I recently assisted a non-profit organization with a crowdfunding campaign. They had a great fundraising consultant who helped them with strategy, messaging and planning, and I helped them on the digital marketing execution side of the campaign. While this organization had a team of professionals guiding them on how to make the campaign a success, not all non-profits have the resources to put together such a team. So I’ve compiled several tips that I thought would be helpful to other organizations who are running crowdfunding campaigns.

1. Use a platform and not your website

There are some great platforms out there that are built to run these campaigns. Use them! They have all the features that you need, some of which you probably don’t even know that you need, and can improve your chances of success. Trying to build you own platform is time consuming and rarely worth the effort. Spend time learning what options you have out there and pick the best one for you. Make sure that you understand the costs involved.

2. Make sure you can track donations

It’s important for you to know where your donations came from during your campaign. Let’s say you are spending money to advertise with banners on a specific site, you have an email blast being sent out from a second site and are running Facebook campaigns. Don’t you think it’s important for you to know at the end of the day where your donations came from? Some platforms have this integrated into their system, and others can connect to your Google Analytics account (you need to have Google Analytics E-commerce tracking set up for this). Take advantage of this and make sure that it is set up and working properly.

3. Not all banners are created equal

You will probably need several banners for your campaign. The more ad campaigns you have running (Facebook, placements on other sites, email blasts, Google Display Campaigns etc…) the more variety you need. In addition to different sizes, you will also need different messaging on them. Before your graphic designer starts creating banners, think about what you need them for. A banner that you are using for your email list, is not the same kind of banner that you would use for a Facebook campaign. Think about each channel that you are using and what kind of banners are relevant and then you can work on creating them.

4. Facebook posting won’t cut it without putting an ad budget behind it

If you have a Facebook page, then you should be posting updates to your page about your campaign. Unfortunately, just posting to a page gets you very little traffic. I would recommend advertising your posts to make sure they are seen by relevant users. In this below chart, you can clearly see which posts were boosted and which were not. This is not something that should spend a lot on, but just put some money behind each post to help give it a little push.

fb boosting

5. Consider running paid campaigns

There are several paid options out there for sending ads to your donor list or other new people that maybe interested in helping your organization. Learn about these channels and decide which one is most likely to work for you. Giving your crowdfunding campaign a little boost with ads could significantly help increase your donations. Keep in mind that you need to focus on an audience that is relevant to you. It’s probably worthwhile advertising to your donor list to make sure they donate. Just because they receive an email from you does not guarantee that they will support your campaign.

Good luck with your campaign!