Crowdsourcing Is Also Community-Building

Encouraging individuals and groups to raise money for your organization isn’t “Tom Sawyer-ing” them into whitewashing your fence for you. It is creating engagement within your community and raising fun, and funds, for your cause.

At the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing conference in National Harbor, Md., an #AllFemalePanel presented “Evolving Your Crowdfunding Strategy to Grow Your Best Assets (Along With Your Fundraising Goals.)” Led by Ghazal Vaghedi, vice president of philanthropy at Razoo, Amanda Nover, corporate partnerships manager at Bread for the City, and Brandi Yee, chief program officer at ACT for Alexandria, the trio shared their experiences with crowdfunding and shared the following:

* Crowdfunding is so much more than raising money. It deepens your relationship with your donors and gives you the opportunity to share personal, authentic stories about your impact.

* Free-Agent Fundraisers, or FAFs, champion your cause and raise money for your nonprofit independently. By using FAFs in their Spring2ACTion program, ACT for Alexandria raised fundraising revenue from $35,000 in 2012 to $452,000 in 2015.

* Encourage your staff to hold their own fundraisers through incentives such as company “swag” or an extra day of paid time off. Not only does this raise money for your organization, but it increases staff engagement and morale.

* Encouraging other groups and organizations to get involved creates upward momentum. Repeat groups almost never decrease and tend make it a yearly tradition.