Essential crowdfunding advice for charities and communities

123 Ideas - Charity and Community

Today we are giving away £1,000 to two inspiring charity and community groups. Want to win? Check out the competition page to enter.

Winners will need to be raising money on Crowdfunder in February to receive the £1,000 pledge from 123 Reg. And hey, even if you don’t win you can still crowdfund to make your great idea happen.

We’re here to help you help others, so we’re sharing some of our top crowdfunding tips for charities and communities to get you started.

Get ready

Crowdfunder gives charities and community groups the opportunity to raise money online. You add your idea as a crowdfunding project on Crowdfunder.co.uk to tells everyone what your charity or group is fundraising for and why. The project is then shared as widely as possible – using online and offline marketing techniques to encourage supporters to make financial pledges to the cause.

You’ll need a clear idea of what you want to fund, great messaging to communicate your idea, a fundraising target and a timeframe in which to meet it.

It’s worth noting that crowdfunding is a viable fundraising option for new charities as well as for established organisations. AH20 used crowdfunding to bring in cash to get established and set up with the charities commission; The Felix Project crowdfunded a whopping £162,050 to open a second depot for their food waste operation in London.

Build your team

No man is an island, and it’s never been truer for a crowdfunding society. Getting a team involved and having individual roles and responsibilities not only spreads the load, it also increases the reach of the project exponentially.

Crowdfunding does not have to fall only on the heads of the fundraising team either – it’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved and to spread the word on their social networks, to their friends and family. It’s also a great opportunity for the group to come together to be creative about what the crowdfunding project could be and how the campaign will work for you.

Crowdfunding is a great way for small charities and local community groups to broaden their network online, reach out to new supporters and raise awareness; it’s about more than the money, and a crowdfunding campaign doesn’t cost much. Typically, platforms take a small percentage of the total amount raised to cover administration costs.

Be realistic

When setting a crowdfunding target, charities will need to be realistic about the funds they need to raise, and understand how many pledges they’ll need to meet their target.

Simon Walker, head coach at Crowdfunder, said: “It’s important that people don’t try to raise a huge amount of money without thinking about how they’ll reach out to their audience and provide rewards that people will want to pledge on.

“Charities and groups will need to think about how they can give their supporters a real, tangible reason to pledge as well as a strong plan to speak to current stakeholders alongside new audiences.”

Warm up your community

Charities are in a brilliant position for crowdfunding because of their engaged audiences. All crowdfunding projects need to “warm up the Crowd” before their project goes live, to build anticipation and ensure everyone knows about the campaign. Email your database, use Facebook and Twitter to let people know about the campaign, get your audience ready to pledge and make sure they know exactly how they can pledge by sharing the link as far and wide as possible.

Early-bird and exclusive rewards are a great way to get a crowdfund off to a great start. And now your supporters can get behind your idea with donations on Crowdfunder.

Keep up the energy

Once you’ve put in all the legwork and your charity crowdfunding campaign is live, you need to keep the momentum going and keep spreading the word. The more people are talking about the crowdfunding campaign, the more people will support it.

A great tip is to set yourself up a bespoke hashtag on Twitter so you can follow who is talking about your campaign.

Ready to make a difference? Come and tell us about your great idea to be in with winning that £1,000 for your charity or community project.

New guides: improving the way we help you
How crowdfunding works for fashion and design projects