Many of my blog readers are on the lookout for something new and different in fundraising. Here’s a guest article on Crowdfunding from Sandip Sekhon at Go Get Funding. This may not be a fit for you, but it’s good to know what’s out there.

Crowdfunding has been rapidly growing in popularity. From the far corners of the Internet, crowdfunding now regularly attracts mass media attention.

What is crowdfunding?

In short, crowdfunding is the process through which individuals and organizations ask for donations from their friends, family, peers, and broader networks through an online, dedicated fundraising page.

Crowdfunding has all the basic principles of traditional fundraising but with a few distinct traits:

  • Crowdfunding efforts are usually conducted online.
  • Fundraisers often entice pledges by offering non-financial rewards.
  • Donations are typically quite small but benefits arise from the power of the crowd and collective involvement.

Those looking to get started with a campaign will have no shortage of crowdfunding websites to choose from. The websites make it easy to browse through different types of projects. Additionally, the websites tend to create a community feel and most sites are heavily optimized for social sharing.

The increased use of social media has been a huge driving force behind the success of this new type of online fundraising. Great projects, ideas, and causes can now spread a lot faster than was previously possible.

How can you take advantage of crowdfunding?

If you need to need to raise money for something, at least some of your fundraising efforts should be conducted online. And it’s essential that you pick the crowdfunding platform that best meets your specific needs.

The two key differences between most crowdfunding websites are:

  1. How and when you are paid out. Some require you to reach your funding target whereas others pay you everything you raise immediately.
  2. What your fundraiser is about. Certain websites are restricted to a specific type of project whereas others are more flexible.

We at Go Get Funding allow all types of fundraisers. From creative projects to medical fundraisers and everything in between. On our site, you’re paid when your project hits its target and our funding flexibility allows you to change all aspects of your campaign even when it’s live.

How can I succeed at crowdfunding?

Here are 5 essential tips for creating a crowdfunding project that succeeds:

  1. Include a thorough description. Talk about yourself, explain what you’re doing, how you’ll use the money, and what rewards are being offered. The most successful campaigns are built around a digestible and shareable narrative, so keep that in mind as you write the most compelling copy possible.
  2. Add a video to your fundraiser. Videos are proven to hugely increase the success of projects. It doesn’t need to be anything snazzy; a casual 2-minute video of you talking through your project will do.
  3. Offer great rewards that would make you part with your money. Rewards could be a anything from a personal thank you on your website to a home-cooked meal or backstage passes to a special gig. Your rewards should incentivize donors and fit thematically within the campaign you’re running.
  4. Promote your fundraiser to your own network of contacts and get the ball rolling. All too many people think donations will immediately pour in from the public but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. You have to be willing to put in the promotional effort on your end if you want a truly fruitful fundraiser; in other words, you only get out what you put in.
  5. Go beyond your personal network and connect with other people and communities that you think may be interested in your cause. The beauty of online crowdfunding is its innate shareability. The highest-performing campaigns are that way because their organizers pushed to take their efforts far beyond their own personal networks.

Succeeding at crowdfunding requires many of the same skills as traditional fundraising, with the greater upside of getting donations from total strangers. If you put in enough effort, pledges will come.

So next time you need to run a fundraiser, take a crowdfunding approach!

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