Your Questions About Crowdfunding Answered

For most of you, crowdfunding is new territory. It is a blue ocean of opportunity. But because you haven’t chartered these waters before, you have questions. 

We get it. It’s complicated. And the pile of decisions you have to make can feel endless. That’s why we at CauseMatch are here to guide you each step of the way. 

Below are the most population questions you have asked us. Our answers are not applicable to every campaign. But these FAQs will help you take a step forward in your plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

  1. Why should I run a crowdfunding campaign?  

Crowdfunding campaigns afford you a host of opportunities that you would otherwise miss. You infuse energy into your constituency by making a fundraising goal public and eliciting support from your donors. You turn your donor base into a mobilized movement of passionate, caring activists. You can take advantage of matching opportunities and peer-to-peer campaigns (more on that later on). 

Crowdfunding allows you to harness your donor’ passions for your cause and work toward an ambitious fundraising goal. 

  1.  What is the ideal timing and pacing of a campaign from planning until the final close?  

Ideally, you’ll allow at least six weeks to prepare for your campaign. During that time, you’ll have to hone your story, organize your lists, set a goal, and build a strategy to promote the campaign. 

At CauseMatch, we’re big fans of 36- and 48-hour campaigns. This time frame allows you to capture audiences in different time zones and still maintains a built-in sense of urgency. 

After the campaign, we recommend taking two weeks to send out proper thank yous (beyond the automated responses your donors will receive) to donors and supporters who played a particularly important role in your campaign. You’ll receive details about your donors and an interactive dashboard to see how different demographics donated. 

  1. What should my campaign goal be?

Setting a campaign goal is part science, part art. We highly recommend you speak to a CauseMatch coach to help you determine your fundraising goal. 

The inputs we encourage you to consider are: the number of volunteers and staff members who will fundraise during the campaign; your reach on social media; the size of your donor base; and your other fundraising priorities.

Then, you can look more practically at your fundraising channels. You should breakdown as specifically as possible your current support base, how you plan to reach them, and what you can realistically raise from them. 

For every mid-tier and major donor, you should know who is going to make the ask and the expected level of success.

How many volunteer hours will you have? How many calls can a volunteer make per hour? And what is the monetary value of all your volunteers?

You should evaluate your organization’s email list to quantify how much you can raise through email blasts. What does your open rate look like? What can you expect from your list during a time-sensitive campaign?

You should consider how many people will find you through social media posts. How about other forms of marketing, like local newspapers or retargeting? 

Knowing your data will empower you to make an informed decision about your campaign goal. 

  1. Should I do a matching campaign?

Yes! Simply put: matching campaigns work. On average, they increase the likelihood of a donation by 19%, they increase those donations by 22%, and they increase the total amount raised by 71%. 

Matching campaigns provide an incentive for smaller donors to donate because their donations will be amplified. And your matching donors (your larger donors) will feel awesome because they know their gifts were leveraged for additional support. 

The only reason NOT to do a matching campaign is if the matching gift will cannibalize your campaign. If, by asking for large matching gifts, you “use up” your capital and resources to reach your campaign goal, it is better to approach your larger donors in pursuit of a non-matched goal. 

  1. Where should I find matchers?

You normally find matchers among your largest financial supporters. They are individuals or families who believe deeply in your cause and in you. They support your work in a large manner. 

It is important to note and appreciate that the big donor wants to have as large an impact as possible with his/her donation. It is crucial, when possible, to leverage that factor as you consider a matching structure and the individuals who belong in this category. 

The matcher can be a single person or a group of people who, together, form the ‘matched amount’ for the campaign.

  1. Should I do a peer-to-peer campaign?

Yes! Peer-to-peer fundraising, sometimes referred to as team fundraising, creates a framework for volunteers and nonprofit champions to create personal fundraising pages that are part of the 

bigger campaign. They can set their own goal, get a personal URL, add their name/message, and load a photo. 

Peer-to-peer campaigns tap into all the key drivers of human motivation: goals, public accountability, competition, social influence, and relationships. 

Through team fundraising, you give individuals a personal goal, provide them a unique and customized donation page, and place them side-by-side (online) with other peers fundraising for your cause.

The result is a community of volunteer fundraisers who feel a shared sense of responsibility and 

motivation to reach their individual goals, encourage their peers to reach their respective goals, 

and help make the campaign a big success! 

  1. What day of the week is the best to launch a campaign?

The data on this is simply not clear. There are too many variables to say anything conclusive. But, as a general rule, weekdays are more successful than weekends. Among weekdays, it is best to stay away from Monday and Friday. 

Tuesday-Wednesday and Wednesday-Thursday campaigns seem to have the greatest success. But there are many notable exceptions to this rule. 

  1. How do I develop “the story” of my campaign?

Understanding the “why” of your campaign is crucial. The hardest part about this step of the campaign is thinking about your cause from your donor’s point of view. 

Donors don’t give because of a budget shortfall. They don’t give because it’s Giving Tuesday or because you are constructing a new wing on your building. 

They give to make an impact. To solve a problem. To seize an opportunity. 

Make sure your story puts the donor at the center and conveys that when people give to your cause, they transform into a hero. 

  1. How does this campaign fit into a larger fundraising strategy?

At CauseMatch, we subscribe to a communications cycle that boils down to ASK>THANK>REPORT>REPEAT. 

Your crowdfunding campaign perfectly positions you to make an ASK of your donors. After the campaign, you will THANK them for their generosity. Then, you can REPORT on the impact that their gifts made to your service recipients. 

When you follow this cycle, you have now prepared your organization to turn to your donors again to say “there is so much more work to be done.”

  1. How easy is it to track the campaign and review data on donors?

So easy! Your campaign dashboard will provide you with real-time data and analytics. You will see who is giving, how much they gave, and how they reached your campaign page.

Plus, you have access to bells-and-whistles features like our donation page abandonment tool. You can follow up with donors who never completed their transaction. A simple (polite) email to remind them can increase your bottom line dramatically! 

  1. Can I still run a crowdfunding campaign even though we can’t host any in-person events?

There are a lot of advantages to “going virtual.” You can transcend geographical boundaries by recruiting people from all over the world. You can transcend time by making the recordings of your events available afterward. You can leverage the fact that people are at their computers more often without any commutes to worry about.

This is the reality we live in. And if you want to raise money to have the resources to go and change the world, then you need to adapt. Will it be harder than it was in 2019? In some ways, yes. And in some ways, no. 

The need is more acute. And donors want to perform acts of kindness. Open the doors for donors to make a true impact for a cause they care about. You’ll raise more money. They’ll feel great about themselves. And your service recipients will receive the care they so richly deserve.

Crowdfunding is the beginning of a new chapter of your organization’s fundraising life. We hope this FAQ brought you some clarity. Of course, this was not an exhaustive list and, even if it were, your organization is unique. Please contact us today to speak to a dedicated fundraising specialist to explore opportunities for your cause! 

Why Animal Rescue Fundraising Campaigns Are So Successful

Animals can bring out the best in people. 

When you stare into the eyes of a hungry puppy… when you hear the purr of a kitten looking for her mother… when you know that a dark future awaits a pet that falls into the wrong hands.

When we humans hear that an animal is in danger, we jump to action. We swoop in. Our hearts simply can’t handle the pain of knowing we stood idly by while a living creature was sentenced to a life of suffering. 

The CauseMatch team is full of animal lovers. While we love ALL our clients, there is a special place in our hearts for organizations that rescue and rehabilitate our furry friends.

So when organizations like Woodrock Animal Rescue from South Africa, Jerusalem’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, and, most recently, Four Legs and Fur Animal Society approach us to help them raise money, we’re eager to oblige.

Here are two reasons we love running campaigns for animal rescue organizations.

  1. There is something captivating about the story of an animal in plight. 

Take this short story from a recent Woodrock campaign:

Rocky is a pit bull. You can tell that he once had soft eyes and ears that stood at attention. But not now. You see, Rocky has been battered and bruised. His face torn up from dogfights and abuse.

The cuts along his jaw are so deep, he may need plastic surgery….But you have a chance to give him the bright future he so richly deserves.

Who would pass up the opportunity to save Rocky’s life? 

You know you’ve done fundraising correctly when donors feel awesome about their gifts. Somehow, it feels just a little easier to do that when talking about puppies and kittens whose future couldn’t be more bleak. 

Your job as the fundraiser is to first paint a vivid picture of what life looks like before a donor’s gift. 

Rocky won’t get the care he needs to rehabilitate. He won’t get the medicine to heal his wounds. He won’t enjoy even a single day without pain. 

Next, you can paint an equally as vivid picture of what life looks like after a donor’s gift. 

When you donate, you help Rocky find a warm home. You help him put his best paw forward and live the life he was meant to live… running outside, playing with his new family, feeling safe in his new environment.

Finally, it’s time to issue that direct call to action that conveys to donors that this bright future does not happen unless he or she donates! 

Please donate today and help Rocky find a new home! 

Donors will understand the impact of their gifts. They will picture in their minds a dog frolicking in a park, playing frisbee and tug-of-war. And they will feel the warm satisfaction of knowing that THEY enabled that impact. 

  1. Peer-to-peer campaigns for animal rescue organizations spread like wildfire!

Animal lovers attract other animal lovers. They are never apathetic or ambivalent about their affections. They are always moved to action! 

These traits make this demographic a perfect population for peer-to-peer campaigns. When you run a peer-to-peer campaign, you find ambassadors who commit to raising a certain amount of money for your cause. For organizations that save and protect animals, there is never a shortage of willing activists ready to fundraise.

And like many animals themselves, these ambassadors tend to travel in packs. That means that when they reach out to their friends and family for support, they are more likely to get an enthusiastic YES.

There is a common set of communal values when it comes to animal rescue organizations. It doesn’t matter where you live, your political affiliations, or what team you root for; animal lovers will step up and do the right thing when asked. 

When organizations utilize peer-to-peer campaigns, they amplify their reach, going well beyond their known constituents. And they work especially well for nonprofits that help animals like Rocky.

If you’re looking for guidance as to how to best set up a crowdfunding campaign for your animal rescue organization, please contact us today. We can help! 

We, too, want the warm satisfaction of knowing we helped organizations like yours save animals like Rocky. 

Meeting with Hadar Morag, Campaign Manager

Employee Spotlight is a new CauseMatch blog series meant to surface stories of the amazing individuals behind our platform. 

We’ll interview people who are developers, graphic designers, coaches, marketers, customer success representatives, and all those in between… THESE are the people who make CauseMatch GO. These are the people who guide fundraisers through the invigorating process of online campaigns.

This issue, we’ll meet Campaign Manager Hadar Morag. 

What is your name?

Hadar Morag

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South Florida, in Boca Raton, but I have lived all over: Atlanta, Barcelona, New York, now Jerusalem. 

Hummus or Tahina?

You know, I don’t have an affinity really toward either, which is bizarre, I admit. But lately I’ve been more on the tahina train.

Read any good books lately?

One of the silver linings of this pandemic is that I get to read a lot of good books. Two come to mind.

One is The Committed Marriage by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, and the other is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.

What part about being a campaign manager do you find most meaningful?

Every year we have an annual dinner at CauseMatch. Last year, Joseph, our CEO, gave out certificates that listed all the different campaigns that we worked on and how much each campaign raised, including the sum total. Each employee received a certificate.

I don’t remember the exact amount mine read, but it was an incredible sum. And it just made me proud that I took part in helping these organizations achieve massive, game-changing goals.

What is one detail that all great crowdfunding campaigns have in common that you have seen?

A committed leader.

Success won’t happen otherwise. It’s also not just about the person who is driving the campaign to make the internal pieces move (the finances, etc), there also has to be someone that all the ambassadors and fundraisers are one hundred percent behind. It has to be someone who’s committed to the cause, believes in it, trusts in it.

What advice do you have for prospective CauseMatch clients?

Come in motivated and driven but be open to feedback and new ways of working. You also have to have live and breathe positivity.

What is your biggest challenge about being a campaign manager?

Managing multiple campaigns at once and multiple clients at once. Sometimes they work different hours. Each has their own set of expectations. And you’re not always able to anticipate when will be the more stressful times and when will be the more calm times. So you just have to roll with it and sort of go with the flow. Lizrom as we say in Hebrew.

What has been your proudest moment at CauseMatch?

I don’t think that there is one big moment. I think that it’s more about the small, day-to-day things that might not seem like such a big deal, but really are. For example, if one of my co-workers steps in and covers for someone else who was having a really overwhelming day even though it’s totally not that person’s job. That makes me proud.

And when I hear my colleagues sticking up for something that they really believe in, something that will help a client’s campaign, even if it’s a difficult conversation or demands us, as a company, to step up in a way that’s out of our comfort zone.

It all comes from a drive to be the best that we can be for our clients. To strive for the highest possible level that we can achieve. Those are things that make me proud: to be part of a company that really lives by that belief system, and to be a part of a committed team. 

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

A big, newly renovated apartment in Jerusalem where my parents can come and stay, and they won’t even care if they have to quarantine for two weeks because there will be plenty of space.

Four Ways You Can Make Your Giving Tuesday Campaign Awesome

GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that will take place on November 30th, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

This is your opportunity to raise money and awareness for your cause. Let CauseMatch guide you with a few tips to make your campaign a success.

Want to know more about running a successful campaign? Give us a call! Our experts will be happy to help!

The Best Advice for Fundraisers: Don’t Ask For Money

You’re focusing your pitch on the wrong thing. Focus on “solving the problem” instead. 

Asking for money is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It doesn’t come naturally, at least not to most people.

So take some advice from fundraisers who have been doing this successfully for a long, long time. If you think asking someone for money is hard to do, don’t do it. That’s right.

Don’t ask donors for money. 

Ask them to solve a problem instead.

Not only will your fundraising pitch become a lot easier for you to deliver, it will inspire the donor to give even more money. 

So the next time you’re getting ready to raise money, think about your mission as a problem that requires a solution. 

Tell donors what the world looks like in its current state. “Farmers can’t feed their families because they can’t yield enough crops to sell!”

Then, tell donors what the world could look like. “Imagine a world where farmers could afford better education for their children… Where they could sell their produce to neighboring impoverished communities.”

Finally, it’s time to issue your call-to action. 

Instead of this: “Would you please consider a donation of $18 to Organization X?” Try this: “Would you please feed a hungry village by investing $18 in their irrigation system?”

The beauty of this approach is that you can use it in every medium: an in-person (or virtual) solicitation, email marketing, social media, video, etc. Your message should always follow the arc of Problem>Solution>Call To Action. 

The main reason why you should adopt this approach is that it works, plain and simple. People give more money when they understand exactly what your cause looks like in its current state, what your cause could look like with more funding, and the impact that demonstrates why that change is important.

It’s the difference between this: 

For the first time since the establishment of ORGANIZATION, we need your help in order to continue our important work. As a result of the pandemic, the normal flow of donations has decreased dramatically. Without immediate support, ORGANIZATION will not be able to continue.

And

Your donation to ORGANIZATION ensures that our children have everything they need to flourish. From basic necessities like toothbrushes and soap to educational and therapeutic opportunities like school books and calculators, your donation makes a world difference.

The second reason why this approach is smart fundraising is that it continuously challenges you to define and refine your offering. Take 90 seconds and write down what you consider to be the problem” that your organization seeks to solve. Then go ask your staff to do the same. Ask your board members. 

See if there is consensus. You’ll be surprised at the results. Some may say that hunger is the key issue; others may say that it’s the feeling of abandonment; and others may say that it’s hygiene that should be the focus, not irrigation. 

You can crystallize the message over time. That’s not something you need to worry about now.

It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be a problem, a problem that donors can solve.  

Rosh Hashanah: The Perfect Time to Launch a Fundraiser

Pop quiz: Do you know the #1 reason why people don’t give to your organization?

The #1 reason why people don’t give is because you haven’t asked them to. 

Here at CauseMatch, we often speak to fundraisers who have a serious reluctance to ask for money, especially during Tishrei. After all, they say, donors are bombarded by organizations asking for money.  

“Asking now is a nuisance.”

”People are focused on other things.”

“This year with all of the chaos, our donors are busier than ever; they can’t be bothered.”

When you allow yourself to think like that, you not only limit your potential, you do your donors a disservice. You deny them the opportunity to do a mitzvah, a chesed, an act of generosity during the most important time of a year. 

If you approach fundraising as an expression of a donor’s values, your donors will appreciate the chance to donate. They will say to themselves, “Yes, I was looking for an opportunity to do a mitzvah and head into Rosh Hashanah feeling good about myself… and this solicitation is a perfect way to generate that pride.”

This year, however, is different. This year, every single organization and donor is dealing with the effects of COVID-19. This year, you have new challenges. You’ve had to change the way you raise money and provide services. 

It’s more important than ever before to approach your upcoming campaign wisely, with empathy, and with messaging that clearly conveys the impact of a donor’s gift. 

Why now? Why during Tishrei?

Rosh Hashanah is a prime place on the calendar to ask for money. 

1) People are hungry to do mitzvot. They are actively looking to fill the world with acts of kindness. 

In just a couple of weeks, we will daven “u’teshuva, u’tefilla, u’tzedakah ma’averin et roa hagezerah,” that “repentance, prayer, and charity will tear up the evil decree.”

This period within the Jewish calendar is specially focused on becoming the best versions of ourselves. That best version of a person includes donating.

Your fundraising is a service to donors. When they donate and help a person in need, they perform an act of kindness, an act that they actively WANT to perform. Do not deny them this opportunity. 

2) If you don’t ask them to give now, someone else will. This is a busy time in the field with a lot of noise to cut through. It’s not only important to ask but to ask often and to ask smartly. 

Your donors are busy with short attention spans. If you don’t get in front of them, another organization will send out a mailer and beat you to it. 

This is your opportunity to stand out from the other fundraisers out there. Give your donors a problem to solve, something they will feel GREAT about accomplishing through their gift. Then, when they are faced with important choices regarding where to send their tzedakah, they will think of your organization first.  

3) A New Year means a head start.

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are indeed a gift from the Heavens for so many spiritual reasons. 

From a fundraising point of you, these chagim allow you to get a head start on the incredible rush that begins on Giving Tuesday and ends on January 1. Donors are getting ready to line up all their charitable contributions, and you get to begin the race before the starting gun goes off. 

The CauseMatch Way

If there’s anything we have learned from fundraising over the past five months of corona chaos, it is this: Make it easy for your donors to give, and they will respond in kind. 

When you launch a campaign with CauseMatch, you can work with a dedicated fundraising coach who will guide you in mining your data. You will execute a smart, inspiring fundraiser on a safe, reliable platform that has a fully customized dashboard. You can take advantage of the data-backed approach to crafting creative materials (campaign page copy, emails, social media posts, etc.) that will make donors feel like heroes. And, the CauseMatch support team is there to help troubleshoot every step of the way. 

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, schedule a call with a fundraising specialist today and learn about the opportunities that CauseMatch can help you seize. 

When the mad rush of December rolls around, you’ll be happy you did.

The Research-Based Evidence to Running a Fundraising Campaign Now

Are you nervous about fundraising now?

Think your donors are too preoccupied with COVID to worry about your cause?

Are you trying to find the right motivation to turn to your donorbase and ask them for help?

Let the data guide you.

Click here to learn how you can find the bravery and fortitude to fundraise even during these trying times. This FREE report culls data from fundraising campaigns over the last three months… that means DURING the pandemic.

What you will see will inspire you to take action. It will give you the datapoints you need to convince your board that now – yes now! – is the exact right time to fundraise. It will generate the confidence you need to ask your major donors for a major commitment.

It’s easy to sit back and say that this just doesn’t feel like the right time to ask for a gift. But the numbers show otherwise.

In times of trial, donors want to help. When there is a problem about an issue that donors care about, they want to solve it. It is your job to paint a picture of what the world currently looks like… and what it could look like with donor generosity.

Well, the world has turned upside down. You are worried about your organization’s future. That’s where your donors can help.

Give them the opportunity to respond. Give them the chance to be generous. Give them the space to be heroes.

The data tells us that they’ll don their capes. But only if you ask.