Your organization is ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign. You’ve put together a fundraising strategy, you’ve figured out where online fundraising fits within that strategy, and you have the staff and supporters lined up to get started. Now what? Here are some tips for planning your pre-campaign calendar.
Six weeks to one month in advance: Have a plan for your campaign: staff assignments for producing content and managing the donation platform, an account with the platform you’ll be using (Indiegogo, Razoo, Causes, Network for Good, etc. if you’re using a third party provider.) Make sure your staff is trained in using the platform, and that you know how/when donation money will be received. Now is the time to set up your basic donation page and do all your testing and troubleshooting.
If this campaign has an event component, make sure the location is confirmed and any related contracts (food, drink, entertainment) are completed. Send out your save-the-date notice now. Fiscally sponsored projects of Community Initiatives need to run their invitations and other printed event materials by CI staff, and need to make sure all their event contracts are in place. So build extra time for that into your planning process.
Three weeks: If you have any perks, prizes, matching gifts or other incentives, make sure these are secured and confirmed. Make sure all parties participating in any incentives have confirmed that they will appropriately follow through.
Make sure all of your other fundraising material (flyers, event invitations, etc.) is proofread and ready for publication. If you’re directing mobile donors to a website through a printed document, make sure your Quick Response barcode (QR code) scans easily and directs to the correct website.
Two weeks: start notifying your community (donors, volunteers, board members, etc.) with emails, phone calls, and a couple of save-the-date blog posts, emails, and social media posts. Ask your community to start talking about this campaign with their communities, and provide them with text and talking points to use.
Update your website to mention the campaign, but don’t include a link to your donation provider yet.
Start writing and scheduling your campaign-specific social media posts and emails.
One week: ramp up social promotion of your campaign, start building interest/excitement. Thirty percent of most fundraising goals are raised from close partners within the first 48 hours of a campaign. Reach out to your main supporters/donors and board again in person or via phone/email to make sure they’ve got all they need to support you and help you spread the word. Answer any questions they may have about the campaign, where the money is going, etc. Make sure they have the link to your fundraising site, and that they know when the campaign is going live. Prepare talking points for staff doing this outreach, and points for your donors to share with their networks.
Yes, this is a lot of work, but having each piece of the puzzle laid out before the campaign starts will help you run a well-organized and successful campaign. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming weeks.