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Many of you will recall when in 1976, the Teton dam near Rexburg Idaho failed, damaging or destroying about 80 percent of the structures in Rexburg. My father invited me to join him with a volunteer group to Rexburg where we helped dig mud out of a basement and otherwise work to salvage a home. The whole trip took about 24 hours, leaving about 2:00 AM, arriving at dawn, working all day, leaving at dark and returning after midnight. I’m not a big guy now. Picture me as an eleven-year-old standing next to a shovel—I wasn’t as tall as the handle and just lifting the empty shovel was a task for me. I’m sure I was of virtually no help that day, but the experience has come to define my life. I felt so good helping people that day that I promised I would never miss an opportunity to help.Of course, I have missed many opportunities to help. But, after being let go from my position as the CFO for a global food and beverage company I have focused on channeling the enthusiasm of my youth to do my part to make the world a better place.
Turned 40 8 years ago.Looking for something to keep me young.Decided to buy a Harley, but before doing so I took a class to learn how to ride.Rented a Harley for a long day of ridingBought a Harley.Gail swore she’d never ride on the back.She went for a ride on the back the first day.We loved riding togetherThe tripThe GasThe crashThe rescue.
Crowdfunding For Your Cause
Devin D. Thorpe
January 21, 2014
Thank You UNA
This training is made
• The Utah Nonprofits
• American Express
• Utah Division of Arts
• Bridgerland Applied
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
On Site 1 Day to
Assess your crowdfunding potential
Survey your team
Count your friends
Review platforms and choose one
• Your cause
• Your team
• Your network
Assessing Your Cause
Score your cause on a 5-point scale for:
• Project or event
The “Face” of your campaign: is it appealing?
Person or critter
Logos can’t be the face of your campaign
Words can’t be the face
Objects can’t be the face
• The urgency: is there a native reason people
must act now?
• Boston Bombing v. American Cancer Society
• Is your cause potentially divisive?
• Cancer v. Marriage Equality
• Is your cause local?
• All else equal, local is better for crowdfunding
• Is your cause tied to a larger community,
religion or club?
– Football fans
– Online gamers
Project or Event
• Is there a specific project or event to be
– Construction project
– Service trip
– Love UT Give UT
Assessing Your Team
• How many partners?
• How many champions?
• How many boosters?
• Partners are worth an
average of $2,000 each.
• Champions are worth
about $1,000 each.
• Boosters are worth
about $500 each.
Assessing Your Network
Friends you can call
Friends you can email
Friends you have on Facebook
Friends you have on Twitter
Friends on LinkedIn, Google+ and other social
Estimating Your Potential
• Most common donation: $20
• Average donation is $75 (skewed by a few
• Don’t expect more than 10% of your friends to
support you. The more “friends” you have, the
lower the percentage likely to support your
• 1000 friends * $75 * 10% = $7,500
• If your cause scores below 10 points, be creative to find
ways to improve your score before crowdfunding.
• If you scored 11 to 20 points, expect little or no out-ofnetwork support.
• If you scored 21-25 points, expect up to 25% of your
money to come from outside your network. (If your
network is good for $7,500 you could raise $10,000.)
• If you scored 26 to 30 points, expect up to 75% of your
money to come from outside your network. (If your
network is good for $7,500 you could raise $30,000.)
Fundly: Biggest for nonprofits
StartSomeGood: Cause oriented
Indiegogo: Includes causes
Kickstarter: Excludes causes
Hundreds of others
4.9% + 3%
5% + CC
4% + 4% or
5% plus CC
typically not (legal)
• Bloggers you know
• Traditional media:
relationships are key
• People who cover your
Build and organize teams
Train your team
Design your rewards/recognition
Draft email messages, tweets and posts
Write a press release
Produce a video
Organize Your Team
Identify your partners
Identify and sign up your champions
Create contests and incentives for Champions
Four Tiers of Rewards
Nonprofits that offer no tangible reward
Modest rewards for nonprofits
Perks for social ventures
Rewards for social ventures with consumer
Some platforms don’t allow rewards
What you can do with the money
– Twitter posts
– “Mike Smith Day” (Traveling Stories: http://bit.ly/YTG94l)
– Naming rights to a project (Traveling Stories:
– Name on website, annual report
– Inclusion in press announcements (we’ll quote you) (Free
the Information: http://bit.ly/YTECv3)
A Powerful Press Release
• Find an online template
• Remember who, what,
where, when, why and
• Provide one or two
• Link to images
• Review, edit and polish
Every partner and champion should:
• Identify bloggers you know personally
• Identify bloggers who write about relevant
topics—relevant to your cause
• Find individual reporters at newspapers, radio
and television who cover your space
• Don’t be shy, include national media
• Forbes and Huffington Post
Importance of the Video
• Most important element on the campaign
page; make an effort.
• Not the most important part of the campaign;
don’t break the bank.
• Find an appealing or
compelling “face” for
your video and your
• Include yourself—or
your leader—in the
• 2 – 3 minutes
• 2:59 is better than 3:01
• Capture attention
• Cover the key points in
the first 30 seconds
• Take full advantage of
• Not just talking heads
• Use stills to supplement
Photo credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend] / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Tell a Story
• Create context
• Create a hope, a goal,
• Explain the challenge in
• Explain the solution
Photo credit: aye_shamus / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Make an “Ask”
• Ask for a donation
• Ask for people to share
with their friends
Don’t Forget Basics
• For campaigns hoping to generate more than
$100,000, plan to spend some money on a
• Less optimistic folks should find a friend who
can help or do it yourself
– Good lighting is most important for what you see
– A good microphone is most important for what
Let’s Make a Video
What is the cause?
Why does this matter?
Who is the organization?
How does this money help?
Where does the money go?
When can people give?
Before the campaign starts:
• Call out the big guns: meet face to face with
people who can give big money
• Sharp shooting: get on the phone with people
who will give good donations
• Machine Guns: Send personal, individual emails
to the people you know will support you simply
because you ask.
• “D-Day” invasion: Get commitments for 50% of
your goal before you launch!
Each Partner, Champion and Booster Should
• 3 to 5 Meetings yielding at least $500
• 10 to 25 Calls yielding an average of $100
• 30 to 100 Personal email messages averaging
• $1,500 + $1,500 + $1,500 = $4,500 on D-Day
• Follow up after D-Day
Host a big party or multiple, simultaneous
• Connect using Google+ Hangout and
• Coordinate interaction during the party
• Announce rewards and contests
• Encourage social media
• Above all, be creative and have fun!
Before the campaign begins:
• Traditional Media
– Contact every blogger you know
– Send a press release to your local paper, TV and Radio
After the campaign begins:
• Social Media
– Daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
– Post everywhere you have an audience
• Remember, the media love good causes!
• Reach out to all of these bloggers asking them to
write about your cause (first) and your campaign
• Consider PR Web for $80
• Distribute by personal email
• Read, flatter, subscribe
• Put the entire release in the email (not an
Each partner and champion should engage her own
social media audience
• During the campaign make daily tweets and daily
Facebook posts on the campaign
• Use the crowdfund campaign to launch a
Facebook page if you don’t have one
• Use Google+ even if you don’t yet have an
• Be sure to tweet and post about the things you
Social Media (Cont.)
• Emphasize the cause over the campaign
– NOT: We reached $5,000 today! Woot!
– YES: You’ve donated $5,000 so far to end hunger
in Africa/Educate Girls in Afghanistan/Provide
Equal Opportunity for underprivileged kids in our
community, thank you!
• Update, remind and thank!