18 Factors that Impact How Much You’ll Raise through Crowdfunding
“We’d like to raise $20,000. Quick! Let’s set the goal on our crowdfunding campaign page at $20,000!”
(Please don’t do this!)
Without considering all factors that could potentially affect how much you raise for your crowdfunding campaign, it’s almost impossible to choose the perfect funding goal for it.
Case in point: The following are 18 factors that could affect how much you and your team raises for your crowdfunding campaign. (And note that this is a non-exhaustive list!)
- Team size
With everything else being equal, a team of 30 team members can inspire a much larger pool of donors than a team of five can. Crowdfunding is hard work, and the more “hands on deck,” the more efficient and the greater your reach will be.
- Team engagement
This is key. Team size only correlates to success if every member is fully engaged. So, not only does the number of team members matter, but their ability to prioritize the crowdfunding campaign and stay engaged throughout the process matters exponentially more.
- Team dynamics
This might sound “duh,” but a team that works well together will accomplish more together. We love this blog article on Google’s findings in the search for the perfect team (spoiler: teams that have all members speak equally, and teams that know how to read each other’s social cues fare the best!).
- Personal network size
Engaging personal networks as the foundation of your crowdfunding campaign is a great way to gain momentum for your crowdfunding campaign, since they will be the most likely to give to it. Consider each team member’s personal network size. Is your team full of outgoing socialites with boundless networks or more introverted hard-workers with close-knit friends and networks? Most likely, it’s a combination of the two, but it’s worth analyzing your team’s personal networks before setting a reasonable goal for yourselves!
- Alumni engagement
Do you have an alumni list you can utilize? If so, how involved are these alumni with your organization? Some groups we work with have incredible alumni engagement and stewardship, which does impact how much the team ends up raising, because if anyone understands the importance of what you’re seeking to do, it’s the people who did it before you.
- Social media presence
This relates to the organization’s social media presence as well as each of the team members’. Does your organization have a strong following on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc? Are you part of a larger organization who can post on behalf of your crowdfunding campaign regularly? Your social media strategy affects your fundraising efforts tremendously, as it provides social validation for others to participate and is an excellent way to thank donors publicly (which inspires even more people to give!).
- Offline fundraiser events
Can you put on a creative offline event to raise cash and engage your community outside of your online efforts? Could you set up a booth at Homecoming? Engage your professor and peers in your classes? If you can bring the offline world to your online crowdfunding efforts, you will reach a much larger pool of donors.
- Match Grants
Possibly one of the easiest ways to exponentially raise more funding. If you are able to secure a large gift, use it on your campaign page to motivate donors to give by matching their donations one-to-one until the large gift has been matched!
- Influencers on your team and in your network
Social influencers are everywhere. My sister, for example, runs a Youtube channel with 250k subscribers and an Instagram account with 30k+ followers. She’s an ordinary person with an extraordinary following on social media. Do you have team members like this? Do you have people in your personal networks like this who can commit to sharing your campaign with their audience? Keep in mind that your campaign’s story should be relevant to their community if you want to see any engagement from them!
- Time spent preparing campaign
The key reason most crowdfunding campaigns fail is because people launch them quickly without ever considering how to fundraise for them. This results in no early momentum – something almost impossible to get back later in the campaign. It has been said that the fate of a crowdfunding campaign is secured before it even launches based on the preparation for it. We recommend at least a few weeks of prep work and getting the full team on board with a strategy before you launch for the best results.
- Urgency and necessity of fundraising
What happens if you don’t raise the funds you’re fundraising on behalf of? If the response is something to the effect of a shoulder shrug or “we’ll figure something else out,” consider that a yellow – or even red – flag. You and your team should feel a sense of urgency and excitement toward this campaign, as this affects your team engagement, donor engagement, and overall excitement toward the campaign.
- Clarity and compellingness of story
Can you use one sentence to describe what you’re seeking funding to do? And does it highlight a story worth telling – one that people will be excited to rally behind?
- How often your team meets
Two types of communication are critical for success: physically meeting in the same space with your team at frequent intervals (we recommend a couple times per week), and communicating virtually as you each work on your respective tasks (may we recommend the communication app, Slack?).
- Campaign page quality
Do you have a dynamic, reader-focused campaign page that you, your team, and your audience will be proud and excited to share? This is especially true for your video, as it’s your emotional appeal and the first thing potential donors will see on your campaign page!
- Whether you demonstrate impact
78% of millennials state that they would stop giving to an organization if they don’t know how their gift made an impact. Showing the impact of a gift is one of the most compelling things you can to do engage your potential donors.
- Early momentum when campaign goes live
According to IndieGoGo, teams raise 42% of all of the funds they are going to raise within the first three days. Do you have a plan in place to get early momentum that will set the rest of your campaign up for success?
- Frequency of updates and communication
How many times you post updates to your crowdfunding campaign page once it goes live is directly correlated to success (post at least four times!). Additionally, how often team members post to social media and send emails throughout the campaign matters. How much are you and your team members willing to send out communication during your live campaign? What about when the momentum slows down – can you stay on top of frequent updates and communication?
- Whether you have team members who have crowdfunded
Those who have crowdfunded in the past have a much clearer picture of the amount of work fundraising is for a crowdfunding campaign. Look to your veteran crowdfunders to help set a realistic funding goal. If you don’t have any of those, reach out! We’d love to put you in contact with one so you can connect!
With all of this being said: You know your team better than anyone else.
By the time you’re ready to launch your campaign, you’ll be able to analyze your team and the work you’ve done against the above factors to determine a reasonable and attainable goal. Keep in mind that the majority of groups crowdfunding with us end up raising between $2,000 and $10,000, with the latter being on the higher end.
Start your public-facing goal as small as what your team’s baseline funding needs are. If you can raise a small goal first, it will build that early confidence and excitement around your crowdfunding campaign. Afterall, raising $10,000 after setting a $5,000 goal is a much more compelling story than raising $10,000 on a $10,000 goal.
Donors love being a part of a winning team, so win early by setting a public-facing goal that you and your team can reach!