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Crowdfunding: Using Stories and Strategies to Raise Funds from the Crowd
Is ‘crowdfunding’ just a fad or is there real value for organizations looking to raise money in new ways and from new sources?
In looking at some trends, studies and real world examples, you’ll not only be able to answer that question for yourself but walk away with some ideas and steps to pursue a crowdfunding strategy of your own.
The collective effort of individuals
who network and pool their money to
support efforts initiated by other
people or organizations.
Crowdfunding has both project and person based
forms of fundraising.
• Purpose is fundraising
• Driven by a person or an
• Options to choose a
• Think Kiva
• Think direct mail
• Purpose is engagement
• Driven by a person or
group of people
• Focusing energy towards
• Think charity: water
• Think online gala
Crowdfunding is growing rapidly and driven by social causes
Crowdfunding helps combat the reasons why people don’t
want to give.
Why People Don’t Give
Diffusion of Responsibility
How To Inspire To Give
Make Personal, Tangibility
(Pledge, Volunteer, etc.)
What makes donors happy?
● Giving more frequently in smaller amounts
● Giving to very specific projects
● Giving when it all goes “to the cause”
● Giving when they don’t get anything tangible back in
● Giving and being thanked promptly
● Giving and getting smaller, more frequent updates on
How to Crowdfund?
8 Steps to a successful campaign
Carve out a tangible funding
Connect with outsiders6
Compel with great stories2
Choose a platform3
Create your project4
Communicate with insiders5
Close the loop8
1. Carve out a tangible funding opportunity
● Time bound
● Why care?
● Why you?
● Why now?
What are you hoping to raise, by
when, to impact who and how?
2. Compel with great stories
• Social Currency
• Practical Value
There are different story types you can use in your campaign
for different reasons.
Tell your founding story and where you came from for trust.
Tell your desired future story of what’s possible to inspire.
Tell a client story to personalize and move emotionally.
Tell a staff story to humanize the brand and let people peek
behind the curtain.
Tell the donor/supporter story to show the power in everyday
people and others aren’t in it alone.
3. Choose a platform
1. Do you need/want the donor information?
2. How much brand control do you want?
3. Do you want a tool that can access a pool of
4. Do you want to provide updates during and after the
5. How do you prefer to pay for the project?
3. Choose a platform
Network for Good
Videos, quick starts and audience are all keys to successful
5. Communicate with insiders
● Send an eBlast out to
those that know and
already love you
○ Tell them what’s
○ Ask them to give
○ Ask them to share
● Let your staff and board
know about it and what
they can do
6. Connect with outsiders
● Share on social media
○ Videos, photos
● Write a blog post about it
● Tag friends, family, staff and insiders who have given in
● Get staff and board to share through personal updates
Your supporters often have more
social capital than you do.
7. Finish strong
● Send last round of emails
● Share how close you are and how little time
left on channels
● Ripest time to acquire new donors
8. Close the loop
• Thank everyone for giving and sharing
• Tell them how the campaign ended
• Follow up with results and stories on impact
● Made to Stick
● Winning the Story Wars
● The Life You Can Save
● charity: water
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