Launching a crowdfunding campaign is a great way to raise much-needed funds and boost the visibility of your cause, but it involves a lot more than just posting your project and hoping for success.
ConTextos, a Salvadoran education nonprofit knows a bit about this – their first attempt at crowdfunding raised only $470, but in two subsequent campaigns raised more than $11,900, securing more than $6,000 in matching funds along the way. How did they do it?
They key, according to Alejandra Mejía, Director of Development, is not in the pitch but in the communications campaign. “We chose our projects carefully, selecting small parts of a much larger work program, and we used videos that were already in use and were coherent with our goal. However, we didn’t agonise over the text because we knew that our focus was on encouraging donors to give using other means.”
By “other means”, Alejandra is referring to the numerous activities that formed part of the ConTextos campaigns’ outreach strategy, such as:
– Donor segmentation, that is, focussing on lapsed donors and potential donors that fitted neatly with the crowdfunding profile.
– A launch party, in which the team received numerous commitments to donate, as well as a few immediate cash donations!
– Scheduled emails, which were sent one week before, a day before and on the day, the latter including three different links to the project page on HIPGive.
– Recruiting ambassadors, friends of the organization who can repost and share key messages to reach a wider audience. Click here to see an example recruitment email.
– Smart social media conversations, sharing key campaign materials but also providing regular updates and engaging in on-screen interactions with potential donors.
Crucially, Alejandra did not work alone. With the full support of her Executive Director, Board members were encouraged to both donate and spread the word within their respective networks.
The day of the HIPGive2EDU matching funds contest, for example, most of Alejandra’s colleagues arrived early and stayed as late as possible to ensure constant communication on email, telephone and social media. The campaign’s attention to detail is revealed by the fact that some of the organization’s beneficiaries – school children – were also on hand to create personalized thank you pictures that were sent out every hour via email to donors.
Want to learn more about how to craft your own communications strategy for an upcoming campaign or contest? We recommend you start with the section Setting up a Donor Centric Campaign in our Learning Center.