Your Crowdfunding Campaign as a Thanksgiving Meal
Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to bring out the sweatpants!
Have you ever considered what your crowdfunding campaign would look like as a Thanksgiving Dinner? Of course you have. Who hasn’t?
Let’s break it down:
Do you remember that episode of Friends where Monica is forced to make three different types of potatoes because Joey wants tater tots, Ross wants lumpy mashed potatoes, and Phoebe wants whipped potatoes with peas and onions?
And this only scratches the surface of the types of potatoes you can make on Thanksgiving. Baked, twice-baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potato gratin, roasted fingerling potatoes, french fries (hey, you never know!). The list goes on!
When you first look at your empty crowdfunding campaign page – i.e., the webpage people will visit to learn more about your campaign and then donate to it – it’s easy to be pulled in many directions as your team dreams up how it will look.
So come together to devise a plan. Make the campaign page and the video aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish. And be okay with the fact that everyone will have a different vision, and that you might need to integrate them for an awesome potato dish, unique to your team!
The Green Bean Casserole
It has recently been brought to my attention that not everybody likes green bean casserole. After the shock wore off, I considered that there are also parts of crowdfunding that not everybody enjoys, but that they are necessary to the campaign’s success – much like Thanksgiving and Grandma’s just wouldn’t be the same without the green bean casserole.
For example, sending emails to your personal network of friends, family, and acquaintances can do wonders for providing your crowdfunding campaign with an early boost in donations, which is critical in order to build momentum. In a world where a text message and social media blasts are the norms (and the most comfortable way to communicate), take the time to be intentional with your “ask” and send a couple rounds of emails, personalized to the recipient.
Like it or not, green bean casseroles are an important part of any Thanksgiving meal, and like it or not, so are sending personalized emails!
The Eggo Waffle Stuffing
Wait, are you telling me that you’ve never tried stuffing made out of Eggo waffles?
This year, my husband and I made this Eggo Waffle Stuffing recipe to bring to an untraditional Friendsgiving potluck dinner. We fell in love with the idea because it took a foolproof dish (stuffing) and gave it some creative flair (Eggos).
So, what’s your Eggo waffle?
Your crowdfunding campaign should also have its own unique attributes that set it apart from the other crowdfunding campaigns out there. For a toilet paper company that launched an IndieGoGo campaign, it was having the founder live-stream from a toilet. For the team of art students at Knox College, it was a strong gif game in their updates section.
So don’t be afraid to take a creative chance. Have some fun, and embrace what makes your team so unique!
The Cranberry Sauce
I swear, every year we buy this stuff and it’s not until the table is set and everyone is ready to eat that we remember the cranberry sauce. At this point, we should call it the “oh shoot, we forgot the cranberry sauce” sauce.
It’s important that with your crowdfunding campaign, you don’t forget the small details that can make a big impact on your success. Potentially-overlooked tasks, like writing updates on your campaign page or meeting with your team regularly to discuss strategy, really will affect the outcome of your campaign.
So don’t forget whatever the cranberry sauce is for your team. These little tasks will add up, so make sure you establish a comprehensive plan before you launch your campaign!
It’s ready! It’s ready! The main course is ready!
Say what you will, but Thanksgiving is simply not Thanksgiving without a turkey in the center of the table.
So what’s your crowdfunding campaign’s main course?
Without a doubt, it’s an excited and engaged community. This includes volunteer fundraisers willing to actively fundraise for the campaign with their own personal networks, as well as the donors who help make the project or initiative a reality. Without energy, excitement, and passion, your crowdfunding campaign will be a non-starter, and it will be very challenging to raise the funds you need to make it a success.
Anything is possible when a passionate community rallies together under a shared vision. It is the heart of any crowdfunding campaign and must be treated with the utmost attention and care.
The Pumpkin Pie
After the meal – ahem, the crowdfunding campaign – has come to an end, remember that your stomach definitely has another compartment for dessert. It’s science!
From the time your campaign ends and through implementing your project or initiative for which you raised the funds in the first place, you should continually update your donors and bring them into your community. We call this donor stewardship, and any professional fundraiser will tell you that this is critical, especially if you want to crowdfund again in the future.
The end of a crowdfunding campaign is not the end of your relationship with your donors and community, just like the end of Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t the end of your day of indulgence.
Eat that slice of pumpkin pie. Steward your donors. Make it happen.