From time to time some of my nonprofit clients will ask me why they’re doing all this work to simply launch a crowdfunding campaign (note: launching a crowdfunding page on Fundly is easy peasy, but the prep-work and management required towards success still relies on dedication and hard work).
Our answer at Fundly is new donor acquisition! Allow me to elaborate further – new donor in terms of getting access to a brand new network of people who have never been part of your database before through your Fundly page AND new donor in the sense of reaching a whole new type of donor, the Millennials.
For years, nonprofit organizations have been trying to find ways to reach and engage with the Millennials. According to the recent Millennial Impact Report, 75 percent of young people donated to causes in 2011. Most gifts sizes the Millennials gave were $100 or less per organization. However, as we all know in nonprofits, no donation is too small and programs can still benefit from these contributions. 75% of all Millennials donating on average $100, that’s no small potatoes!
At Fundly alone, I just learned that 77% of donors are 44 years old or younger and 58% are 34 years old or younger. So where are you going to get your Millennials?
Congratulations folks – crowdfunding is the way or the tool that will allow your organization to reach and engage with the Millennials while enabling you to build your organization’s base of future donors. The beauty of it all is that you’re doing this while getting “free” promotion and still collecting small giving from those who already are onboard with your cause. The reason crowdfunding is the future is because it is the best method for engaging your future donors.
To learn more about Fundly and the Millennials check out CNBC’s recent article, Millennials Want to Donate to Charities, Save the World. Really.
Hana Yang | Customer Success Manager
Have any questions? Shoot me an email at email@example.com!
Subscribe to our NEWSLETTER and learn all about what’s going on in the world of social fundraising.
Subscribe here http://social.fundly.com/newsletter
Every year, millions of families flow through Disneyland’s amusement parks, gorging themselves on overpriced fast food and thrilling at themed rides. Why do all of these people spend exorbitant amounts of money on just a few days here? One reason: Disneyland has invested an extraordinary amount of energy, thought, and money into creating an experience for its patrons, to create what it calls “The Happiest Place on Earth”. People aren’t there for the rides or the cotton candy, they are purchasing the chance to transport themselves (or their children) to a land of princesses, Indiana Jones, and chipmunks.
What many fundraisers don’t realize is that their donors aren’t making a simple financial transaction when they donate—they are purchasing an experience. The experience of giving back, of contributing to a cause larger than themselves, or simply supporting a loved one. The experience that each donor is expecting or hoping for when he or she gives may vary by campaign, but if you use the tools embedded in the Fundly platform such as video, images, customized email templates, and automated thank-you notes, to name just a few you can significantly improve the overall experience for your average donor. And I promise you, when you deliver an incredible giving experience you will win ardent supporters, who will pass the word on to other potential advocates and donors.
As you work to build a captivating experience for your donors consider the following ideas:
If you engage your social network thinking of a donation as just a financial transaction you should expect a cold, impersonal response fitting of that approach. On the other hand, you can give them an experience they won’t forget, and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by willing supporters and fellow change makers.
Give it a try, and let us know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absolutely and here’s why! Volunteer fundraisers have a personal story to tell about your cause since it usually explains the reason(s) why they support your cause at all. That personal story is hugely valuable since a volunteer fundraiser’s mom is far more likely to throughly read and understand their son’s story than anything your cause could ever put in front of her. The same can be said for any of your volunteer fundraisers’ other personal relationships.
The stories that are shared will reach a universe of people you may have never known existed, which will help your organization fill the top of your cause’s new donor acquisition funnel. We’ll be writing more about the ‘new donor acquisition funnel’ soon, but to give you a quick understanding it moves people from just barely becoming knowledgable about your cause to understanding why supporting your cause makes a positive impact in the world and eventually it converts them into donors.
Start the process of tapping into your volunteer fundraisers’ social networks by sharing personal stories.
The most important personal story is yours, so tell YOUR personal story first. Leading by example is important and works well when asking others to do something they may not be comfortable with. Many aren’t as comfortable writing or expressing their passion, especially knowing that their words could make it into the worldwide web. As the champion of your cause, you shouldn’t hesitate to share your personal story with the world, so share it loud and proud!
Once you’ve shared your personal story with your networks, ask your volunteer fundraisers to write about how your cause impacts their lives.
To many people, asking them to write about how your cause has positively impacted their lives is like giving them a way to say ‘thank you’ to your cause. That can make writing a personal story an easy task since there’s no risk in saying ‘thank you’ nor will it be viewed as self-promotion, which are two of the most common fears when it comes to sharing a personal story.
As part of asking your volunteer fundraisers to write their personal story, you’ll want to instruct them to include a paragraph asking every other recipient to share their personal story. At the very least, your volunteer fundraisers will find that their friends and family will pass their story along. In some cases, you’ll even get some of your volunteer fundraisers’ friends and family sharing their own personal stories about your cause with their networks! To make your life a bit easier, here’s an example of a paragraph I’ve used to ask people to pass my personal story along:
“As you can tell, I’m passionate about CAMP and hopefully that’s rubbing off on you a bit right now. If it is, please share my story with everyone you know or share your own story!”
When asking your volunteer fundraisers to share their personal story, don’t forget to use your own personal story as an example of what you’re asking them to do. That might just end up being the reason why they feel comfortable promoting your cause with their personal story.
All that’s left for your volunteer fundraisers to do after their personal stories are written is to:
Give that a shot and let me know how it goes. We’re always interested in hearing from you!
You may reach me anytime with your thoughts, comments, or questions at email@example.com.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve seen the red and pink equal sign splashed all over Facebook these past few days. You may also know that the Human Rights Campaign started this trend by changing their traditionally blue and yellow logo to red and pink, then encouraging their supporter base to follow suit by using their newly colored logo as a profile picture.
That is Genius for a few reasons:
If you’re reading this and thinking, “hey, maybe that will work for my cause” then you’re wasting your time reading this post. GO FOR IT! Gaining visibility will drive traffic to your fundraising pages and traffic on your fundraising pages means you will see more donations.
Don’t hesitate by thinking you have to use a logo that is well understood and meaningful, either. Use a flat color and let everyone know that it represents your cause (when people don’t know what it means, it’ll draw interest)… Use an image of a person who has been positively impacted by your cause… Use any image that you don’t hate and go with it…
Your friends, family, colleagues and supporters wouldn’t mind simply changing their profile picture to something meaningful to your cause if it will make a difference. Try it out and let me know how it goes by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About a year ago a crippling disease took away my sons ability to live a normal life. He is a 3 year-old boy who will never know what it’s like to walk or even breathe without assistance. Getting this news was heartbreaking, it was life changing and it was eye opening. I was now made brutally aware of how unsafe the world is and how much need for awareness and funds there is in the world.
I saw the many, many disparate causes in the world that didn’t fall under a big enough umbrella to receive enough attention, support or funds. I felt helpless to help any of them, helpless to help my son. I was powerless to fund research or afford the medical equipment he needed.
I looked and looked and wondered where individual fundraisers, the under $20 million organizations, the communities, the nonprofits that didn’t have deals with major retailers or dozens of staff members could make a difference in this world.
Where was the place for a father trying to raise funds to afford medical equipment for his son?
I’d like to say I found Fundly, but that was my friend. He set up a campaign and sent it to me. We thought it was the best option, so we made some edits and activated the campaign, which sent it through our social networks. Within 24 hours we had $5,000, almost 70% of our goal. My jaw, along with some tears, dropped.
I discovered that I had a whole community of people, people who cared; people who wanted to help but didn’t know how; people who weren’t aware or just needed to be asked. Fundly gave me that way to ask and I hadn’t even realized it. We raised $19,500.
19 people clicked on the “Become a Personal Fundraiser” button on our Fundly page, raising between $100 and $2,500 each. I never asked a single one of them to do it, nor explain to them how to do it.
Working for Fundly I’ve since learned how we make it easy for people to rally behind a cause in a way that is difficult and cumbersome otherwise.
But before I knew about open graph integration with Facebook. Before I knew that Habitat for Humanity has found huge success with Fundly. Before I knew all the technical innovations that make Fundly work, I knew that through Fundly I could now afford a wheelchair for my son.
And that is why I believe in Fundly.
This weekend I spoke about “leading change” as a panelist at the Silicon Valley Education Conference (www.siliconvalleyeducationconference.org) in Mountain View, California. The conversation was so refreshingly honest and insightful, I thought I would share with you my takeaways.
If you want to be an agent for change–a leader of change–there are three things you can do:
Of course, whenever you are involved in change, the highs are high and the lows are low. When you are at your lowest, remember point #1 above. It is not about you. You are working toward a higher good. If this venture doesn’t work out, the next one will. The less you can focus on yourself and the more you can focus on the change you are making for good, the easier it will be to get through the low times. When you are able to stay focused and determined despite the odds, you will be surprised how often things break your way. Things that seemed impossible suddenly become possible, and pieces that didn’t fit before suddenly find a solution. This does not happen when you give up or get discouraged or distracted, but it happens a surprising percentage of the time when you stay focused.
I really enjoyed my co-panelists, Josh Edwards (Amazon) and Jessica Johnson (RBL Group) and the moderator, Maggie Goloboy (McKinsey). Thank you!
From time to time an interesting question comes up in our initial conversations with customers as they ask “How exactly does Fundly help me raise donations? Do you provide me with donors? Access to new potential supporters? If I connect my campaign to Facebook, won’t people come in droves to donate like I’ve seen on so many of your successful case studies?”
At first glance, it may certainly seem as though Fundly is the secret sauce driving outsized donations for organizations that use our platform. However, Fundly is just one piece of the puzzle in successful crowdfunding. Organizations must have an existing base of supporters that they can tap into in order to effectively crowdfund. Once that is in place, Fundly’s platform is able to kick-in and turbo charge the fundraising process in two ways:
Fundly Simplifies the Ask:
Ask any volunteer what the biggest barrier to fundraising is for them and the response is almost always related to the “ask”. The fear of imposing on someone on behalf of something you care about can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and let’s be honest it can be a drag to get out there and pound the pavement. I know, I’ve sold countless Makahiki tickets as a Cub Scout in Hawaii.
This is where Fundly starts to shine! Countless design and development hours have gone into a ridiculously simple and easy product that allows anyone to create and promote a cause in just minutes. Seriously, check out this page created by an 8 year-old! From there Fundly automatically begins updating each volunteer’s Facebook Wall and other social networks with posts about their fundraising activities. That means little to no effort is required of volunteers to “ask” their friends and family members to support their cause.
Fundly Enables You to Tell Your Story:
You have a unique and powerful story to tell. There’s a reason that you and your colleagues invest countless hours and a great deal of energy promoting your cause. Your ability to harness this story and tell it will directly influence your fundraising results. Fundly helps you and your volunteers to tell your story in three ways:
Fundly isn’t a silver bullet for your fundraising needs… But it can be a powerful enabler that allows you to more simply and fully access, expand, and strengthen your existing community of supporters.
Give a Fundly campaign a spin if you haven’t already, and we’re always interested in hearing your thoughts, comments, or questions! You can reach me anytime at email@example.com.
Hi everyone, I’m Will, part of the product team here at Fundly. As always, we’re listening to your feedback, and working on ways to improve our product so that you reach your fundraising goals and impact the causes you care about.
We’ve been seeing that a lot of you are using the email system on our dashboard as a really effective tool for you to gain supporters and donors! With that in mind, we’ve made some improvements that we’re really excited about. I’ll share a couple that will help make you a fundraising machine:
Action Oriented Email Templates
Having trouble getting donors? Team members? Fundraisers?
We understand that pulling the right thing to say out of thin air is difficult, so we’ve created a handful of email templates for you. You can use them to build personalized emails that ask your friends for their help in making your campaign successful. Each template has a different purpose and specific calls to action that make it very easy for your friends and family to understand how they can help:
Save and Preview Email Templates
Using our default messages in the email templates as a launching pad, you’ll be able to easily customize and personalize your emails so that they really speak about your cause to your friends and family.
Once you edit the messages in the emails templates, you can preview your emails before sending them out to ensure their quality and you can even save those emails for later!
Connecting to Gmail and Yahoo
We know that getting new supporters, donors, and fundraisers through our email system was challenging since finding, copying and pasting your friends and family members email addresses can be tedious. We now aim to solve that problem by allowing you to simply import your contacts from GMail and Yahoo by connecting your GMail or Yahoo email accounts!
Don’t worry. Just like before, you can still send emails to your existing supporters, donors, and fundraisers by clicking on the ‘Add From List’ button.
Once your GMail or Yahoo email accounts are connected, you can quickly type in the names of your friends and they’ll show up just like they do when you send an email directly from your GMail or Yahoo Inbox!
Revamped Look for Email Templates, now Optimized for Action
We’ve revamped the aesthetics of our emails, but more importantly, we’ve optimized them to drive results.
While it’s still early, our data shows that the effectiveness of these new email templates has improved dramatically. We’ve seen a 160% increase in click-through rates for emails sent through the Fundly Email system!
Here’s an example email sent from the Get Donors email template:
One of the many ways we make you successful in raising money for the cause you care about is our “Two Days Left Reminder” email.
When your campaign has only two days left and you haven’t reached your goal yet, we automatically send out an email to all of your supporters to help you make one last push to reach your fundraising goal.
Last week, we also revamped our Two Days Left Reminder email to look better and make it more effective.
We’ve succeeded! By increasing the urgency and making the call to action very clear, the effectiveness of this email has skyrocketed with an 825% increase in donation conversions!
Sneak Peak of Fundly 2.0
We have collected all of your feedback, mixed in the insight from your successful campaigns, and baked it with Fundly love. We’ve come up with a drastically improved version of campaign pages with visual storytelling, allowing you to better communicate your causes’ mission through video and pictures.
We are always trying to make our product more effective and easier to use, and I am excited to listen to your feedback. If you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Hi all! This post is a trouble-shooting guide for your crowdfunding campaign.
I often get questions and concerns from people who have launched a crowdfunding campaign and are not seeing the results they expected. More often than not, there is no reason for alarm, and some simple adjustments can get the campaign on track. Here is the checklist I work through with people to help them tune up their campaigns.
Question 1: How did you set your goal?
The rule of thumb for setting your fundraising goal is to plan for each individual fundraiser to be able to raise +/- $1,000. If you are raising money by yourself, set a goal of $1,000. If you have 4 other people actively fundraising for your campaign, set your goal at $5,000, etc. If you are trying to do this by yourself, and you have a $20,000 goal, it is likely you will be disappointed. And this part is important: EVEN IF YOU HAVE A LARGE MAILING LIST. Mailing lists are not good sources of donors, unless you have proven them to be so. A mailing list is worth as much as a mailing list is worth. So if you’ve emailed to your list before and gotten $5,000, then you are likely to get $5,000 this time. Don’t set your goal higher than that unless you have additional fundraisers reaching out to THEIR lists also. Here is a simple formula you can use for setting your goal:
By the way… if you follow the rest of the program, you will probably exceed this goal, but that is good… setting a reasonable goal and exceeding it builds momentum!
Question 2: How many people have you told?
Generally, if you are working with your friends–people who know and love you–it works like this:
So if you have raised $500, it’s probably because you told 100 people. If you have raised more, it’s probably because you have told more people.
If for some reason you are not seeing results like the ones above–in other words, you told 100 people, but you haven’t raised any money–there are a couple of other things you can check:
Question 3: How compelling is your story?
Take a look at your page. Imagine you had never seen it, and you arrived there through a referral from a friend. Does it compel you? Are you moved? Are you motivated to pull out your wallet and give away some money? If the answers to any of these are ‘no’ or ‘maybe,’ you probably could do some work on the page to get it there. This is important: FIXING YOUR PAGE WILL NOT SOLVE ANY TRAFFIC PROBLEMS. You can have the most gorgeous page on the planet, but if you are not telling people about it, it will not produce results. What we are addressing with this question 3 is CONVERSION, not traffic. You still need to tell hundreds of personal connections about what you are doing and get them to visit your page if you want to raise money. But I digress… let’s talk about how to make your page awesome.
Question 4: Does the beat go on?
The average person has to hear about something 6 times in order to respond to marketing. Have you sent a 2nd email? Made a 2nd Facebook post? A 3rd? 4th? 5th? 6th? You should be reaching out to the people you know daily. After they’ve heard from you 3 times they will know you are serious. After they’ve heard from you 6 times they will start to understand that other people are supporting, the campaign is gaining momentum, you are paying attention, and they are not going to be able to slip away quietly without you noticing.
You may be saying to yourself, “What? Daily emails? That could get annoying. I’ll do weekly.” Or, “I’ll send out one and see what happens. My friends will respond quickly.” Well…. I don’t recommend testing that theory. We have experience across tens of thousands of personal campaigns, and we know what works and what doesn’t, and it turns out that even your really good friends need reminding sometimes.
All that being said, you don’t have to literally send an email every day. I admit–that could get annoying. You just have to do something every day. Here are some things we have done to make it easier to keep a daily drumbeat going:
Basically, don’t ever let more than one day go by without an update to your “crew.” They will support and donate and promote if you keep them informed.
Question 5: What results should I expect by when?
This is the real question. Were you concerned about results because there is legitimate reason to worry, or do you just need to be patient? Let’s assume you set a reasonable goal, you have told enough people, you page is compelling, and you have continued the drumbeat daily. You are probably okay. But just to set you at ease, here is how a typical campaign plays out:
I hope these questions help you. As always, let me know of any comments or questions at email@example.com.