This is the first step to successfully taking Crowdfunding Donations online.
Both this part, and the promoting of your fundraising campaign are equally important and you HAVE TO take the time to read and implement all the tips given!
It's equally as important to read the first page of this three page article on Online Donations, if you haven't already.
It'll help you understand who will donate to you and why, which is unbelievably important in ensuring you don't waste valuable time and energy!
So let's setup your Crowdfunding Donations campaign page....
Although the promoting of your crowdfunding donations fundraiser is the most important part, the first important step is to actually set your campaign page up properly!
What people see and read when they land on your page will be the difference between someone donating and someone not donating!
So make sure you do the few simple steps outlined here correctly!
The first step is to actually sign up at a Crowdfunding site like this one.
Once you've signed up at a Crowdfunding website, you should automatically be taken to the page to set your campaign up from.
There will be a few different sections to fill out...
Project Name; Campaign Target /Goal/Need ($ amount); Category; Campaign Length.
First of all a video is always more powerful.
So it would be ideal if you can make a short video that describes your need in a creative and yes, you guessed it, emotionally connecting way! Tell Your Story!
You will need to upload that video onto YouTube or Vimeo first so that you can use it on your fundraising page.Remember to link to your fundraising page from your YouTube video as well!
A personal, meaningful and descriptive image will take second place and should only be used temporarily if you haven't been able to do your video yet!
So what do I mean with meaningful and descriptive image?
Simply put, the photo should represent the cause or need of the fundraiser in the best fashion possible...
If it's to fundraise for orphaned kids then have those orphaned kids in the photo. If it's to fundraise for cancer victims, then have cancer victims in the photo. Get the point!
If it's a personal fundraiser you should ideally be personally in that picture! People want to see who they are donating to and by being in the picture you make the connection more personal.
But by all means do not leave the photo or video out. Your crowdfunding donations page HAS to have an image!
This is the part where you get to connect with the potential donor, tell your story and pitch your need to them.
And tell your story you must!
Draw them into your need or cause and make them feel involved already. Connect emotionally and on a personal level.
Keep your focus on the donor when addressing what your need is on your crowdfunding donations page.
Use the word "you" often and show them what the benefits are for them to be able to donate and help your cause... e.g. being part of a great cause, having their name displayed on your website, receiving a reward (part of the last section), etc. etc....
As much as people are selfless and love to help others, we are at the same time self-centered and always (even if it's subconsciously) want to know, "what's in it for me".
So make sure that donating to you is worth it, and let your potential donors know how!
I'd suggest you take the time to read the fundraiser letter writing tips as to some extent this is a fundraising letter!
A small amount of the advice there won't be relevant, but most of it will help you further with getting your elevator pitch just right, like the 'setting the scene' section!
Here is some advice from Natalie Sando, a successful Micro Giving fundraiser, quoted off the Micro Giving blog...
The next thing you have to do right is the grammar, spelling and punctuation of your pitch! Make sure that your spelling is correct and that you punctuate properly.
And most importantly you need to have nicely spaced paragraphs... Shorter than what you would find in a book or offline writing.
The reason you need to have short paragraphs, that leave lots of white space on your page, is because of how people read online.
Well, they don't actually read, they skim! Nice short paragraphs help break the page up for them so that they can pick up most of the information...
If you have huge paragraphs (or even only one big paragraph) the reader get's to the second or third line and then just skips to the next paragraph or glazes over, which is totally not what you want...
What you want is for them to take in as much of the information, story and pitch that you provide for them as possible.
SO... Nice short paragraphs!!!
The fourth and last section you need to set up on your crowdfunding donations page is the rewards you will offer to donors!
This is such a brilliant incentive function on Crowdfunding websites to help encourage people to donate!!!
You must use it!!!
What and how many rewards you give will totally be up to you, but here are some suggestions for your rewards section...
Recognize that every single person that donates to you must be thanked. So your first reward should be for $1 donations. A simple personalized email or snail mail thank you letter will suffice.
Remember that hand written, snail mail, thank you letters are by far better than an email or generic thank you letter! So just keep that in mind...
This may encourage you to use a hand written thank you letter for a $5 donation. But once again it's totally up to you, do what you can do!
There is some additional info that you can add in your profile section which is not required for your campaign but that I would highly recommend you use!
Bottom line the more potential donors can find out about you or your organization, the more emotionally and personally connected they will become with you, and the more likely they will be to donate to you!
Not everyone will be interested in finding out more about you but some might, and it might be an important factor on their decision of whether to donate to you.
I would also recommend that you add extra media (photos and videos) to your profile, especially if you are an organization! Obviously that media needs to be relevant to you and your cause!
After all, Images speak a thousand words!!!
I would also suggest that you interact on the comments application on your campaign page. Place updates, thank people, and respond to every message you receive.
The more active you are; the more real you become to people.
Once you've setup your crowdfunding donations page correctly, which is the first important step, you then need to actively promote your fundraiser effectively for the duration of the fundraiser!
Like I said before, setting up a campaign page on a Crowdfunding site is not enough. You actually need to then go out and send as many willing to donate people to your page.
And if you haven't already, go here to to setup your profile and campaign page!