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How Crowdfunding for Nonprofits is Different

If you want to persuade people to give a small donation for some goal of your nonprofit organization, the best way to do this is through crowdfunding. Thanks to the website proliferation in recent years, this has become much available for nonprofits. 


If you want to persuade people to give a small donation for some goal of your nonprofit organization, the best way to do this is through crowdfunding. Thanks to the website proliferation in recent years, this has become much available for nonprofits. Social media is highly popular among people, making it the most successful online version of fundraising.

According to Entrepreneur, there are now over 600 crowdfunding platforms worldwide and these platforms reach billions of dollars each year.  This creates a whole world of opportunities for fundraising in this realm, especially after the creation of sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Sites like these two made it possible to raise funds not only for businesses, but also nonprofit projects and charity clauses. The approach can access a wide range of people and all it takes to do so it set up a campaign on one of these sites.

But, crowdfunding requires a much different approach from that of gathering donations for a profit organization. Here is why.

Crowdfunding for Nonprofit Organizations

There are many reasons why you would want to choose crowdfunding for your nonprofit organization. Crowdfunding connects the people who work with those who support that work. Donors can search for a project by type of work being done and location.  This in return, makes the donor feel more confident and fulfilled. When they give a donation to a nonprofit organization, they feel like they are making a difference.

For the nonprofit organization, this action provides not only support, but exposure, too. ‘’When they promote their work on crowdfunding websites, they get a wider recognition in addition to support to continue their good work.’’ – explains Hugh Phillips, a nonprofit expert at

Therefore, you are aiming for a much higher goal – to make people want to donate and feel important when doing so. This is nothing like crowdfunding for profits or the private sector. Ergo, you can expect great results with the successful approach toward getting into the crowdfunding pool with your nonprofit!

Trends in Crowdfunding for Nonprofits

When you know how beneficial and fulfilling crowdfunding can be when it comes to a nonprofit organization and its supporters, it is only natural to want to get in the hype with the latest trends.

1.      Crowdfunding on Different Websites

Every crowdfunding website has a focused goal that is similar to the rest of the sites, but the functionality and the features might differ. For example, sites like does not require a video for fundraising, but does. Websites like Indiegogo has a much simpler application process than that of Kickstarter, but the latter is much more popular and recognized among the audiences.

You should also consider the expenses of doing crowdfunding through different websites. Some platforms have a smaller commission than others, but are less popular. It is up to you what decision you will make – this will depend on your financial goals and how many people you want to reach.

The number of crowdfunding sources is huge, so do your research!

2.      Targeting a Specific Audience

A successfully planned and processed crowdfunding campaign can bring the organization wider recognition than you can anticipate, so it never hurts to try!

Build a crowdfunding campaign by focusing on the target audience. In this case, your audience are any potential donors who can be motivated to give money to the cause. You can do this through content or multimedia in the form of pictures or video. However, you should include the key factors in the campaign you are making: the why (initiative), the where, the who, and the what.

As soon as you learn who you need to reach and how to reach them, you will find it much easier to find funding for your campaign. Take for example, the ChildFund International – they recently helped impoverished children from Liberia by partnering with the popular TOMS Shoes company. Through them, they got crowdfunding sources by getting one pair of shoes from the company, when a person buys a pair from TOMS. This might seem like something small, but it is a huge thing for the children who needed shoes in Liberia.

There are so many campaigns that give inspiration and hope that you can gather the resources to finish a project. All you have to do is research and create a crowdfunding campaign that will reach the audience.

3.      A Viral Marketing Strategy

Just setting up a realistic campaign on the website you have chosen will not make it go viral and accumulate your desired amount. You will have to use a variety of strategies to get the word out, including e-mail campaigns you send to previous donors and members of the organization, social media shares, blogging, pitching to journalists and bloggers, etc.

It all comes down to which platform is fitting for your campaign and goals and how well you market them. The Ouya game console raised over $8.5 million in less than a month by using Kickstarter. Within 10 months or launching the campaign, they managed to deliver the game console to the backers.

One Final Note!

Before you start any form of fundraising, you need to check the state and federal laws that apply to your organization and the specific campaign. Fundraising on a worldwide level or anywhere across state lines makes you vulnerable to any of the regulations that apply here. According to the Canadian crowdfunding regulations, your campaign may not raise more than $1500000 during a period of a year, or more than $2500 from an investor that is not accredited, in a single offering.

This shouldn’t be any harder than any other campaign you are pursuing. Handle the campaign of crowdfunding exactly the same as any other initiative for fundraising you have taken so far. If this is the first campaign you are trying to pursue, make sure to follow all the regulations to avoid any problems along the way.



Page last edited Sep 20, 2018 History

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