Learning from Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Anita Gallagher

Your #LatinxsBelong campaign is well underway and may be coming to a close soon. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to move ahead on donor appreciation; but it’s also the right time to think about evaluation.

Supporting migrants, and helping to solve the underlying problems that drive migration, are some of the biggest issues that we face today across the US and Latin America. Nonprofits that strengthen their crowdfunding and social marketing skills will be better placed to rise to that challenges with adequate funding. So, whether your campaign exceeded all expectations or was disappointing in the end, here’s a few ideas on how to evaluate your results and build capacity for future campaigns.

1. Evaluating overall impact

Once your campaign has concluded, you should carry out a robust evaluation (although robust does not necessarily mean time-consuming). Collect your data, call a team meeting, and ask these key questions:

  • Did we meet our financial goal?
  • What else did we achieve?

Let everyone talk freely—different perspectives should be welcomed. Some of the other impacts/metrics you might want to discuss include:

  • Did we attract as many individual donors as we expected?
  • Did we attract new donors?
  • Did our donors come from our expected target group?
  • Did we grow in our communications reach?
  • Did we improve our digital marketing skills?

Please note, you can easily access a full list of donors and donations from HIPGive at any time during your campaign. Go to your HIPGive dashboard, click on the name of the project and then on the yellow button underneath the percentage raised.

2. Evaluating your strategies

Once you establish what you achieved, it’s time to evaluate how you achieved it. Take stock of how your organization deployed its resources and the effectiveness of different aspects of your promotional campaign. This helps you get a picture of return on investment from your campaign as well as valuable insights into donor behavior. Here’s another series of useful questions, with some suggested metrics.

  • Question: How much time did we invest in the campaign?
    • Metric: Staff hours (setting up + managing the campaign).
  • Question: Did the campaign involve any financial outlay?
    • Metric: Expenses directly relating to the campaign.
  • Question: How effective were our communications in driving traffic to our campaign page?
    • Metrics: Email open rate / email click through rate; social media likes/comments/shares; and responses to phone calls and other outreach channels.
  • Question: How did people give?
    • Metrics: Average donation amount; donation range (minimum amount – maximum amount); and date and time of donation.
  • Question: How effective was our messaging?
    • Metric: There’s no objective metric for this, but ask your team to gauge what element of the campaign message or content was most effective in increasing participation—the online story, the video, photos, a particular call to action in an email, etc.

3. Learning for your next campaign

As you wrap up your evaluation, reflect on your biggest successes and your biggest challenges. How can you overcome those challenges in the future? If you need more information, why not:

  • Reach out to your donors one-to-one or with a short survey to learn about their donation experience
  • Identify areas in which you lacked skills and increase your knowledge for future campaigns. The HIPGive LEARN and FAQ resources are a great place to start.

Metrics are useful in understanding your campaign results, but each campaign is different and sometimes circumstances around the campaign can be difficult to predict, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to evaluation. The most important thing is to learn, grow, and come back reinvigorated for your next campaign further down the line!

 

Author

Anita difunde la plataforma de HIP de recaudación colectiva de fondos llamada HIPGive y le ayuda a las organizaciones sin fines de lucro a tener campañas exitosas.
Una latina destacada que está criando a sus hijos en México; se siente más comprometida que nunca a crear un cambio positivo en la comunidad local, en el país y en la región en su totalidad.