I have spent the last several months diving in deep into the crowdfunding movement because I was intrigued by the launch of a new crowdfunding site, LoveAnimals.org. I recently met the founder & CEO of LoveAnimals.org, Sarah Timms, at a fundraising conference here in Denver. I was so enthralled by her passion and commitment to helping nonprofits grow their fundraising programs through crowdfunding that I proudly accepted a position on her board of directors in September.
So with that, I thought it might be useful to share some of the knowledge I have gained about the crowdfunding movement in a series of blog posts. Let’s start by addressing what is crowdfunding, how does it works and why should you embrace it.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money via the internet. Also referred to as microphilanthropy, crowdfunding represents the idea that many donors, giving small amounts, can collectively create large scale change.
How does it work?
Prior to crowdfunding, once a donor made a gift online to your organization, that donor’s portion of the interaction with you was complete. But in crowdfunding, that is only the first step. After a donor makes a gift, the crowdfunding site provides the tools that allow the donor to easily share the information via their social media outlets. It is this social media sharing that drives crowdfunding.
Why does it works?
Because people want to influence others. According to research recently conducted by Georgetown University and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, social citizens crave influence. More than 3 in 4 respondents in their survey (76%) agree that it’s important to them personally to influence others to care about the charities and causes that they care about.
Why should you embrace it?
According to Crowdsourcing.org, crowdfunding platforms are predicted to generate $5.1 billion in revenue this year. Yes, that’s 5.1 BILLION DOLLARS. We see more and more donors are turning to crowdfunding platforms to do their giving. If your donor has a Facebook page or email account, they’ve probably been asked to support a crowdfunding campaign.
So to answer the question about whether or not you should embrace crowdfunding let me quote from a report released in May of 2013 by Massolutions “to ignore crowdfunding will soon put your nonprofit at a competitive disadvantage for fundraising.”
My next blog post (click here to read) will review some common misconceptions about crowdfunding then I will follow up with a post on how to choose a crowdfunding platform that is right for your organization. My final blog post in the series will offer some actionable insights on how to implement a successful crowfunding campaign. I hope you will join me through this series as we explore crowdfunding and of course if you have a moment, stop by LoveAnimals.org. You might just find a project that moves you.