4 Crowdfunding Tips For Your Nonprofit or Association

You are a nonprofit or association with a great cause and a world of potential audiences out that that could get involved in forwarding your mission.

So, what if I were to tell you there is a way to accomplish the following actions, that you probably aren’t taking advantage of:

1) Engaging new audiences

2) Utilizing the super powers of your followers and volunteers in meaningful ways

3) Raising funds and awareness towards your mission


Enter crowdfunding

Crowd in Times Square
Leverage the crowd!


Crowdfunding is the ability to use the web to raise money for a project or cause.

Last week Pledge Cents – a crowdfunding platform focused on the education community gave a great presentation at Net2.

Net2 Logo

Luckily we were there to pick up some handy tips on running a successful crowdfunding campaign….

4 Takeaways:

1) Don’t spread yourself thin – choose 1 platform for your campaign – you are kicking yourself if you are sending your supporters to multiple crowdfunding sites and harming your credibility. If the platform wasn’t a good match, go with another one next time.

2) Make a realistic ask. Many people make the mistake of going for the pie in the sky. What is your minimum goal to achieve what it is you want? Start with that number and anything above that is icing on the cake.

“Why  wouldn’t we want to reach for the highest we can go?”

  • Financial reasons
    • Some crowdfunding platforms will not give you any of your funds if you do not attain a certain percentage of your goal. Example: On Kickstarter, if you do not reach 100% of your goal you don’t get your funds
    • Some crowdfunding platforms will charge you a percentage of your stated goal
  • Build street cred
    • If this is your first crowdfunding venture – let’s start realistic and build trust with new followers before jumping to the big numbers
  • Finially, it just feels good to be a winner!
    • There is no limit to how much your allowed to raise – and gosh darn it, doesn’t if feel good to exceed those initial expectations!

3) Keep your donors updated on your progress

  • If  people are donating to your cause, they have invested in you and want to know where that investment is going. Keep them updated. Upload photos and videos. SAY THANK YOU!
  • The relationship doesn’t end when you reach your goal. Follow up post campaign. If donors can see the good they have helped to create they are much more likely to donate the next time you come a knockin with your next crowdfunding campaign.

4) Make your campaign specific

  • Andyshea Saberioon from Pledge Cents  helps coach a lot of educators on their campaigns. If you send him a campaign that says you want $500 to raise money for calculators – you know what his response is going to be (paraphrasing here) “and?  why should we care?”
    • Who are the calculators for? Why do they need them? How much does each calculator cost? If you want a successful campaign, you need to tell the world your story!


So as an organization, nonprofit, or association what should you be doing?



1)  Get out there, try running a campaign

  • If you have a great project that you just don’t have the budget for, may be the community can help you make it happen

2) Empower your members or volunteers to start a crowdfunding campaign

  • Maybe some of your members have a great idea for a project. Empower them to make change by supporting their efforts towards a crowdfunding campaign.


Crowdfunding is a great way to get yourself out there to new audiences, especially if your volunteers and members are involved. They are reaching out to their communities to help spread the good and your mission.

It’s 2014. Make the jump. Trust the crowd.


Photo Attribution: Photos by eschipul