You can’t go to the grocery store these days without hearing about social media. It’s been credited with everything from a new way to communicate with your customers, to saving lives in disaster areas, and helping topple corrupt regimes. Social media has come a long way from being a means for college boys and girls to check out who was in a relationship with whom. It’s amazing that social media has evolved from this to changing the way businesses communicate with consumers. This can be applied to fundraising in a very unique way.
Traditional fundraising methods, whether they be a 5k race or annual gala, all end in the same way. That is, collecting donations by check, cash or credit card. The difference between crowdfunding and traditional fundraising is the fact that crowdfunding is integrated with social media. This may seem like a minor detail but let’s explore it a bit further.
In traditional fundraising, a first-time donor swipes their credit card. You are then given their name, shipping address and any other information they voluntarily give you. The transaction ends and you move onto the next donor. In crowdfunding, someone makes a donation and they are automatically prompted to share your fundraising campaign in their own social networks. The benefits of this are two-fold.
Firstly, you have just expanded your potential donor base without having to lift a finger. Secondly, you have just received valuable information about your donor. Without having to fill out any forms, your donor has just told you how old they are, where they live, the size of their social network, the brands they prefer and…the list goes on.
It’s these donor demographics that make social media and crowdfunding so special. Not only are you investing in the most effective form of advertising - a personal endorsement from your donor to their friends and family - you are getting a free analysis of the demographics that support your cause. This is priceless information that most companies will pay top dollar to obtain. You are getting it for free while raising money for your cause. This is the true power of crowdfunding.