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Crowdfunding For Nonprofits

Online Course Module 10 of 10

Finish Strong: Closing Your Crowdfunding Campaign

This is Module 10 of our free online course, 'Crowdfunding for Charities, Nonprofits and Social Causes'. To visit the course homepage, click here.

Good crowdfunding campaigns are short-termed and focused. They are used by non-profits to achieve distinct and measurable goals and ended or expanded once those goals are reached. While maintaining and promoting a crowdfunding campaign is a lot of work, you mustn’t just let it peter out. It is essential to finish strong! The network of people touched by your crowdfunding campaign can play an important role in the outcome of future campaigns, as well as the growth of your organisation. This module explores forward-thinking strategies for tying-up the loose-ends of your campaign, converting campaign supporters into ongoing donors, and presenting your campaign as a success story on your nonprofit’s website. 

A place to learn about grassroots development in action

This course is part of our free online learning centre for community development professionals.

Four critical steps to closing your campaign

Once you reach your goal, the adrenaline will be running high and you may feel the urge to get started on the project that you worked so hard to fund. Resist this urge. Instead, follow our tips to close your successful crowdfunding campaign. By giving just a little extra burst of effort at the end of your campaign, you can make a big impact towards the overall sustainability of your organisation. 

A golden rule in both crowdfunding and life is “don’t mess around with people’s money”. If donors are gracious enough to support your cause, you have an obligation to let them know how you’ve spent their money. 

  • Financial transparency is an essential part of building credibility as a nonprofit. 

  • If your organisation has been around for a year or longer, we recommend making relevant tax documents public on your website. 

  • If you cannot or prefer not to make a financial audit public, get creative with ways to show your donors that their money is going where you said it would. 

Example: Accountability

  • Infographics which show how your organisation is spending money

  • Cell phone photos of receipts from the purchases made with donor money posted on Facebook

People supported your campaign because they wanted to see it succeed so it is essential that you give them the satisfaction of seeing what that looks like. 

  • Use emails, direct-mail, main-stream media and social media to demonstrate your progress.

  • Include photos and video testimonials from beneficiaries or team members on the ground to illustrate your work.

Showing donors what you have done with their money is essential to maintaining their support into the future, promoting a trusting and mutually respectful relationship. 

Donating to charity is supposed to be an altruistic act where people give with no expectation of getting anything in return. But, let’s be honest, it is nice to be appreciated when you do something kind for others. Your donors are real people with feelings, not nameless, faceless sources of revenue.

Show them that you care by sending a personalised “Thank you”-email or making a quick post on social media. It won’t cost more than a minute or two of time from someone in your organisation and it will go a really long way in terms of showing your donors that they are appreciated.

If a particular peer-to-peer hero or influencer has made an amazing effort, share their story in your newsletter or create a social media post about their work. This is not only an extra special way to thank a key supporter, but also helps promote your legitimacy by demonstrating the lengths someone will go to in supporting your work.

With the proper relationship management, supporters from your crowdfunding campaign have the potential to become long-term stewards of your organisation. Take the time to nurture these relationships.

Your donors are the lifeblood of your organisation. In order to keep your relationship with your donors healthy, you need to know what is going on with them and they need to know what is going on with you.

  • Keep track of your donors’ emails and correspond regularly with a comprehensive email marketing campaign. 

  • Send your donors updates of important project milestones. Make sure to include photos and use subject lines which will grab your donors’ attention. There are a variety of free or low-cost programs, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, which make email marketing easy.

  • Remember that you are trying to build relationships here. While an outright request for donations is considered acceptable on occasion, don’t include an ask in every email!

Crowdfunding campaigns can seem like short-term solutions designed to provide cash infusions to organisations strapped for project funding. However, crowdfunding can be a vital component in a non-profit’s long-term fundraising strategy. 

Finishing Up

Now that you have completed this course, you should have a clear and thorough understanding of how to create, manage and promote a crowdfunding campaign for your community non-profit. To learn how you can turn your crowdfunding efforts into a long-term strategy to engage your audience and donors, take a look at our ‘Marketing for Nonprofits’ course that can be found here.

If you have any questions about crowdfunding or want to learn more about how we at Grassroots Collective can support your mission, please leave a comment on the course home page or email us directly. 

Download Module

Download this module as a pdf to use as a guide when planning a crowdfunding campaign for your social cause.
Or download the full nonprofit crowdfunding handbook here.

Move on to our next course:

Marketing for Nonprofits

Learn how to develop coordinated marketing strategies that will help your organisation grow.

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