Q: What is the most important factor when deciding whether or not to embark on a crowdfunding campaign?
A: The most important part of any successful campaigns is leadership.
This answer goes well beyond fundraising. In fact, leadership is the #1 measurable driver of results in any project, business, organization, or campaign.
Specifically, I look for three characteristics in leaders.
1) Courage – Leaders step out of their comfort zones. Oftentimes, I meet amazing executive directors who feel uncomfortable with fundraising. But great leaders aren’t afraid of vulnerability. (In fact, sometimes that vulnerability inspires donors to give even more than they otherwise would have!) There is no growth in the comfort zone. To outperform expectations, leaders must put themselves out there even when certain tasks don’t come naturally to them.
2) Humility – Leaders know that they can’t do it alone. They aren’t experts in all aspects of a campaign, and, even if they were, they simply don’t have the time to accept responsibility for every detail. Great leaders understand that there are other members of the team who are well-suited for certain roles. Maybe someone on staff is an excellent motivator or influencer. Maybe someone can project-manage throughout the campaign. Lead, but lead from a place of humility.
3) Discipline – Leaders understand that great campaigns aren’t built in a day. They don’t cram it all in the night before like students preparing for a high school final. Great campaigns are built bit by bit, task by task. Leaders learn to not only live the process, but to love it as well. They implement ideas at a high level because they know that excellent execution will empower their organizations to reach new heights.
If you’re asking yourself whether an ambitious fundraising campaign is right for your organization, look internally. Ask yourself if you have the leadership to mobilize an army of supporters. If you do, you should proceed confidently because fundraising success is well within reach.