With the wide scope of the internet, you have an unprecedented chance to rally people for your cause through crowdfunding campaigns. However, it isn’t as simple as posting your campaign and reaping instant reward. Here are solutions for some common mistakes that can fizzle your campaign before it has the chance to shine.
1. Your Promotional Material is Too Long
If your webpage is too long-winded or overly detailed, potential donors will inevitably lose interest before they can get to the heart of your cause. It can be tempting to include trivial details, like the biography of your nonprofit’s president or the history of your organization, but you’re better off skimming those parts for the sake of providing attention-grabbing material. Stick to shorter videos – about a minute long – and only share the hard facts of your project and its goals. Later on, once you’ve ignited that initial enthusiasm, you can follow up with the specifics.
Furthermore, people want to be inspired by a fundraiser. If you don’t utilize visuals or clever graphic to your advantage and instead throw a big wall of text at the screen, chances are they’re going to close the tab on your page halfway through reading. While it isn’t necessary to inundate your campaign with pie charts and GIFs, you do want to catch viewers’ eyes – I suggest presenting the information in a more easily digestible form, with concise paragraphs and scattered graphics that back up the written material.
2. You Slack on Promotion
If you think simply putting up the campaign and sending a few reminders will help you reach your goal, you’re probably not going to see big results. You need to update regularly with frequent promotional posts in order to continually rally more supporters for the length of your campaign. It might seem obvious, but no one will know about your cause unless you tell them. And don’t worry about bothering your contributors with periodic reminders about your campaign’s progress – as long as you keep them brief and non-spammy, they’ll appreciate your efforts to keep them in the know. Also, be sure to utilize all of your social channels strategically with a variety of interactions among the user base. This will keep contributors engaged even when they can’t physically see the progress.
3. Pushing Too Hard
However, you also don’t want to be overzealous. Campaign runners who are constantly barraging their prospective donor base with donation requests are more likely to put off those potential contributors than actually receive more funds. While it doesn’t hurt to ask after a solid relationship with the donor is established, sending unsolicited requests every single day will prove more off-putting and desperate than persuasive. So, don’t run them off; instead, make the effort to connect with your audience, and the donations will naturally follow.
4. You’re Broadcasting to the Wrong Audience
While you want to cast a wide net to get the word out on your cause, what if your message is falling on deaf ears? Be sure you’re communicating with and creating promotional material for the right people. Reach out to those in your local community who are concerned for your cause and rally influential people in similar circles for further support. You wouldn’t want to ignore a smaller audience if it’s comprised of interested parties, so it pays to be aware of your target audience.
5. Poor Perks and Lack of Involvement
Remember that this is a crowdfunding campaign, so contributors will naturally expect something in return for their support. Well-wishes and thank-you emails won’t be enough incentive to give a significant amount. If you’re a nonprofit, you’ll also want to get your audience active in the cause. Offer your supporters ways to be involved, and encourage more contributions by making it worthwhile on its own. Let them know who they’re helping, provide enticing rewards for their help, and make sure they are proportional to the amount they give. Show your contributors the appreciation they deserve, and they’ll give back in kind.
With all the crowdfunding campaigns out there, it can be difficult to really gain traction and reach your fundraising goals. But having the right tools can make a world of difference for your campaign’s success.
Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for SBI Association Management. He regularly produces content for a variety of nonprofit management blogs, based around the transitional challenges that come with nonprofit fundraising and marketing efforts.