With 2017 coming to a close, we’ve rounded up five crowdfunding campaigns we found particularly compelling. While the campaigns themselves are very different, each illustrates how to put together a crowdfunding campaign that really works.
If you’re thinking of launching a crowdfunding campaign in 2018, take a look at these 5 great campaigns and see what you can learn from their successes!
Australia’s Last Woollen Mill Needs Your Help
Raised: $101,385 out of $90,000 goal
Cause: Raising funds to preserve Tasmania’s oldest woollen mill, a 143 year old piece of Australian history.
Why we love it: I don’t just love this campaign because I’m an avid knitter with pipe dreams of owning sheep.
The campaign makes a wool mill quite fascinating: the rich history of the mill is described in a compelling narrative, and the perks for backing the campaign are woollen products produced by the very mill being preserved!
The campaign also clearly lays out how much money they need, breaking down their goals into $25,000 milestones. Their narrative ends with a strong call to action to get involved - and it worked! More than 700 folks chipped into help the campaign exceed their funding goal.
What we learned: This campaign is all about the amazing perks. Each gift for backing the campaign was designed and produced in the Mill specifically for the campaign, and we’re talking amazing gifts like a 100% merino scarf! Great rewards for donating coupled with a compelling story bring this campaign to life in a very real, exciting way.
Osman’s Fire Relief
Raised: $168,000 out of $10,000 goal
Cause: Helping a couple whose house was burned down by the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, CA
Why we love it: My husband is a big fan of William Osman’s Youtube channel and told me, with awe, about how successful their crowdfunding campaign had been. After William and his wife Chelsea lost their house in the Thomas Fire a friend launched this campaign and it quickly shot past its initial $10,000 goal.
It’s a short story about William and Chelsea and why they need help rebuilding, but the frequent updates (and charming pictures) from the couple fill the campaign with heart. Most of the gifts are small ($5 and $10 donations) but William’s Youtube followers came out in force: the campaign was shared on Facebook more than 3,000 times, and more than 9,000 people donated!
What we learned: Your network matters! Fundraising is all about those peer-to-peer connections. You might not have thousands of Youtube followers, but you do have a network of people you can leverage to make gifts in support of your cause.
Help 100 Underperforming 3rd-5th Graders in San Mateo!
Raised: $53,674 of $50,000
Cause: Funding Homework Central’s work in San Mateo, CA to “level the playing field for education.”
Why we love it: I cut my teeth fundraising to help underserved kids, so this crowdfunding campaign instantly caught my eye.
Their short and sweet overview tells you exactly why your help is needed and where the money will go. It’s followed by updates packed full of juicy narratives: stories of the students they are helping, personal appeals from the Executive Director, and a real look into their work and the impact they are having.
What we learned: Your story — and the story of the people you are helping — really matters. When the Homework Central Executive Director shared short stories about students like Maria in the updates, it brings their work to life in a way that inspires giving.
Let’s Get Joann to her Son!
Raised: $7,720 of $700 goal
Cause: To send a beloved UNC crossing guard to see her son
Why we love it: This story is incredibly endearing and powerful. It’s a heartfelt appeal from a University of North Carolina student to support the crossing guard he saw every day. The conversational tone is honest and succinct, and the updates on how the campaign supported Joann were effective in shining a light on how the money was being used, and the very real impact it had on Joann! Like William Osman’s house fund, thousands of dollars were raised from donors who chipped in $5 and $10: overall, nearly 900 people donated to the campaign.
What we learned: A great story about one person really packs a punch when it comes to fundraising. By the end of the crowdfunding narrative I found myself wanting to be part of the movement to get her to her son. Focusing on a compelling story in your fundraising efforts draws donors in and gets them emotionally invested.
Telling Our Untold Diaspora Stories
Raised: $19,725 of $20,000 goal
Cause: To build a platform to capture and tell the stories of 244M migrants across the globe
Why we love it: This $20,000 campaign was a matching challenge, meaning all donations to this social enterprise would have double the impact.
Their campaign is packed with skimmable and descriptive content that lets backers dive into their cause to bring the stories of migrants to life. Multiple case studies (each with their own video!) bring the campaign to life and illustrate the professionalism of NextDayBetter and the impact of their work.
What we learned: Once again, great stories win the day! My favorite part of this campaign is the multiple case studies. The short accounts really show the depth and breadth of the work being done, and give donors a story they can sink their teeth into.
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