The strategies I talked about previously can be applied to every crowdfunding effort to create a winning campaign. With those tactics in mind, what platforms should you consider for a winning crowdfunding campaign? I have a few favorites.
Kickstarter is among the earliest and most well-known crowdfunding services. The initiatives here are more project oriented. There’s a significant community of artists, musicians, and creatives, which can be important to keep in mind; users come to Kickstarter to fund creative projects, so if your nonprofit is arts oriented, this could be the best fit. If you’re trying to get funding for an art exhibition, a concert, a play, or even a documentary, try Kickstarter. Its fees are pretty standard: 5 percent of the total amount raised plus credit card fees of their payment partners. The nice part is that they only claim their fee on successful campaigns—those that raised greater than 78 percent of their goal. The platform also allows individuals to create their own pages on behalf of your campaign, so the potential to multiply your outreach capacity is powerful.
Fundraise is similar to Kickstarter, but with some crucial differences. It’s easy to customize beautiful landing pages for your cause, they offer their own bank-level security so you don’t have to deal with payment partners like PayPal, and they have an integrated event management interface that is versatile and accommodating. Their fees are the same as Kickstarter, but the community on Fundraise is a more general populous, there for any number of causes, and more specifically, nonprofits. It also provides the same networking capabilities as Kickstarter. The real differentiator for me is the event management aspect that lets you sell tickets through the landing page and track your guest list. If your campaign is tied to an event, this is huge.
Chuffed was made specifically for use by nonprofits. My favorite thing about it is that it exists on its own as a social platform and is itself a nonprofit. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, etc. are for-profit enterprises. With Chuffed there is no risk for misalignment of incentives. Its features are also convenient. They require no login or sign-up for donations, they produce useful analytics that can help you optimize your campaign, and they can provide donors with tax-deductible receipts, which in itself can increase the amount a donor gives. Also, Chuffed charges no fees. Most sites take off 4–5 percent of the total amount raised. Chuffed only charges credit card fees.
Razoo is another great platform specifically marketed to nonprofits. Depending upon your needs, the offerings for Razoo are a bit more robust. What sets them apart is the type-specific campaign settings that users can choose for each initiative. Depending upon type, there is an integrated tax filing that ensures all is on the up-and-up. My favorite aspect of Razoo is that it links with your website and Facebook page to accept donations. From an analytics standpoint, Razoo produces detailed reports of donor activity that users can export to inform a campaign’s strategy.
Doing your own research is important before you commit to any of these platforms. Being comfortable and using the right tool is essential for a good campaign. But, whatever you do, make sure that your nonprofit is getting involved in the crowdfunding space. If your organization is already well established in this area, maybe your focus needs to be on attracting larger donors. My free assessment can help you attract the right benefactors.