Nonprofits Find Success in Crowdfunding Campaigns — and So Can Yours

The COVID-19 pandemic saw nonprofits turn to online fundraising. But nonprofits embraced crowdfunding long before the pandemic closed down live fundraising events. And while many organizations turned to traditional mail and email appeals, others entered new territory by creating an online campaign through crowdfunding — and found success.

These new-to-crowdfunding nonprofits may not have realized they were part of a growing trend. According to the Council for Nonprofits –a 501(C)(3) nonprofit itself — “Crowdfunding is projected to become a $90-96 billion dollar industry by 2025, and is being touted as a valuable tool for fundraising for charitable nonprofits. The largest crowdfunding effort in the US, as of August 2018, raised $41.6 million to assist people affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

There are different ways to approach online crowdfunding but they all have three common elements. that are unique, or partially unique, to online crowdfunding

1. Know Your Audience — Then Grow It.

Where does your target audience land online? Are they on social media? If so, which platforms? Are they diehard email users? Or do they communicate through direct messaging and texts? For a successful online crowdfunding campaign, you can’t know enough about your audience and potential donors’ browsing habits.

This is not as difficult as it may appear. If you have fundraised before, start with your donor list. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? In addition, if your organization has a Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media page, you can start building an audience from those who have responded to your organization’s posts.

Crowdfunding Election Tactics

Also, an online campaign makes it easier to grow your audience because you can reach different and more demographics than ever before. For this, you want to tailor your appeal to specific target audiences. Successful crowdfunders find that a large-scale mass appeal typically won’t bring the same results as several targeted appeals to different groups.

But you don’t have to target all audiences at once. Depending on your campaign window, you can target one audience, then move on to the next. As you move on, your last audience is likely growing on its own through social media shares.

2. Consider Using a Crowdfunding Coach.

There are different platforms available for crowdfunding. But do they offer coaches? If you have a nonprofit with a skeleton staff, a crowdfunding coach will streamline the process to help keep you from pitfalls and sidesteps that can slow your campaign.

And, if you’re starting a crowdfunding campaign for the first time, a coach will show you the ropes, direct you to resources, and offer tips you might not find through your own research.

“If you are actively trying to get a business off the ground, it’s difficult to pursue education at the same time. A crowdfunding coach can help you manage both,” YouHelp Coach Yitz Friedman said, based on his own experience working with new-to-crowdfunding nonprofits.

“To be clear, your coach is not there to handle funding for you,” he noted. “But he or she can certainly help to streamline the process.”

3. Make Your Donors Happy.

Just as there’s a story behind every crowdfunding campaign, each donor has a story of their contribution to your campaign. Help them make it a great one!

Donors create their own stories from the moment they discover your campaign. Exploring your mission, deciding on their contribution and sharing their own story along with yours will mean they may donate again –and grow your campaign audience.

Visually showcase the impact each gift will have on your mission on your crowdfunding page. This provides more meat to your donors’ own stories that they can share and feel good about. You want to acknowledge the pride they feel in donating to a worthy cause. So offer an easy way for them to share their story directly from your campaign page.

You can also allow supporters to create their own unique fundraising page directly from your platform. This can have a ripple effect of many smaller, personalized fundraisers donating to your overall goal.

And, while you may not reach your ultimate goal, you bring what you’ve learned to your next campaign. Success is usually not quick, and this is true for crowdfunding, as well.

Experiential Marketing For Nonprofits

Ever since social media entered the advertisement world the old way of advertising died. Experiential marketing for nonprofits is now the rage. Once upon a time in order for a company to influence a market, they would buy billboards and full-page advertisement’s in the local newspapers. They would buy prime-time tv ads and push their product as hard as possible until people bought into the product.

Jordache Jeans Became Notorious For Investing Every Penny of Their Start-Up Capital in Advertising

Once the orders started pouring in they ran to the banks with proof of product and the rest was history.

Social Media Shook Up the Advertisement Market

Madison Avenue started climbing the walls trying to figure out this new age of advertising. All the old rules no longer worked and there was no new fail-proof advertising method any longer.

Poor advertisements on social media have become extremely annoying to users. The situation has gotten so bad that people actually have developed an anti-purchase behavior. This behavior says that if your advertisement annoyed me too many times, I will subconsciously vow to myself never to purchase that product.

So Along Came a New Concept Called Experiential Marketing and it Really Impacted Social Media Advertising

If you live on planet earth you probably have seen this project. In 2014 a nonprofit created an amazing experiential project. In a matter of hours, the pictures were all over social media. This project was done in order to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. By having the ice poured all over you, you get the experience of what it is like for people who live with this disease. Celebrities throughout the world took part in this campaign. This powerful campaign shot through Facebook and Twitter like a rocketship!

The basics of marketing have not changed. Know your audience and speak to that audience as clearly and as authentically as possible. Do it in a way that makes you stand out in a good way.

With an Experiential Social Media Campaign Project, You Basically Get a Two-For-One Sale

Your message of what your nonprofit is dealing with comes over crystal clear and the content is so out of the box it shakes up the social media trends. Experiential marketing is about making content that effects all five senses.

Another Powerful Example of an Experiential Marketing Experience is the Jerusalem Museum For the Blind

Visiting tours enter the museum and are slowly ushered into a dark room. After a few minutes, the light in the room gets dimmer and dimmer until it is pitch black. Suddenly the visitors hear the friendly voice of the tour guide. He explains to the group that the tour is done completely in the dark so that the visitors can experience how blind people live every day.

The Guide Assists Them Through a Bit of Rough Terrain While Constantly Warning Them to Watch There Step or Hold On to the Railing

At the end of the tour, he leads the group into a well-lit coffee shop area. Before he completes his tour he announces to the group that the final destination has arrived and he will be happy to sit with the group and drink a cup of coffee with them. He just has one request. Can someone please assist me to get to a chair to sit on? You see I am blind and the lights in the coffee shop will not help me as it does you. Appreciate your gift of sight each and every day!

To find out how your nonprofit can create a experiential social media marketing campaign with a crowdfunding coach simply send an email to