How Crowdfunding is Changing the Face of Fundraising - Church Resources

How Crowdfunding is Changing the Face of Fundraising

01/02/2017
How Crowdfunding is Changing the Face of Fundraising

For the vast majority of non-profit organisations, success hinges squarely upon the generosity of others, whether they’re wealthy donors, kind strangers or altruistic millionaires intent on saving the world.

Yet, given the increasing pressure on both time and resources, NFP organisations now have to look beyond the bounds of cold calling and elaborate donor dinners to secure those all-important funds.

Global studies reveal that today’s most active charity donors are those within the 40-59 year age category, an age group that tends to rely on more traditional means of giving back. However, on the other end of the scale, millennials have proven more difficult to corner when it comes to philanthropically driven endeavours, largely as a result of campaigns reliant on antiquated methodology.

Whilst today’s generation has in fact been shown to be one of the most charitably minded of all time, they’re also suckers for convenience, and generous as they might feel, they’re unlikely to donate to your cause if you aren’t able to secure a cashless mobile payment in double-quick time.

Given this increasing demand for digital convenience, NFPs are starting to revise their approach to fundraising, with crowdfunding emerging as an obvious successor to the more traditional ‘direct mail and dinner’ strategy.

Over the past six years, a number of crowdfunding platforms have been created in aid of charitable causes, with GoFundMe – perhaps the best known among them – having already generated upward of $440 million in less than a decade. That’s some serious donor power that today’s NFP organisations need to tap into if they want to remain sustainable and continue to fund their good work.

So how do you revise your fundraising strategy for the digital age? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Consider a dedicated crowdfunding platform

Given the success of platforms like Kickstarter, dedicated crowdfunding initiatives are now springing up everywhere, offering NFP organisations a variety of avenues through which to pursue this increasingly popular fundraising strategy. Sites like Indiegogo offer up creative freedom to run campaigns for a small fee, whilst newer, more niche sites like WeDid.It provide something akin to a fundraising butler service, providing assistance and advice to NFP organisations wading into unfamiliar territory.

Invest in social

Whilst most NFP organisations do maintain a social presence, this network is in fact an enormously effective way to tap into the crowd for donations. Recent studies reveal that 43% of millennials are most likely to be inspired to give by posts seen on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, so it’s time to stop treating these as a ‘nice-to-have’. Make social media a key element of your fundraising strategy in 2017, and you might just be surprised by the results.

Engage influencers

In today’s socially-driven landscape, the influence of high-profile individuals on buying and donation behaviour shouldn’t be underestimated. By adding a well-known human face to your fundraising campaign, you’ll be likelier to earn the interest of notoriously distractible millennials, and use the clout of your influencer’s social audience to drive your own organisation’s good fortune.

Utilise mobile

As our worlds become increasingly confined to the bounds of our smartphones, your organisation will be missing a trick if you fail to activate your presence in the mobile sphere. 18% of all donations in 2016 were made by way of smart devices, a trend that only looks to become more firmly entrenched in years to come. So if you want your organisation to be first in line for the crowd’s consideration, you’ll need to look at effective and efficient ways of enabling mobile giving.

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