Nonprofits can leverage a crowd

Technology has allowed us to connect and share our life’s triumphs and tribulations, the exciting and mundane with family, friends, acquaintances and close confidants. It is now democratizing how people access transportation, education, healthcare and capital. It would have been unimaginable 10 years ago to think you’d trust a complete stranger to drive you around in their car or stay at their house. In recent years, technology is decentralizing how people fund and gain resource to pay for medical bills, travel, real estate and to start a business. Digital crowdfunding has given individuals or a group of individuals access a vast network of potential support or capital through social and mobile tools.

These trends have huge implications for nonprofits whose missions are to address deficiencies in our community, diseases that plague us or to support causes aboard. Soliciting donors through email, social media and mobile-enabled communications gives a single organization, with limited reach, a pulpit to potentially access a massive crowd. It is important to understand that crowdfunding (aka peer-to-peer or personal fundraising) should not be viewed as a development department’s silver bullet. That said, it is a significant strategy that can help grow the supporter base, spread your message and increase revenue if done correctly.

Here are some key aspects of a successful crowdfunding campaign:

  • Timely and relevant
  • Tap influencers
  • Make easy (or enjoyable)
  • Provide direction (the ask)

A great example from a RallyBound client is SOS Children’s Village during the greek financial crisis. It is no surprise people want to give online these days. Individuals have significant networks online and crowdfunding allows nonprofits to access those networks for awareness and new donations.