Political crowdfunding done right. 5 reasons for the succes of #bringshadihome

Crowdfunding is not magic! It takes hard work!

On November 15th, the #brigshadihome campaign on firefund.net succeeded with the result of 127% funded of the original goal of € 4.500.

This has been the first succesful campaign on FIREFUND! We are all very excited about it, and hope it won’t be the last succesful one. I thought I would highlight some of my do’s of this campaign for future organizers looking to reach that magical 100 %.

Crowdfunding can be a strong political tool when it is used to release the potential of the internet in the sense of organizing, spreading and involving more people.

It can also fail really bad, and maybe that happens often because we have a tendency to over-value the potential of the World Wide Web. Sometimes, we think that being on the internet removes the need of basic organizing. Like believing that a facebook event will make people attend it. More than often, it needs a bit more work than that.

Here’s what we did.

1. Solidarity network in place

In this case, International Solidarity Movement(ISM), which is an organisation with support groups in more than 15 conuntries had an advantage. There was not an urgent need to build a solidarity network from the bottom prior to the campaign — but at the same time, they showed the advantage of being well-organised on an international level. Within the first week of the campaign, it had reached 50% as a direct result of internal spreading of news prior to the campaign.

Get your supporters in formation; organize the networks and distribute information before you launch anything!

2. Support events and broader reach

During the campaign, three support events where held in Denmark alone. Two of the support events where organized by ISM support groups and one organized by a Copenhagen social center.

The three events attracted very different types of supporters who organize differently on a daily basis but has solidarity with Palestine as common grounds. The campaign got a broad reach out because it was supported by different types of groups and initiatives with different target groups as their outreach.

Old school support parties and fundraisers still works!

3. A live, strong narrative expressed with well-produced content

During the campaign, the activists working on #bringshadihome managed to keep supporters updated frequently through well-produced pictures and texts. This prevented the campaign from dying out, kept it evolving beyond a static campaign where the same link is shared over and over again.

Keeping supporters and potential supporters updated, keeps people included. It builds trust and hope in the initiative, since you — on an almost daily basis — can follow the development and the results of the fundraisers efforts.

I bet that organizing a campaign where donations stops ticking in, makes you want to hide away and stick your head in the ground. Do the opposite!

Keep communicating. Even if it gets tough. Especially when it gets tough!

4. A realistical goal vs. a needed action

The organising efforts matched the goal looking to be funded. Since we were dealing with an “all-or-nothing” model, a good rule of thumb is “better safe than sorry”. Could the help for Shadi be better if the campaign had gathered €20.000? Probably. Would this be realistic in 30 days? Probably not.

The International Solidarity Movement considered what they could do with a realistic goal. As a result, the campaign ended being more than safe with reaching €1.000 over it’s original goal.

When deciding on the end goal: Be safe! Don’t be sorry!

5. Strategic and coordinated social media effort

An extra layer to the third point about being ‘live’ and updating, is the use of social media.

Using social media is important. Using social media coordinated is even more important and stronger.

The campaign had pictures, texts, videos and articles, all of them shared on different social media platforms through a coordinated effort involving the main facebook page, as well as the activists personal network of friends and comrades.

Coordinating share-able material and spreading news and content is crucial for the result. At one point, a well-planned video post increased the campaign with 11 % within 24 hours. And it felt good!

Concluding the conclusions:

Three words:
Organize, plan and execute! #bringshadihome was well-organized, kept posting, nurturing the campaign and its supporters and kept reaching out to broader audiences, before and during the campaign. There you have it!

Written by Esther, campaigner in FIREFUND with the pleasure of working closely with ISM-activists during the campaign.

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