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People Giving to People: The Case for Crowdfunding Websites

People Giving to People: The Case for Crowdfunding Websites

We have all heard the saying that people give to people, right? It applies to small businesses, big business but it especially holds true in the nonprofit community. When people are connected to one another, it creates a connection, loyalty and a greater willingness to say ‘yes’ when someone asks you to help them. When we believe in one another, we are more than happy to work with one another, especially when we are asked.

Today, in the nonprofit community the idea that ‘people give to people’ is best captured through the concept of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding, as the name suggests, is the act of raising funds for an initiative through a multitude of people. It is also referred to as peer-to-peer fundraising. Crowdfunding websites allow your non-profit organization or school to tap into your supporters’ networks globally.

Peer-to-peer fundraising has all of the magical elements of an ask for support. It highlights a worthy mission, a story is told, there is passion from the person telling the story and the one-on-one connection that makes the ask to support a nonprofit even easier, coupled with a case for support that is strong and compelling.

When individuals choose to raise money for a nonprofit through the utilization of their network of contacts their network can span far and wide, especially geographically.

With a person’s network being vast- both in volume and in geography- crowdfunding initiatives must be able to connect these factors. People must be able to be connected, and give their support, while utilizing technology for online asks. And in our ever-evolving mobile world, that is a major factor to consider as part of your crowdfunding initiative.

DoJiggy’s crowdfunding websites cater specifically to nonprofits and other charitable causes. Our crowdfunding websites streamline the process from telling your organization and your supporters’ individual stories via their personal fundraising pages, to capturing donations, to monitoring and celebrating a successful campaign that is much easier for everyone involved. 

While online crowdfunding is a relatively new concept, crowdfunding has been wildly successful for a variety of ventures. This type of fundraising is a unique and lucrative opportunity for nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and all types of charities to not only raise funds by reaching more people, but to connect more individuals to their mission. And because of the accessibility of the internet, a person’s location doesn’t matter.

Crowdfunding for nonprofits allows organizations to expand their reach, share their stories with a greater number of people all while engaging participants directly in their fundraising campaign. While it’s a superb way to fundraise, it can also help your mission ‘friend’ raise as well. It’s a unique and cutting edge way to increase awareness around the mission, and needs, of a nonprofit. 

As an individual shares the stories of a non-profit, and the mission that touches their heart, you are immediately creating third party endorsement for the potential donor and the mission of the organization. Therefore, it comes back to our original thought – people really do give to other people, mostly to the ones that they trust, know and understand  because they understand why they are passionate about a particular mission.

Now that you are convinced that peer-to-peer fundraising is the way to go for your mission or project, let’s talk about what makes successful crowdfunding websites.

For the individual and their contacts, you want the process to be a positive and heartfelt experience. Here are some tips to ensure that the campaign is a successful one:

  1. Pick the best site for your needs. The site you choose is going to play a big role in how well your campaign does. Do your research, and pay careful attention to the cost and fees. See what your fellow organizations are using and ask for recommendations.
  2. Hold your campaign during a lucrative time of year. Generally speaking, the last three months of the year are the most popular for charitable giving. So, that’s always a good bet. However, if you want to tie your crowdfunding campaign into an active event, spring is your best bet for weather.
  3. Ensure that your crowdfunding website is responsive and visible on mobile devices. Remember, you want everyone to be able to make and take donations and pledges from anywhere.
  4. Stories, stories and more stories. The individual raising the funds should share their reason for loving the mission of the organization, along with the organization being able to clearly define what makes their mission come to life. What are your most compelling stories to help make the giving decision even easier?
  5. People love to see progress! Have you seen those great fundraising thermometers on DoJiggy crowdfunding websites that show the progress of a campaign? Doesn’t it make you feel awesome when it’s filled to the top? Their presence pays off; make sure you have them present.
  6. Attach incentives and perks to different giving levels. If it is possible with your budget, you should consider offering your donors gifts or tokens of recognition for their donation to your campaign. They can be just the encouragement a supporter needs to up their donation amount.
  7. Ensure that individuals can easily share links to events and the campaign itself to get as many people involved as possible. This is especially important for Social Media promotion. Our fundraising websites have Share widgets on every page.
  8. Individuals raising money should be able to see their progress, customize their page, invite more participants and have fun with their campaign. Ensure that their passion stays high, while not getting frustrated with technology that doesn’t work.

When you look at all of these best practices (get even more here), do you have a way of making them happen? If not, there are solutions available to help make every crowdfunding program a success.

Here’s something else to keep in mind when creating, and running, a crowdfunding program – your crowdfunding website should be a streamlined process.  Because your organization’s fundraising efforts are being conducted over the internet, you’ll need online credit card processing in order to safely and easily collect payments from your constituents. With your Ecommerce credit card processing account, your donors use their credit cards to seamlessly make online donations and register for fundraising events on your DoJiggy online fundraising website. DoJiggy has solutions for the most successful crowdfunding campaigns- from start to finish.

From the nonprofit organization’s perspective, you should be able to run reports and know which campaigns were successful and where your opportunities for improvement lie. Your crowdfunding website and software should work for you and make your job even easier for the next event, without all of the guess work.

Additionally, for those times that you feel like you really are guessing, a team of supportive technicians should be ready to help to ensure the needs of your nonprofit’s mission are met.

The mission of every nonprofit is loved and followed by many people and crowdfunding is a unique, and now easy, way to unite the needs of an organization, a person’s passion for a mission and their network of friends and family. This way of raising vital funds truly brings to life the idea that people give to people.

Heather

About Heather

Heather Filipowicz, CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive), has over 15 years of nonprofit fundraising and management experience. She successfully raised millions of dollars for various nonprofits in the Buffalo, NY community. Now, she resides in Tampa, FL where she is a writer, blogger, yogi and Mom.

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