Looking to raise money online? You’ve come to the right place! Crowdfunding is the answer to getting the job done in the most efficient and engaging way possible. But you’ve got to have a plan. Here’s our top 10 list for what you need to take stock of to prepare and get started. You’ll be off to the races with a successful campaign in no time!
1. Have a Compelling Story
It’s all about your pitch. The most effective campaigns have a clear, concise story that is engaging, personal, emotional and credible. Your job is to connect your audience so that they feel compelled to give. You also want to show effort: you are doing your part so that people want to do theirs in the form of giving. Be sure to be passionate when stating your cause. In order for others to truly connect, they need to clearly see your drive and motivation.
- Example: Take Culbreth Appreciation Fund. This page was set up by the parents of students in order to show appreciation and to thank their teachers and staff during the holiday season. They included personal facts with the audience in order to demonstrate the hardships educational employees often undergo, as well as to emphasize the integral impact teachers have on their students. In this way, contributors are able to relate and will feel more inclined to donate to this worthy cause.
2. Upload At Least One Picture or Video
People respond to pictures, so it’s critical that you upload at least some form of media to bring your story to life – Look through your files now…Do you have that picture handy? It can be anything from an image of whom you are trying to help, to a logo of the organization you want to raise money for. A crowdfunding site with media has more attraction than a page without. We all know a picture is worth 1000 words, so post that picture and convey to your audience 1000 words worth of your story through that image. Click here to learn more about adding images and video to your campaign.
3. Set Your Goal
You want to create a scenario where you can not only meet, but exceed your goal! Having a goal gives your supporters something to help you strive for. You want to do everything you can to make them feel like they are in this with you. When choosing your goal, you’re looking for that sweet spot of being realistic with a hint of aspiration, so maybe aim for slightly more than what you need, but not much beyond that. You can always increase your goal as the campaign heats up!
4. Choose The Best Plan To Save You Money
Deposit a Gift has the lowest fees on the market and we give you the flexibility to choose the plan that’s best for you: the cost ranges from 2-4 cents on the dollar depending on what you are trying to raise. For the low-risk, no upfront cost option, go with our Basic Plan, which is 4% + CC fees. If you are trying to raise a large sum of money, you might consider upgrading to one of our higher plans to save you money in the long run. We typically recommend the $49 plan for anyone with the goal of raising over $5,000 because it brings your DAG fee down to 3%, and the $149 plan for anyone with the goal of raising over $10,000 because it brings your DAG fee down to 2%. With an upgrade, you also gain access to our Premium features to enhance or spice up your campaign!
5. Show What You Need Money For and How You Will Use It
Deposit a Gift is unique in that it allows you to map out your goal by dividing your needs into a gift list of specific needs. This empowers contributors to give because they’ll have a sense for how their funds will be put to good use.
- Example: Take the Moraga Education Foundation. This foundation allows people to give the gift of education in honor of a loved one. The foundation chose to include a list of exactly who and what contributions benefit, making it much more personal and fulfilling. Instead of just raising money towards a general fund, DAG’s gift list option allowed them to create categories to personalize specific needs.
6. Design Your Campaign Page
Choose a design from our gallery of close to 200 unique backgrounds that best represents your personality and what you are trying to achieve. We try to provide options beyond the standard white background to really allow you to customize and add personality to your site. Have fun with it!
7. Customize a Memorable URL
You want your URL to be easy to remember so that, even in the offline world, it is simple to spread the word. We give you the option to customize your URL so that it is unique and a reflection of your campaign.
8. Create a Marketing Plan
Once you have your site set up to perfectly communicate your cause, the next most important step is creating a marketing plan. You want to take the steps to get the word out about your campaign. Just because you create it, if people don’t know about it, then they can’t use it – simple as that! Contrary to popular belief, the Internet will not just shower you with money. Most contributions come from your network, so learn how to make the most of it by clicking here.
9. Look For Excuses to Give Updates and Follow-Up
Your marketing plan will help you identify the main channels that you want to fundraise through as well as identify key influencers in your network to help galvanize your community to offer support. You want to ask them to give, but also to share – think of it like a chain letter. But you can’t just stop there. You need to be in constant communication. Look for excuses to reach out:
- Update people on your progress
- Do shout-outs to people who are helping
- It’s a special occasion like you’re birthday, this would be the perfect gift!
10. Show Your Appreciation
Saying thank you goes a long way. Be sure to stay on top of communicating your gratitude to your contributors early and often. You can do so in the form of email or hand-written thank you notes, public acknowledgments in social media or emails, by using the Updates function on your DAG fundraising site, or even going old school and making a personal phone call. Do what’s most comfortable for you – the most important thing is that you do it.
By following this simple checklist, and Deposit a Gift’s unique approach, you’re all set to become a crowdfunding pro! If you have any further questions or would like personal support, please email us – we’re happy to help in any way we can.