WeDidIt is an online fundraising platform for non-profits.

Posts Tagged: socialmedia

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We just wrapped up our Friends & Family campaign. I wanted to share some insights into how our sales training helped us conceptualize & develop our campaign.

From day one we said we needed to be personally experienced in crowdfunding in order to offer first hand advice on how to develop, launch and manage a WeDidIt crowdfunding campaign. We finished our Friends & Family campaign last Friday at $6,340 - 127% of our $5,000 goal. Obviously, we’re extremely happy and proud. I wanted to talk about how we managed our campaign and offer some tips on how our sales experience helped us strategize for our campaign.

Me, Su & Ben all come from a sales/business development background and we treated our 30-day $5,000 goal in much the same way we would have treated a monthly sales quota. Achieving an all-or-nothing fundraising goal is very similar to hitting a sales quota: both require preparation, implementation & execution and in both cases, if the specified dollar amount isn’t achieved, no money changes hands. Way before our campaign launched, we set ourselves each the individual goal of raising $1,000 towards the campaign from our own friends & family and then we each made lists of people we expected to donate and how much we could expect from them. Between Su, Ben, Nick and myself, this accounted for $4,000 (80%) of our goal, leaving $1,000+ to come in through 3rd parties, word-of-mouth, and peripheral members of our own social networks (people we hadn’t expected to donate who did).

The first day the campaign went live, our goal was to play a numbers game. We wanted to let people know that the campaign had launched, direct them to the site, and build exposure for our cause on a broad scale. We did this by posting facebook status updates, updating our twitter accounts and sending mass emails to our friends & family. As the campaign progressed, we started getting in touch with the people we’d put on our lists by calling and/or emailing them directly. Once they’d donated, we asked them to help spread awareness for our cause by personally asking one of their friends or family members to donate. This took us to over 50% of our goal by week three and provides an essential lesson in sales/fundraising - the more personal a solicitation, the more likely it is to be successful.

We also had a number of ongoing, non-time-consuming initiatives during the campaign - the ‘little touches’. The first was to publicly thank people who donated. For example, I posted updates to facebook & twitter that tagged people in my social networks who had donated. It’s a great way to show your appreciation and also to let everybody else in your social networks know that people are believing in your cause. We also made a point to follow up with people who said they were going to donate. Another valuable rule of sales is that ‘verbal’ contracts (“I’ll sign on Friday…”) don’t count for much except theoretical dollars (which are way harder to spend than real dollars). Crowdfunding donations take less than 3 minutes to make, so when somebody says they’ll donate but don’t do it right away, chances are they’re going to forget. I kept a list of friends who said they’d “get around to it” and politely reminded them to donate as the campaign continued. Thanking donors and reminding donors-to-be took me less than 15 minutes a week and brought in hundreds of dollars.

The final piece of sales advice I want to share is that you never want to be short of your goal in the last week with no idea where the money’s coming from. In sales we call this ‘closing week,’ and it’s where you either make money or you don’t. With seven days left in our campaign, we were 29% shy of our $5,000 goal, but because of our planning, we knew exactly where we would get the final 31%. Our preparation allowed us to call in all the stragglers who had said they would donate, and since we over-compensated we ended up exceeding our $5,000 goal by 27%.

And don’t forget that “coffee is for closers,” so never stop looking for ways to solicit donations. 



@mdshreve

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Creating your own crowdfunding campaign can be very exciting. Finally a chance to be creative and show your organization in a light that inspires action! True. We’re all looking for new donors and volunteers who believe in our cause. But developing a crowdfunding campaigns poses a new set of challenges that many don’t realize until it’s too late.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Let’s review the common elements to an engaging crowdfunding campaign so that you folks can get your ducks in a row wayyyy before launch day. Your “To Do” list:

Define your type of fundraising - General Operating Funds vs Project-based

Are you raising money simply to keep the lights on, or are you fundraising for a specific project or initiative. These things matter a lot when crafting a clear message to your online audience. Moreover, project-based fundraising tends to be a bit more sexy, allowing for a more engaging fundraising campaign with a deliverable. Either way, decide this early and plan your campaign accordingly.

Define your central message - Using a short video or a compelling photo/image

The powers of a compelling video message cannot be understated. Here’s the perfect opportunity for you to show donors exactly why they should believe in you and donate. It’s also your best opportunity to include the most relevant details related to your crowdfunding campaign (e.g. your story/mission, how the money raised will be used, exactly how each donation helps, enticing rewards, etc). Pics and images can also be used, but they won’t give you nearly the kind of viral-ness we’ve seen in these campaigns [Ipod nano watch, DoubleFine Adventure)

Determine your promotional strategy - Social media, traditional media, direct connect

If your organization has the resources…platforms like facebook, twitter, Google+ and other online networks should be a part of your promotional arsenal. However, there’s something quite personal about an email or phone call that give organizations who keep an updated email list a great advantage. Overall, we must remember that the only way people are going to donate to your campaign is because you’ve put it in front of them. Whether it’s your adorable grandmother or a popular blogger, you have to actively put your campaign in their hands if you want a chance at having them donate or at having them share the campaign within their own circle of friends/family. Nonetheless, any coverage in print or broadcast radio/TV will widen your potential audience dramatically, so be sure to identify every possible angle for promoting your campaign so that you can reach new donors most effectively.

Hopefully, I haven’t simplified developing a crowdfunding campaign too much. Let me know if you have any questions and perhaps we can map out what a potentially fundraising campaign would look like for your nonprofit.

@thesusanni

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It’s 2012 - which means it’s time to answer the B-movie question: “Will machines one day take over the planet?” The answer is a definitive yes.  From cell phones to checkout counters, no one can dispute that “skynet has become self-aware” and computers now rule our lives. Example? People text and email while driving their car. Aside from allowing you to text while driving, these machines are not here to destroy us. Rather, they are here to make our lives easier.  The hard part is understanding how to use these tools to work efficiently for you.  Let’s look at fundraising in the new Millenium.  Do people want to make donations online? And if so, how do you find and engage these donors?

Let’s do a quick review of the Millenial Donors’ Study, a survey on donors between the ages of 20-35 and my source for this article. The study found that the majority of donors gave to a charitable organization through traditional routes - checks, raffles, private solicitations, charitable organizations’ websites, etc. Interestingly, those who gave online scored a much lower percentage. However, the respondents also suggested that they prefer to give through online tools. The message? People ages 20-35 want to give online, but organizations haven’t caught on to the technology of making online giving lucrative!

Thus, if donation based organizations want to reach out to the next generation of donors, they will have to evolve their methodology. Does this mean traditional fundraising is dead? No, not at all. Online giving is simply another tool to add to your fundraising arsenal and to diversify your resources. Part 2 will go over some added benefits to online fundraising.

@nbmaroun

Source: millennialdonors.com