5 Expert Tips For How to Write a Crowdfunding Press Release
An effective way to promote your campaign is through a crowdfunding press release. If you’re not familiar with the term, a press release is a document written for the media by an organization that usually conveys official information which the media outlets can use to report on.
Depending on your organization, you may have produced press releases for large fundraising events, but the same concept can be used to promote your online crowdfunding campaign as well.
Creating a crowdfunding press release can be a vital component during the early stages of your organization’s campaign because it will help spread the word about your cause and why you’re fundraising.
To write a crowdfunding press release, you’ll need to:
- Include all the necessary components.
- Use the content triangle to format your message.
- Make your story compelling and engaging.
- Write your press release in a professional tone.
- Publish and promote your crowdfunding press release.
Whether you’ve created a press release before or not, we’ve created a list of the best practices to help you write the perfect communications for your crowdfunding campaign.
A crowdfunding press release is much like a business letter in that it requires a lot of components to craft the perfect piece.
Having all the right elements in your press release will make it easy for journalists and writers to report on the facts of your campaign.
Here are the parts you need to include in your press release:
Title and Dateline
The title or headline is the first thing that readers will see when they look at your press release. Think of it like the title of a blog post or the subject of an email. Your title should immediately grab your readers’ attention and summarize what your document is about.
Directly following the title, it is traditional for the organization to put the date and the city. Since you’re creating an online crowdfunding campaign that donors can participate in no matter where they’re located you can opt to leave this piece out or include the city where your organization resides.
Another vital component to your press release is the release schedule as this lets media outlets know when they are allowed to publish your document. For example, if you want the press to publish your story as soon as they receive it, you can put “for immediate release.”
The body of your document should include an introduction that summarizes the content in your press release. This allows readers to get a brief understanding of what’s to come.
In this section, you should also include all the details of your campaign, answering the who, what, where, how, and why questions.
To help supplement your information, you can also include statistics and quotes if applicable. These features will make it ease for the press to cite when they write a custom article on your press release.
Just like with a crowdfunding description, you should keep your press release around 300-500 words long.
Boilerplate Statement (Bio)
Also known as the about section, the boilerplate statement is always at the end of your press release. You should keep this section under 100 words and make it as clear and concise as possible.
This is also an opportunity to link to your organization’s website and social media accounts.
After you’ve written everything you want to be covered in your release statement, it’s important to end to the document with three pound signs (i.e. ###) and your contact information.
The three pound signs indicate that the press release is finished and that anything after should not be published. Placing your contact information after the end of the press release means that journalists can contact you if they have any questions.
Pro Tip: Before you begin writing your press release, make sure that you have information to cover all of the above elements. That way, you don’t leave anything out when crafting your story.
In journalism, writers use a method called the reverse content triangle to decide what information is presented first.
The idea is simple: the most important information in your story should go at the beginning of your press release followed by the less important information.
Instead of starting off your message with highly detailed information, you just provide the facts and the further you go down, the more detailed the content becomes.
The information that should come at the beginning of your press release includes:
- The duration of your crowdfunding campaign.
- The URL or link to your fundraising page.
- Your fundraising goal.
- How much you’re asking donors to give (if you have a specific amount).
The most important information may vary depending on your organization’s campaign and the facts that you want to convey to potential donors.
Why should you reveal all the facts first?
The truth is that most people won’t read your entire press release, and by putting all the important information first, this ensures the reader understands your story—and most importantly, how to give to your campaign.
Additionally, this is also that approach that journalist used to write new articles. Formatting your content in a similar way will make it easier for the journalists to transform your press release into an article they can publish, which means your piece will be public faster.
Pro Tip: When deciding what information to place in the beginning of your press release, think about your audience. What information do your supporters need and want to know in order to contribute to your crowdfunding campaign?
Whether you’re fundraising for cancer research, educational-related causes, or faith-based projects, it’s important that your story interests supporters. Besides, that’s the only way you’re going to get potential donors interested in hearing more about your campaign.
You’ve probably written a ton of donation request letters, so you know how important it is to hook readers with the first couple of sentences.
Telling a story is a great way to grab attention and connect supporters to your cause.
A common mistake for many organizations is that they write their press release in a way that sticks to just the facts and doesn’t give readers the chance to connect to your cause.
One way to counteract this mistake is to allow the people you serve to speak about the impact that your organization has made on their lives.
Not only does this give potential donors the chance to see how their funds will be used, but it also helps to back up your statements.
For instance, if you wrote a press release covering all the reasons why you believed people should contribute to your organization, readers wouldn’t get to see your organization from any other perspective but your own.
Plus, readers can put themselves in your beneficiaries’ shoes and see why your cause is important and necessary.
Having other people share their stories is another way (aside from facts) that allows you to show—not tell—that your organization is doing great things.
Once you have the story in place, in order to ensure the writing is as engaging and compelling as possible, you’ll want to avoid boring phrasing and use just the right amount of detail.
What does this mean? Well, in the first case, the best way to avoid boring phrasing is to stick to powerful, commanding verbs. And in the second case, using the right amount of detail equates to trimming the fat. Write a first draft of your story, and then revise it, eliminating unnecessarily complex words, useless modifiers, and otherwise distracting language.
Your story is meaningful; let it stand on its own.
Pro Tip: Just because you’re writing a press release doesn’t mean you can’t make it fun and engaging. In fact, the more interesting your story is, the more potential donors are going to want to read it.
Writing a press release is a chance to get your organization out in the public eye. Seeing as your message is targeted toward all potential donors including individuals, major donors, corporations, and foundations, you should always use a professional tone when writing your copy.
Additionally, the media will most likely be writing about your campaign with a professional tone, so using the same type of language will make it easier for journalists to keep as much of your original text as possible.
While writing professionally does require using more formal langue and keeping your words succinct, it doesn’t mean your story has to be boring or hard to read.
In fact, you should avoid using industry jargon or other complicated terms so that you don’t alienate your donors.
When writing in a professional tone, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Properly format content. Journalists write using AP style and your press release should follow those guidelines. Do your research before sending your document off to ensure that citations and quotes are all formatted in the correct style.
- Include quotes and statistics when applicable. Quotations and statistics help prove your claims and are common in most formal pieces of content. Be careful not to go overboard and include at least one high-quality quote or statistic for your key points.
- Keep your writing concise and to the point. This tip can be said of any type of writing, but it’s especially true if your press release will be published in print. Newspapers and magazines can only publish so many words, so keeping your message to the most important points will ensure that your entire copy gets published.
Pro Tip: If you have concerns about writing in a professional tone, you can always publish a press release on your newsletter that’s directed to toward existing supporters. For this one, you can use a more casual approach.
Once you’ve written your crowdfunding press release, it’s time to publish a version of it on your website or blog. It’s best to do this before sending it out to bloggers, journalists, magazines, and newspapers as it will make your press release easy to access.
You can also email your release to relevant organizations, foundations, and corporations you’ve partnered with in the past.
The more places you can spread your press release the better chance you’ll have of reaching interested supporters.
Don’t forget to include social media in your promotion as well. Link to your articles that cover your campaign and include the URL to your fundraising page. That way, donors get a chance to learn more about your campaign and can easily donate if they want to support it.
Pro Tip: At the end of the day, your press release is meant to generate interest and start a conversation, so it’s important to continue engaging with donors after it’s been published.
Now that you know how to write a press release for your crowdfunding campaign, you can start promoting your organization’s campaign. Have fun fundraising!
For more information about promoting your crowdfunding campaign, check out these additional resources:
- Promoting Your Campaign on Facebook. With over a billion users on Facebook, it’s the top social media platform to raise awareness for your fundraiser and engage with potential supporters. If you want to learn how to market your crowdfunding page on Facebook, get our 4 expert tips.
- Tips on Sharing Your Crowdfunding Page. From social media to email, spreading the word about your fundraiser is about using best practices to get donors to see your message. Learn about 3 essential tips on sharing your page.
- GoFundMe Alternatives. Before you can share your campaign, you need to start with the basics. Learn about 5 crowdfunding websites that can offer you more social sharing capabilities than GoFundMe.