Every personal crowdfunding campaign looks the same. A friend needs emergency medical treatment. A filmmaker wants to complete his documentary. A family pet needs lifesaving surgery. Each campaigner has a different need but their motivations are the same - get help.
Yet, every campaign is also different. Some are planned. Others are launched without any detailed thinking. The filmmaker can spend months planning his campaign but the dog owner and friend need immediate support. Regardless, successful campaigns require getting the word out and making a connection with potential backers.
Here are 5 actionable tips to launch a successful campaign.
Personal fundraising can be an emotional journey. It doesn't matter whether it's your first or third campaign. You should have a plan. A solid plan makes it easier to start and maintain momentum throughout the campaign. Even in a medical emergency situation, take time to create an email list of potential backers and review your social media accounts for influencers. Know how to leverage your network. It is your most valuable resource. Plan to use it.
Most successful campaigns are run by teams. Ask friends, family and coworkers to help. They can update your campaign page, make videos and share social media posts. Their support can quickly spread the word beyond family and friends. FreeFunder donates $20 to campaigns that reach 100 Facebook shares and $50 for 500 shares. Make sure your team is sharing.
Successful crowdfunding campaigns tell visual stories. They use vibrant photos and great pitch videos. If you can't create a video, use lots of photos on your page. Let them tell your story. Backers like to see who and what they are supporting.
Someone has to donate the first dollar. It will probably be your family and friends. But successful campaigns extend far beyond their donations. So, show some personality. If you're raising funds for college tuition, create a campaign page that highlights your collegiate life. Post pictures of your books. Talk about your chosen profession and why you want to work in the industry. Let people get to know you.
Always keep your backers informed. When you reach a milestone, update your campaign page. If something changes, share the news. Your backers want you to succeed so update your page frequently. Updates also help maintain campaign momentum.
When Nancy Dear hit some rough times and needed help in order to pay her rent (both personal and for her hair salon), she set up a FreeFunder campaign as a last resort. Friends and community members starting pitching in immediately. Nancy needed $2,500 in order to get caught up, and after donations came in from 59 people in only 2 weeks, she ended up raising $2,655.
"Yesterday was particularly rough, but I made it through, got a hefty pile of sleep, and woke up this morning to the beautiful miracle of community support! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! You have saved my business baby, saved my home, saved me. I LOVE YOU. HAIRPARTY LOVES YOU. YOU ARE AMAZING. " - Nancy Dear