Focus on building trust
In its best form, giving is a statement of the heart. It says, I trust you.
One of your primary objectives is to build trust with your audience. There are many ways to create a bond with your audience – a bond that creates a sense of trustworthiness that will encourage them to take action.
Your donors want to know their impact
The most convincing assertion you can make on your campaign page – and, arguably, your entire campaign – is the impact a gift can make. With 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the U.S. and countless crowdfunding campaigns, it is more critical than ever to showcase impact if you want to be heard.
For example, if you’re crowdfunding for a service learning trip to Cambodia, don’t just say, “your donation helps us go to Cambodia.” Instead, share the direct, tangible impact, such as, “With $20, you could provide one of our team members with a day’s worth of hot meals, giving them the energy they need to keep up with the meaningful work we’ll be doing.”
Studies have shown that highlighting impact unlocks donor happiness in a big way! Be part of the future and show your donors what impact their gift will make for you and your team.
A budget breakdown shows that you’re thinking ahead
If you have a funding goal for your campaign, an easy way to build trust with your audience is to outline how funds will be allocated. This can be done by creating a visual – such as a chart – to highlight your proposed budget, or just outlining it in a neat, bulleted list. Bonus points for outlining how funds beyond your goal will be used!
Show, don’t just tell
“The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” – Mark Twain
This part is easy if you’ve crowdfunded before and you followed through with what you said you’d do the first time around. Pointing to this experience is a great way to show that not only do you follow through, but that you will continue to honor their gift long after the campaign has ended.
However, if this is your first time crowdfunding or even fundraising, or perhaps you are a part of a newly established team, you’ll want to build on your team’s excitement in doing something new instead. Share why you believe your team is the best one to follow through with your initiative, point to the wins you’ve already experienced as a team, or share how your organization has made an impact to-date in a tangible way.
The best way to ensure people actually read your campaign page is to make sure it appears consumable at first glance. In fact, Neilsen Norman Group asserts that people don’t actually read web pages at all – they scan them. Almost 80% of readers scan web pages, while only 16% read them word for word.
This is especially helpful information for those launching crowdfunding campaigns. Is what you have to say important? Then only say what really matters.
To help support a visually appealing, scannable campaign page, consider employing the following features:
- Numbered or bulleted lists
- Short, concise paragraphs that each articulate only one idea
- Strategic use of bolded keywords
- Headings and subheadings to organize ideas
So stay away from those blocks of text, filled with jargon and unnecessary information. Lay out what’s important and leave out what isn’t. Be direct, be concise, but don’t lose your friendly tone!
The right images bring your page to life
Another way to create scannable content that people are compelled to engage with is to include relevant images to break up blocks of text.
Your campaign’s images should:
… be high resolution. People expect high quality images online, so make sure you’re sharing your best!
… speak to your organization’s “brand” and what you’re seeking to accomplish. Are you part of a sports team? Definitely get some action shots in there. Part of an engineering team going to a national competition? We want to see what you’re building!
… complement your text, not overshadow it. Make sure the images are relevant to help drive home the points you’re trying to make!
… be an appropriate size. For example, right-aligned thumbnails on your campaign’s About Section don’t look nearly as good as their full-size counterparts centered on the page. But make sure it’s not too big – you don’t want your readers scrolling to get past a single image!
… look good on social media. That is, assuming you want your campaign on social media (psst… you do!). Buffer has a nice write-up on all of the ways they failed at employing images on their blog. We love learning from others’ mistakes, and so we salute you, Buffer!
So consider what resources you have at your fingertips – a photo album from your last get together on Facebook? A design student willing to create branded images for the campaign? Free online resources to easily create beautiful images? (Hint: Give Pablo or Canva a try!)
The perfect set of images can elevate your campaign page and make it more enticing and even emotional for the reader. Choose wisely – the appearance of your page matters!
A call to action
Finish your About Section with a compelling “ask.” What do you want your audience to do when they engage with your crowdfunding campaign? Is there anything other than asking for a donation that you would like to use this platform to do?
Some teams we’ve worked with included a link to a volunteer signup page. Others have asked for a specific, relevant donation amount. Others have asked their community to use their voices on social media to share the campaign.
If you need something from your community, just ask! And don’t forget to say “Thanks” for the time they’ve spent learning about your initiative. Every set of eyes you’ve captured propels your project and your team forward.
Our favorite campaign pages
And to close us out, check out a few of our favorite campaign pages from our students and staff led campaigns:
We can’t wait to see how you bring your page to life with these tips!