23rd June 2015 Written by Skills Platform

Image: Skills Platform Fundraising with a Crowd.Through whichever popular platform it happens to be, causes and startups that have launched a crowdfunding campaign have demonstrated exactly how effective it can be to raise money through little contributions from a big number of people. The trend continues to grow.

Whereas once Crowdfunding was a novelty, it is now just as popular as the traditional methods of bank loans, venture capital and borrowing money - if not more so. The nonprofits and the charity sector are benefitting with the entire industry is being disrupted proving to be an extremely efficient way to solicit and manage donations with the additional social and viral potentials of providing a cost-effective way to create awareness for their cause.

In an article for the Guardian Voluntary Sector network, Nesta researchers Peter Baeck and Liam Collins shared some facts which you need-to-know when it comes to crowdfunding.

  • 34% of fundraisers have seen an increase in volunteering after they

fundraised through donation–based crowdfunding

  •  70% of backers in rewards-based crowdfunding also gave other support,

such as social sharing

  • 7% of funders using donation-based crowdfunding have supported

campaigns by allowing the fundraisers to use their space, while 5% gave

physical goods to the campaign

  • Donations are often small. 75% of those donating through donation-based

crowdfunding give less than £50 in total


Plus, it isn’t just a case of starting a crowdfunder, but instead it has to be backed up by a solid marketing plan to get the campaign of the ground, after all, if the crowd don’t know about your campaign – how are they going to donate their pennies to it?


Some key marketing points to consider would be...

  • How many people need to give to achieve your goal – and how much?
  • Identify early champions – people that might give it some ‘buzz’
  • Reach out to suitable media outlets and blogs
  • Invest the time to complete a business plan before trying to tell your story
  • Carefully consider which platform best suits your goal and audience

Skills Platform list many courses that all offer levels of understanding and training for those working within the charity and social enterprise sector- all of which would be of benefit anyone considering beginning this type of campaign. These include, among others, Fundraising Masterclasses andDeveloping a Fundraising Strategy.

Once you are thoroughly prepared with your strategy and business plan, then you must decide which of the platforms works best for you. Not all crowdfunding platforms are created equal, and before you launch a campaign, you should know the ins and outs of each platform before you make your account. From traditional crowdfunding venture firms like BrightSpark to platforms like AngelList, or even general platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, there are a myriad of options. And chances are there is one that is better for the cause than another.

Here are some sites that may be useful – but there are more, so take the time to look thoroughly before you decide.

Kickstarter:

A popular project crowdfunding website that any organization or individual can use to finance their event or project. TechCrunch reported that on Kickstarter alone, 3.3 million different people backed one or more projects in 2014 for a total of $529 million in funding. If you gathered them all in one place, they would populate the third largest city in the United States.

Causes:

For people who want to change the world. Categories vary from disaster relief efforts to human rights. Causes has raised more than 30 million for non-profits.

Buzzbnk:

A UK platform that supports social entrepreneurs and innovators.

“Positive People Backing Bright Ideas.” 

Indiegogo:

An international crowdfunding site for creative types that can also be used to raise money for charity and non-profit organizations

StartSomeGood:

StartSomeGood empowers “social innovators,” and forwards the trend of social entrepreneurship. It is a relatively new social site.