Setting up a crowdfunding campaign on your chosen platform is pretty easy. Just paste in your content and upload some photos and you are set. But, the over simplification of the process leads to some drawbacks when “launching” your campaign. Here are some things to be aware of when setting up your crowdfunding platform.
Social Media Issues
Most crowdfunding platforms allow you to connect your campaign to your social media accounts. You should absolutely do this if this feature is available. But be aware of two important things:
- There are many types of Facebook pages. The two we are concerned with here are your personal page (your profile) and your nonprofit page. Some platforms make it possible for you to connect you campaign to your nonprofit’s page, others only allow you to connect to your personal profile.Why is this an issue? Ideally you want to connect to your nonprofit’s Facebook page. This way when you update people through the crowdfunding platform it automatically posts to your nonprofit’s Facebook page. But if the platform only connects to your personal profile, then these updates get posted there. You may, or may not, want this.
If the platform doesn’t connect to your nonprofit’s Facebook page that is not too big a deal. You just have to manual post your platform updates to your Facebook page. A little extra work but doable.
- Many crowdfunding platforms will automatically post your campaign onto your social media pages when you set up the campaign. This means your crowdfunding campaign will be announced on your social media the moment you set it up.Why is this an issue? Well, a lot of time and effort should go in to the planning of your launch. And your campaign page should be completely set up prior to this launch. I recommend setting up your campaign page a few days ahead of time so you get familiar with the platform and make sure everything is in place.
The automated launching that most platforms do means your campaign kicks-off the moment you set up the campaign page. Yikes!
Social Media Set Up Recommendations
There are two things I recommend when connecting social media on your campaign page.
- Connect to your nonprofit’s page, not your personal account. If there is no option to connect to your nonprofit’s page, then don’t connect at all. You will have to manually post platform updates to your social media page.
- Don’t… I repeat… don’t connect to any of your social media accounts until you are ready to launch. You don’t want the crowdfunding platform to announce your campaign before you officially kick-off.
Your Email Contacts
Another great feature of many crowdfunding platforms is they allow you to import your contacts from other email accounts. This can make life a lot easier, but it can also create issues with your campaign. Here’s why:
- When a platform imports your mailing list it may not allow you filter out emails. Does your plumber really need to be on your mailing list?
- You should have a launch plan. And the first people to get an email about your campaign are your inner circle contacts. Importing an entire mailing list into the platform means everyone will get updates and donation request emails. You eventually will be sending email to everyone, but not at the beginning of your campaign. So, be careful about what you import.
Email Set Up Suggestions
- Import your mailing list in segments (not all platforms do this). Start with your inner circle. Once your campaign reaches 30% of your goal, then add the middle circle to the list. As your campaign builds momentum, keep adding new emails to the list.This means a little more work because you are going to have to manage several list. But you should be doing this anyway. Not all people get everything at once. So spend some time learning how your crowdfunding platform imports and delivers emails and use it as a tool in your tool kit. It is not a one-size fits all solution.
- Use MailChimp (or Constant Contact, or AWeber, etc) to send out updates to your supporters. By using a mailing list applications like this you can customize your messages so that not all supporters get the same email. For example, you may want to send a different email to your volunteers and another email to previous donors. Mailing list applications make this easy.
- The best us for a crowdfunding platform’s built in mailing system is to set up automated thank you emails. Not all platforms do this, but it is worth setting up if available.