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Guide To Crowdfunding For Nonprofits

Author: Adie M.
crowdfunding for nonprofts

Nonprofits need funds to drive action around their cause and mission. And sometimes, the capital they need is a large amount for bigger projects and campaigns. Crowdfunding has cemented itself as a popular and viable way for nonprofits to raise lots of money. 

Not only is it a fantastic fundraising opportunity, it can expand your reach, attract new donors, and engage partners in your work.

To help you run a successful Crowdfunding campaign, we’ve compiled an 8-step guide for you. Before we get into that, let’s learn what this fundraising type is and how it works exactly.

What Is Crowdfunding For Nonprofits?

Crowdfunding is a fundraising method where nonprofits collect various amounts of money from the public as an investment towards a project, campaign, etc. 

It can also be used for general annual fundraising. Through crowdfunding, individuals can donate any amount of money, contributing to an overall goal your nonprofit sets for fundraising. 

Generally, crowdfunding is more effective if you have a set fundraising goal and timeline with a start and end day. Digital crowdfunding platforms allow you to share this information. They will also track the money raised so far using fund thermometers.

 Another feature of many crowdfunding channels is a donor list where you can see previous donors. This works as social proof to potential donors, encouraging more people to participate.

One of the most popular platforms to use for Crowdfunding is GoFundMe. It has a 0% usage fee for nonprofits and has helped raise $30 billion since 2010.

How To Set Up A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Here are eight tips to help set up and manage crowdfunding for nonprofits:

1. Establish Your Goals

The first thing to do as you start your campaign journey is to get clear on what you want from your crowdfunding efforts. What are your goals? Do you have any deadlines for when you wish to achieve them? How much would you like to raise?

In addition to the financial aspect of the campaign, you may also have goals that relate to other aspects of your operations. Perhaps, you’d like to use crowdfunding as a way to increase awareness around your cause. Or do you want to attract more donors via the campaign?

Define your goals with your nonprofit team and bring all important actors into the loop, like your board members, volunteers, etc.

2. Choose A Platform

A crowdfunding platform is an especially important tool that will impact how successful your efforts become. It forms the HQ of your crowdfunding activities as the public uses it to learn more about your cause and donate money, and you use it to share information.

Ensure you choose the right crowdfunding platform with features like:

  • Custom branding (incl. Brand color palette, logo, etc.)
  • Crowdfunding landing page design
  • Content sharing on the page 
  • Payment portals
  • A goal thermometer
  • Donor walls
  • Social media sharing buttons
  • Shared updates from you to users
  • Email updates
  • Donation forms

To find the perfect option for you, do a bit of research into the market. Some favorites include Classy, Fundly, and GoFundMe.

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3. Share Information & Testimonials

Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s vital to use it as your central info-sharing space. Ensure that donors have all the information they need in one place. If they do not, they may opt out of donating. Include information on your goal and deadline, where the money will go, details of your cause, etc.

Another way to connect with donors and illustrate the impact of your work is to include testimonials. Share stories from beneficiaries of your nonprofit work and the positive impact you’ve had on them. Get volunteers to contribute around their time working with your organization. 

4. Create Compelling Content

Your testimonials, volunteer contributions, and other information can have a tremendous effect on donors. It builds trust and indicates where their contributions will make positive change. You don’t just have to write about this, however. Use these contributions and other information you want to share to create compelling content for donors.

For one, video is a fantastic tool to use to get audiences inspired. You can tell a beautiful story about your organization, its beneficiaries, and why you need donors’ support. 

Other content forms like images, quote pics, and more can also come in handy in engaging donors. Get creative in finding different ways to get attention on your fundraising campaign.

5. Market Your Campaign

Remember, your crowdfunding platform might be your campaign base but it isn’t the only place where you can attract donors. Fundraiser marketing is key to getting your crowdfunding effort in front of donors so they can visit your landing page for more information. Share the content you create on social media, via email newsletters, and on your website.

The wider you share and market, the more donors you can reach.

6. Reach Out To Your Networks

As you market, don’t be afraid to leverage your existing networks, too. 

Contact past and current donors and inform them about your campaign. Share an email update to your email newsletter subscribers. Ask board members, staff, and volunteers to spread the word. Engage sponsors, grant providers, local businesses, etc.

It’s easy to overlook your known network when making such an external and public campaign move. Don’t! You have some supporters already. Let them help you.

7. Introduce Gift Matching

Gift matching is a fantastic way to increase funds raised. Through this fundraising technique, you can double the amount of money collected. 

Over 80% of donors state that they are more interested in donating if their contribution would be matched. A third of them are willing to give bigger amounts if matching is applied. These stats from the matching site, Double The Donation, show the potential of gift matching for raising higher funds.

Add this as an option to crowdfunding and watch your funds raised rocket!

8. Share Regular Updates

Lastly, keep the public updated on your crowdfunding progress. 

Share the latest numbers and how far you are from your goal. Place a spotlight on large donations on the donor wall. Thank them for their help and share content to all your digital platforms regularly. 

This keeps your campaign on their mind and shows you value their donations.

Two men sitting at a desk and working


If you’re looking for more ways to raise funds for your NPO, try crowdfunding. It is a wonderful way to engage your donors and other partners, increase brand awareness, and champion your cause.