How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign without a Budget

Submitted by Taproot Foundation on Sep 12, 2017 | Comments (0)

As a nonprofit, a successful crowdfunding campaign does more than just raise funds. It’s also a unique way to activate, learn from, and build your community while raising awareness for your mission. However, planning and executing a successful crowdfunding campaign can be daunting. You need a compelling promo video, inviting graphics, simple yet informative communications, an engaging email strategy, and stand-out social media.

We’ve teamed up with Bre DiGiammarino from Indiegogo to show you how you can achieve all that even without a budget or in-house expertise. We’ve recorded that webinar and summarized the main points for you in this blog post.

What makes a crowdfunding campaign successful?

  • Set an attainable goal. People want to give to a campaign they perceive as successful, so make sure to raise at least 30% of your goal from your closest community before sharing your campaign with broader networks. Your goal should fit your needs but be realistic. Remember you can always raise more than your goal!
  • Craft a compelling pitch. People give to people, so your video and text pitches should be personal and authentic! Right away convey what you are doing, what it will take to do it, and why people should care. Include a strong call to action, and express gratitude.
  • Offer unique perks. People donate for four reasons: passion, participation, people, and perks. The best perks tap into the other three reasons and encourage your audience to become involved in your campaign. Be creative with levels that you can offer in terms of impact and tokens of thanks!
  • Proactive outreach. Plan how you will reach and communicate with potential donors during your fundraiser’s preparation, launch, and campaign. Make sure to consider your email, social media, influencer, blogger, press, and campaign update strategies.

For more advice on how to plan, launch, and run a successful nonprofit campaign on Indiegogo, download the Guide for Nonprofit Fundraising on Indiegogo here.

If you’re like most nonprofits and are understaffed and tight on resources, don’t worry. There’s a simple way for you to get the expertise in marketing, graphic design, and videography you need to put together a successful campaign: pro bono service.

How could pro bono service help my crowdfunding campaign?

  • Get the right expertise. Even your amazing team members can’t be experts at everything, so tapping into pro bono for the skills you might not have in-house, like a graphic designer, could complement existing talent.
  • Make new friends—good friends. Create lasting supporters for your organization by working with skilled volunteers on a deep level.
  • Do more with less. By freeing up staff to focus on other tasks, you can accomplish more with minimal increase in budget.

Okay, so what makes a good pro bono project?

Not every project is a good candidate for pro bono, but that’s okay. Make sure that you run your project through our four tests for good pro bono before diving in:

  • Scope. How well defined is the project? Pro bono projects are most successful when the project ask is clear. This will help you, as the nonprofit, figure out exactly what expertise you need to find in a skilled volunteer and it will help the skilled volunteer know what they are working toward.
  • Urgency. Is this an urgent and dire need? In general, pro bono projects complete at a slower pace than a paid consultant engagement so if you need something done with an inflexible, short timeline, pro bono may not be the best option.
  • Knowledge Transfer. Will your organization be able to provide your skilled volunteer with all the information they need to complete the project? Be sure to consider factors like data privacy and confidentiality.
  • Board and Staff Readiness. Does this project have organizational buy-in? Make sure that the relevant people who need to sign-off on your project are on board.

My project has passed the four tests and I’m ready to go! What is the simplest way to find skilled volunteers?

Taproot+, is an online platform where 30,000 skilled volunteers with expertise in areas like marketing, graphic design, and videography are looking for opportunities to help causes like yours. All you have to do is post a clear project ask on Taproot+. Once projects are posted, our platform will present you with skilled volunteer applications and connect you and the candidate for an interview. Once you’ve found the right skilled volunteer for your project, we’ll supply you with great resources to manage the project, and support you and your volunteer along the way.

If you’re still not sure how to start, or just want some quick pro bono advice, check out Virtual Office Hours. There, you can request an hour-long consulting session with subject matter expert on topics like digital marketing and brand strategy.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our helpdesk if you hit a bump along the way! Taproot staff members are always available to offer support at

Ready to get started? Click here to get connect with skilled volunteers.

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