Crowdfunding can be a powerful tool to gain startup capital, but entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones that rely on the power of the public for financing. In the following blog post, Anisa Mirza, founder of Giveffect.org, shares the crowdfunding tips she gives the charities she works with. Read on to see what you can learn for your own business and get inspired by what these charities are doing!
Ever see one of those flashy music videos where singers are standing around while wads of money fall from the sky? Well, crowdfunding isn’t like that.
We often our tell clients that they can’t expect the money to pour in simply because they launched a campaign. Rather, they have to convince people why they should care.
This is why crowdfunding can be an extremely vulnerable act. Unlike applying for government funding, where only you and your team must face the rejection of not receiving a grant, crowdfunding makes your rejection public. It is a drastic paradigm shift from the traditional fundraising approach that most of our clients are comfortable with. The charity is required to open itself up to the world and let everyone in on both their successes and their failures.
Having said that, crowdfunding is an extremely powerful tool for any charity and it is a promising solution to the staggering donor engagement crisis. In crowdfunding, everyone has a role to play. For charities, crowdfunding switches the project from being charity-centric to being a collective community initiative where everyone feels as though they are equal stakeholders in making success happen. Crowdfunding also changes the perception of the donor, transforming him or her from being seen as a mere wallet to being seen as an advocate for the cause or an extension of the charity.
Though we come across hundreds of campaigns on Giveffect, there are always those that stand out and inspire us. Mentor Nation is an example of one such past campaign. One in four children in Canadian First Nations communities live in poverty—almost double the national average. Their cause was fundraising in hopes to change this statistic via an innovative program that will help provide mentorship and relevant skills training to aspiring First Nation entrepreneurs.
What’s astounding about the charity that launched this campaign isn’t just that they raised over $60,000 including contributions from notables like Don Tapscott, Steve Paikin and Phil Fontaine. Nor is it the fact that they successfully secured a $25,000 corporate contribution towards their crowdfunding campaign from RBC. Instead, the most amazing part about all of their success had to be that they achieved all of this without much of a prior donor base.
So what was the secret behind their success? First, their relentless planning before and during the campaign. Second, their clear and passionate message that resonated with people across Canada. And lastly, their choice to use our “Multi-Player” crowdfunding option (think: p2p meets crowdfunding) - allowing them to not only raise funds from the crowd, but also recruit hard-core supporters as ‘micro-crowdfunders’ within their overall crowdfunding campaign.
Best part? Recently, supporters were updated with awesome news that the Mentor Nation pilot is now officially underway. All thanks to the power of the crowd.