Audience- Your audience is all individuals who come in contact with your organization on a regular bases. This is your staff, board members, donors, volunteers, and corps members.
Network- Your network are individuals that come in contact with your audience either digitally or in person. Examples of these people are friends and family.
Advocates- A crowdfunding advocate is someone from your audience who has a large social network. There is no limit on the amount of advocates you can have for your campaign. These individuals are the champions of your organization who will work alongside you to promote your organization. While anyone can share your campaign with their personal networks, your campaign advocates are individuals who you have specifically asked to take on this role.
Scoping Your Audience
To find your target population, it is important to identify who your audience is, both in the digital world and in real life. One strategy to start this process is to look at your trends in previous one-time and recurring donors and individuals in your online network and email listings. Your can target the population that has donated before in hopes that this cohort will donate again and to turn your viewers into supporters.
Strategically utilizing your audience will aid you in hosting a successful campaign. Consider who you know and how they could help you promote your effort. One of the big populations you can target in this is your organization's volunteers. Ask them to help by spreading word about your campaign and your organization’s mission. Your volunteers, while they may not be able to donate a lot, will definitely help your campaign reach a larger network. It is as simple as their retweeting or sharing of a post, while others might be able to help spread your campaign by word of mouth.
Your campaign advocates are individuals who are willing to promote your cause to their networks. These are your cheerleaders. Ideally these individuals should have different networks as to not be doubling up and advocating to the same population. The role of these individuals is to gain viewership from individuals who may not have even know your organization existed.
Your campaign advocates can be board members, dedicated volunteers, or other champions for your cause. They should care about your organization, be brand ambassadors, communicate your story, belong to a large network, and be someone you are comfortable reaching out to. While these advocates will be doing this voluntarily, make sure you consider ways to thank them. Shout outs on social media, personalized thank you calls and emails, or even a small gift are great ways to thank them for supporting your campaign and advocating for your organization.
To aid in successful advocacy, create resources to aid these individuals. Send them step-by-step instructions for how they can best serve your organization. Include in this a call to action, sample asks, and email templates.
Get media attention
Do you have any connections to a media outlet? Maybe a local newspaper? Getting coverage about your organization can help build awareness about your organization. Specifically working to get something printed in a newspaper can help expand your viewers to those who may not be digitally connected.
It is important to establish a few large donations early. Securing these pledges before launching helps ensure a successful outcome. You should raise at least 20% of your funds in your first few days. If you raise 20% of your goal in the first week there is an 80% chance your campaign will be successful. But If you raise 30% of your goal in the first week there is an 90% chance your campaign will be successful. Finding pledges will start your campaign off on the right foot. You achieve this by reaching out to your audience to find individuals who are willing to donate day of your campaign. The quicker that other potential donors see that your campaign is up and running and off to a good start, the more willing they are to want to support you. It is rare that someone would support a campaign that does not have any momentum. Reach out to anyone, especially influencers who might care about your campaign. This can be done via email, in-person or even by calling up some key supporters. Even if they won't donate directly, simply having people with a large following tweet or retweet about the campaign can help build exposure and awareness.
Another way to get your campaign momentum started is by doing a soft release. Sending the link out to specific people can help you get your high-donation first day off to a quick start. Publicly launching your campaign in the morning is recommended, but it is important to make sure that your pledges are able to donate as soon as your campaign goes live. You also can send the link to your campaign specifically to collect these pledges even before the public sees your campaign.
Psychology of Donations
The days you should expect to receive the most donations are the first and last days of your campaign. On average 9 out of 10 contributions to your crowdfunding campaign will come from your own efforts. The rest is traffic from the platform to your campaign page; this makes up about 10%. This means that the remaining 90% need to come from a carefully planned and executed plan of action on your part. (Source: Krowdster). The good news is that charitable giving is contagious. Donating to charities, especially online campaigns, becomes the social norm once people see that their peers have donated. Individuals who volunteered before were three times more likely to donate than an individual who hadn’t.
Questions to consider:
- Who are you going to target?
- How will you engage prospective donors?
- What are you asking of them?