4 Marvelous Methods for Promoting Your Crowdfunding Campaign Offline
As a crowdfunding campaign organizer, it’s tempting to only focus on online promotion strategies. Your campaign is online after all, so sharing via the medium just makes sense.
While we do definitively encourage you to share your campaign over email and social media, we also recognize that there are many benefits to mixing in offline promotion.
By offline promotion, we’re referring to anything from calling to letter writing and beyond.
In fact, asking for a crowdfunding campaign donation through a less common channel might be just what you need to spark interest and find success.
Before we review why offline promotion can be effective for crowdfunding, it is important to analyze exactly what offline strategies we’ll be covering.
Here they are:
- Send text messages to friends and family.
- Call your prospective donors to ask for donations.
- Ask for crowdfunding campaign donations face to face.
- Send donation request letters to potential donors.
Along with explaining the best techniques for each of these practices, we’ll also cover why they work so well, so scroll down to continue learning about promoting your crowdfunding campaign offline.
Asking for donations over text is efficient and effective. With just a few clicks you can send off your request, and with a few more clicks, your friends and family can donate.
Plus, with everyone having smartphones nowadays, you can include the link in your message, making it really easy to drive the recipient to immediate action.
We don’t recommend sending texts to everyone but instead selecting a group of key supporters (15-25) and sending an individualized message to each person on the list.
Within your text, it is crucial that you include the following information:
- The recipient’s name.
- Your campaign link (there are free online tools available to shorten the link if it is too long, like Bitly).
- An explanation of why you’re reaching out.
- An ask for a donation to your crowdfunding campaign.
There you have it! Keep the message short and sweet. While some folks delete emails and scroll quickly through social media, most actively read their text messages, so the odds are in your favor.
To Summarize: Text messages are a direct, personal, and successful way to quickly ask for donations from a number of people.
We get that talking on the phone isn’t for everyone. But, a phone call to the right contact can make all the difference.
So, for your campaign, we recommend that you single out 10 or so prospective donors whom you can call and personally ask for donations from.
Imagine that you want your friend, Susan, to donate to your Fundly crowdfunding campaign. You share your campaign on Facebook with all your Facebook friends, Susan included. Susan takes a few days away from Facebook and completely misses your share.
By simply picking up the phone, explaining your cause, and asking Susan for a donation point blank, you’re more likely to convert your ask into a gift.
Especially if you feel like your cause and your story are getting lost in translation, a 5-minute phone call can help you convey the message and emotion behind your cause.
To Summarize: A phone call combines the convenience of online crowdfunding promotions with a true ability to fully and accurately explain your cause and how your prospective donor is connected to it.
We get it. Asking for a donation in person is extremely intimidating. Even the most experienced fundraisers can get nervous in the lead up.
Although you’re bound be a little uncomfortable during the process, fundraising face-to-face is one of the most effective methods out there.
When you make your ask in person and can look someone in the eyes while you tell your story, you drastically increase the odds that they will say yes to your request. It is a huge advantage!
To prepare for your in-person ask:
- Write out a loose script to ensure you cover all key points.
- Practice your pitch in front of the mirror.
- Be prepared for a range of reactions so you can respond accordingly.
- Do your first asks with people you’re more comfortable around, like close friends and family.
If you can conquer your fear, you (and your campaign!) will be grateful that you did.
To Summarize: There is no substitute to true connection, and a face-to-face ask gives you that connection. So, if you’re able to, make the time to ask for gifts in person.
I know it is tempting to brush off direct mail as a “thing of the past”; however, sending letters can be a huge asset in your fundraising efforts.
As receiving traditional mail becomes less and less common, your chances of effectively reaching your donors via traditional mail actually increases.
To explain, consider what your average mail delivery includes. You probably receive some coupons, lots of junk mail, and maybe a bill or two (if you haven’t switched to online billing).
Now, imagine that within that packet you receive a thoughtful and well-written letter asking for a donation to a worthy cause. It is likely to stand out and pique your interest, right?
That said, if your letters are going to be effective, they need to be cohesive, direct, and well-crafted. You can put them over the top by sharing campaign-related pictures or maybe even a testimonial (when relevant).
To get you started on your fundraising letter, make sure you’re following these best practices:
- Use the donor’s preferred name — No one is going to respond well to being called the wrong name or a misspelling. A mistake in the greeting sets a negative tone for the rest of the letter.
- Focus on the donor — Don’t brag about yourself or your cause, instead highlight how the donor can get involved and help drive your mission. Your letter should be donor-centric.
- Sign the letter — While you can and should type up the letter, you should always close with a hand-written signature. It gives the letter a personal and genuine touch.
- Give other ways to get involved — Of course, the primary goal of your fundraising letter is to ask for donations; however, you should always offer one or two additional engagement opportunities (sharing your campaign, volunteering, peer-to-peer fundraising, etc.) in case someone wants to help but isn’t able to or interested in donating.
Those tips should get you started, but for a more complete rundown of fundraising letters and free templates, check out our resource, Fundraising Letters: 7 Free Examples to Successfully Ask for Donations.
To summarize: When written well, a fundraising letter can be the personal touch you need to convert prospects into donors.
As you can see, there are many options for you if you want to broaden your crowdfunding campaign promotion beyond email and social media. In fact, the most effective campaigns employ a combination of both marketing approaches.
So go ahead! Test out these strategies today!
If you want to continue to learn about crowdfunding promotion and related fundraising strategies, check out this list of additional resources:
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: A Nonprofit’s Guide — You can activate the “team fundraising” option for your crowdfunding campaign and be peer-to-peer fundraising in no time. So brush up on all you’ll need to know about the process.
- Crowdfunding 101: Raising Money and Awareness Online — If you’re looking for even more crowdfunding-related advice, look no further than our comprehensive crowdfunding guide.
- 3 Crowdfunding Social Media Templates (To Raise More Money!) — Since you just finished reading an article all about offline promotional strategies, head on over to one of other resources that’ll help you get started with online marketing! Specifically, this resource will guide you through asking for donations on social media.