While the well-designed pitch is necessary (read this guideline), it is not sufficient. In reality, you will only succeed if you plan for success.
Here's our recipe for a successful strategy. It starts before you ever launch, ideally 1-2 weeks before going live. Speak to our Fundraising Specialist who can help give you feedback on your pitch, and more.
1. Establish a Team
Fact: Campaigns with teams raise twice as much compared to campaigns without teams
The more team members a campaign has, the more likely you are to hit your goal. Teams help expand your reach plus make the experience more fun, where you're working together but also competing with one another!
There are 3 minimal expectations for team members:
- Constant Promotion
To consistently share the campaign in their offline & online networks. Statistics show that you need to be able to "touch/contact" someone up to 7 times before they finally support!
- Personal Asks
Call up or ask in person 5-10 of your closest friends and family and try to get their confirmation of support. Read how Pilgrim brought 1200+ donors to their campaign in just 1 day!
- Team Check-Ins
Almost everyday your team should be communicating, sharing updates and good news and motivating one another. You can create a WhatsApp group, GroupMe, Facebook group, etc. - whatever gets the job done!
2. Online Presence
Fact: It's the 21st century. If you don't have an online presence, people think you're a bot or a scammer.
- Once you have your LaunchGood campaign up, don't forget to update your website and social media profiles. You want to make it easy for people to find your campaign.
- Draft a Content Calendar and plan out the social media posts you will write throughout the campaign. If possible, schedule them all out in advance!
- Don't just leave your posts after writing/scheduling them. Make sure you are engaging with the comments and shares. Potential donors might be asking questions for clarifications, or just sending messages of support. Responding to them increases trust and goodwill.
3. Making Emails Work For You
Fact: Emails have a conversion rate of 6% vs 1.9% for social media.
- Make sure your email is designed for mobile first. Most people are checking their emails on their phones.
- Timing is key. The tried-and-true traditional approach of sending out email campaigns in the middle of the week and in the middle of the day tends to do pretty well. General know-how suggests sending emails between 1-3pm (9-11am is recommended as well).
- The subject line is the hook! It doesn't matter if your email is amazing if no one opens them. Use emojis in your subject line and create curiosity.
- Your emails should be personalized and feel warm. Greet your donors with "Salam!", share stories over cold facts, talk about the impact of their donation, and use images to break up your text. Be concise and have a strong call-to-action at the end.
- Don't forget to track the links back to your LaunchGood! Use SRC so you know how much is coming from your emails!
4. Identify Potential Supporters & Influencers
Fact: You are 50 times more likely to get support from someone you ask in-person or on the phone versus asking over Facebook & Twitter.
It’s often assumed that since crowdfunding is fundraising online all your outreach should be online. While you definitely need to leverage Facebook, Twitter, etc. and it will lead to some support but mostly it will lead to awareness. Nothing beats an old-fashioned phone call or best yet, an in-person meeting!
Here are some steps you should take to prepare your individual outreach:
- Write Out Names
Identify potential supporters & influencers (people who can share and spread the word) in each of your networks through a master contact spreadsheet.
Start first with family and friends, because if you can get them to support, then they can build the necessary momentum on Day 1 and make the campaign more valid to others who see how well it has done from the start.
- Pre-launch Outreach
Send an email to those potential supporters & influencers one week before launch to ask for their support on Day 1, both with support and promotion. Explain the importance of starting with a bang and how you want them to be part of that. They will feel much more invested in the campaign because you personally reached out even before you went live.
- Keep It Personal
People are bombarded with causes to support all the time. When reaching out, it's important to send personalized messages to all individuals to ask for their support. Posts in Facebook groups, large email threads, etc. are good for general publicity, but it diffuses responsibility to the extent that everyone assumes someone else will contribute.
- Phone Call Follow-up
On Day 1, call those people and make sure they follow through with their support. You will hear from so many people how they love your campaign and support you, but unless you really stay on top of them, they might forget. That means remind, remind, remind!
- Keep Track & Get Competitive
Update your contact list to mark off those who have supported and identify who has yet to follow through. And if you're working with a team, make it a competition to see who can get the most supporters!
5. Keep This in Mind
Fact: 80% of funds are raised in the first & last 3 days
To close, we want to share with you a few points that will help you know what to expect and how to approach your campaign:
- Engage Early Supporters
Whoever supports on Day 1 should be made to feel super-appreciated and honored. They are people who walk the talk and get stuff done, so who better to help advocate for you and your campaign! Engage these early supporters with a personalized email or phone call, and ask how they heard about the campaign and what motivated them to support. Finally make sure to ask them to help you spread the word.
- Publicity First
Don't think of your campaign as "I need to raise X dollars" but instead "I need to find Y supporters". This simple approach will get you focused on publicity over fundraising, and if you approach it from that angle and do your publicity right the money should follow. You still need to ask people to support (can't avoid this step!), but this will make it easier.
- Be Passionate, Finish Strong
The #1 determining factor of crowdfunding success is the campaign creator's personal passion for the crowdfunding campaign. Live it, love it, enjoy it! See this as a fun opportunity to get others involved in a meaningful cause. And never quit - it's common that 50% or more of the funds are raised in the final few days of the campaign. We've even seen 1 anonymous supporter give $5000 at the very end of a campaign to help it hit its goal.
6. Invest in Marketing Packages
Nothing beats organic traction. But if you have a successful campaign, investing in a marketing package can really boost your total funds raised. These may include Facebook/Instagram ads, Homepage feature, Newsletter feature, and more! Typical packages return 4x the investment, with some as much as 10x. Find out more here.
If all these is a lot to take in, simply speak to one of our Fundraising Specialists who can help you set your campaign up!
Ameera Aslam is passionate about telling stories about incredible Muslims around the world and loves working with her sincere and passionate colleagues. Outside of LaunchGood, she is an award-winning poet and a mountain lover. You can buy her book at www.desiringlightbook.com.