Crowdfunding strategy part III: it’s launch time!

By Clair A. McDevitt

Your strategy is in place and your network is raring to promote your cause. The link to your campaign site is live and your first social media posts are making their way through the Internet. You have launched your first campaign! What now?

During the campaign you want to make sure you’re thanking donors and recognizing them on social media if appropriate. But you don’t want to make all of your social media content about the campaign. The campaign content should work in conjunction with your other content, and not overwhelm it.

In addition to asking for donations, occasionally update your communities on how much you’ve raised and what the money will support. Use stories from volunteers or people served by your organization to help donors understand that their money has a direct impact on individuals or small groups.

If you reach your fundraising goal before your campaign ends, celebrate it in an email, blog post, or other social media, but then reiterate that the need is still great. Talk about the additional services you’ll be able to provide if you exceed your goal. Re-energize your community around reaching your goal, and ask them to do further outreach with their networks to help you exceed it.

And once you’ve hit your campaign deadline, take a minute to celebrate. But before you sit back to bask in the glory of a job well done, some campaign wrap-up tasks have to be completed.

Within one week:

Send a final thank you (because you thanked all your donors as soon as you received their donation, right?) to all the donors and volunteers who supported your effort. Celebrate your accomplishment and all they did to help you achieve it.

Now is the time to put your gifts, rewards, or any other donor perks in the mail. If appropriate, follow up with people who donated or participated in any perks or incentives to thank them and tell them of your success. If they’re not already connected to your organization, now is the time to invite them to become a member, volunteer, or stay involved in some other way.

Gather together everyone internally who worked on the campaign to debrief. What worked? What didn’t work? What would you like to do differently? Was this campaign worth the time and effort? Would you consider doing it again? Be thoughtful in these considerations and make sure somebody is taking notes for next time. Any analysis you do now will provide comparative data for the next campaign. Some metrics to track might be the number of donors per day across the campaign; known donors vs. first-time givers; size of gift vs. other fundraising appeals. You can correlate this data to your social analytics to see if one portion of your social media strategy was more effective that others.

Within six weeks:

Provide occasional updates over the weeks after the campaign that highlight how the money is being used and who/what are benefitting. This is a good time to use more stories from your volunteers or people served by your work.

This isn’t a foolproof plan for launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, but I hope it gives you the framework for considering if and how a campaign would work within your organization.

Posted June 20, 2014 in Crowdfunding

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