From saving Australian koala bears on the brink of extinction to finding sustainable alternatives for plastic to building a new performing arts center in your small town – everywhere you turn, there is a cause in need of attention, on a local and global scale.
What is your cause?
No doubt, you are currently pouring every spare drop of energy and resources you have into your cause, and you are anxious to get fellow community members on board.
The sad fact is, causes need more than passion – they need money.
Yes, making an impact and reaching your goals often requires big bucks.
Of course, the best-case scenario always seems to be getting one or two or five wealthy philanthropists backing your mission. Who would say ‘no’ to that?
Still, as you’ve likely realized, waiting around for a well-to-do community member’s high dollar support is neither the most probable, nor the most proactive option.
What most nonprofits don’t realize is that there is another – and perhaps more effective – way to fund your cause: crowdfunding.
How Does Crowdfunding Work?
Crowdfunding is almost exactly as it sounds. Your cause can be funded by a crowd.
Rather than relying on a few big donations, many nonprofits have found they can go much further by receiving a lot of small contributions.
It’s like a flash mob vs. a solo artist. A lot more people get involved, plus it’s more fun.
“Can crowdfunding really raise the kind of money my cause needs?” you may be wondering.
Take a look at this fundraising forecast from the National Council of Nonprofits:
“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.”
Indeed, there is significant potential when crowdfunding for snowballing a heap of smaller donations into an avalanche of funds for your nonprofit organization, or really anyone who wants to raise money for a cause.
What Makes Crowdfunding Effective?
Supporters are your most valuable asset. Crowdfunding helps you grow supporters and motivate them to support your cause the way you want them to.
With crowdfunding, you get donors involved both mentally AND monetarily. More people in the community will become aware of your nonprofit’s presence and purpose, and hopefully, this will convert into more support, both in passion and in pennies.
“What makes crowdfunding so unique among other fundraising methods is that it promotes engagement in your nonprofit’s community of supporters,” explains digital fundraising expert Christy Noel on the GuideStar blog by Candid.
She continues, “Not only do crowdfunding campaigns call on your supporters to make donations, but they also rely on these supporters to share your campaign with their networks.”
Yes, crowdfunding works like a bit of a chain reaction:
- Person A donates to your cause and then posts about it on social media.
- Person B sees Person A’s post, reads up on your cause, becomes a supporter and donates.
- Person B tells his mom.
- Mom decides to donate, too, and then tells the ladies in her book club.
- Mom’s book club donates as well, and then the knitting club finds out.
- Knitting club jumps on board and donates too.
- Before long, nearly the entire community knows about your cause, and your cause is reaching its campaign goals!
Of course, before your cause can set off this chain reaction of donations, it’s crucial to strategize. A well-planned fundraising campaign can help ensure your crowdfunding mission does not fall flat.
How to Start Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding to bankroll a cause is an intimidating and complex process for most nonprofit organizations.
Not to fear. With a little bit of strategy and a fair amount of elbow grease, anyone can do it! Create Your Cause is here. It helps you simplify the process.
Here is a stripped-down recipe for successfully crowdfunding for your cause:
- Sign up for Causability, our peer-to-peer crowdfunding platform. Don’t worry, it’s easy and only takes a few minutes.
- Build a customized fundraising page for your cause.
- Establish a specific goal you want to reach for your nonprofit. Think in specifics, both monetarily and concerning time.
- Start sharing your cause! Launch a social media campaign to get your nonprofit recognized. Back it up with well-planned events in your community.
Stay tuned for more on why crowdfunding is awesome and how to get an effective crowdfunding campaign established for your cause.