Crowd-sourcing is a really interesting fundraising strategy made viable because the free, high-volume mass-communication strategies of the Internet Age that turns anonymity into friendliness for a cause. We have two considerations, a suggestion and a next step for those of our beloved community considering crowd-sourced funding:
Consideration One: The Source
It’s important to retain control of your source: when you take this bull by the horns, keep a firm hold on those horns. Don’t accept agreements that mean you give up control or a percentage of the crowd’s giving to you that feels too high to you. Keep looking for an arrangement that suits you, that you can defend to your current and future donors (future donors? keep reading) and that feels ethical to you. I’m in a conversation now as part of the Chronicle of Philanthropy LinkedIn group where one of the members used the term “sniff test.” Your crowd-sourcing arrangement should pass your own personal sniff test. It’s super-important your fundraising smells clean and fresh to you.
Consideration Two: The Crowd
It’s also vital to retain control of your crowd when you crowd-source, as well as your source. The crowd you receive from crowd-sourcing is bovine #2, no bull. Choose a source that lets you keep a firm hold on this bull’s horns while you ride it out. Why? Well, the ride may be momentary, but the animal can be yours forever. A good crowd-sourcing source allows you to
- invite contact directly with your donors and
- maintain it if your formerly anonymous donors opt in for full-time friendliness with your cause.
If your source for crowd-sourced funding doesn’t do this, see “Consideration One,” above–and change sources! This crowd = your future donors. (We’re getting there, be patient.)
A Cool Suggestion
We were interested to realize you could create your own crowd-sourced funding vehicle using WordPress! Here’s a link to a very interesting article on doing just this.
And after you use WordPress to crowdsource your own funding,…
What’s next? First comes love, then comes marriage…see “RAISING CLARITY’s Rhythm Method” for how to tell when it’s the right time for those babies within the context of a long-term, stable relationship with your donors.
Before you get to there, create the conditions for conception: flowers, candles, Barry White’s music, Susheela Raman’s or hey! Ravel’s “Bolero.” What floats our boat is part of what expresses our organizational culture, the culture of our cause, our message and branding.
What are the equivalent of creating the conditions for donor cultivation? My top indicators a cause is ready for me to put it on my short list for stable support:
- Great communication with donors in both directions–especially clarity
- Unduplicated work: no one else is doing it–especially this creatively
- Good working conditions for staff; passionate Board; diverse, decentralized.
For more steps on how to start turning the crowd you sourced into true friends, ask us a question right here in this blog!