How To Use Your Network To Crowdfund

The key to raising money with a crowdfunding campaign is the “crowd.” But not just any crowd – it’s your network. This article will help you break down your network into segments to determine the best way to approach them.

Visualizing your Network Graphic

Your network could be comprised of the following or more:

  • Family
  • Friends from different walks of life (high school, university, summer camp)
  • Alumni organizations
  • Professional colleagues
  • Clubs or hobby groups
  • Religious organizations
  • Parents clubs

People most often give to who they know and trust. So before you begin, you want to think through who comprises your network and what is the best way to reach out to them.

It can be helpful to think about them in segments to determine things like:

  • Who to reach out to first
  • Who would benefit from a personal phone call or email
  • What kind of messaging will be most effective

Personal Communications Before Mass Communications

  • Put a focus on rallying the people who are most likely to give and share first. This is a good investment of your time because it should help you gain some traction and proof of concept with anyone else who visits your site.
  • You want to approach these people in a personal way, with a phone call or direct email
    • You do not want to be asking for favors in a mass mail, at least not until you have a foundation of contributions.

Step 1:

Identify who will be most likely to give and contact them, because they will help you get some initial momentum and establish credibility with anyone else who would consider a contribution. People like to follow the herd; if they see others giving, they are more likely to give, too.

Step 2:

Then you want to identify the “connectors” in your life, also known as the “key influencers.” These are the people who know a lot of people, who are often able to persuade others to follow them. You want to ask these people to share and help you spread the word. They can often help you get your message farther, either by passing along your email or posting to their social media.

Prayers for Lane and Logan

Segmenting Your Contact List For Mass Communications

You might consider emailing these groups in waves based on response, but also so that you can use the most targeted language to connect with them.

Primary Group

Your primary group will consist of those you know best and have the deepest relationships with and who you feel will be most responsive to your request. This group is your anchor and is most likely to be most generous with contributions and spreading the word. You want to email them first after you’ve gotten a few contributions from your personal interactions above.

Secondary Group

Your secondary group includes people you know, but may not be super close with. This group may need a little push or a couple reminders to contribute.

Outer Network Group

Your outer network consists of people who you have more tangential relationships with. These groups of people may not contribute the first or second time they hear from you, but do not be deterred — with persistence, you can win them over!

Your overall goal is to have your message reach as many people as possible, ideally beyond your initial contact list, if you can get people to forward it along and advocate for your cause. To learn more about how to share your campaign, click here.