Faithify backers give for various reasons. Some might know the folx running the campaign and others might be from outside the community, but for both the project speaks to their values and work they want to see happen in the world. That’s the magic of crowdfunding. Campaigns reach beyond existing networks to find new supporters who are inspired by your mission. But what about when the Faithify campaign is over? Are you tending to the new friends you’ve made during your campaign?
Mission is Key
Your Faithify backers were drawn to your project. Your project exposed new people to your congregational/organizational mission. Some of the campaign backers will want to support other parts of your mission.
Because crowdfunding involves getting lots of donors involved quickly, many organizations don’t add donors from crowdfunding campaigns to their annual fund planning. Faithify backers might be a good addition to your annual fund plan because you’ll be reaching donors you may not have access to with traditional fundraising methods, such as those without the means to make a major gift and younger donors.
You might assume that your Faithify campaign won’t naturally lead to traditional donor engagement, and thus, retention. However, there are a number of ways that you can engage your Faithify backers, such as adding them to your email distribution list or connecting via social media.
Crowdfunding CAN help you raise more money for your annual fund, you just have to approach it in the right way. Here are some questions to ask if you want to incorporate Faithify backers into your annual fundraising plan:
Do You Have The Right Audience?
- Do you have access to your backers’ email addresses?
- Yes! Each author receives a list of the names and email addresses of your backers. This is precious information that needs to be treated with care.
- Are your backers loyal to the point where they’d be willing to share your annual fund campaign with their own networks?
- This depends. Think about your project. Was it indicative of the mission work of your congregation/organization? Would there be a clear connection between the project and your overall mission? Many Faithify funders give to a project because they care about the project category, but may not be inspired by something they perceive as unrelated to that work. Remind backers how the project is connected to the whole.
- Did your campaign create followers on your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)?
- Keep track of these social media users and think of them as partners in spreading the reach of your campaigns. A successful crowdfunding campaign is oftentimes the result of online sharing. In order to produce strong funding results, you’ll want to connect with your current backers, social media followers, and email contacts to request that they not only consider a donation, but also share the campaign with their friends and family.
Do You Have the Resources (Time and People)?
- Do you have a way for people to donate?
- Is the only option mailing in a check? If so, can you set up online payment options?
- You’ll want a dedicated person (staff, volunteer) or team in charge of this aspect of your fundraiser.
- As you know from running a Faithify campaign, it takes energy, time, and familiarity with technology to use social media effectively. If you do not have those resources, find people who do and give them the authority to make technology work on your favor.
- Keep social media platforms updated with current information and shareable calls to action, and follow-up with backers.
- Allocate a proportional amount of time and resources to your online giving drive as you do your traditional fundraising techniques, you’ll set your annual fund up for success.
Do You Know Your Ask?
- Why are you inviting these people to support your larger mission?
- Not all crowdfunding backers will be interested in supporting an annual fund, but some will. Motivation for future giving depends on how you treat your backers during and after your Faithify campaign. Thank yous matter. Give your backers updates about the project and related topics. You are building a group of followers who care about what you are doing, so give them something to care about!
- Bring enthusiasm, mission, and a spirit of abundance to your ask.
- For any type of fundraising, you want to inspire people. Wringing your hands in despair or threatening how horrible things will be without money is not a great way to motivate donations. People respond to stories about impact, joy, and mission.
- Make it OK for people to say “not this time.”
- Not everyone can say yes to your ask. Not responding to your ask might mean people are too busy right now or it might mean they aren’t able to donate this time. It’s ok for you to make a reasonable ask and it’s ok for them to say no.
Have you successfully incorporated Faithify backers into other fundraising efforts? Share what you learned in the comments below!