Many businesses and non-profits look for a little extra cash to get a new project off the ground or even to open their doors for the first time. They may not want to take out a loan, or they may be looking for a way to get the word out about their exciting idea while getting the money needed.
Crowdfunding can be a way to do just that.
You may know about sites like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Kiva and Indigogo. These are websites where people can create campaigns and people from all over the world can donate or lend money to them. Many people, though, have learned that just because you post it doesn’t mean you will reach your financial goal.
The Mountain Association has partnered with The Local Crowd to offer a platform and support for running a crowdfunding campaign. The support includes learning modules that tell you step by step what it takes to create a successful campaign and how to do it.
Grayson Gallery recently worked with the Mountain Association to create the gallery’s first crowdfunding campaign on the site. They were raising money to increase art classes for children, buy new lighting and sound equipment for their stage and new shelving and lighting for the gallery, and improve their website.
Dan and Mindy Click of the Gallery learned that it is a lot of work to run a crowdfunding campaign but it helped them make the upgrades they were wanting and it gave some unexpected benefits.
They became more comfortable writing about the gallery so they can tell their story better. The campaign also helped them create closer connections among the gallery’s core team.
Crowdfunding is fundraising, so it takes an enthusiastic team who is willing to ask for donations. “It’s not enough just to send out links to the campaign. You have to be excited to tell people what the project is and how it will benefit the community so that they will get excited about supporting you and they will tell their network,” Dan Click said.
One of the main ideas in crowdfunding is that you cannot do it alone and you cannot do it without an already strong network. Dan and Mindy have been active in their chamber of commerce and Rotary Club and other community organizations for a long time. They reached out to people they knew from these connections to help them, and that is how they exceeded their goal. Read more in their reflection on their project.
If you have questions about crowdfunding or would like to learn more, please contact Amy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.