This information and planning guide provides the what, the who and the how along with helpful guidelines, roles, and responsibilities that will help you plan and implement a successful Crowdfunding campaign. For additional information or questions, please email the Crowdfunding team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crowdfunding offers our donors a new avenue to provide support directly to the colleges, programs, and specific projects at the university that are most meaningful to them.
Crowdfunding has many different benefits, starting with the ability to bring new donors to the University. In this digital age, we will be more successful in reaching our younger donors than traditional outreach methods.
Additionally, Crowdfunding doubles as "free" marketing for your program.
Allow ample planning time. The success of your campaign depends on your ability to develop and implement an effective plan. Outline a schedule for emails, social media posts, and campaign updates. Include extra time in your plan for unforeseen delays and other challenges.
Tell a compelling story. Organize your campaign around a purpose that is meaningful to an identifiable audience. What problem will you solve if donors fund your project? What need will your project fulfill? That is the story your campaign needs to tell. Consider how to tell your story across various channels and media (e.g. shareable posts/tweets, photos, and videos for social media as well as a brief written narrative for email). Create this content before your campaign is active.
Connect with your community. Identify people and groups that care about your campaign’s purpose. Who will commit to helping your campaign become a success? Keep in mind that there are many ways to help. Find Collaborators who will help you tell your campaign’s story through words, images, and videos. Identify Ambassadors who will share your campaign’s story with their friends, family, and entire personal network. Ambassadors should also help enlist others to share your campaign’s story. List likely donors from the existing networks of the campaign team (i.e. Collaborators and Ambassadors).
Set meaningful and realistic goals. A typical university crowdfunding campaign will raise $2,500-$10,000 with an average gift of approximately $50. Larger goals require additional planning, resources, and creativity. On average, expect each active campaign team member (see section III. above) to raise approximately $500.
Roles & Responsibilities
In order for your campaign to be successful and viable, a team should be in place. Below, find a suggestion of team members and their roles. To help determine the best people to fill these roles, a suggested amount of time that will be spent by each person.
Campaign Team Leader (1 hour per day, a few times a week for a total of 3-4 hours a week) The Team Leader is the main project manager responsible for the campaign’s success. This role requires several hours each week to be devoted to campaign development and management. NOTE: University Advancement staff members (including the Development Officers) will not fulfill this role.
Team Leader responsibilities include:
Develop a campaign plan and timeline
Submit a Crowdfunding application
Recruit and manage campaign team (Collaborators & Ambassadors)
Set campaign goal(s)
Lead campaign content development (i.e. project description, images, videos, social media posts, campaign updates)
Implement campaign communications plan (i.e. send personal emails, post to social media, implement any other communications)
Provide project updates to thank donors and show impact
Campaign Collaborators (30 minutes-1 hour per day) Each campaign should identify several Collaborators who can assist the team leader and share campaign leadership responsibilities.
Collaborator responsibilities include:
Assist in developing a campaign plan and timeline
Recruit Campaign Ambassadors
Assist in developing campaign content
Ask personal networks to contribute
Motivate and encourage Campaign Ambassadors
Campaign Ambassadors (15-30 minutes per day) Ambassadors help maximize the campaign’s impact by spreading the word among their personal networks.
Ambassador responsibilities include:
Ask personal networks to contribute
Share campaign communications and updates
University Development The Crowdfunding Committee reviews campaign applications, content, and communications plans. University Advancement manages the Crowdfunding platform, consults regarding best practices, and trains campaign teams as necessary.
The Crowdfunding Committee does not create campaign plans or content on behalf of campaign teams.
Get the Word Out
It can’t be emphasized enough: use your social media to your advantage. Crowdfunding campaigns are most successful when everyone participates and shares on their social media pages. Remember, we are looking for smaller gifts, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues, former students, alumni, former athletes, and friends of the university. Making a few posts on Facebook, Instagram, even twitter is a lot less intimidating than asking for money in person. And it provides excellent (and free) marketing for your project. So post away! Sending emails is also a terrific way to reach out to people who may not be on social media. People like to support other people, and if you ask for their support, they will do it to support you!