Here at ioby, we've helped thousands of local leaders run successful campaigns and bring their great ideas to life. We've collected these best practices and distilled them down to our top tips for fundraising success:
1: Build a Strong & Diverse Fundraising Team
A strong team is one of the best indicators of a successful ioby Campaign. In fact, project leaders with teams fundraise 6 times faster. You probably have a busy schedule, but the last thing this campaign should make you feel is overwhelmed. If you want to run a happy, energetic, and successful campaign, having at least three helpful folks to support you will make a world of difference. Every member of your team should commit to completing a prospect chart and making asks.
2: Be Specific
Assess your passion: Fundraisers and donors don't always share the same passion. A fundraiser may feel that their organization's operating expenses are the most worthy cause anyone could ever donate to. But, donors might not feel as excited about the same thing. So fundraisers need to give the another reason to give. What donors will get excited about is making a tangible difference. They are far more likely to give to a project that is results-driven and urgent, than to a specific fund where there's little perceptible progress.
3: Set a Smart Target
Head over to Build a Prospect Chart. We've got everything you need to fill out a prospect chart, including instructions and a handy how-to video.
Scaling back your budget: The larger the fundraising goal, the less likely donors are to give. Folks want their donations to have an impact on the project, and most importantly, on you. But if you're fundraising for a $30,000 project, their $10 gift probably won't mean much to you. It will make a bigger difference to the person asking for just $1,000.
Take another look at your budget. Is every item listed an urgent funding need? Adjust your project and your budget to match the amount of money you and your team are capable of raising. Not sure how much you can fundraise? First thing you should do is fill out a prospect chart. If that doesn't match the amount you need to raise for your project, you either need to: a) downsize your project so that it matches more closely with your fundraising capacity, or b) make changes to your prospect chart (by making more in-person asks or by adding another team member who will add prospects to the chart).
4: Know your Donors
If you have completed a prospect chart, make sure that all of your teammates have committed to making all the asks that their prospect charts tell them they need to make.
Make sure your campaign messaging will appeal to the broadest base of people, and that you’re using the communications channels that your donors use. For instance, if you know your donors and prospective donors are not on Twitter, don’t plan to use Twitter.
5: Tell a Story that Sticks
Successful project leaders tell great stories. Remember that people are mostly moved to give by your personal account of the project at hand. People don’t give to organizations in the same way that they give to individuals. Get comfortable with your own story of what brought you to this work and why you are passionate about what you’re doing.
6: Shout your Deadline from the Rooftops
Why a deadline? All project leaders must create a campaign deadline. There are several reasons why deadlines are important: a) They allow your team to work on a consistent timeline. b) Donors are more likely to give to projects with urgent funding needs. And c) By making your campaign deadline public, you’re keeping yourself and your team accountable. It looks pretty bad for your team to miss a deadline when it’s been published in a local newspaper, for instance.
Calculating a deadline: Wondering how to create your deadline? Calculate it this way: By what date do you absolutely need your funding? Now count backwards two weeks (for disbursement process). That should be your campaign deadline. The most successful campaigns last six weeks (with a two-week soft launch, after which you launch your public campaign).
7: Plan More, Work Less
You can work with your Leader Success Strategist to refine your campaign plan once your page is activated, but we just want to be sure that you’re thinking about how and when you’ll be communicating with your donors. The attached Campaign Timeline Worksheet is a great way for you and your team tp break crowdfunding down into easy to manage steps. This doubles as a guide to help you plan for your announcements, updates, milestone emails... however you plan to celebrate and update your donor base!