How to Create a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Start With a Moderate Goal
Choose a moderate, realistic goal so you can create momentum. You can always raise it later. To set the goal, learn about the costs the beneficiary is facing and add up these expenses. Once your fundraiser is hitting its stride and halfway to its original goal, consider raising the figure to inspire more people to help. You can also increase your goal at any point if you find the financial needs have grown since you kicked off the fundraiser. Be sure to update your campaign description with these new costs so potential donors can easily see what their money is supporting.
For more tips, check out our related blog post:
How to Help A Neighbor with Community Fundraising
Choose a Short End Date
The most successful fundraisers have a deadline that conveys a sense of urgency. Usually, a timeframe of 90 days—or less—is reasonable for gaining interest and motivating people to donate quickly. An end date too far in the future is generally not as effective. If you find you are 60 days into your campaign and not near your goal, simply extend your deadline for another 30-60 days. There are no limits to how many times you can extend your deadline. Don’t worry if your fundraiser expires before you have a chance to extend the deadline; you can still reopen the campaign at any time.
Name Your Fundraiser Well
Pick a name that will make people want to read more about your cause and story.
- Make it short, descriptive, inspirational, and easy to find when people search online.
- Include the first and last name of the fundraiser beneficiary in the title as people almost always type this into the search field on our site and in Google. Also, include the cause to give people a quick understanding of the need. Ex: Help Gina Ober Kick Cancer to the Curb
- Keep in mind that the fundraiser name will be part of the URL link and included in each message you share.
For more naming tips, read our related blog post:
Great Ideas for Naming Your Online Fundraiser
Tell Your Story Honestly
Successful fundraising campaigns describe the situation honestly. Write your story with vivid, heartfelt words that you would use to explain your cause to a friend.
- Clearly highlight the goal, deadline, and specific details that paint a unique, personal, and compelling picture.
- Answer basic questions any reader would have, such as who the fundraiser is for; what happened; where, when, and why it’s important to you; how you know the organizer or beneficiary; and how the funds will be used.
- Include a breakdown of the costs that comprise the goal. For example, “How the funds will be used: $1,000 will be used for medical transportation. The other $9,000 will cover Jennifer’s unpaid leave from work to care for her children.”
- Read your story aloud and consider how it will sound to potential donors. Which parts will generate empathy and inspire readers to care enough to make a donation?
- Find similar campaigns on YouCaring that have successfully reached their goals and use them as a template for your own fundraiser. You can also review our Success Stories page to see fundraisers that inspired many donations and supporters.
- Use headlines and sub-headlines in your fundraiser description to make your text scannable. Tell your story in your headlines to allow people to understand the gist of your text if they only read the headlines.
- Include an address on your fundraiser so people can send offline donations if they choose.
Check out our related tips page and blog posts for more fundraising tips on describing your cause:
How to Write a Proposal for Funding
How to Have A Successful Fundraising Website
Crowdfunding Campaign Strategy & the Importance of Courageous Storytelling
How Your Fundraiser Description Length Influences Donations
Upload Good Photos & Videos
High-quality images have a dramatic effect on fundraising success and viewers’ ability to develop empathy for your cause.
- More is better, because numerous images let you broaden the appeal, show diverse aspects of your cause, and give powerful updates wordlessly.
- Choose large, clear, high-resolution photos that will attract and persuade donors to lend support.
- Videos are the most impactful way to communicate with your potential supporters and can drastically improve your fundraising success. You can easily record yourself with a camera phone. Note that only YouTube video links can be added to your fundraiser at this time.
For more tips on images and videos, see the following pages:
How Images Can Lead to Fundraising Success
Videos Are Powerful Fundraiser Tools
Use our simple tools to post inspiring messages, photos, and videos that will draw interest and donations. On your YouCaring fundraiser page, buttons in the “Spread the word!” sidebar help you shine on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email. The “Grab our widget” button shows you code and instructions for using it on your own website.
In each message, feature the link to your fundraiser page and a request to let others know about your cause. Include a hashtag to make your fundraiser easier to find. Make your messages brief so others can share them easily. If you have a blog, use it to promote the link to your fundraiser page.
For more fundraising social tips, check out these pages:
Creating and Using Social Media to Promote Your Fundraiser
Starting a Fundraiser Website or Blog
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the media as well via email, social networks, and letters. Give journalists a good hook and make sure you share your contact details so they find you directly. There are many low-cost press release sources, where you can share your story and fundraiser URL; this gives you an excellent chance of being picked up by local and national press.
For more strategies for getting media coverage, check out these tips pages:
How to Get Local Media to Cover Your Fundraiser
How to Write a Press Release for Your Crowdfunding Campaign
Update Your Fundraiser Regularly
The frequency with which you update your YouCaring page directly ties to your fundraising success.
- We recommend posting text, photo, and video updates once a week. This will keep your fundraiser fresh, grab attention, and invite compassion. Share good news as well as bad, and often as you would fill in a friend.
- Be sure to share all these updates on Facebook and Twitter as well.
- Encourage people to sign up to receive your updates through the “Get Fundraiser Updates” button on your YouCaring page.
Adjust Goals & Deadlines As Needed
If circumstances change or progress is slower than expected, consider raising your goal or adjusting your deadline. If you update your deadline, increase it just by 30-60 days at a time to ensure a strong sense of urgency. Let all your donors know about your new deadline or updated goal and encourage them to take action.
Follow Up On Your Fundraiser
Achieving your goal is not the end of your story. Donors want to find out what happened and how the beneficiary is doing. Wrap up your fundraising success with updates that share your gratitude, along with photos, a video, or links to news coverage.
Check out our Profitable Fundraisers page for tips on creating and maintaining a highly rewarding campaign. Also see our Fundraising Strategy Template for more details on successful online campaigning.
Learn more about how crowdfunding works or start your free fundraiser today.