The mission of Giving Trail (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) is to help other charitable organizations raise money and awareness for their mission-based projects. It is important to create a crowdfunding campaign around a project that demonstrates your purpose, and the impact your organization makes on your community.
Before posting a campaign, please understand that a successful campaign requires good planning and participation from those involved in your organization. Crowdfunding only works when a lot of people are willing to put in a little effort.
Here are some tips for success:
What makes a Successful campaign?
- A project that embodies your mission!
- A project that instills passion and excitement in others.
- Understanding the concept of crowdfunding. Many small acts of giving and sharing can really add up. However, you CANNOT just post a campaign and expect results. This is a fundraiser and there is some work involved though not nearly as much as a traditional fundraiser.
- A great project description. This tells the donor exactly what you’re doing, who it will benefit and how much it will cost.
- An impactful campaign title. Use important Key-Words in a phrase that describes your project at-a-glance. Great Key-Words will help people to find your campaign.
- A compelling photo/video. Size the photo correctly.
- A realistic funding goal. Start small and see how it goes. You can increase the goal on your next campaign. DO NOT OVER-REACH. The average donation is about $50: take your funding goal and divide it by 50. That will tell you how many donors you need to succeed. Determine whether or not you can convince at least that number of people to donate? if not, revise your funding goal.
- A passionate audience of donors. Think about who they are and how to reach them. They are a powerful force who will help generate a buzz of awareness and support around your project. Encourage them to volunteer, and bring their friends.
- A firm commitment from directors and Members to participate. Participation from your members is essential and a direct reflection of their enthusiasm for your organization. They should be willing to share in the responsibilities of getting the word out and be among the first to donate (doesn't matter how much). This builds credibility with other donors- and it's easy!
- A well thought-out plan for marketing your campaign. As with any other fundraiser, crowdfunding requires some effort and good planning that will ultimately save enormous amounts of time and money. Emails, Social Media, Newsletters, Websites and news releases are examples of important marketing tools needed to get the word out and drive support for your project. Basic marketing principles highlight the importance of touch-points from different sources to fully captivate your audience. Cover all the marketing angles to expose your project to the maximum number of people.
- A personal "Ask". Don't be bashful to ask for support! People are happy to help when they understand the benefit. Simply send a link with your campaign page and a personalized message. Be specific and direct: donate, volunteer and spread the word. You are providing prospective donors with the relevant information they need to decide if your organization is worthy of their support. The link to your campaign allows donors to perform their own due-diligence and respond favorably to your request for support.
- Volunteers. Through hands-on experience and fellowship, volunteers become your best advocates, and future members of your organization. Find projects that involve volunteers- with the intent to grow your organization and increase your capacity.
- Project updates. Communicating with your donors is important and easy if you need to inform your donors of a change. Post only essential updates.
- The Final Update. This ties a donation to a known outcome and tells the donor you were a good steward of their hard-earned money. This is a critical update as it closes out the project and sends donors to your campaign page to rate and review your project!
- Transparency and accountability. Donors will be contacted when you post your next campaign. Donors who know their money will be spent wisely and for the intended purpose, are more likely to donate again, with more money, and more often.
Before hitting the “Publish” button, ask yourself: “would I donate my time and money to this project? AND “would I ask my friends to donate and share?”. Pay attention to your answer. Your project has to resonate with the donor. If you need coaching, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Important note* Giving Trail reserves the right to remove any campaign or account that is inappropriate or that does not meet our criteria for legitimacy.
Another important note* Giving Trail is designed for charitable organizations only. Individuals, businesses and political entities may not post campaigns on this website. However, if a business or individual can form a relationship with a charitable organization who will champion their cause, we would welcome those types of collaborations.