Since the word ‘crowdfunding’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015, it has become a buzzword in the charity and non-profit sector, with more and more organisations turning to crowdfunding to hit their fundraising targets. But there’s more to crowdfunding than just creating a project online and hoping for the best – a successful campaign requires a great deal of thought, planning and a robust digital communication strategy.

Social Misfits Media spoke to experts in the field and recently shared what successful campaigns have in common. They identified five questions that organisations need to ask themselves before starting a crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Do you have a clear goal?

Have you set out exactly what you want the campaign to achieve? Having a clearly set target will be more likely to attract donors. Crowdfunding is better suited to a specific project, rather than larger-scale fundraising goals. The ask should be very clearly defined, so that potential donors know exactly what they are investing in.

  1. Will your project have wide appeal?

Not sure whether your campaign has the ‘it’ factor? Before you take the plunge and embark on the campaign do some market research to avoid a waste of your time, money and energy.

  1. Do you have the resources?

You can’t sit back and wait for your campaign to hit your target by itself. Investing time and energy in social media is essential to the success of a crowdfunding campaign. Creating your project page on a crowdfunding platform is only the first step – social media provides the platforms to extend the reach of your message and communicate with a wide audience. But take care to be strategic with your activity – careful planning, posting and responding can cultivate relationships and result in donations.

  1. Have you considered all the opportunities?

Before you start, do you already have a donors or supporters that you could approach? Or media relationships? Consider these supporters to spread the word and make your campaign a success.

Carefully consider the communication opportunities throughout your campaign and the messages you’ll be sending out. Think about your post-campaign activity – you’ll hopefully have lots of new donor relationships to cultivate after the campaign ends, so ensure you have resource in place ready to build on these relationships.

  1. Do you have supporters you can count on?

Shake off the misconception that crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from a new audience. This largely isn’t the case, so make sure you ‘warm up’ your existing supporter base before you launch your campaign.

Seeing a crowdfunding page with no funds raised isn’t going to raise confidence. A soft launch is a good way to build funds towards your target and build confidence in the campaign before you go live to the public.