Online vs. Offline Strategies

“Crowdfunding doesn’t really work in Latin America yet.”

“The lack of trust in the charitable sector is too strong.”

“There’s no culture of online giving, so many people don’t even have a credit card.”
These are some of the opinions that nonprofits in Mexico, Central, and South America often struggle with as they decide whether to embark on a crowdfunding campaign.  
We get it. The culture of giving is very different in the U.S. than in Latin America, and also varies hugely across socioeconomic and demographic groups even in the U.S. But we also love the resolve of hundreds of nonprofits to prove them wrong through successful crowdfunding campaigns.
In 2014, for example, we offered a matching funds prize to the group that raised the most money from the largest number of unique donors. To recruit donors, representatives of one organization stationed themselves at a neighborhood supermarket.

The group recruited more than 100 individual donors, but the majority of those individuals did not have credit cards; most were low-income and undocumented. In an ingenious effort to validate the donations, the group collected the name and phone number of each donor, and transferred their cash donations to prepaid credit cards. Once they purchased the cards, the organization made online donations in each donor’s name through HIPGive. 
This example shows the power of the hybrid campaign, combining the best of online and offline communication and outreach strategies. Just because you can fundraise online doesn’t mean you have to! Here are some other great offline strategies that will complement your campaign, and work especially well for contests.  

Launch Party

Organize a get-together with friends and supporters of the organization to drum up support for the project and participation in the campaign strategy. You can invite donors to give online there and then and ask them to share social media posts to make a bigger online splash.

Board Room Session

The active participation of your board members provides crucial momentum for your campaign. Ask for space in a board meeting or organize a special session to present the campaign and provide them with concrete ways in which they can drive success. Give them a communications toolkit that they can share among their own personal and professional networks, setting the example with their own donation, or ask them for a quote about the campaign to include in your own communications as social proof. 

Press Release 

If your project makes a local impact or has high emotional appeal, then it’s a great idea to get in touch with local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations. You should time your release to coincide with the launch of your campaign or final few days. Instead of sending a generic release, try and find the right angle for each news outlet.  
Have you run a campaign using novel offline strategies? Let us know—we’d love to hear from you! 
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