Fundraising 101

on November 09, 2017

Did you know that there is a whole team of human people at CrowdRise dedicated to helping you reach your fundraising goals? Seriously. We love this stuff.


The CrowdRise Success Team's goal is to help nonprofits leverage our platform functionality and resources to make their campaigns super successful. Not only that, but we’re really passionate about the charity space. Whether it’s helping your cause, working at our local food pantry, or even crushing it in our CrowdRise softball league, we’ve got your best interest in mind. Ok, maybe not so much for that last one, but we’re just really, really good at softball.

So, as a little fundraising 101 refresher, we’ve compiled our top ten tips to help make your campaign - you guessed it - a success.

  1. Tell a compelling story -  Tangible connections are great since donors often want to know how their potential gift will make a real impact. Choose photos that showcase how their gift will help you accomplish your mission and be as specific as possible. Keep your story section brief, but include tangible ways their donation will help. For example, $10 purchases one malaria net or $100 allows us to provide food and shelter for a family in need. You might also want to consider highlighting someone that has benefitted from your organization in the past. It could be a quote or even better, a video that speaks directly to your community of supporters about the incredible work your nonprofit does.
  2. Find ambassadors - Before you ask your entire database to donate to your campaign, find a group of supporters and ask them to fundraise for the campaign instead of just making a donation. Start by asking your board members, large donors, volunteers, and most passionate supporters to help you by joining as a fundraiser. These ambassadors will help you spread the word about your campaign, expanding your reach by spreading the word to their network of family and friends.
  3. Support your fundraisers - The easier you make it for your fundraisers, the easier it will be for them to raise money on your behalf. Create a virtual toolbox of resources that they can personalize and leverage. At the very least, this should include an email draft that they can copy and paste to send to their friends and family. Include a few bullet points about your charity, sample social media posts, or images they can share as well to make it super easy for them to engage their personal networks.
  4. Engage everyone - Your campaign will not reach its full potential unless you keep people engaged. Using the campaign update tool to send out messages to your previous donors about campaign milestones can be a great way to update everyone on your progress. Additionally, offering promotions to your donors or fundraisers is a great way to provide an extra incentive. We even have a promotions team that makes sure every promotion is legal and ready-to-go. Premium and Enterprise charities get one promotion per campaign and Starter charities can purchase an add-on promotion.
  5. Thank your donors - We couldn’t include a top ten list without this crucial step. Your donors are so important so you’ve got to thank them. Do your best to make your acknowledgement of their gift as personal and creative as possible. Our favorite thank-yous are usually short and sweet and include emails, social media shout-outs, recorded thank you videos, or even personal letters and phone calls.
  6. Leverage your data - The Report Center on CrowdRise holds tons of information about your fundraisers and donors that you can use to grow your database. Throughout your campaign and afterwards, use your data to help you identify your top fundraisers, most successful days or weeks of your campaign, and top donors you might want to acknowledge separately. Also, use reports from prior campaigns to leverage your donors that have contributed recently.  If you’re a Premium or Enterprise charity, you have the option to integrate your CrowdRise data into Salesforce, Kindful, or Raiser's Edge.
  7. Reach out to the Success Team - If you’re looking for fundraising ideas, wondering if your approach to social fundraising is on the right track, or just want another opinion on your campaign plan, we are here to help. Reach out to and one of our Success Specialists will be in touch via email. If you’re all signed up for Premium or Enterprise, you and a Senior Success Specialist are probably already BFFs and understand the ways they can help you guide your campaign strategy but feel free to reach out to them again today - even just to say hi. Our goal is to help you crush your fundraising goals and make it as easy as possible to do so. We’re standing by ready to help and can’t wait to dig in.

If you’re a claimed charity on CrowdRise, you have your very own Success Specialist waiting for you to provide you with best practices, tips, and tricks. Nonprofits who sign up for a Premium or Enterprise subscription are matched with a Senior Success Specialist to provide even more personal and high-touch strategic guidance and support throughout the year.

Julia Meckling

Julia Meckling is the Sales Manager of our CrowdRise mid-market sales team. Before joining CrowdRise, Julia headed up a lead development department specializing in scaling teams in order to develop individuals into sales leaders. Her passion is training, coaching and developing. In her free time, Julia loves to scuba dive with her Italian family, regardless of how many of them there are.