platform you use, adding small elements to match your brand will make your campaign look different than other traditional pages on that website.
As you can see, branding your page establishes trust, makes your campaign look unique, and helps ease some of the reservations donors might have when it comes to contributing.
So, how do you brand your crowdfunding page?
The level of branding and customization that you have will vary depending on the crowdfunding website you choose to host your campaign on.
With that said, you should choose a platform that allows you to add your logo to the top of the page and change the color scheme to match your brand.
Some crowdfunding websites allow you to add background images to brand your page even further.
Final thought: Branding your page can do more than just make your fundraising campaign stand out; it can also help establish trust and encourage people to give.
2. Craft a killer crowdfunding description.
It’s not a coincidence that all crowdfunding pages have room to add a description. Telling donors why you’re fundraising is an important piece of a successful (and memorable) campaign because donors have the opportunity to learn more about your cause.
Think about it this way: without a detailed crowdfunding description, donors won’t know why you’re raising money, and more importantly, why your cause should matter to them.
Moreover, your description should present this information in a way that interests your donors. That’s why it’s best to engage your donors and help them develop a personal connection to your cause while building a narrative that uses your past accomplishments and stories from the people you serve.
A common mistake that organizations make is that they write a description that focuses too much on their accomplishments and success rather than showcasing their supporters and the people in need.
By addressing those perspectives in your crowdfunding description, potential supporters can see how their money will impact the people directly affected by the organization’s mission.
Additionally, organizations should be conscious of their description length. Word count matters because it can:
- Increase visibility on online searches. Search engines like Google and Bing use word count to assess the value of content. Longer descriptions offer more value to the reader, and in return search engines will rank these pages higher.
- Stop donors from overlooking your message. Maintaining your potential donors’ attention can be difficult when a description is too long.
- Make your description easy to share. Shorter descriptions can easily be used in social media posts or emails to spread the word about your campaign.
As a result, it’s extremely important for nonprofits to find a happy medium between a short message that keeps donors engaged and a long description that provides enough detail on your campaign and how the funds will be used.
We recommend keeping your crowdfunding description to 300-700 words as this will ensure that it’s long enough to appease search engines and short enough to engage your supporters.
Final thought: You crowdfunding description plays a huge role in getting donors engaged and interested in your campaign. Take the time to craft a perfect message.
3. Amp up your fundraising page with visuals.
When potential donors land on your crowdfunding page, the first thing they will see is your visuals. On most crowdfunding websites, photos and videos appear at the top of the page to hook donors’ attention.
As such, you should not only add visuals to your fundraising page, but also be strategic about the type of visuals you add and their quality.
Additionally, visuals can give your campaign a leg up against the competition because:
- They help illustrate your cause. While your crowdfunding description will help explain your cause, visuals will put potential donors in your volunteers and beneficiaries’ shoes so they can truly understand the impact that your organization wants to make.
- They show donors how their money will be used. If your organization has completed similar projects in the past, share those pictures on your crowdfunding page. This will give them an idea of what your nonprofit seeks to accomplish.
- They keep your donors engaged. The truth is most people would prefer to watch a video about your organization rather than read about it. Plus, videos give you the opportunity to describe your cause in just a few minutes.
While every campaign should have at least one image, you should include multiple visuals if you want to surpass your fundraising goal.
Visuals are powerful motivational tools that can inspire your supporters and help your campaign reach even more potential donors. In fact, crowdfunding campaigns that have videos raise 105% more than campaigns without videos (Bonus! For more on that fact and other crowdfunding statistics, check out this page).
The videos you upload should accomplish two things:
- Demonstrate your dedication to your cause, project, or event.
- Show donors examples of what their donations will go toward.
Let’s not forget that quantity is important, but it’s nothing without quality. Include high-quality images on your fundraising page to maintain a professional look and provide a memorable experience for your supporters.
Having five clear, stunning visuals is much more valuable to your organization than ten low-quality images that are blurry and hard to see.
Final thought: Visuals can set your campaign apart from the rest. Make sure that your images and videos enhance your story and help you explain why you’re fundraising.
4. Share your crowdfunding campaign frequently.
The only way to spread the word about your campaign is by sharing your crowdfunding page and asking donors to support your cause.
With so many people using Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on their favorite for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations, it’s no wonder that social media is the top way to share your campaign.
Staying in your donors’ minds will help you stand out and create a memorable impression.
Plus, fundraising pages often have social sharing buttons, making it easy for donors to share your page with their friends and family.
When you share your campaign on social media, you should include an image and a link to your page; write a short, punchy statement that grabs your donors’ attention; and ask for a specific amount to simplify the process.
While many crowdfunding experts will tell you to focus your marketing resources on social media, it’s not the only way to promote your fundraiser.
You can also use the following methods to share your campaign:
The great thing about emails? You have plenty of room to tell your unique story and explain why your campaign is so important. Plus, you can connect your cause to individual donors based on their interests and passions.
When writing emails, it’s important to personally address each individual and write in a concise, professional tone. Don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action so it’s clear to the reader exactly what you want them to do: donate to your crowdfunding campaign.
Many donors use text-to-give and other mobile applications to donate, and studies show that it makes for a great communication method. In fact, 90% of text messages are opened, so it’s very likely that your message will be read by your supporters.
Use this platform to send donors text messages asking them to contribute to your campaign. Include a link to your fundraising page and a video explaining your cause (if you have one).
Most crowdfunding platforms come with the feature to write crowdfunding updates. Typically, if your social media accounts are connected to crowdfunding page, these updates are posted to your social media. This is a great way to promote your campaign and keep donors in the loop; you never know when donors might be motivated to give again.
In addition, you can use crowdfunding updates to highlight you supporters, celebrate significant milestones (like reaching half of your goal), and ask for donations.
Final thought: Don’t just share your campaign on social media. Use other outlets and share content to get donors interested in learning more about your cause.
5. Offer incentives or giving levels.
Many crowdfunding campaigns implement incentives and/or giving levels to help motivate supporters to donate.
Incentives are items or experiences that you can give to donors depending on their donation size. Your organization can set up multiple giving tiers that offer different perks.
For instance, if donors give $50, they can receive a t-shirt, but if donors give $100, they will get the t-shirt and tickets to your fundraising event. With each giving tier, the donation gets bigger and the perks become better.
Organizations can offer whatever kind of incentives they want, but it’s best to give items that relate to your cause or will leave a memorable impression. Donors will feel more motivated to give and less guilty about receiving an item if it reflects the cause their supporting.
Unfortunately, giving your donors incentives won’t always work for your campaign. Sometimes it won’t make sense for your cause to have incentives or you won’t have the resources to provide donors with gifts.
That’s perfectly fine! Your organization can still use giving levels to illustrate the impact your donors’ contributions will have.
Giving levels work in a similar way, but instead of offering donors a gift, each giving level shows donors what their contribution will go towards.
Giving levels can be just as—if not more—effective in inspiring your donors to contribute because they’ll know exactly how their money will be used. For example, you could create a giving level of $5 that provides one student with five notebooks and a pack of pencils.
The more specific you are with your giving levels, the more donors can see the impact that their donation will have. Plus, donors are likely to remember your campaign after giving because they know exactly how they helped your campaign.
Final thought: Giving levels and perks are not only incentives to motivate more support, but they also can help your campaign stand out when you have a unique way of giving items.
With these five tips, you can create a campaign that inspires donors to give and stand out among the many other causes vying for their attention.