Nonprofits in search of more funds and a strong social media program should consider a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding not only raises money but increases brand awareness.


Devin D. Thorpe, author of Crowdfunding for Social Good, believes: “While crowdfunding does not constitute a complete development plan, no development plan is complete without crowdfunding.”


A recent Crowdfunding Industry Report outlined how the crowdfunding track record: $1.5 billion raised in 2011, $2.7 billion in 2012, and $5.1 billion in 2013. The most recent data pins social causes as the most active category (30%), with the average successful campaign raising approximately $7K over nine weeks.


According to Bob Mulholland’s article Crowdfunding is the Modern Fundraising Platform: “Crowdfunded campaigns succeed in large part because of incentives that organizations promise in exchange for donations.”


So, you need to go beyond the simple “thank you” and give your donors something in exchange for their support.


As TST’s Sarah Daxton wrote in The New Way to Raise: Crowdfunding, there are varied different platforms: Razoo (which over 14K nonprofits have utilized to raise over $100 million), Indiegogo, Givelocity, and Kickstarter. And there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of new ones cropping up each day. Check out these sites: Causevox, Crowdrise, Firstgiving, and Causes (which has raised more than $30 million for nonprofits).

Which platform you choose truly depends on your goal and finding your comfort level with the platform. In How to Use Crowdfunding Sites to Raise Money for Your Non-Profit, Joe Garecht offers the following useful tips on how to pick the appropriate site:

  1. Look and Feel. How does the site look and will it appeal to your audience and donors?


  1. Ease of Use. Do you need to have specific skills (like HTML) to operate the site?


  1. Payment Processing. Does it offer a variety of payment options (credit cards, Paypal, etc.)?


  1. Fees. Are there set-up, maintenance, or credit card processing fees? You can choose how much you want to invest.


  1. Marketing and Social Networking Capabilities. How easy is it to spread the word and link your fundraising page to other sites?


  1. Traction. Are donors actually visiting the site and are nonprofits meeting their goals?


After choosing your platform, be innovative and get creative with your campaign. And do think of a specific project, opposed to general donations for your organization. Yes, the market is saturated with those in need, so make your nonprofit stand out by giving people a compelling and engaging reason to donate.


Needs some inspiration? Check out other TST posts:

I Challenge You to Recreate the Ice Bucket Challenge

Crowdfunding Saves Pets

From fantasy to funding to finale: Indiegogo rolls reality


And these helpful stories:

5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Crowdfunding

10 Crowdfunding Tip From The 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference

Crowdfunding for Nonprofits and Fundraising for Overhead