Discover 7 crowdfunding success stories and how they managed to achieve their goals.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: Campaigns That Reached Their Goals


Individuals and organizations can use crowdfunding to raise money for practically any cause. With social sharing features, crowdfunding campaigns can easily grow awareness and help you raise money in a short period.

Crowdfunding campaigns are effective enough to stand on their own or work alongside other fundraising efforts.

Still not convinced that crowdfunding is the best option for your project, cause, or expense? There are hundreds of crowdfunding examples that have met their goals and brought about hope and change.

Not only have these campaigns succeeded, but they have also expressed their gratitude in effective ways that encouraged even more donors to give.

We’ll look at 7 successful crowdfunding campaigns and how they showed appreciation for reaching their goals!

Crowdfunding Success Stories: Run for Reading

1. Run for Reading

Crowdfunding Campaign for Schools and Education

Check out the Run for Reading crowdfunding campaign.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $8,000
Money Raised: $8,290

Run for Reading is a crowdfunding campaign for the Team First Book chapter in New Hanover County, North Carolina. The campaign was able to raise enough money to provide new books to children and schools in lower income neighborhoods.

This particular campaign reached its goal with still over a month left to go!

Some of the key highlights of this campaign include:

  • Updates to keep people informed. The campaign creator shares information lets donors know about the fundraiser’s progress.
  • Emotional images of students reading. These images not only draw donors’ attention but also show them how the money will be used.
  • Multiple giving levels. Each giving level lets donors know how many books they will be able to supply to children. That way, donors know they’re contributing more than just money.

The Run for Reading campaign manages to speak to donors’ emotions and show gratitude for the support they continue to receive.

Learn more about fundraising for schools and education.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: Dos Velas Images Saving Lives 1 Click at a Time

2. Dos Velas Images Saving Lives 1 Click at a Time

Crowdfunding Campaign for Pets and Animals

Check out the successful crowdfunding campaign Dos Velos Images Saving Lives 1 Click at a Time

Initial Fundraising Goal: $10,000
Money Raised: $11,400

The Dos Velas Images Saving Lives 1 Click at a Time crowdfunding campaign was created by Kelly Vela, a professional photographer who takes pictures of animals in shelters for free. The pictures she takes give animals a better chance at getting adopted.

The piece that makes this campaign stand out is the engaging thank-you video posted to the campaign page after reaching $10,000:

The video shows Kelly at work photographing shelter animals and thanking donors for the lives they’ve saved. The video is effective because it:

  • Helps donors see how the funds are being used. Instead of just telling supporters, the video shows donors to give them a taste of the impact that their contributions have made.
  • Draws new supporters in. The campaign has over 200 hundred days left and is still receiving new donations. This video gives potential donors a chance to see all the adorable animals getting their pictures taken. Who could say no to that?

Along with the video, Kelly posts updates with images of the animals she’s photographed to keep her campaign relevant and enduring.

Interested in fundraising for pets and animals? Learn how with this helpful guide.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: Stephanie's Enduring Success Against Cancer

3. Stephanie’s Enduring Success Against Cancer

Crowdfunding Campaign for Medical and Health Expenses

Learn more about the successful attributes of Stephanie's campaign.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $5,000
Money Raised: $5,465

After Stephanie was diagnosed with cancer, the Stephanie’s Enduring Success Against Cancer campaign was created to help fund her treatment and surgery expenses.

The campaign creator uses crowdfunding updates to thank supporters and keep them informed on Stephanie’s progress. Here is an example of one update: 

Update example for Stephanie's campaign.

This update and the others posted work well because they:

  • Help donors understand the impact their donations are making. This update shows donors how the funds are being used to help ease some of the stress Stephanie is feeling from the unexpected diagnosis.
  • Show that both the creator and beneficiary are thankful. Acknowledgement is a key factor to crowdfunding success because donors are more likely to support again if they feel appreciated.
  • Let donors know that the campaign is still active and seeking support. After you’ve reached your goal, potential supporters might assume that you’re no longer looking for contributions. Posting updates lets them know you’re still fundraising.

The key to fundraising for health- and medical-related causes is to help donors connect with the person in need—and saying thank-you is a great way to start.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: Ring the Bell 2017

4. Ring the Bell 2017

Crowdfunding Campaign for Nonprofits and Charities

Check out the Ring the Bell campaign.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $2,333
Money Raised: $2,000

The Ring the Bell 2017 crowdfunding campaign was created to provide transportation to the Polar Express for children with medical conditions.

The crowdfunding page has a heartwarming description that explains why the creator started the campaign 6 years ago:

A heartwarming description for the Ring the Bell 2017 crowdfunding campaign.

This description is successful for many reasons:

  • Introduces the campaign creator. Donors get a chance to understand the creator’s connection to the cause which gives donors a reason to continue reading.
  • Clearly explains how the funds will be used. The author leaves no room for confusion or uncertainty. The funds will cover the transportation to the train, as well as cookies and hot chocolate so donors know exactly what their contributions will fund.

A strong crowdfunding description is a great motivator. If you’re interested in fundraising for nonprofits and charities, use this guide to learn more best practices.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: SBA Annual 5K

5. SBA 5th Annual 5K

Crowdfunding Campaign for Runs, Walks, Rides

Learn more about the successful crowdfunding campaign known as SBA Annual 5K.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $2,000
Money Raised: $5,935

The St. Bartholomew Academy hosts an annual 5K run/walk to help benefit the school. They created the SBA 5th Annual 5K campaign to help teams find sponsorships for the run.

Three key components helped to make this campaign exceed their goals:

  • Fundraising teams. Donors have the option of contributing directly to the campaign or to one of the many teams that will be running in the event. When crowdfunding campaigns give supporters the option to create individual fundraising pages, they can increase their fundraising potential. Because these individuals can reach out to their connections, you’ll be able to raise more awareness for the cause.
  • A description of the event. The campaign description is direct and short, asking supporters to sponsor one of the students’ teams. Additionally, the author only asks for small contributions to show donors that every donation amount counts.
  • Mentions of last year’s success. The description details last year’s 5K and shows potential donors that this event attracts many supporters. For campaigns that are fundraising for events, mentioning previous year’s accomplishments is an effective way to show donors that the funds will be used for a popular cause.

If you want to learn more about raising money for runs, walks, or rides, check out this resource.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: OPM 47 Ice Bucket Challenge.

6. The OPM 47 Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

Crowdfunding Campaign for Nonprofits and Charities

Learn more about the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $10,000
Money Raised: $13,819

The Owner/President Management (OPM) class of the Harvard School of Executive Business decided to create a Fundly campaign after one of their classmates, Dean Rogers.  Dean’s uncle died after battling ALS for six and a half years and the OPM 47th class wanted to raise money to help support ALS research and treatment.

The class came together to support a cause they were passionate about and managed to exceed their expectations by over $3,000!

After the campaign, the group posted a video of them performing the ice bucket challenge:

Let’s look at why this campaign was so successful:

  • They used an established (and viral!) fundraising idea. The ice bucket challenge for ALS is an extremely popular way to raise funds. Instead of just using the traditional crowdfunding approach to fundraise for ALS, the campaign creators choose to use a fundraiser that was already popular. That way, they could gain interest and meet their fundraising goal.
  • They posted a video of the challenge on the campaign page. The campaign creators didn’t forget about their supporters. They posted a video of the entire OPM 47 class completing the challenge and thanking supporters for their contributions.

This campaign uses the power of engagement and viral videos to reach more people and meet their goal. If you’re looking to raise funds quickly, you should consider using a popular campaign to fundraise. Get more fundraising ideas with our list.

Crowdfunding Success Stories: A Brother for Samir

7. A Brother for Samir

Crowdfunding Campaign for Kids and Family

Look at why A Bother for Samir was such a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Initial Fundraising Goal: $13,800
Money Raised: $14,602

The Brother for Samir campaign was created so that Jackie Spinner could return to Morocco and adopt another son. This campaign does a great job of speaking to donors’ emotions and helping them understand why this is such an important campaign for the Spinner family.

Here is an example of an update that was posted after the campaign ended:

Here is an example of an updated posted from the Bother for Samir campaign.

As you can see, this emotional thank-you update does a lot of things successfully:

  • First, the author includes an image of her son Samir playing. The image connects the reader to the cause and shows that a loving family is looking to adopt another child.
  • Secondly, the update thanks supporters publicly and mentions that the campaign creators are sending out individual thank-yous to everyone who supported. This shows how meaningful the cause is and that supporters are appreciated.
  • Finally, the campaign gives supporters an update on the family’s progress. The update is very transparent, explaining that the adoption process could take months to complete. When you post clear updates, donors can trust that you’re using their money wisely.

Along with multiple updates, this campaign also has plenty of images to help donors picture the life that Samir’s brother will have.

If you would like to fundraise for kids and family, check out this resource.

Now that you’ve seen all these successful fundraising campaigns and their gratitude to their supporters, it’s time for you to launch your own fundraiser.

Use the same best practices that these campaigns implemented to increase your chances of meeting your goal. Good luck fundraising!

Discover more fundraising tips and ideas with these additional resources:

  1. Crowdfunding Sharing Tips. A big part of crowdfunding success is sharing your campaign to reach as many potential donors as possible. Use these tips to help you.
  2. Crowdfunding Websites. Before you can start your campaign, you need to find the best platform for your needs. Check out this list of websites to begin your search.
  3. Keep Your Crowdfunding Momentum Going. The key to reaching your goal is to maintain interest throughout your campaign. These proactive tips will help you keep your campaign going at full speed.
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