In today’s fiscal climate, educational programs are struggling to continually provide quality services to students. Many programs are attempting to move from traditional fundraising efforts to crowd funding, a fundraising effort used by programs to expand their donor base and raise money from a large number of people. Projects are marketed through the use of online sites. Whle the crowdfunding industry earned $5.1 billion dollars worldwide, the majority of crowdfunding efforts do not reach thier intended goal. Learn more about creating a successful campaign.
Image from Scott Metzger Cartoons
Make sure you have a product that works for crowd funding.
- Raise funds for a specific project, not for a general idea.
- There should be a sense of urgency / timeliness.
- Causes that touch people’s hearts can be successful.
- Raising money for personal causes that are obscure rarely work.
Set a realistic funding goal.
- Include a Breakdown of Donation Spending.
- People want to know where their money is going. They need to know their donation is making a difference and their money is well spent.
Select the crowd funding platform and type of funding.
- Keep-it-All (KIA) – The creator keeps the funding, even if the funds don’t meet or surpass the goal.
- All-or-Nothing (AON) – The creator keeps the funding if — and only if — the goal threshold is met.
- Tip: Understand your platform. Some claim to be free but charge donors up to 15% of their donation and you still pay processing fees.
Create the plan.
- Plan to spend 3 to 6 months before a crowdfunding campaign launches to hone the project, create the support materials, build a following for the launch on social media, and reach out to potential supporters.
- Promote the campaign to current contacts about 3 months in advance of the launch.
- Write and schedule all the social media postings and emails.
- Contact media sources to build interest.
- TIP: Successful campaigns have about 30 percent of the goal committed through an initial network of close connections before it’s launched.
Develop your story. Crowd funding is all about stories.
- How will you turn your idea into reality?
- Explaining why you need support is as important as the end product.
- Make sure all support materials exist.
- A company website is recommended. It legitimizes the program.
Launch the crowdfunding campaign.
- Plan on constantly engaging the audience through social media and press releases.
- Campaign should run between 30- 45 days.
- Commit time to answering questions, responding to inquiries.