Crowdfunding is a fundraising strategy where a nonprofit organization asks a large number of people to each donate a small amount of money to its campaign. This cost-effective strategy has many benefits, allowing nonprofits to raise funds faster while spreading the word to more individuals about their cause. You can even implement crowdfunding into your in-person and virtual events.
Since crowdfunding relies on reaching a large audience compared to other localized campaigns, conducting your crowdfunding campaign online allows you to access more new prospects. As most nonprofits have already implemented email and text marketing, take a look at these digital marketing tips:
- Establish a marketing strategy.
- Leverage the power of social media.
- Increase engagement with graphic design.
- Partner with external parties.
- Work with a digital marketing agency.
1. Establish a marketing strategy.
Your organization’s nonprofit marketing plan is the outline that will guide all of your fundraising efforts. Your strategy should be thorough, addressing at least the following aspects:
- Audience. Decide who your audience is and what demographics they belong to. You can do this by using data from your current donors and supporters to see who you’re already engaging with. For example, you can leverage employer appends to learn more about the jobs your audience members hold.
- Goal. Have a tangible, measurable, and achievable fundraising goal for your campaign.
- Timeline. Ask yourself: how long will the campaign be? How frequently will you message supporters? You’ll want to connect with supporters frequently enough that they won’t forget about your campaign, but you also don’t want to bombard them with communications.
- Channel. Alongside the timing of your messages, decide which channels your messages will be sent through. Different channel types include social media posts, ads, and texts. Remember that you should use a multichannel approach to reach the most potential supporters.
- Storytelling. Every nonprofit has a story behind it, and it makes an ideal backbone for your marketing campaign and brand identity. Weaving an emotional story through them allows your audience to engage with your content even more and increases their investment in your success.
Focus on specific digital marketing strategies for crowdfunding campaigns in your marketing plan. Outline how your campaign will align with crowdfunding’s strengths, such as using social media to boost visibility. This will give you a concrete idea of what you’ll be doing to digitally market your crowdfunding campaign, and it will be convenient for you to act upon those ideas.
2. Leverage the power of social media.
There are many social media platforms with different audiences that you’re able to promote your crowdfunding campaign on. Keep in mind that social media users and platforms are not a monolith—you’ll need to create different types of content to match the different platforms and appeal to their users.
You’ll want to make an account for your organization on two or three specific social media platforms based on the donor demographics you identified for your crowdfunding campaign. Focusing on a few platforms that are a better fit for the nonprofit is better than posting content on many platforms that don’t necessarily cater to your target audience.
Some social media platforms you can consider using are:
One way to determine which platforms to market on is by conducting social media appends of your supporters. NPOInfo advises that you can use these appends to create targeted appeals and re-engage lapsed donors. Another way to determine which platforms to promote your campaign on is by evaluating your crowdfunding platform and seeing which platforms it integrates with. This will allow supporters to easily share your donation page and spread the word about your nonprofit.
3. Increase engagement with graphic design.
While you may be prioritizing the messaging of your crowdfunding marketing materials, don’t underestimate the power of graphic design. Having cohesive visual branding on all your promotional materials, digital or not, can go a long way toward establishing your nonprofit as a professional organization.
An essential part of your graphic design portfolio consists of the images you use. After all, images transcend language barriers to connect people from different backgrounds to your mission. Plus, images can be used strategically to break up blocks of text and increase viewer engagement. The images can be photos or infographics that tell a story to the viewer and provide information in an easy-to-understand format. You might even create a fundraising thermometer so that your crowdfunding campaign’s donors can easily tell how close they are to meeting your goal.
Another part of what makes digital marketing so great is that you have the opportunity to create video content. Videos allow you to meld anecdotes and data together seamlessly, allowing you to appeal to your supporters’ emotional connection to the cause. You can embed short videos into your website, social media platforms, and crowdfunding campaign site to increase engagement with your communications.
4. Partner with external parties.
Partnering with an external party to digitally market your crowdfunding campaign can broaden your audience and the number of donations you receive. Businesses are a great type of external party to work with, as they give over $2 billion each year to nonprofits. Now more than ever, corporate social responsibility is important to businesses that want to show that they care about social good and set themselves apart from their competitors.
When deciding which business to partner with, take a look at their existing corporate social responsibility initiatives. If they already have a matching gift program or a volunteer program, they might be more inclined to work with you and promote your crowdfunding campaign on their website and to their employees. In return, you can include their branding in your promotional materials, and thank them publicly at the end of your campaign.
Aside from businesses, consider partnering with digital influencers such as Twitch streamers or YouTube personalities. These partnerships can increase your visibility even more than a business partnership—however, it can be difficult to obtain these partnerships if you don’t already have a connection with them. It’s more feasible if your nonprofit is large and well-funded, but if you’re a smaller organization, a corporate sponsorship may be more beneficial.
5. Work with a digital marketing agency.
To start your crowdfunding campaign strong, consider working with a digital marketing agency. These professionals spend their time researching digital marketing trends and are experts in determining which strategies will work best for your unique nonprofit. According to Fifty & Fifty’s guide to nonprofit marketing, these agencies can help you elevate your nonprofit’s graphic design, online presence, brand messaging, and more.
While it is possible to create a successful digital marketing strategy for your crowdfunding campaign without professional help, it may take you a lot of time, resources, risk, and research. A digital marketing agency will streamline the process, give your promotional materials a professional touch, and even leverage strategies you might not know of, such as Google Ad Grants.
Digital marketing is an essential upgrade from traditional event promotion, especially for crowdfunding, which needs a large audience to succeed. Make sure you carefully plan and execute your marketing campaign and center it around your mission to ensure maximum donor and community engagement. By using digital marketing to reach out to a global audience, you’ll be able to attract donors from all over the world, ensuring a successful crowdfunding campaign.