Running a crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of preparation, research and maintenance. But one of the most important parts of running a campaign is getting it off to a good start. Kicking off your crowdfunding campaign means having a lot of ducks in a row (read more at: How to Start a Crowdfunding Campaign).
So here is an overview of how I just kicked-off my crowdfunding campaign for the nonprofit I started (Noble Paws). This is the third crowdfunding campaign I have run. Our goal is to reach $10,000.
First Things First
The first thing I did was take all my pre-made content and get it set up to auto-post the morning of the campaign. This included a Facebook post with our video, a YouTube video post (same video), a tweet ready to be launched and two pre-made emails. I also had a volunteer make a new banner for our Facebook page (we will have a new banner each week of our campaign).
So all this was set to go live by 8am the first day of the campaign.
Here is the video we used to kick off our campaign:
The All Important Emails
I sent out two emails. One email went to my support team with instructions on how to help kick-off the event. The second one was an email to all our previous donors, supporters and volunteers (about 180 people). Here is how it worked.
The email that went to my support team gave detailed instructions on how to help the campaign, including links to the videos, facebook post and a sample email for them to send to their friends. Here is what I wrote:
Hey all, Today is the big day. We kick off our 2015 Fundraiser. The campaign will last just over six weeks. But it is super important to get started with a bang. This is a major campaign with multiple people helping ensure its success. I appreciate all your support and help with this.
Here are the FOUR THINGS you can do to help.
1. Send Email TODAY (Monday)
Please send an email to your close friends asking them to support Noble Paws. This email should be sent right away (Monday morning). It is really important to get as many donors as possible on the first day. It sets the tone for the campaign and greatly increases our success rate by over 200%. Below is a sample email you can use – just cut and paste it. It’d be great if you could send it to at least 10 people.
2. Share our Video Post TODAY (Monday)
Go to this link and share it on your Facebook page. Put a little note to your friends asking them to support Noble Paws. This link is set to automatically post to the Noble Paws Facebook page at 9am. https://www.facebook.com/noblepawsalaska/videos/905531919532662/
3. Share Every NPaws FB post (Daily)
During the coming weeks we will be posting all sorts of stuff on our Facebook page. Most of it will be fun, entertaining and informative. We will also pepper in some calls to action (donate now posts). It is really important to get the word out about every post. So please, share EVERY post you see on Noble Paws. Awareness is important and on going.
4. Like and Comment when we get donations (Daily)
When someone donates to our campaign, it automatically gets posted to our Facebook page. It is really important we LIKE and COMMENT on these post (no need to share these posts). These people are our supporters. The more we recognize them and thank them the more meaningful their donation will feel and the more others will want to be a part of it.
So, to sum up how you can help the campaign:
- Send emails to friends asking for support
- Share our video – https://www.facebook.com/noblepawsalaska/videos/905531919532662/
- Share ALL our Facebook Posts
- Like/comment when someone donates to our campaign
Thanks all – it takes a team to make this happen. I appreciate all your help.
[SAMPLE LETTER TO FRIENDS]
Hey _____. [START WITH A SHORT FAMILIAR TOPIC – I LIKE THE POST OF YOUR KIDS HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, DO YOU STILL LIKE 4 SHOT COFFEE?, HOW ARE YOUR DOGS DOING… SOMETHING THAT CONNECTS WITH THEM ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. THEN ADD…] So, you may know that I volunteer for a cool organization called Noble Paws. They teach people with disabilities how to run their own dog team. It’s a lot of fun and what they do really makes a difference in many people’s lives. They are holding their annual fundraiser and I am hoping you can help us reach our goal. Noble Paws is a 100% volunteer organization and all donations go directly to their programs. Please take a minute (literally, it is only a minute) and watch this video – https://youtu.be/SJOzcPH57LY. At the end there is a link to donate to the cause. But even if you don’t donate, please consider sharing the video with people you know. You can donate directly at: https://fundly.com/noble-paws-2015. Well, I hope [SOMETHING FAMILIAR HERE…]. And I appreciate you considering helping Noble Paws. Thanks so much.
I then emailed a newsletter to our mailing list (about 180 people). This announced the start of our campaing. I did this using Mailchimp. If you don’t have a mailing list, don’t sweat. Just pull together as many emails as you can (friends, family, co-workers) and have your board members and other volunteers do the same. Then just like that, you have a mailing list.
Ok, so here is a link to the newsletter announcement I sent out to our mailing list.See Campaign Kick-off Email
Then Wait and then…
After all this was done, I had nothing to do but wait. I tried not to check my Facebook, email and crowdfunding page too much… but it was hard to resist. I really prompted people to “like” and “share” our video. And it paid off. But the end of the day, the video was shared over 50 times and seen by 3,000 people. I did my best to “like” and thank everyone who shared the video as well as thank all who donated.
That is important, so I will say it again. If someone shares your post, or donates to you, be sure to thank them via social media. That keeps the post alive and thus it will show up on more peoples timelines. Share, like, comment. Share, like, comment. Say it with me… share, like, comment.
Ok, that is basically it. The campaign is kicked-off. Now it is time to keep it alive. More about that in a coming post.