Crowdfunding for Nonprofits: How It Works
What is Crowdfunding for Nonprofits?
If you are looking for a more innovative way to fundraise for your mission, while engaging your already connected supporters, crowdfunding may be the solution your non-profit organization has been looking for. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or initiative by raising money from a large number of people. Crowdfunding for nonprofits allows individuals to reach out to their network to raise funds, while acting on behalf of a an organization they feel passionate about. Crowdfunding may also be referred to as peer-to-peer fundraising because of the way in which people ask their peers for financial support for a nonprofit’s mission.
The mission of every successful nonprofit is loved and followed by many people and crowdfunding is a unique and 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.
Most often successful crowdfunding campaigns are done via the internet – utilizing crowdfunding websites where individuals set up fundraising pages and then promote these pages to their network of family, friends and associates – asking them for support by making online donations to their school, non-profit organization, church, charity or cause. With the reach and scope of Social Media, the importance of online fundraising and the level of campaign success that can be achieved is more amazing than ever. Here is where DoJiggy can help – we offer an affordable, robust crowdfunding platform for nonprofits, schools and churches.
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What are the Benefits of Non-Profit Crowdfunding?
- Crowdfunding for nonprofits allows organizations to expand their reach and share their stories with a greater number of people, all while engaging participants directly in their fundraising campaign.
- As individuals actively fundraise on the nonprofit’s behalf, it decreases the need for staff time, while increasing the connection that the individual has with the mission and the nonprofit itself.
- It is a unique way of empowering individuals to raise funds on their own, with more of a supporting role in the fundraising approach for organizational staff.
- While it’s a superb way to fundraise, crowdfunding can help your mission ‘friend’ raise as well. When a supporter participates in a crowdfunding campaign, it allows more people to understand the importance of your nonprofit mission, the lives that are touched by the work of the nonprofit, and the needs that are met through raising vital funds and expanding reach through knowledge and exposure.
In sum, Crowdfunding for nonprofits allows non-profit organizations to expand their reach and open up new windows of opportunity by engaging their participants directly in a fundraising campaign.
How Crowdfunding for Nonprofits Works
Often nonprofit organizations have a large number of supporters. These people may be donors, volunteers, people affected directly by the cause, employees, board members or community members. Before crowdfunding came around, these people would help by donating their time or money to help in the planning and execution of fundraising campaigns. However, they weren’t necessarily brought into the nonprofit’s mission as active fundraisers. By utilizing crowdfunding for your non-profit, you can take your fundraiser one large step further. Now supporters can not only be advocates for your cause by volunteering their time or making personal donations, they can actually help you raise money by reaching out to their personal networks and requesting donations. This not only increases your potential for raising donations exponentially, it also generates awareness for your cause giving you exposure to new markets and new supporters.
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 requests of support. And in our ever-evolving mobile world, that is a major factor to consider as part of your crowdfunding initiative.
Crowdfunding Websites & Tools for Successful Campaigns
One big key to a successful crowdfunding campaign is finding the right crowdfunding software.You’ll want a fundraising website that looks great and is easy to use for both nonprofit administrators and participants (or parents in the case of children fundraisers). You’ll also want a platform that offers flexibility to customize for your needs and the functionality that your organization is looking for – not just a cookie cutter solution. And of course, cost is always a big factor when it comes to crowdfunding for nonprofits. After all, you want to keep as much money as possible for your mission.
Crowdfunding websites from DoJiggy allow your organization to motivate participants and donors with fundraising thermometers and leaderboards. DoJiggy also has an integrated prize management system which administrators configure for their prize levels. Allowing for team fundraising and team competitions can be a great motivator and bring more new supporters to your organization. And for schools, classroom competitions are extremely important for helping your school meet fundraising goals.
In order to run a successful campaign, donating on your crowd funding platform should be a streamlined process. Because your organization’s fundraising efforts are being conducted over the internet, you’ll want secure online card processing in order to easily collect payments from your supporters. Donors should feel as though they are giving money to a cause that has a professional look and feel as well as a nonprofit mission that they support. The platform not only should be able to process a credit card with ease, the look and appearance of the website should be marketed correctly with the nonprofit organization’s branding prominently displayed.
Your crowdfund platform should be able to generate reports in order for you to gain a clear understanding of how much your individual fundraisers and teams raised, who your top donors are, how successful sponsorship and product sales were and more. Your crowdfunding website and e-commerce software should work for your nonprofit and make your job easier for the next event, without all of the guess work.
Your non-profit crowdfunding platform should also provide a number of capabilities so your organization can manage the entire life cycle of the crowdfunding campaign. Your participants need to register and create their fundraising pages. Administrators will want to share important details of the fundraising campaign which may include the mission of the non-profit and campaign, creative photos and videos, or other supporting materials. Keeping track of all of the donor information as part of the campaign is especially important to grow and maintain a relationship with that donor.
Additionally, a top performing crowdfunding platform like DoJiggy will help to raise the profile of the nonprofit organization to engage possible sponsors for current projects and campaigns, and possibly some in the future. Having clearly defined statistics and measurable outcomes of success enables the nonprofit to create a strong case for support for future sponsors.
Keep in mind that many of the individuals that are exposed to a nonprofit through a crowdfunding campaign may have never been introduced to the organization or cause if it weren’t for the individual taking part in the campaign. Therefore, because this may be a person’s first contact with your mission, the seamless experience and professional look of a crowdfunding website and campaign are extremely important. As always, first impressions are key.
Tools for Crowdfunding Event Participants
For participants, first and foremost, the fundraising website must be easy and fun to use. DoJiggy’s crowdfunding software allows participants to easily register online and then create a personal fundraising page where they collect online donations. The website allows for personalization, so participants can share their story or mission, upload personal photos, videos, and a fundraising goal. A participant control panel is provided so participants can easily email friends, update their web page, track incoming donations, and easily share the link through social media channels.
Participants can also manage correspondence and set up custom thank you messages to be sent to supporters as soon as their donation has been made. Other important things to consider in order for participants to feel supported by the nonprofit organization is to provide additional resources for the participants to help each of them be successful. These resources can include sample donation-request letters and email templates, thank-you note templates, in person event check-lists, tips for soliciting donations, social media post copy templates based on social channel and more. A quick and easy way to provide all of these resources to participants would be to create a Dropbox file with logos, templates and frequently asked questions that you can provide to each participant to ensure they are as successful as possible.
Tips for Non-Profit Crowdfunding Success
- Ensure that your crowdfunding website is responsive and readily visible on mobile devices. The majority of social media interaction is done on mobile devices and your crowdfunding website will be accessed through social media. Therefore, it’s vitally important for it to be responsive and professional in appearance and allow for easy donation collection.
- Stories are of utmost importance. 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. Taking the time to frame your success stories in a compelling manner helps to ensure that people feel connected to your work and compelled to give.
- It is important that individuals raising funds and giving funds are able to see the progress of a campaign. Check to see if the crowdfunding software that you are considering, or currently using, has a visual progress chart to illustrate how much money has been raised thus far towards a goal. This can be shown in the form of a thermometer of progress. DoJiggy Pledge sites use fundraising thermometers at the campaign, team, and individual fundraiser levels.
- Every crowdfunding for nonprofits campaign must be able to be shared on social media with ease. By ensuring that individuals can easily share links to events and the campaign itself creates an ease in access for people wishing to give their financial support.
- Create weekly campaign progress reports that are sent out to each campaign participant so that everyone understands where the campaign stands in terms of goals and which individuals are the highest performers. Your role as an administrator is to support and motivate your participants.
- Weave a culture of gratitude through every step of campaign progress. By making sure participants feel appreciated and supported, you will increase the likelihood of their enthusiastic support and future participation.
- Don’t give away a large percentage of your fundraising money in software and payment processing fees. Many crowdfunding platforms advertise themselves as a free service – but be sure to read the fine print. All e-commerce transactions carry a transaction fee (since Visa and MasterCard charge merchants for the privilege of accepting their cards – even for charitable donations). DoJiggy offers affordable payment processing fees that won’t break the bank – and we don’t take a percentage of your fundraising dollars.
If you are ready to start the process of creating your first charitable crowdfunding campaign and want a professional and streamlined website to ensure success for your nonprofit, we are here to help. Sign up today for a FREE 14 day trial of our software platform designed specifically for crowdfunding events to see if it fits your needs and is the type of experience that you would like your participants and donors to be a part of.
Our entire team at DoJiggy works to ensure that nonprofit organizations are supported with the latest technology and resources to raise vital funds for their mission. We are always happy to help answer questions that you may have with making decisions around the software that is best suited for you and your organization’s needs. Technical support is included with every DoJiggy subscription. Customers receive support via support tickets, email, chat, and our comprehensive, online Knowledge Base.
We’ve worked alongside more than 2,000 nonprofit and community organizations because they have chosen us as their fundraising software partner. We would be honored to have your school or non-profit organization as the next proud partner. Sign up today for a FREE TRIAL of our software designed for your crowdfunding success!
Peer to Peer Fundraising vs. Non-Profit Crowdfunding – What’s the Difference?
Peer-to-peer fundraising ( P2P fundraising) is a type of crowdfunding and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The difference is that with P2P fundraising, your supporters create personal fundraising pages on behalf of your cause. Your supporter shares his or her page with friends, family and other community members and donations are made directly to your organization via their page. With traditional non-profit or school crowdfunding campaigns, donations are made by many people, directly to the organization or cause. P2P is often done without the personal or team fundraising page or component.