Posting your project on a crowdfunding platform is relatively straightforward, but effectively reaching donors and raising money takes time and effort.
Before you embark on a crowdfunding campaign, ask yourself these questions to determine whether crowdfunding is right for you.
1. Who is your crowd?
Project leaders and their teams must reach out to their own networks for support. Whether social (friends and family) or professional (current and past colleagues, industry connections), know who you will be asking for support!
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is useful, especially with large followings, but email and old-fashioned phone calls should be employed to engage your crowd. We do not provide lists of prospects but are happy to screen lists of contacts to identify anyone who has asked to be removed from fundraising.
2. Who are your campaigners?
Multiple campaigners generating enthusiasm, connecting with diverse constituencies, and sharing their passions typically will be more successful than a lone campaigner.
The best campaigns also assign specific roles to team members, leveraging the unique skills and networks of each campaigner.
3. What is the impact of your project?
Focus your pitch on the impact your fully funded project will have on patients, families, advocates, and our understanding of a disease or problem. Your pitch should be personal and passionate, priming people to act.
Multimedia, photos, and videos all can help bring your pitch to life.
4. Are you ready to go the distance with your campaign?
Fundraising campaigns are a lot of work! Be prepared to communicate regularly with your networks and contributors throughout the duration of your campaign. Scheduled updates should include fundraising progress and news items relating to the project, requests for support, and personal anecdotes. Keep people engaged, and they’ll contribute more and share with friends.
5. How will you stay in touch with donors to your project?
Donors need to know about the impact of their gifts. Be prepared to keep in touch with donors about their giving and, working with the UCSF Office of University Development, plan to follow up with donors throughout the year. We may recommend soliciting past donors to renew their support.
If you answered these questions easily, you’re ready to take the next step with crowdfunding!