Crowdfunding, which generally involves collecting a small amount of money from a large pool of willing donors has been around a while now. It’s pretty popular with charities looking to raise funds for a specific project or campaign.
However at ELC Associates, we see non profits making the same basic mistakes when crowd funding. These include not having a waiting list of trusted donors (or tribe) or thinking everybody will immediately support their cause the funds will start to flow in. We’ve therefore decided to list the 5 most common mistakes that charities make. Many of the points are applicable to SMEs as well.
#1 – Not managing expectations
When you start up an online crowdfunding page, you will be filled with hopes of the amazing success that you will achieve through it. This isn’t to say that you won’t achieve success, but it’s important to manage your expectations.
Sure, we’ve all heard stories of people starting a Kickstarter, GoFundMe and other pages – only to receive worldwide recognition and hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations. But these are the success stories for a reason – they’re few and far between. Unfortunately, setting up a crowdfunding page means that you are one amongst thousands of others.
So you may achieve success – but don’t think that this will be millions of pounds. It’s more likely to be a few hundred. Which is still admirable. But most people don’t manage these expectations and when the donations fail to pour in they lose hope and give up. Big mistake.
#2 Not putting in the initial marketing or promotional work
Another thing that we don’t hear about on the news is those super successful crowdfunding pages have put in hours upon hours of hard work especially with their marketing to ensure crowdfunding success. Many people who think that crowdfunding means setting up a page and sitting back and waiting for the money would be dead wrong.
In reality, crowdfunding means hours of continuous marketing to potential donors, social networks, reaching out to influencers with large networks etc. Constantly updating and monitoring the progress of the campaign, involving the broadcast or print media and much more. There’s countless hours involved in crowdfunding, so don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s easy and you can start with little marketing or promotion.
#3 – Not finding the right audience
It’s fair to say that whatever you’re crowdfunding for won’t appeal to everyone. Although you are passionate about your charity, this doesn’t mean that everyone else will be. Many people assume when crowdfunding that it’s easier to just go for a wider audience in the hopes that it will reach as many people as possible. While the thought behind this makes sense, it’s not always the best way to go about it.
You’re better off reaching out to people with common ground. For example, if you’re raising money for animals – reach out to local (and non-local) animal rights’ groups. If you can get these people to share your story then you are more likely to find people who are just as passionate about the cause as you are.
#4 – Not choosing the right platform
This follows on from not having the right audience. When crowdfunding, it’s important to know how to reach your audience. In the same way as finding the right crowd, many people go for all forms of social media and traditional media, in the hopes that they will reach more people.
But if your target market is older people, there is not much point in using Twitter or Instagram for your advertising. You’re far better off using more traditional methods of advertising – such as in the local papers. Although it’s tempting to reach out on every available platform – you’re actually just creating more work for yourself.
#5 Not Acquiring Supporters (especially at campaign start)
You can have the best crowdfunding page in the world, and have donations coming in all the time, but you’re still not at your full potential. In order to have a truly successful crowdfunding page for your charity, you need to have supporters.
They believe in the cause and want to see it gain more recognition. In other words, they will share your page and your story and reach out to a wider network of people. Having supporters is an important part of crowdfunding for a charity as they will help you reach more people than you can on your own.
Crowdfunding is an established and growing marketing strategy that’s opening new avenues for businesses and charities to fund all kinds of projects, from campaigns to movie funding! ELC Associates can help you write crowdfunding scripts and introductions, create professional crowdfunding intro video or promote your campaign to potential donors and influencers. Contact us today on 0208 090 2233/0794 9529 231 to talk through your crowd funding campaign or email www.elcassociates.co.uk/contact-us