Crowdfunding is popular these days, and for the most part, it’s a good thing, but there will always be scammers who want to take advantage of it. But if you expect crowdfunding to be full of fraudulent campaigns, postings, accounts and donations, you would be mistaken. Crowdfunding platforms have developed a sophisticated system of monitoring fraud and squeezing it out. While a set of protecting actions vary from one platform to another, some of them, like FundRazr, have an in-house team dedicated specifically to prevent fraud.

However, you could do some basic checks before donating to a crowdfunding campaign too. With rising popularity of raising money online, internet scammers become more and more creative. Thus, a simple investigation can be a very effective way to avoid fraud while contributing to a cause or a project.

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Though defining crowdfunding fraud can be challenging, take the following steps: [click to continue...]

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You have read our tips for Facebook and Twitter; now, we are going to teach you how to pitch your stories to the news! Statistics suggest that campaigns that have received news coverage (both online or offline) raised 2 to 3 times more than campaigns that don’t. Furthermore, campaigns with news coverage also receives more anonymous donations. Examples of news covered campaigns include the Orly’s campaign and the Mama Jade campaign.

This blog post is going to teach you the basics of media outreach: news outlet selection, contact, email content, and follow up.

News Outlets

New outlet selection is very important given every news source covers certain types of news. For example, TechCrunch covers tech while TMZ covers gossip.

For basics, We recommend you tell you your story to local newspapers because:

1) They are easier to obtain coverage because they cover a niche area, so less competition.

2 )Your story is likely to be about someone in the community, so it’s very relevant to the readers; therefore, very likely to be covered.

Local newspapers include community papers, county papers, municipal papers and provincial/state paper. If you don’t know any local media sources in your area, a simple google search termed “___area newspaper” will give you plenty to choose from.

To ensure coverage, we recommend that you contact at least 15 to 20 media outlets (TV, news paper, online news, radio). After all, the more people you pitch to, the more likely your story will be covered.

How to Get News Coverage

Contact

To contact a News outlet, you must [click to continue...]

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You’ve decided to start a crowdfunding campaign for your project or cause. You want to set up everything right to make your campaign a success.

You choose a crowdfunding platform that responds to your needs, create a campaign and tell your story.

But you are not done. You also must ensure that your crowdfunding campaign has all of the essential ingredients it needs.

Ingredients like these, as presented in this infographic by our designer Vanessa Kazakoff.
Share it, print it, pin it, but whatever you do … use it.

11 Essential Ingredients Every Crowdfunding Campaign Needs

Do you want more information on the essential crowdfunding campaign ingredients? Use these links:

  1. Craft an eye-catching title
  2. Tell a compelling story
  3. Get attention by visuals
  4. Add meaningful perks
  5. Reach out to close friends & family
  6. Be Active on Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter
  7. Build a community on Facebook
  8. Engage your supporters
  9. Pitch your story to the News
  10. Run your campaign on a website
  11. Thank your donors

This checklist of essential elements is to help your campaign succeed. While creating your crowdfunding campaign look at this list and ask yourself: “Did I craft an eye-catching title?” “Did I tell a compelling story?” And so on.

So, based on the infographic, have I missed any essential crowdfunding campaign ingredient?

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

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For profit, businesses aren’t the only enterprises that can boost revenue and increase customer loyalty and retention with technology. Here’s a look at how some new technologies can maximize your fundraising efforts:

Fundraising Technology

Mobile is mainstream. The latest mobile ownership and use figures released by Pew Research Center reveal that 64 percent of American adults now own a smartphone. Among Americans who have a higher income, are highly educated or younger, the ownership figures are even more robust. For marketers of all kinds, mass mobile reliance demands a strategic shift on how and when audiences can and should be messaged, and called to action. At the very least, all fundraising communications should be optimized for mobile screen size, functionality — and speed. If your website, email, video, social media update or donor form doesn’t load on a mobile user’s device in less than five seconds, there’s a good chance they’ll give up on it.

Donations have gotten a facelift. Fundraising is no longer about asking people to dig out their checkbooks; it’s incentivizing them to donate in the here and now. In today’s mobile world, that often means paying online. To be effective, the process must be seamless. Limit donation forms to no more than one page, and confirm they’re easily viewed and functional on desktop and mobile devices. Require that the donor enter only the most pertinent information: Name, billing address, email and phone (optional), and payment method. Take advantage of mobile payment and digital wallet technology, including that associated with social media accounts, that empower the customer to retrieve payment-card information online, eliminating the need to have a physical credit card in tow to donate. The less information you require a donor to provide, the higher your potential conversion rate.

Connect with your donor’s day. The prevalence of mobile use has made it possible for marketers to connect with prospects and customers in the exact right moment. The same communication potential exists for fundraising — and may be the most critical determinant of fundraising success. Because donor participation is based on making emotional appeals at the exact right time, text-based mobile messaging can be a cost-effective way to succinctly call donors to action. Based on their daily movement, including the neighborhoods they visit, the stores with which they shop, and the brands they like (all of which are revealed based on data from their mobile device), you can gain a sense of behavior patterns, and identify the ideal messaging times donors are less likely to be busy or distracted.

Identify the right partnerships. The relationships nonprofits are able to form are paramount to maximizing exposure, community awareness, and ultimately, fundraising success. Technology now empowers organizations to understand the other brands their supporters engage with, on social media, online, and in “real life,” based on mobile device geolocation data. Fundraising campaigns that leverage this insight can identify the optimal organizations to approach for collaborative partnership arrangements. When charitable organizations have a sense of the other types of organizations their ideal donor already supports, and better predict the messaging and fundraising strategies to which they’re most likely to respond.

Tell your story everywhere. Storytelling is at the heart of every successful nonprofit effort. According to an infographic by Abila, more than 50 percent of charitable donations begin with a story. Today’s technology tools make it possible for charitable organizations of all shapes and sizes to shoot videos and images, and edit and produce high-quality materials on a mobile device. Get creative about your story and how to tell it in a way that will move your audience into action when shared online, and relevant social media tools based on your target audience. Much like the wildly successful “ALS Ice Bucket challenge” you may find that your supporters help your campaign go viral, and do the bulk of the fundraising for you.

Nonprofit organizations may be lean on cash and human resources, but technology advances have made it possible for established and new charities to increase fundraising success. Know your audience, tell your story, and keep your call to actions and donor forms simple. By adhering to these basics, you’ll find a cost-effective way to leverage fundraising efforts with the help of technology.

Guest blog post by Kristen Gramigna, the Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm services nonprofits, as well as various other types of businesses. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.

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Logan was born premature and has dealt with a host of issues since his debut in 2007. In late 2014, he survived a double-lung transplant — a surgery that yields a 50/50 survival rate. His new lungs are thriving, but the anti-rejecting drugs he takes have given him post transplant lymphoma.

Family friend Amy Valm started a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for his parents—who aren’t working because of constant appointments and hospital stays—with everyday expenses. The family also needs to complete a renovation on their home so it’s a safe environment for Logan’s new lungs. Money raised helps with buying materials for the renovation and labour, too. I spoke with Amy on why she decided to help Logan and his family in their time of need and how crowdfunding with FundRazr has helped them raise over $4K.

Logan

1. Why did you decide to start crowdfunding?

“I’m active on social platforms so have seen firsthand how funding sites can help. I’m also a strong believer in people helping people. My life motto is a line from the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure — Be excellent to each other! I think a lot of people resonate with that and are eager to help when asked.”

2. How did you initially promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“I work in media, so I have an excellent platform to campaign from. I started with a bake sale and silent auction in my office and was overwhelmed by the support. I also did my fair share of rage-paging friends on Facebook with “please help my little buddy Logan” messages. My circle of connections all have huge hearts.”

3. What has integrating images, video and story updates meant for your campaign?

“I’ve actually noticed that Facebook blocks a lot of content, likely because they want users to pay to promote content — I get it— so I didn’t find it helped a lot. Good old word of mouth was what really spurred this.

Logan3

4. What has been a challenge faced while crowdfunding?

“Facebook. I had tons of people sharing the campaign, but like I said before, no one was seeing the posts because it wouldn’t show up in newsfeeds. That was frustrating.”

5. What has been the highlight of your crowdfunding experience so far?

“Definitely seeing the benefits that this campaign brings to Logan’s family. Also, I’ve been really encouraged to see strangers and friends alike helping the cause. In a society that is very much “me, me, me,” I love knowing that there are selfless people who really care and want to make a difference.”

6. Do you have any advice for others who want to start crowdfunding?

Be diligent in your campaign. Don’t just dip your toe in, you need to cannonball and be fully submerged. This task takes time. This task takes effort. But it’s so worth it when your campaign positively affects someone.

Don’t be discouraged if the funds and support aren’t being generated the way that you hoped. Every little bit helps, and it’s important to keep that in mind.”

7. What are you most looking forward to after you reach your goal?

Logan’s longevity. I’m eager to see him thrive in a happy and healthy environment.

Click Here to learn more about Logan and support his cause.

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Last week, your mom called and told you your favorite aunt has cancer. After getting over the shock of the sad news, you decided to do something tangible to raise money for your dear aunt. And, because you are a runner, you immediately thought of organizing a fun run in her honor.

Crowdfund a running event for a good cause

While this is a great idea, you may be worried about how much responsibility you are taking on. Fortunately, with plenty of pre-planning and some great tools, you can more easily put together a successful event that will raise money for your beloved aunt and spread the word about your cause.

Select Your Date and Location

While you understandably want to help as soon as possible, don’t lose sight of how much you have to do to put on a successful event. Once you decide on the distance of your run (5K, 10K or relay), determine where it should take place. Look for someplace that is convenient and has already hosted a successful fun run. Ideas include the track at your local high school, parks and neighborhood courses.

Once you have your location, you can select the date. Start by communicating with the venue to see when they have open dates. Then, make sure you choose a day that is not already filled with other local events. Depending on the size of your event, you may need [click to continue...]

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5 Ways To Step Up Your Crowdfunding Game

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 7 April 2015

1. Share On Social Media When you fund raise using social networks, you create trust and visibility for the campaigns you create, support or share. Think of your crowdfunding campaign as a compelling piece of content and your goal is to build a community around your cause. By linking your social networks to your FundRazr […]

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Crowdfunding Culture And Education

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 1 April 2015

Aboriginal HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) is a program that introduces learning and education into aboriginal homes early, creating an environment and dialogue that supports First Nations culture and heritage. HIPPY Canada is now raising funds to help sustain and grow their Aboriginal HIPPY program at various locations in Canada, in partnership […]

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5 Signs You’re Ready To Crowdfund [Infographic]

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 30 March 2015

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How To Crowdfund A Small Business

by Hoda Toloui-Wallace 26 March 2015

Julie Le Carrer is a Belgian artist who practices Intuitive Drawing: a drawing made entirely by following intuition and sensations and usually inspired by a specific intention. Julie wants to launch her dream business, but needs money to finance her participation in a business coaching program. The six month program with business coach Rachel Archelaus […]

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