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Crowdfunding For Nonprofits

Online Course Module 6 of 10

Creating the perfect crowdfunding homepage

This is Module 6 of our free online course, 'Crowdfunding for Charities, Nonprofits and Social Causes'. To visit the course homepage, click here.

Now that you have chosen a crowdfunding platform, defined your target audience, set a realistic goal and crafted your communication strategy, it’s finally time to create your crowdfunding page. This will be the heart of your crowdfunding campaign. All roads in your marketing campaign will lead here. It is where interested audience members will be converted into active donors, punching in their credit card details to support your mission. It is therefore essential that this page is perfect! It has to be professional, yet creative; inspiring, yet grounded in realism and specifics. In this module, we will take you through the process of building your campaign page. 

A place to learn about grassroots development in action

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

Creating your crowdfunding page in 4 steps

Whilst every crowdfunding platform is slightly different, these rules will be generally applicable to all non-profit crowdfunding pages. Follow these steps sequentially to ensure that your page is inspiring, engaging and integrated into your broader marketing strategy.

Consult your marketing goals and messages that you crafted in the previous module when creating your crowdfunding page. Use this information to help guide what you write here, ensuring that everything on your crowdfunding page is directly related to your communication strategy.

Helpful Hint

Step 1

Creating a killer tagline

Having a concise, descriptive and inspiring title for your crowdfunding campaign is essential. This will appear on EVERY link you advertise through social media and will dictate whether people click and learn more about your amazing idea or continue on with their busy day.

  • Crafting an amazing title takes time. Don’t try to rush it.

  • Crowdfunding sites generally also allow you to place a roughly 100-character tag-line or ‘pitch’ under your title. Here you can offer a little more information about the project. Make sure you describe the benefits of the work, rather than the features or details of it.

  • The whole point of a title is to get people interested enough that they click onto your campaign, don’t try and over complicate it.

Helpful Hint

Unless you are a world-renowned charity with global credibility, don’t waste valuable characters in your title and tagline on your organisation`s name. At this stage, nobody cares. What they want to know is how you are making a difference and why they should support your work. 

Writing a Great Tagline

Good Examples

  • 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. We’re on a mission to change that. Here’s how!

  • Do You Love Cheese? We help people like Jorge in rural Peru make it, sell it and send his kids to school!

Bad Examples

  • We are a registered charity and our mission is to help vulnerable communities in east Africa access safe drinking water.

  • We are raising funds to support vulnerable dairy farmers in the rural community of Andagua in Peru.

The Don'ts

  • Keep your title simple and try to foster curiosity

  • Use keywords relevant to your project in the tagline to help people search for your campaign 

  • Be clear about what you are doing

  • Repeat the campaign title in the tagline

  • Use complicated or technical terms

  • Make a ridiculously long title

The Do's

Step 2

Write a captivating story

The body text of your campaign is where potential donors will learn to love and trust your organisation.

  • Clearly and quickly outline the problem in your community, demonstrate that you have a clear plan to fix it and inspire them to support your work.

  • Use the messages you created in the previous module to help write your story, specifically drawing upon the Needs Statement, Program Strategy and Call to action.

Helpful Hint

Your story needs to be readable. On average, say that people spend 58seconds on a crowdfunding page before deciding to donate or close the window. This is not a lot of time to capture a donor`s attention. Ensuring that your story is easy to read and understand is essential. And please, triple check grammar and spelling – there is no quicker way to break the attention of a reader.

The best Crowdfunding Pages have only 4 paragraphs

Step 3

Add fun and inspiring images

For non-profit crowdfunding, having the right images can have a huge impact upon your success. As we highlighted earlier, people want to support people – you need to give your project a face, and a happy smiling one is best! Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that shocking negative imagery is best at motivating donations. Potential donors are far more motivated to give by inspiring photos of locals overcoming challenges than shots of poverty that only inspire guilt. They didn’t come to your crowdfunding page to feel sad, they came to be inspired by your amazing solution.

  • Make sure that you have photos saved in the correct formats and sizes and try to ensure that the file sizes are not too large or it will slow down the loading time of your page.

  • Most crowdfunding platforms will allow you to upload a ‘banner image’. This will be the image that appears whenever your crowdfunding link is shared and will become the face of your campaign. It is your most important photo so make sure it is your best shot. 

  • Generally, using close up photos of people or places, as well as lots of colour works best.

  • If you don’t have a fancy dslr camera, don’t worry. You can still use your phone to take photos for your campaign. If you are worried about the quality of your images, focus upon the stories they tell. Capture authentic local stories to inspire your donors.

Step 4

Include a video

The best crowdfunding campaigns usually include a 2-3minute video about the project. Videos can be difficult and time consuming to produce, however they are well worth the effort if you have access to the basic skills and tools you need. They don’t need to be expensive or have a high production value – they simply need to transport the viewer to your community through honest and raw story telling.

  • People love seeing faces. Make sure you include as many people from the local community as possible in the video. It’s also worth having the narrator talk directly at the camera at some point to give your organisation a face.

  • Keep it short. People get bored easily, so unless you’ve got an incredible storyline, don’t have a video longer than 3 minutes.

  • Be crazy enthusiastic. Not only do viewers feed off your enthusiasm, video has a weird way of taking normal speech and making it look like you’re bored. You might feel embarrassed or stupid but trust us, if you are crazily enthusiastic, it looks completely normal on video.

  • Use narratives over facts. People share stories, not facts. An easy way of doing this is to follow one person’s story. This can be the story of your organisation or the story of a specific beneficiary.

  • Modern phone cameras take excellent quality videos. If you can pair that with a free editing software like iMovie on Mac or Movie Maker on Windows, you can create fairly professional looking video for free. Some newer apps will even let you edit your video entirely on your phone.

Finishing Up

Now that you have crafted the perfect homepage, it’s time to click launch and strap in for the campaign phase. In the next module, we will create a strategic marketing plan to help you drive your campaign and maximise donations.

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.

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Promoting your campaign

Learn how to create a buzz around your campaign and drive donations using social and traditional media.

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