Crowdfunding campaigns are used by individuals and nonprofits who are trying to raise money for special projects, life events, noble causes, or other needs.
Before you start your crowdfunding campaign, take a look at these 10 crowdfunding campaigns that either met or exceeded their goals. We’ll be pointing out some of the great features of each of these crowdfunding campaigns so that you can implement those best practices into your own fundraiser.
Let’s get started!
1. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Medical Expenses: “Angie’s Battle”
Many individuals need some financial help when they get sick, have a surgical operation, or are caring for an ill loved one.
This particular crowdfunding campaign was set up to help Angie Reynolds pay for her cancer treatments.
Some key highlights from this crowdfunding campaign include:
- An emotional image of Angie that is set as the main picture for the campaign: The image is a powerful one, since it is focused on just her face and shows some of the hair loss that was a result of her treatments. The image tugs on donors’ heartstrings and reminds them of why they should donate.
- An update that give supporters some context: The descriptive update puts the fundraiser into perspective and explains why the campaign was set up in the first place. The language is also very loving and family-oriented, helping to make this a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $10,000
Money Raised: $12,191 (1.22X the original goal)
2. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Educational Costs: “A Handful of Keys”
Some individuals and schools need help raising money for educational purposes. Whether they’re trying to cover tuition, go on a field trip, or build a new science wing, fundraisers that are looking for money for their projects and causes can use crowdfunding to raise funds and awareness!
“A Handful of Keys” was a crowdfunding campaign set up by Coloma Music Arts organization to raise money for a baby grand piano to go in their new auditorium.
Some standout features of this crowdfunding campaign include:
- The background image: The organizer of this campaign chose to use a black and white image of piano keys as the background image for the campaign. It adds visual interest to the page and contributes to the campaign’s meaning.
- The different giving levels: The Coloma Music Arts organization has offered different incentives to individuals who give different amounts. For example, a $10 donation results in an acknowledgement on the organization’s website, while a $100 donation results in a plaque in the hallway and two tickets to a fundraising event later in the year. These incentives encourage donors to give more and shows donors just how far their money can go.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $5,000
Money Raised: $6,750 (1.35X the original goal)
3. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Funeral Costs: “Lucy Boettcher & Family”
It’s always tragic when a family loses a loved one. Grieving for a family member or friend that has passed away is heartbreaking as it is, but add in the often thousands of dollars associated with funeral, burial, and memorial costs, and the event can turn into an emotional and financial crisis.
Many people turn to crowdfunding to help pay for these costs and support the surviving family members of a loved one who has passed away.
This particular crowdfunding campaign was started to honor Lucy Boettcher, a young lady who tragically died in a car accident.
This crowdfunding campaign successfully raised money for her surviving family members thanks to:
- The organizer’s description: It can be difficult to write a paragraph or two about someone after they’ve recently passed away, but the description that you write for your crowdfunding campaign can be used to celebrate your loved one’s life and raise money for their funeral or memorial costs. This campaign’s organizer does a great job of explaining the need while celebrating Lucy’s life.
- The organizer’s Facebook verification: When the organizer is Facebook verified, donors know that the campaign is legitimate and has a real person as its organizer, not a scammer or robot. This is a small detail, but it’s really important for every kind of crowdfunding campaign.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $5,000
Money Raised: $9,400 (1.88X the original goal)
4. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Nonprofit Causes: “Project EPIC”
Many nonprofits (especially smaller, more localized organizations) turn to crowdfunding to supplement their fundraising efforts. They use crowdfunding platforms, (like Fundly’s!) to raise money and awareness for events, projects, and general operational costs.
This particular crowdfunding campaign was started by EPIC, an organization that seeks to provide assistance and information to the homeless population in their area.
Some standout features of this nonprofit crowdfunding campaign include:
- The in-depth updates: The image we’ve included only shows one of the six updates that the organizer has posted, but this one update covers a lot of ground and even has a picture attached! Updates and more images are always a good idea, especially if your campaign takes place over several months. Keep your donors in the loop and encourage them to keep on giving to your campaign.
- The giving levels that describe what the money goes toward: The giving levels also offer incentives to donors, but what’s more important is that each level indicates what can be accomplished with that particular amount. For instance, $20 will buy an “EPIC Pack” for a homeless individual, while $1,000 can change the lives of 20 people! Including this kind of information allows your donors to visualize exactly what they’re giving toward, and might even prompt them to donate more
Initial Fundraising Goal: $25,000
Money Raised: $30,291 (1.21X the original goal)
5. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Military- and Veteran-Related Causes: “Pizza for Heroes”
Many people choose to raise money for the brave men and women who fight for our country. An easy way to raise money for military- or veteran-related causes is to set up a crowdfunding campaign and ask for donations from your friends and family members.
This crowdfunding campaign, “Pizza for Heroes,” was started to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project and the Fisher House Foundations.
Why did this fundraiser exceed its goal? Well, it was successful in part thanks to:
- The t-shirt promotion on the right side of the campaign wall: The custom shirt that the organizer designed was awarded to donors who gave $100 to the campaign. Including this kind of incentive encourages people to give to your crowdfunding campaign. Plus, every time they wear the shirt, they’re reminded of your cause and advertise it to everyone they see!
- The acknowledgement update: The organizer posted a thank you message to acknowledge the people who came out and supported her fundraising event. This demonstrates that the organizer not only appreciates the donations; she appreciates the donors as well!
Initial Fundraising Goal: $500
Money Raised: $636 (1.27X the original goal)
6. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Pets and Animals: “Help Piper See Again”
Our furry, four-legged friends sometimes get sick and need to undergo expensive surgery. Other times, someone might need to cover the costs associated with adopting a service animal or pet. Whatever the case is, you can use crowdfunding to pay for the expenses that come with owning a pet.
You could, for example, do what Piper the puppy’s owner did. She set up a crowdfunding campaign to pay for Piper’s eye surgery, and her friends and family members all contributed to help.
There are a couple of great things about this campaign:
- The number of images that the organizer uploaded: Who doesn’t love cute pictures of puppies? This organizer knew that pictures of Piper would help boost her campaign’s success, so she uploaded eight photos to demonstrate how adorable her pup was.
- The number of updates that the organizer posted: Whenever an animal has surgery, people want to know how they’re doing! The organizer of this crowdfunding campaign posted four updates that let Piper’s supporters know how she was recuperating. Posting updates helps to connect your donors to your campaign and keeps them in the loop.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $2,000
Money Raised: $2,291 (1.15X the original goal)
7. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Politics and Public Office: “Vote Joe August 5th”
Running for political office can get expensive. Whether you’re campaigning to be mayor of your town or represent your state in Congress, you need money to fund your campaign events and endeavors. And crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money and get your name out into the community.
That’s what Joe McHugh did! His campaign started a crowdfunding page to raise money for his congressional race.
Two features that we like about this campaign include:
- The professional images on the page: Any fundraising campaign should have nice images, but it’s especially important for individuals who are running for public office. They must present an air of professionalism, and Joe’s campaign images certainly do that!
- Incorporating the voting date into the title: Remind your donors of the day that they’re supposed to vote so that they can show support for your campaign and help you get in office! This is a small detail, but it’s really important for politicians running for public office.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $5,000
Money Raised: $5,685 (1.14X the original goal)
8. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Religious Causes: “Floor Us!”
Many churches and religious organizations turn to crowdfunding to supplement the money that they raise during services through tithes and offerings, especially if they’re undertaking a particularly large project or event.
For instance, the Kunzang Palchen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for flooring materials for two floors in their building
There are two standout features of this campaign:
- The organizer posted several updates: These updates demonstrated the fundraising progress and acknowledged the donations that made the campaign a success. Each update also included a photo to connect donors more closely to the fundraiser.
- The fundraiser had different giving levels with various incentives attached to each level: Adding these types of giving levels and incentives to any fundraiser is a surefire way to receive larger donations. Donors like receiving gifts for their contributions! If you promise something to your supporters, make sure you get it to them in a timely manner, though.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $20,000
Money Raised: $21,269 (1.06X the original goal)
9. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Sports and Teams: “Foresthill Wildfires Football”
Sports teams and organizations often have a multitude of costs to cover. Whether it’s new uniforms or equipment, conference or tournament fees, or travel costs, being part of a team isn’t cheap! That’s why so many sports teams turn to crowdfunding to help pay for these expenses.
The Foresthill Wildfires football team started a crowdfunding campaign to fund their season, pay for new equipment, and provide transportation to and from games.
Two of the best features of this campaign include:
- The details about where the funds will go: Many donors are hesitant to give to fundraising campaigns if they feel like the money will be used irresponsibly. This campaign organizer, however, has explicitly stated that “Donations will be used to upgrade or replace equipment and provide transportation and other game-related expenses.” That kind of specificity goes a long way with donors.
- The campaign’s main image: The picture shows the team in a huddle against a beautiful sunset. The image is striking and shows donors what their donations will go toward.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $1,000
Money Raised: $1,742 (1.74X the original goal)
10. Crowdfunding Campaigns for Trips and Adventures: “Send Autumn to D.C.”
Anyone who’s taken a trip overseas or even to another state for any amount of time will tell you that it can get expensive. Between plane tickets, accommodations, and other expenses, traveling can cost you a pretty penny. But individuals can use crowdfunding campaigns to help pay for their trips and adventures by asking their friends and family members for donations.
That’s what Autumn did! This little girl and her mom started a crowdfunding campaign to pay for Autumn’s school trip to Washington, D.C.
Let’s examine why this campaign was successful:
- There are 5 updates: Each update thanks donors for their contributions and gives other supporters some context for the crowdfunding campaign. The last update lets donors know that they reached their goal and that Autumn will be able to go on her class trip.
- There are (admittedly adorable) giving levels and incentives: Each donation amount results in a different “fruit creature” incentive, handmade by Autumn herself! The creative and handmade aspects of the incentives are endearing and likely caused many individuals to give donations to Autumn’s crowdfunding campaign.
Initial Fundraising Goal: $1,500
Money Raised: $1,530 (1.02X the original goal)
These are just 10 successful crowdfunding campaigns! There are, of course, many others that have met and exceeded their goals.