5 Expert Tips to Improve Your Crowdfunding Goals (And Raise More!)
Goal setting is extremely important. Even if you’re an expert on the ins and outs of crowdfunding, setting actionable goals will give your fundraising efforts a clear path and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page.
If you’re creating a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a specific project or as a part of a larger fundraising initiative, having goals will help you stay on the right path to achieving success.
We’ll cover 5 ways you can improve your crowdfunding goals so that you have a solid foundation to begin your fundraising.
To improve your goals, you should:
- Create primary fundraising goals.
- Identify your secondary objectives.
- Put your goals through the SMART test.
- Align your fundraising plan with your goals.
- Track your fundraising progress.
Stronger goals will lead to bigger accomplishments and give your fundraising a clear direction. Let’s get right to the tips!
Before you launch your crowdfunding campaign, you should set 1-2 primary, or immediate, goals. As the name suggests, these goals should be what you hope to accomplish during your campaign. Your immediate goals should be goals that are easy to track and can help measure your success.
Of course, your immediate goals should include how much you want to raise. You should choose a specific dollar amount and take your fundraising budget into account before deciding the final amount. Consider your project and other factors (like platform fees) to determine what is an achievable amount to raise during your campaign.
While the fundraising amount is a goal that most nonprofits and individuals make (and is often required before launching a campaign on most crowdfunding websites), it’s not the only immediate goal you should set.
In addition to how much you want to raise, you can also set immediate goals to gain more first-time supporters, raise awareness, and so much more. Unlike with your initial fundraising goal, your other goals might be less tangible. Therefore, you should make sure that these goals are specific and measurable, which we’ll discuss later on.
As these goals will be the main focus and should have visible results by the end of the campaign, it’s essential that you’re as specific as possible when outlining what you want to achieve.
Final Thought: Your primary goals will lead the way and direct your fundraiser, so focus on creating objectives that will benefit your organization and be possible with a crowdfunding campaign.
A common misconception is that crowdfunding goals should have one objective—the specific amount you want to raise. However, one goal stifles your campaign’s possibilities. Raising enough money is important, but fundraisers can achieve so much more for your mission. Along with having multiple immediate goals you should also set a few secondary goals.
Secondary goals aren’t necessarily less important than your primary ones; instead, they may be ongoing goals that cover more than just this one campaign.
Secondary goals may require more time or effort before you can see concrete results. For instance, you might set a secondary goal to develop more connections.
Your secondary goals can include:
- Cultivating stronger relationships.
- Encouraging more recurring gifts.
- Growing your email list.
- And so much more!
Keeping your secondary goals in mind will help you (and your staff) see how this campaign fits into the larger picture of your overall fundraising objectives.
For instance, if you have a secondary goal to build deeper connections with donors, you might put more emphasis on your campaign’s acknowledgements.
Final Thought: When you create your primary goals, you should also come up with a few secondary goals to give your campaign more direction.
As you know, setting goals is important, but ensuring that your objectives are strong is also important (if not more!). After you create your goals, you should put them through the SMART test.
Just so we’re on the same page, SMART stands for:
- Specific – Goals should be detailed and straightforward so that there are clear expectations on what needs to get accomplished. With direct goals, everyone will be on the same page and understand what direction they should take.
- Measurable – The whole point of having a goal is to help you determine how successful your campaign turned out. That’s very hard to see when your goals aren’t measurable. The amount you want to raise is an example of a specific objective that can also be easily measured.
- Attainable – While it’s important to set challenging goals, you don’t want to strive for accomplishments that aren’t feasible. Since this will vary depending on the campaign, it’s up to you to create goals that are possible yet still difficult.
- Relevant – Your goal should align with your mission and cause. Goals that don’t have enough relevance can distract you from your cause’s true purpose.
- Timely – Most crowdfunding campaigns have a start and end date. Before you set a time frame, it’s important to assess how a time limit will affect the other four points in the SMART guidelines before you set a date.
When your goals follow these 5 characteristics, you’ll be more prepared to maintain your goals and reach success.
Every goal that you make, no matter how big or small, should cover all these points. While it will take extra time, this step will ensure that your goals are not only useful but strong enough to stand up to any changes in your fundraiser.
Final Thought: The SMART test is a great way to double check your goals and ensure that they’re fully developed. Plus, it will make it easier for you to track your progress.
Now that you’ve got a solid foundation, it’s time to create a fundraising plan that aligns with your new goals—and not the other way around.
Think about this: your goals should be the driving factors when it comes to making decisions about your campaign. If your main goal is to gain new supporters, that fact should direct how you promote your campaign.
For instance, sending emails to a list of current donors isn’t going to benefit your goal, unless you encourage them to share it with their friends.
While it’s important to keep your goals in mind throughout your campaign, the following instances are when it’s especially important:
- When building your crowdfunding page.
- As you promote your campaign.
- The follow-up and acknowledgement that happens after a campaign.
When you make critical decisions based on your goals, you’re more likely to be successful and produce long-term results for your organization or cause.
Final Thought: Follow your goals and don’t let your fundraising plan stray from what you really need (and want) to achieve.
If you followed the SMART rule, every goal should have a measurable outcome that you should track.
Of course, once your campaign is over, you’ll know the results of most of your primary goals, but it’s still critical to track your progress during your campaign as well.
Why should you track progress throughout the campaign?
Tracking will help you see your campaign’s trajectory, which will give you insight into how you can improve your campaign before it’s too late.
If your campaign is behind on your goals, you have time to make adjustments to your fundraising plan and hopefully get back on track.
But let’s not just focus on the negative. You may find that you’re on schedule to meet or even exceed your goals. Make note of what strategies worked so that you can implement them in your next fundraiser.
When you track your progress, you’ll have a detailed account of what worked and what didn’t and have time to make improvements before you campaign ends.
Final thought: To track your campaign’s progress, you’ll need to record necessary information before the campaign and create a set of milestones to ensure that your campaign is moving in the right direction in a timely manor.
Use these tips to create strong and effective goals for your fundraiser. That way, you can gain the most out of your crowdfunding campaign.
If you want more related reading, check out this list of helpful resources:
- Nonprofit Mission Statements. Your goals should align with your nonprofit’s mission statement. If you don’t already have one, look at these great examples for inspiration!
- Fundraising Ideas. Look at our entire list of fundraising ideas to help you find the fundraiser that aligns with your goals.
- Crowdfunding Basics. Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Check out this guide for crowdfunding examples and best practices.