It’s attracting a crowd of people – each of whom contributes money towards an online funding target.
Asking people for money is a tall order for most of us. However, we found that for the DanCE fundraiser it was actually a lot of fun, especially as we neared our goal. We let our donors know that we were closing in on our target at various stages of the crowdfunding, ultimately reaching our individual goal, which we accomplished in two weeks. It was as if our donors were watching the activity unfold live toward the end of the campaign, which got them engaged and inspired them to take action and donate.
The first Step was to evaluate and select which Crowdfunding platform was the best fit for us. We settled on Crowdrise after evaluating it against Indie GoGo. The big difference between the two platforms is that Crowdrise lets you keep the money you raise even if you do not reach your financial goal. Also, since Crowdrise caterers to non-profits, its pricing model was more attractive than Indie. Even still, we entered the supplier’s pricing into a spreadsheet and compared their fees side-by-side.
There are fees for credit card processing and direct deposit from Crowdrise’s third party payment system – We Pay – to our bank. In addition, Crowdrise provides a feature at check-out for the donor to pay the fees; otherwise, it’s the responsibility of the charity to pay for it. Crowdrise also provides the option to pay for customer support. We selected this option, received 3 months of complementary service and our fees were capped. A customer service rep also helped us configure the system, edited our storyboard, added graphics to our site and helped us manage the donor list.
We decided that our first crowdfunding would be a pilot to determine what kind of interest there was and to learn how the system operates. In that regard, we recruited team leads that created their own personal Crowdrise fundraising page to increase the size our email list. Now, instead of working with a single contact list, we added a few hundred more contacts to the database. The list came from personal email contacts and social media emails including Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections and Twitter. Then, we uploaded the contacts into the Mail Chimp contact system (which is free for the first 2,000 contacts), and enabled us to better understand the success of our email campaign.
If you would like to to visit Crowdrise, please go here https://www.crowdrise.com/dancealz/fundraiser/brucemccombs.