School crowdfunding ideas such as Fun Runs and read-a-thon or reading based fundraisers are a new and different approach to raising vital funds to support the mission and needs of schools. Let’s take a look at what exactly crowdfunding is and how you can utilize it to raise funds and increase participation for your school.
What exactly is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. The more people you have involved giving monetary donations, the greater the impact on your community’s school.
You may have heard about crowdfunding for business ventures or campaigns for individuals looking to raise money for a particular need of theirs. Yet the concept of crowdfunding can have a great impact on schools. Crowdfunding for schools is taking off because the expenses are lower than many events, as is the amount of time needed from volunteers and staff members.
Today’s crowdfunding has changed tremendously as a result of the advancement of online fundraising. The process of crowdfunding is generally broken down into 3 phases: the project catalyst proposes the idea and/or project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and the online crowdfunding platform that brings everyone together to support the project and manages the fundraising process.
Once a fundraising project has been created and proposed, members of the staff and volunteers for the school get to work putting together a comprehensive plan for promotion, recognition and participation in order to meet the fundraising goals.
How do we get started with crowdfunding for our school?
Planning and executing a successful school crowdfunding campaign can be done with ease with some key steps and strategies.
To get an idea of some successful crowdfunding campaigns you may want to check out the slide share presentation of the 20 Best Higher-Ed Crowdfunding Programs. These campaigns may spur on some creativity for your school crowdfunding program. We also have a great page with the best fundraisers for schools, many of which lend themselves to crowdfunding.
We’ve broken down some key steps that can help to ensure your campaign goals are not only met, but exceeded.
Plan Your Financial Goals
The best crowdfunding campaigns start with the end in mind. You know the dollar amount that you need to raise for your school. Now it’s time to break it down into an estimated number of gifts needed at an average gift amount.
For example, say your goal is to raise $25,000 for new computers for your school. In the past you know that the average gift is $25. Therefore a goal would be to gain 1,000 gifts of $25 each. We know that some people will give more and some will give less, but this will allow a target of how many people will need to be reached with the message in order to get 1,000 people to say ‘yes’ to giving a donation.
Planning a fundraising event budget is also helpful, since your event will likely have have upfront costs to cover.
Now it’s time to spread the word.
Outreach, Marketing and Tracking
Because the majority of the activity will be done online, the marketing and outreach strategy for crowdfunding for schools will rely on the Internet and social media a great deal.
Get creative. Think about blog posts on your school website, social media content via Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat that can help spread the word about your schools campaign. Tell stories, write catchy copy and keep everyone up to date on how much money has been raised towards your goal.
A critical piece for the transition from prospective donor to active donor is a seamless experience of giving a gift of support online. By utilizing crowdfunding software that can drive traffic from websites and social media directly to a secure and safe donation software is essential to ensuring the trust of your donors.
DoJiggy offers crowdfunding software that is desktop and mobile responsive, allowing for the seamless transaction from the donor to the school. It accepts gifts in a secure and responsive online environment while keeping your goals up to date to increase excitement. Everyone loves a goal thermometer getting closer to the top!
Parent and volunteer participation is an important element to any successful school campaign, but the beautiful thing about crowdfunding campaigns is that it’s an easy way to get the surrounding community and global community of the Internet involved. The more creative and artistic your marketing is, the better the chance that your crowdfunding campaign has of going viral.
Once your school crowdfunding campaign goal has been met, it’s time to celebrate and say thanks to your amazing supporters. With the help of crowdfunding software, you now have the email addresses of everyone that supported your campaign.
Donor thank you notes that are timely, thoughtful and updates them on where and how their gift was spent goes a long way to increase donor stewardship, and fosters a connection to the school and the people that make up it’s incredible community.
Keep your creativity flowing with this as well. Have the students create a video using the computers that you were able to purchase because of the donor’s generous support, and tell the stories of how the lives of the students have been impacted because of the campaign. Be sure to also include how they can share the email via social media to spread the gratitude far and wide!
Like any school fundraising campaign success comes from knowing your goal, strategic and thoughtful planning and preparation and having the systems in place to support your success. A key element of crowdfunding campaigns is to ensure that your message is social media ready with a succinct, endearing and heartfelt message, while your systems track and support the comfort of the donor to entrust their hard earned money to you and your school.
In today’s modern age, online crowdfunding can be the difference between a successful campaign or not. Seize this amazing opportunity and create a school crowdfunding campaign that is ready for success.