How to master crowdfunding for nonprofits

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Rachel MillsWhite arrow icon

How to master crowdfunding for nonprofits

The world of fundraising has changed. Traditional bake sales and door-to-door fundraisers still work, but crowdfunding for nonprofits gives you new opportunities to make an impact and raise funds from loyal and new donors. 

Crowdfunding makes it possible to reach new audiences at scale and creates ways to attract and engage supporters. Discover why crowdfunding for nonprofits can be a powerful way to raise funds and how to get the best results from your next fundraising campaign. 

What is crowdfunding? 💰

Crowdfunding for nonprofits: Money GIF

Crowdfunding simply refers to raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. It’s become an alternative way to raise finances for good causes, without having to pitch to private donors individually or run big-budget marketing campaigns. 

Crowdfunding typically happens through online platforms, where supporters can donate through a landing page or fundraising page set up by a nonprofit organization, business, or individual. You could also crowdfund in-person at a pitch-style event, then bring your offline donations together with your online donations to see your total in one place.

Scale up your fundraising efforts 

Crowdfunding allows you to reach a much bigger audience than other fundraising methods. It offers an affordable way to scale your visibility, without investing time or much-needed funds in multiple events or promotional campaigns. 

Once your page is live on the crowdfunding platform it has the potential to be seen by your loyal supporters then shared to their friends, family, and beyond. If you’re a fledgling nonprofit or have a small supporter base, crowdfunding can open you up to a bigger audience eager to learn about and support your cause. 

For even better reach, choose a nonprofit fundraising platform like Givebutter that offers you plenty of social fundraising options. Make it easy for supporters to spread the word with embedded sharing options, or thank them for their donation and encourage them to share with an automated donor email. 

7 crowdfunding tips for nonprofits

Not all crowdfunding campaigns are created equal. Some go viral and raise money with ease, while others struggle to attract the right attention. Don’t panic — we’ve got the tips to help you stand out, make an impact, and reach the right people. 

Whether you’re new to crowdfunding for nonprofits or want to see better results from your next campaign, here are some of our favorite tips and ideas. 

1. Set a goal you can measure 🎯

Crowdfunding for nonprofits: Excited woman GIF

The best way to start your crowdfunding campaign is with a goal you can measure. Create a SMART goal — one that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This helps you stay focused and motivated, as you’re less likely to be distracted by opportunities or decisions that steer you away from your goal. It’s also much easier to record your progress and feel a sense of achievement when you hit your nonprofit crowdfunding goal or target. 

Once you’ve set a measurable goal, you can then share this with your team and your supporters. Let everyone know that your goal is to raise $10,000 to support the refurbishment of a community building by September 1, or that you’d like to hit your target of $5,000 to supply care packages for local families in need by Christmas Eve. 

These specific, tangible goals also make it easier for your supporters to connect with you. They can see the impact their contribution will have, which can motivate them to become a loyal supporter or share the fundraiser with their friends and family. 

2. Understand your target audience 😊

Before you launch your fundraiser, it helps to get to know your audience. You can then plan your crowdfunding campaign, messaging, and promotion around their wants, needs, and habits. 

You might have a strong idea of who your supporters are, but if not, now is a great time to analyze your donor data and build a picture of your supporter base. Work out how old they are, where they’re based, and how often they donate. Dig deeper to find out what motivates them to donate, what they’re passionate about, and which social media networks they engage with. 

This is all valuable information you can use to tailor your next crowdfunding campaign. Not only will you know where to reach your current donors, but you’ll know which fundraising ideas will resonate most with them. You can also avoid costly advertising mistakes by focusing any paid promotion of your fundraiser on social networks your supporters know and love. 

3. Find the right fundraising platform 🖥️

You know your fundraising goals and you know your audience. Next you need to find a crowdfunding website that makes connecting the two simple. 

At Givebutter, our focus is to give you an all-in-one fundraising platform that you’ll love using. We’ve developed a collection of fundraising tools that make it easy to collect donations, fundraise, and manage events from one place. This is great for both small teams and larger nonprofits that want to stay organized, efficient, and mindful of their time. 

Of course, there are other fundraising websites out there. Take a look at our comparison guide to see how we compare to alternatives like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Classy

4. Personalize your campaign page 🎨

When there’s little room for personalization, the passion and creativity of the nonprofit behind the fundraiser can get lost. Your nonprofit deserves to stand out, so look for a platform that gives you plenty of customization options. 

With Givebutter you can personalize your campaign page to create a space that looks and feels like home for your supporters. Customize your page with custom branding, page layouts, and theme colors that match your brand and creativity. Tweak your page structure and design until you’ve created a Simply Beautiful experience for donors and supporters. 

5. Give people a reason to support you 📗

Crowdfunding for nonprofits: Thank You GIF

People want to get to know the nonprofit behind the fundraiser, so tell your story and connect with new supporters far and wide. Share who you are, what you do, and why your fundraiser is such a valuable cause to stand behind. 

While your loyal donors know who they are, there’s always something new you can share with them. Talk about a recent project you’ve worked on or share an update from a previous fundraiser so they can see how their contributions have made a difference. Build a relationship with your supporters through your story and impact, and make raising money easier.

6. Provide progress updates ✔️

As you attract supporters to your crowdfunder, make sure you stay in touch with them. Take advantage of unlimited email sends to thank them for their contribution and keep them updated with fundraising progress. 

Sharing progress updates can also help convert people who land on your crowdfunding page into donors. Progress updates show how active, engaged, and passionate you are about your cause and can encourage people to become a supporter or add a further donation. It’s also a great way to attract interest from the media — especially if you’ve hit a milestone. 

7. Discover fun features to engage with your supporters 📽️

With the rising popularity of crowdfunding sites and new platforms entering the market, there’s more opportunity than ever to engage with your supporters. 

Get creative and encourage your supporters to leave a drawing or GIF with their donation. Engage with likes and comments, and even set up a livestream to create an online event dedicated to your supporters. Crowdfunding for nonprofits doesn’t have to be boring — with these fun features you can get to know your supporters and bring your nonprofit to life. 

Unlock the power of crowdfunding for nonprofits

Crowdfunding allows you to reach new supporters and donors, no matter where they are in the world. It’s an opportunity to spread awareness and raise money like never before. 

Harness the power of crowdfunding for nonprofits and use it as a chance to get creative, engage with your community, and attract attention from the people who matter most. With the right fundraising platform, a meaningful goal, and a valuable cause, you’re on the right track to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Written By

Written by
Rachel Mills
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.