Crowdfunding: Letting A Thousand Flowers Really Bloom/Part Four: Flowers

Crowdfunding: Letting A Thousand Flowers Really Bloom/Part Four: Flowers

daisies

Giant White Shasta Daisies. Image by and uploaded to Flikr by Swallowtail Garden Seeds with a Creative Commons license.

Welcome new readers! I bet we met at the Communities Conference this past weekend! See the * at the end of this post.

Your crowdfunding campaign is the first thing some people will ever see about you. How do you make it stand out? (If you want to know how to prepare for this question, read Parts One, Two, and Three of this series.)

Flowers

All crowdfunding platforms woo you.

The platform makes money from you.

They know you have choices. They appeal to you by

  1. promising lower fees (fees are similar and not a wise top priority of yours)
  2. easy set-up
  3. super-great customer service.

That’s all fine.  It’s just that YOUR DONORS HAVE TO BE ABLE TO FIND YOUR CAMPAIGN FOR IT TO SUCCEED.

When you shopped for a platform, did you notice how hard it is on some platforms for new donors to find you?

All platforms are not created equal when it comes to the donor’s experience.

As you choose a platform, examine how hard is it for you to find a campaign at random, one that’s not featured on the platform’s home page. How easy is it to browse all their campaigns? Second, how easy is it to find a campaign by category? Suss out what categories your campaign fits. See who else is in your  category. Maybe experiment with another category; what other campaigns are in that one? If all the other campaigns in your category are (for example) gloom-and-doom or a medical emergency and you (and your campaign) are revolutionizing health, your best bet may be another category–or another platform.  Check out the platform comparison articles I gave you in the last post for help with this.

It’s not all on the platform, however. Not by a long shot. True, new donors must be able to find your campaign with only a small amount of effort if you want that crowdfunding magic we talked about to kick in. But your current donors also need to find your campaign! And that’s on you.

Your current donors find your campaign in every old-fashioned fundraising way you already use: personal email, social media posts, events where you announce the campaign, hard-copy postcards, refrigerator magnets you send out when you launch.

You get the idea. These are all discussed in the article we referred you to (and shared with you) in Part One.

Want your campaign to “go viral”? Ask your donors to promote the campaign by sharing your posts, forwarding your emails, sending your postcards to their friends, talking up the campaign when their friends come for dinner and see your eye-catching magnet on their fridge.

Reward sharers with perks if you like–but most important is simply to thank them very publicly on your campaign page–and of course personally.

You can’t over-communicate with your donors, I promise. You can over-ask them (maybe; most askers err on the side of being too reticent) but you cannot over-thank them.

Crowdfunding really is just a fancy channel for your (existing) donors to give you money. So please make sure they know where to find your campaign.

You also can not over-communicate your campaign. And yes, you end up doing the same kinds of communicating we have always done. But you gain some new donors (I’d guess no more than 20% of your total) plus new and extra gifts from your existing list.

Everyone involved (you included) gets to feel excited and part of something bigger than ourselves and very modern and all of that’s good too.

How do you keep them excited? On to Part Five.

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