12 Sep Crowdfunding: Letting A Thousand Flowers Really Bloom/Part Six: BLOOM!
Let’s look at the word “bloom” a minute. It’s Old Norse for flowering–and prosperity! Humans have connected blooming, thriving and wealth for a long time. This post teaches you how to take the crowdfunding you’ve done in parts one, two, three, four, five and CONNECT them so they EXTEND into your fundraising future. (IF you were only crowdfunding investors for a new gadget, congrats, you’re done, you don’t need to read this post.) IF you were crowdfunding to take your organization to a new level of prosperity, please do read this post.
What people seldom tell you is that your long-term rewards come AFTER the crowdfunding campaign. This post sketches the steps to take. It is not a complete detailed listing of every step. (I tried that. It came to the length of a Russian novel.) If you want the detailed version, contact us for a free scope of work session to find out how little it would cost to have our help translating your crowdfunding campaign into long-term dollars and relationships.
- You’ve received gifts from new donors. (If you can’t tell your new donors from your existing donors who also gave to the campaign, G-d help you, but contact me). Assume they know nothing beyond your campaign. But know this: you’ve earned these new donors and they belong to you, not your crowdfunding platform!
- Build their loyalty by showing them loyalty. Find out about them! Build them into your records. Include every scrap of information you can find out about them from the crowdfunding platform. At minimum, this should be each new donor’s
- email address
- perk(s) they chose
- notes to you and yours back to them. Also add their
- geographic location
- postal address
- and other campaigns they funded…. if the platform tells you this information.
- After you build them into your records, build them into your work. Thank them upon completion of the campaign. This is a second thank-you beyond the one you sent with their perk, Remember: you can’t over-thank. Yes, I do mean each of them. It’s like your teeth: only take care of the ones you want to keep.
- At this point, take a breath. Enjoy having stopped the campaign.
- Now start up fundraising again committed to increase the time you spend communicating with your people. (It will be less than you spent during the campaign but more than you spent before the campaign.) You will start setting aside time to communicate with all your (segmented) existing donors AND the new donors you got from this campaign–and from every future source, like petitions and event sign-in sheets.
- Use some of your set-aside time first to tell your new donors a bit about your organization. Email them a short, snappy, and visually rich piece customized just for them. Give them a flavor of the work you do, not the whole meal. In your email, ask they do something simple, specific, and online to show support of your work. Here are some ideas: sign a petition, Like your Facebook page, sign up for your blog. Small, specific, and online because you want to see if they are willing to do once more what they did for you during the campaign OUTSIDE the campaign platform. Make it easy and fun for them. Remember: they are not loyal yet. You are building loyalty. It’s your job (your opportunity)–whenever you get a new donor.
- Make sure you can tell which of them do this small, specific, online thing. You can do this: (1) manually by comparing new blog or petition sign-ups or Likes to your new donor list or (2) by tracking them automatically if you have the tools or savvy.
- Thank each of your new donors who does this small, specific, online thing. Most people who give via crowdfunding platforms like to be noticed. Don’t worry, you won’t have to notice them this much forever 😉 Soon some will become care more about you getting your work done than recognition. But you are helping them transition to that kind of loyalty.
- Make a note in your calendar to reach out to these new donors at least once more and possibly twice more. Make a note that you want to customize your outreach a bit specially to the new donors who have taken the action you asked. Invite them to join you in something, for example.
- Finally, invite them to opt into your permanent donor records. OR simply add them, and let them know so they can opt out if they like. This decision depends on your organization’s culture and how you already handle this kind of thing.