For years we’ve fundraised the same ways – direct mail, gala balls and fun runs, to name a few. But with over 55,000 registered charities in Australia it’s an increasingly crowded marketplace. And it’s only going to get more competitive with declining government funding and increasingly demanding funders with expectations around personal involvement and impact measurement. So how do you stand out?

For the past six years, The Funding Network (TFN) have been changing the rules and have facilitated over $10 million for non-profit organisations, funding hundreds of social change programs. All of these dollars have been raised one way: live crowdfunding. It’s a tried-and-tested model that engages donors in a fun and memorable way, and best of all, non-profits of any size can now reap the rewards.

What is it?

Live crowdfunding is a type of collective giving event that involves people coming together to pool donations and resources to support non-profits. Think Kickstarter for non-profits, but live and in real time. It’s an inclusive form of giving, which means anyone can take part, from young professionals to retirees; corporates to philanthropic foundations.

People from all walks of life gather to hear inspiring pitches from non-profit program leaders doing innovative work in the community. Then after the pitching comes the pledging. ‘Pledges’ or donations, typically start from $100 and there’s no upper limit. This provides the magic of the evening, enabling donors who have been touched by the stories and programs, to lend them a hand – while having plenty of fun along the way.

Why does it work?

Anyone who’s been to a live crowdfunding event will agree that being in a room with like-minded, generous individuals inspires their own generosity. Giving is contagious and there’s nowhere that’s more apparent than in live crowdfunding. One person’s pledge of $100 can spark a chain reaction of generosity, quickly multiplying until it becomes $1,000 or even $10,000.

Recent research into collective giving has found 70% of respondents increased or substantially increased the amount they donate to charity as a result of collective giving groups. This is proof that, for many of us, the live experience is far more powerful than simply making a donation online or posting a letter in the mail – and the benefits are being felt on both sides. For non-profits, it means they can engage with donors in a collaborative and effective way, whilst diversifying their funding streams and reaching new audiences. For donors, they are given a chance to meaningfully connect with, and support non-profits at a deeply personal level.

Running your own live crowdfunding event…

A number of key elements need to come together for a live crowdfunding event to be a success. And like any successful event, careful planning is key. As a first step, consider the number of guests you’d like to invite (TFN recommend between 100-200 people) and locate a venue that accommodates your numbers.

Next, you’ll need to invite your guests, typically made up of a combination of donors and other program supporters, making sure to let them know you’re hosting a live crowdfunding event and what to expect.

Now that you have the right people coming along, it’s time to think about how to showcase your organisation. Consider the people and programs within your non-profit you’d like to put forward at your event and give them plenty of support to perfect their pitch. Finally, a good MC is a critical part of your event’s success. An experienced MC sets the tone, bringing energy to the room to lift donor engagement, participation and ultimately, donations.

Thousands of everyday Australians have already experienced the magic of TFN’s live crowdfunding events. Now, they’re sharing their IP and methodology so you can stage rewarding live crowdfunding events yourself. Their White Label service guides you through the entire process, including event management, templates, pitch coaching, marketing, MC services, and support on the night to ensure the event is a success. To find out more click here or email: info@thefundingnetwork.com.au – they’d love to hear from you!

How to Power Up Your Fundraising Strategy

Jay

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