Individuals and organizations have been using the power of crowdfunding in recent years to raise money for practically any cause. Crowdfunding is a popular option because it’s simple; creating an account and building a page can be accomplished in minutes.
Since crowdfunding is often used to ask for donations from friends and family for personal projects or expenses, you might think that it’s only beneficial for smaller goals.
Perhaps you want to start a crowdfunding campaign but don’t think you can reach your goal, or maybe you just want to see examples of campaigns that empowered individuals and organizations to maximize their fundraising potential.
You’re in luck! We’ll take you through 10 of the most successful campaigns and explain why they were so successful. Let’s get started!
Fundraising Goal: $20,000,000 Amount Raised: $13,164,444 Days Left: 237
The Habitat for Humanity Global Village crowdfunding campaign was created on Fundly’s platform to help expand their international volunteer program so that they can build homes (and hope) for families across the world.
Besides the fact that Habitat for Humanity is a well-known and respected nonprofit organization, this campaign is successful in many other ways.
In addition to the fundraising video, the campaign also includes an explanatory crowdfunding description with links to learn more information about the Global Village initiative. There is no ambiguity as to how the funds will be used as the campaign clearly describes how various teams travel to over 40 different countries to build housing.
With Fundly’s platform, supporters also have the opportunity to fundraise for the cause by creating their own teams. Habitat for Humanity has created a full online community of supporters and donors, which is why they’re number 1 on our list!
2. The Riley Sandler Memorial Foundation
Fundraising Goal: $1,000,000 Amount Raised: $2,418,994 Days Left: Ongoing
The Riley Sandler Memorial Foundation is the second most successful crowdfunding campaign on our list—and with good reason! Not only has the campaign been shared over a thousand times, but it was also able to exceed its goal by over 2 times the initial amount.
This campaign was successful because of the way her parents chose to tell Riley’s story through pictures, updates, and a description.
In the crowdfunding description, the campaign creator talks about how influential and joyful Riley was and how this foundation will help support children who need help reaching their full potential.
The description is very transparent, letting supporters know that the money won’t go to fight any specific illness but instead, go towards making the world a better place.
Being clear and direct with donors is a great way to gain their trust (and support!). When donors know exactly why you’re fundraising and how the funds will be used, they’re more likely to contribute.
Because Riley’s parents were straightforward and consistently posted updates to share the campaign’s progress, they were able to exceed their fundraising goal and inspire hope in other children’s lives.
3. American Gut
Fundraising Goal: $1,000,000 Amount Raised: $1,402,891 Days Left: Ongoing
The American Gut campaign was created on FundRazr to help support the Human Microbiome Project and many other microbiome projects that help people understand the trillions of microbes that inhabit our bodies.
The campaign not only raises money to support further research but also lets supporters join the project and become a part of the study. With different perks, or giving levels, donors have the option to send their DNA to see what kind of bacteria live in their bodies.
Additionally, the campaign has other perks like an American Gut t-shirt.
Offering perks is a great way to motivate your donors to support your cause, and it can help spread the word. For instance, every supporter that donated and received the t-shirt can promote the cause every time they wear the merchandise.
As this campaign is still ongoing, people can continue to join and fund this project, helping the American Gut project raise even more.
4. Save the Children East Africa
Fundraising Goal: $1,000,000 Amount Raised: $1,007,106 Days Left: 0
This campaign opens with a heartwarming video about how the campaign creator was motivated to create this page to help inspire others to support children in East Africa.
The average contributions range from $10-$50 with over 22,000 people contributing! With so many different people banding together to support this one cause, it just goes to show that you don’t need several large contributions to meet your goal.
An interesting feature of this FundRazr campaign is the leaderboard, a way to show those who contributed the most or inspired the most contributions. Donors can share their personalized link to the campaign to track how many supporters they inspired to donate.
Using a competitive element like this in your own campaign can help motivate supporters to spread the word to their networks, giving you more opportunities to reach your goal.
5. Team Red Cross
Fundraising Goal: $500,000 Amount Raised: $517,784 Days Left: 0
The Team Red Cross fundraiser was created to raise funds for the Boston Marathon. With over 60 members running in the Boston Marathon, the money they raise will go towards helping people during their greatest time of need.
What makes this campaign so strong is the captivating images of last year’s Red Cross Team at the Boston Marathon. By showing last year’s success, donors are more likely to support this year.
This crowdfunding campaign also has a peer-to-peer element to it, where individual runners can obtain sponsorships for the run. Supporters have the option to donate to an individual runner or to the entire team.
6. Robin Hood NYC Marathon
Fundraising Goal: $300,000 Amount Raised: $306,840 Days Left: 0
Robin Hood is a nonprofit organization that focuses on funding and creating programs for schools in NYC. The crowdfunding campaign was created to help them raise money for their team of runners in the NYC Marathon.
The organization uses captivating images and a video to help explain their fundraiser in more detail.
This crowdfunding campaign was such a success because individual runners were able to create separate fundraisers (much like peer-to-peer fundraising) to gain sponsorships for the event.
The runners could then reach out to their networks to help support their cause. Plus, donors could also contribute to the entire fundraising page if they didn’t have a particular person they wanted to support.
Another component that sets this campaign apart is the donation reel that shows various supporters’ contributions. This feature allows the Robin Hood organization to showcase and thank their supporters in a public way.
7. A Ray of Hope
Fundraising Goal: $300,000 Amount Raised: $255,518 Days Left: 51
The crowdfunding campaign A Ray of Hope was created by Lee Morgan to build an educational and therapy center for special needs children in Tiruvannamalai, India.
This campaign does a fantastic job of showing supporters why this center is so important. Through multiple images and crowdfunding updates, Lee shows what the center will look like and how much happier the children are with care and treatment.
Another reason why this campaign is so effective is its use of giving levels. When you use giving levels, you provide donors with a better sense of how much they should contribute. Plus, to add an additional incentive, you can pair your giving levels with perks.
In the A Ray of Hope campaign, Lee uses giving levels to help demonstrate how many square feet a person is donating. For instance, a $40 donation contributes 1 sq ft to the construction of the center whereas $400 donates 10 sq ft.
Structuring your giving levels in this way allows donors to focus more on the project or cause rather than the monetary donation.
8. Wenonah Gives
Fundraising Goal: $172,000 Amount Raised: $130,405 Days Left: 206
As a part of their 20-year anniversary, The Wenonah Camp created a Fundly campaign to raise funds to enlarge their dining hall.
This campaign uses a lot of crowdfunding elements, allowing the Wenonah Camp to reach well over half its goal with plenty of time to spare.
The crowdfunding page not only includes images of the camp but also a message that describes why they choose to expand the dining hall, who is designing the renovations, and the expected completion date of the expansion.
Another feature that makes this campaign stand out is the hashtag feature, which displays all Twitter and Instagram posts with #WenonahGives.
By creating a hashtag, the camp is able to follow the conversation surrounding their campaign and encourage others to use the hashtag, thus spreading the word even further.
9. John Anthony West Project
Fundraising Goal: $155,000 Amount Raised: $100,267 Days Left: 52
With crowdfunding updates and frequent social media posts, the campaign creator keeps supporters in the loop on John Anthony West’s health and how much money they have left to raise.
Sharing updates via multiple outlets helps to promote your campaign and show donors that you’re close to reaching your goal. When supporters see that you only have a little more left to raise, they’re more likely to donate again to help you finish strong.
Additionally, the campaign offers many different giving levels with perks like an autographed copy of the book Travelers Key to Ancient Egypt, an autographed portrait of John Anthony West, or an exclusive dinner with the man himself and other notable guests.
With the average gift size of around $200, the fundraising perks help motivate donors to contribute enough to reach the first giving tier.
10. Conserve the Largest Niobrara Chalk Formation in Kansas
Fundraising Goal: $200,000 Amount Raised: $91,275 Days Left: Ongoing
Striking images of the land and the animals that live there help attract donors to the page and show them why this fundraiser benefits the environment.
The crowdfunding description—which is long enough to provide details on how the purchase will allow new scientific research and demonstrate sustainable grazing practices for bison and cattle—uses storytelling techniques to keep donors captivated.
This campaign is a great example of how you can cover all the information that donors will want to know before contributing and keep them interested in reading your entire message.
These 10 examples prove that you can raise a ton of funds for your cause. If you’re interested in raising money—whether it’s for a large $1 million project or a smaller personal expense—you can raise funds using crowdfunding.
Just implement the strategies that these campaigns used, and you’ll start receiving funds in no time!
Find more crowdfunding best practices with these additional resources:
Crowdfunding Tips.Now that you’ve got some inspiration to start your own campaign, check out these tips and tricks to help you realize your goals.
Full List of Fundraising Ideas. Want more ways to fundraise for your cause, project, or expense? We’ve got a list of over 100 ideas that can work for both individuals and nonprofits.
Crowdfunding Websites. Before you raise money online, you need to find a platform to host your campaign. Discover our list of top 15 websites (hint: Fundly is number one!).