Across North America, companies in all industries are launching partnerships with nonprofits and crowdfunding platforms to collaborate and leverage their audience to execute on their CSR projects. Crowdfunding has become an increasingly accepted, indeed – expected, CSR activity, which more and more cause marketing professionals are recognizing and appreciating for its lack of a real ‘downside’ and the incredible potential it holds to benefit both causes and companies.
It can be helpful in this circumstance to consider crowdfunding the act of consumers voting with their wallets to support a cause. What started as a tool to get professional and creative projects backing money has evolved into a means for communities to support the causes and campaigns they care about.
As a company setting forth into the world of crowdfunding, there are some key steps to crowdfunding success!
7 Best Business Practices For Crowdfunding
1. Let your employees and customers name the causes
You can spend as much time as you want in committees or consulting advisory groups, but really, donors know who they want to support. Equip your employees or customers with a crowdfunding basics document like this Crowdfunding Success Guide and let them raise funds for the causes in their communities that they actually care about. You’ll be saving yourself time and resources, and empowering your stakeholders.
2. Build and leverage the power of partnerships
Crowdfunding campaigns, when they’re done well, present many opportunities for companies to build connections and partnerships with other companies or community groups. When the outreach happens over social media, and is driven by customers and community members, the other organizations are much more likely to want to help you, so make the most of the social nature of crowdfunding and get in the conversation.
3. Shout it from the rooftops by extending your media reach
The media tracks and reports on novel and interesting crowdfunding campaigns – firms can take a local project and garner regional or national press through a creative crowdfunding campaign
4. Kick things up a notch by adding gamification and competition
Set up a leader board and start some friendly competition. By adding competition and rewards, you can have stakeholders competing to be the most effective at fundraising – and the social reach is multiplied! You’ll raise more money, get people more engaged in the campaign, and have a much wider reach.
5. Use the opportunity to acquire new customers
If you’ve already got the budget for giving, you may as well use it to activate new customers. When someone donates $25, match their donation and give the cause $50 total, and give the donor $25 in gift card value to use with your company. The cause get’s twice the money, the donor essentially gets their money back, and you get feet in store and eyes on your site. It’s a win-win-win for everyone! Smart brands figure out how to drive social engagement into stores. Besides, consumers are more willing to spend their money with a brand that supports the causes they care about and this will acquire new donors for the cause, and incentivize people outside of the immediate network to contribute.
6. Use your voice the right way
Stop talking about yourself. Support causes with your social voice, and let your network of causes and customers do the promotion of your brand for you by sharing your program.
7. Use video. Really.
There’s absolutely no way around it – effective crowdfunding requires the use of engaging and creative video. Effective videos are well within the reach of even the smallest organizations. Campaigns with videos consistently outperform those that don’t use videos.
Want to know more about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign to complement your CSR program? We can help you with that.