What You Need vs. What You Want - The Power of Setting a Goal in Crowdfunding
Ever feel like you’re asking for too much? Or do you aim too low because you’re afraid of falling short of your goals? Worry no more. Our brand-new targets let you tell your supporters exactly how much you need, while inspiring your supporters to chip in for a home run!
After all, nothing is impossible in the world of crowdfunding! A model of a Tyrannosaurus rex with Christopher Walken’s head raised $2,000 just last week…
Upgrade that fundraiser
But imagine if they were to reach a “target” of $1,200 alongside their “tilt” of $800! They’d be able to upgrade their parties to a luxury, top-floor suite complete with a jacuzzi and unlimited bar tab. This party sounds like too much fun for even Jennifer Lawrence to handle.
- Crowdfunding a surprise gift for your graduating friend? Set the tilt at $800 (the minimum cost for a nice laptop). But set the “target” as $1,200, and cross your fingers for an upgrade to the Macbook Air! She’ll be overwhelmed.
- Fundraising for a local family in need? Instead of taking whatever you can get, set a target too. If you hit $700, you’ll be able to throw in some Christmas presents.
- Crowdfunding a party? ($200) Aim for $400 to upgrade your drinks, and decorations. You could even throw in a… festive mime?
Telling your supporters your “target” helps you make an awesome goal even better. It’s clear. It’s effective. And it’s judgement free :)
Really, don’t be shy.
"Target" helped this real life campaign raise $48,097 more than its tilt…
[Click here to read the compassionate story behind this boat fundraiser.]
Boldly speak up about your goals. Here’s how:
Target comes in 3 easy steps:
- Fill in your tilt amount when you set up your Crowdtilt.
- Fill in your target amount too!
- (Optional) Encourage your supporters to contribute to the target in your description.
It’s that easy!
Finally, here’s a gallery of high-fives to encourage you through your tilting journeys!
(At Crowdtilt we’re all about high-fives)
You may be small, but you are filled with power.
Puppy eyeing your way to the top? #respect
We’re going nuts over you :)
You plunged straight in.
To make giant things happen.
You’re so awesome, we can’t bear it.
Neigh-ver again should you dare to dream small.
Because you are pure fierceness in disguise.
Keep reaching for the stars,
P.S. If you haven’t heard about David Henneberry’s boat in TIME, Bloomberg, or Buzzfeed yet, read about it here. It’s so inspiring it would be a crime not to.
Fundraising on Crowdtilt just went to a completely different level…
- You can fundraise on behalf of any registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
- Crowdtilt will automatically disburse funds directly to the non-profit organization
- And Crowdtilt will now automatically send tax-deductible receipts to donors
This means you can now start a fundraiser for the Red Cross or Salvation Army for you and friends on Crowdtilt without worrying about how to transfer the funds or how contributors will claim a tax-deductible donation receipt when your campaign succeeds. It’s all automatically handled through Crowdtilt! Isn’t that awesome? We think so too :)
Why are we doing this?
This enormous improvement to Crowdtilt has been spurred by your incredible fundraising efforts for causes and non-profits on Crowdtilt.com, as well as the massive adoption for Hurricane Sandy-related relief efforts. Over the last few weeks, the Crowdtilt community has collectively raised more than $180,000 for those affected by the Hurricane! While there are many noteworthy campaigns, both big and small, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorites:
- 10,000 Lights for Children
- iPad Brigade - Helping Teachers Impacted By Sandy Rebuild Their Classrooms
- Hurricane Sandy Help Fund
With Crowdtilt, we set out to build the web’s simplest and most effective collaboration tool around money, and today’s news is a big step in the direction of collaboration around charitable giving, just in time for the holidays! Read more about Crowdtilt & non-profits here or subscribe to our blog.
We can’t wait to see what this new functionality will make possible for you and your group this holiday season.
Supporting the Catholic Education in the U.S.
In recent years, there has been one institution that has struggled across the country more than perhaps any other - and that is the education sector in America. While a high-quality education is the bedrock for successful professional careers, proper funding for many schools has become more difficult to come by and in some cases dried up completely.
Even numerous Catholic Schools across the nation, supported by the Catholic Church, had to shut down or find other sources of funding to provide education to their students. And in order to bring a continued education to their students, some schools are taking matters into their own hands.
For example, John Paul II Catholic High School in Tallahassee, Florida found out earlier this year that that their diocese would no longer be able to provide traditional levels of financial assistance and the school had to become self-funded.
With no other alternative, the board and community launched into an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise $676,000 before May 1st of this year.
Since January, the group has raised more then 2/3 of their required funding and turned to Crowdtilt to crowdfund another $99K towards their goal by April 9th.
More importantly, the Catholic community, including Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and leading proponent of school choice, picked up on the ambitious campaign pursued by JPII and provided support on a national level. The article from Catholic.org can be read here as well as other front page coverage. Currently, the campaign is just 9% away from tilting and if you would like to make a contribution and share the campaign with a friend, you can follow this link to the campaign page.
Local teacher tilts her way to Confratute 2011.
A community of parents group fund a teacher’s excursion to an acclaimed teaching seminar.
The University of Connecticut is home to the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. Their studies, focusing on meeting the needs of gifted and talented youth have received national and international attention for over 40 years. Every year they host the annual Confratute where teachers from around the world can soak up cutting edge teaching concepts directly from the experts themselves. This year, Ashley Rich was able to attend because a group of parents saw the tremendous value in funding her trip. The new methods and concepts she could learn would directly impact the quality of the education their children would receive. The local community realized this wouldn’t happen without their support and responded by putting together a fundraising effort by using a Crowdtilt campaign as the epicenter.
After a few months of hard work promoting the cause, these parents achieved their goal and tilted their campaign. It was a great opportunity to help privately fund a public school teacher’s continued education and these parents saw the campaign through.
It was the hard work of the parents who spread awareness through their online networks that ultimately pushed the funding through. Their dedication to the cause and their children’s education was the driving force in tilting the campaign. This should serve as a shining example of how people can use Crowdtilt to get things done in their community. Find something that enough people are passionate about and use Crowdtilt to give them them an opportunity to make it happen.
Ashley and some friends enjoy some downtime in between seminars.
Now it’s time for Ashley to give you a free tutoring lesson. After all, if you’re going to learn something it might as well be from a top-notch teacher right? The thank you letter she sent us and her contributors was spectacular. In fact, it can serve as a template for your next post-campaign thank you. The letter also allows us to underline the importance of thanking your donors. It’s likely the same network you’ll be going back to for future campaigns and leaving them on a positive note is very important. Ashley hits the nail on the head with this one and you can too.
Dear Crowdtilt Confratute Contributors,
I cannot begin to express my gratitude for sending me on the trip of a lifetime. I spent five fun-filled days at the University of Connecticut studying Renzulli Learning, a gifted and talented education program that is geared towards enrichment based learning for all students. It is the 34th year that Confratute has been offered by Joe Renzulli and Sally Reis. Most of the people that I came in contact with have attended the conference year after year. Now, I understand why! I wish everyone could experience the love for education and children that radiated throughout the campus!
Each morning I attended a session where various keynote speakers from around the world shared their expertise and wisdom. The afternoons consisted of two different classes that I chose, Strategies for Differentiating Curriculum and Plugging into Creative Technology Outlets. I left each session with excitement, as well as with a wealth of strategies and knowledge to bring back to Moss Haven. I also got the opportunity to talk with Joe Renzulli and Sally Reis, one-on-one, on several occasions. They offered guidance and tips specifically for MHE. I admire their genuine dedication and love for education.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to attend Confratute 2011! This was a conference that I’ve always wanted to attend, but I knew that I could not do it on my own. Your contributions, kind words, and trust turned my dream trip into reality. I appreciate it more than you know! I am blessed beyond words and forever grateful!
Moss Haven Teacher, 5th/6th Grade
Still having trouble writing a thank you letter? Here are some more examples.
Ashley would also like to thank Starbucks. They donated some coffee to help with the campaign’s promotion.
Posted by: G.Case
Campaign highlight video.
Posted by: G.Case
Top 10 ways to tilt your campaign
Here are a few quick tips on how to get your Crowdtilt campaign started off on the right foot.
1. Never stop promoting the campaign.
Send e-mail, facebook updates, or tweets to your friends and family. One of the single most important tips for an online campaign is to be persistent. While some people will contribute the first time you ask them, the reality is that it will take at least 2-3 friendly reminders before the majority of your friends and family open up their wallets for you. Campaign pages who keep their donor base engaged with frequent updates tend to be the most successful.
Keep in mind this doesn’t mean peppering people with links. (They will ignore it after a while) A well-timed and placed tweet, facebook post, or e-mail will go a long way. Here is a great guide to limit how to limit your outreach without becoming overbearing on your friend’s social feeds.
Tweets: 4-5 times a week.
Facebook posts: 1-3 times a week.
E-mails: 3-4 per duration of campaign
Some tips on generating traffic on social networks:
- The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
- The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
- Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
- Although most posts and comments appear around 3:00 p.m. ET, posts published in the morning tend to perform better than those published in the afternoon.
- Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.
Remember: The campaign’s chance of success is directly related to the amount of work and promotion the campaign administrator is willing to put forth.
2. Promote Tactically.
While we recommend telling everyone you know about your campaign page, before you send out mass e-mails to everyone in the contact book, first send out e-mails to your closest family and friends. This is one of the most important tips for success. The reason you want to do this is because your inner circle of friends and family will be the most generous and easiest to recruit to help spread the momentum for your campaign by setting the tone for subsequent contributors. For instance, if your first four contributors each give you $75, future contributors will view this as the appropriate contribution size and will be more likely to give this or a similar amount as well. You can also manually set the donation amount in the campaign creation settings.
3. Start with a modest goal.
One of the keys to a successful Crowdtilt campaign is building momentum. Your friends and family will be more inclined to give if they think their contribution will help you reach your goal. By setting a modest tilt goal for the campaign and quickly reaching fundraising milestones like 10% and 25% of your goal you can build a lot of momentum and get your donors excited about the campaign. On the other hand, if you set your goal too high, some people will be discouraged from contribution because they’ll view your goal as unattainable and will feel like their $25 or $50 bucks won’t really make a difference.
4. Offer your contributors a chance to get something in return.
A great way to get people to contribute is by offering them a raffle prize. Example: When you e-mail your contacts you might include that you will be raffling off a $50 gift card to Home Depot [or whatever prize you choose] to the first 20 people to donate. This creates extra motivation for those people who are on the fence about donating. A well-run raffle with the right grand prize can raise incredible amounts of money for campaign. Most groups underestimate how much money a raffle can raise. Your choice of prize or prizes should vary depending on your financial goal, the size of your potential market, and how many volunteers you have to sell tickets.
Remember, bigger prizes mean more tickets must be sold to turn a profit, but they also mean substantially higher profits. Design your raffle prize offerings to match your community’s tastes.
The most successful raffles generally have between one and four prizes. When you decide on the selling price of your raffle tickets, keep in mind the market value of the raffle prizes. For high-end prizes ($800+) it is not uncommon to see prices on the raffle tickets of $6 or more.
Selling raffle tickets is really easy on Crowdtilt. Set up a campaign that has predetermined amount equal to the price of a raffle ticket. Contributors will also be able to purchase multiple tickets at once. The campaign administrator will be able to track who bought tickets and how many were purchased for the drawing. It brings a level of excitement and anticipation to the deadline from the contributors.
5. Get your story in the media.
The local paper will usually be more than happy to write about your campaign if it benefits the community in some fashion. The more exposure you get, the better your campaign will do especially if it’s a local campaign on the local news. It’s no secret that people like to be apart of something that is high profile within the community.
6. Make your campaign go viral.
The most successful fundraising campaigns are the ones that go “viral” on the Internet. The results can be astonishing with hundreds of people making contributions across the country and raising thousands of dollars for a cause. Although not every campaign will go viral, here are some tips to help get you there:
- Ask friends and family to spread the word. When you send out your e-mail make sure to ask your contacts to share your campaign with their friend’s co-workers.
- Create a 24-hour Facebook “Wallflower” Campaign where everyone donates their status message for one day to direct the participant’s networks to contribute to the cause.
- Make sure to get off to a good start with a big donation off the bat (close friends and family can help). This will give you some quick momentum to get people excited about your campaign.
7. Thank your contributors.
When you create your campaign page, you can draft a thank you message that automatically goes out whenever someone makes a contribution. You can also send personalized thank you e-mails to your donors from their profile pages. Thanking each contributor individually is essential if you plan to fundraise again in the future and hope to ask the same people.
8. Create a blog about the campaign.
This will give the campaign a human face and a voice (yours) as well as providing an outlet to publish updates, stories, and highlight the people behind the campaign. It’s a great resource that builds credibility and enthusiasm about your campaign. Once the information gets rolling it will get picked up and re-blogged by other sources. We recommend tumblr.com for functionality and sharing capabilities.
Tumblr tip: Run a search for like-minded blogs to start following. If you follow a blog they will most likely start following you back. If you have good content then you are more likely to get your posts re-blogged.
9. Create an attractive campaign page
Personalize your fundraising page as much as possible with a heartfelt description and a striking photo.
The campaigns that do the best are the ones who really make an effort to tell their stories or are super descriptive about what the funds will be used for. Explain to your contributors what you are raising money for and why it is so important to you. If your friends and family see that you are passionate about the campaign, they are more likely to give and give generously.
Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words so make it count. Also remember you must choose a picture that will also be attractive and striking in thumbnail size from the search page.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you would click on a link if you were scanning the page. Get advice from others as well. The larger a focus group you have the better shot you have at nailing down a picture that will get noticed.
10. Have Fun!
It’s always important to remember to have fun. Getting a campaign tilted can be hard work but it can also be very fun and if you’re not enthusiast about it will tough to fake. It should be a fun activity and if you’re having fun with it, the positive emotions become contagious and will make people want to contribute.
Posted by: G.Case
Heroes on the Water
In honor of Memorial Day we wanted to highlight a really cool campaign on Crowdtilt that improves the lives of former service men and women. It’s a very interesting concept that helps wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate into society through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Heroes on the Water has become a hit with new chapters popping up all over the nation.
Here is the link to their campaign: http://bit.ly/jeH3rG
Here is some literature from their site:
Today’s Warriors are exposed to hostile fire and sustained combat stress 3-6x longer than their fathers and grandfathers endured. During World War II, the average time spent in the combat zone was 7 months. During the Vietnam War the average was 15 months, whereas during the Global War on Terror, the average time a warrior spends in combat is 45 months.
The good news is that modern technology helps our troops survive wounds that were fatal in prior wars. However, many of the wounds are invisible: 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan Vets show signs of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression.
From 2003 to the present time (2010), there have been 5,773 U.S armed forces deaths and 31,902 ‘visible’ wounded from hostile fire, IED amputations, burns and other injuries.* In addition, it is estimated that there are 300,000 suffering with PTSD and 320,000 with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Reports indicate that the numbers of injured military personnel is increasing by 50 per month since mid-2008.**
Alarmingly, there are 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department with an average of 18 veterans committing suicide each day. ***
Heroes on the Water’s mission is to help wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate into society through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Over the past three years of taking a few thousand men and women of all branches of the armed services out kayak fishing, we have learned firsthand the ‘triple therapy’ of kayak fishing – physical with paddling and fishing, occupational in learning new skills and a sport they can do for life, and mental in the relaxation and freedom out on the water. Their words say it best…
“You have given us a new sport that we can do with our injuries. Best of all, I really yearn for a morning in the woods with my bike or a long run down our country road… those thoughts have been replaced by talk of new fishing tackle, rods, water craft, and terrain. You have no idea how mentally and physically healing your program is. Thank you!! Thank you for your time, your expertise, your passion, and your dedication to the military in which you served. We feel blessed!! From a wounded Army Captain and participant in HOW
If you know someone that has served and would be interested in joining send them this link: http://heroesonthewater.org/get-involved/become-a-member