TOOL KIT
November 12, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Crowdfunding

The power of social fundraising is becoming more and more apparent. Crowdfunding sites, which allow many donors to give online — usually in small amounts — to a project or cause are an increasingly popular way to raise money. Charitable crowdfunding campaigns have supported an array of causes, from conservation of the space suit Neil Armstrong wore on his historic moonwalk to emergency support for Syrian refugees. Because sites such as GoFundMe, Razoo, or Indiegogo’s new site Generosity.com can potentially reach a wide swath of people, they also can help broaden awareness of your cause.

Use of the approach is growing rapidly. Globally, mass online appeals — including both charitable and for-profit projects — raised $16.2 billion in 2014, according to Massolution, a research and consulting firm that releases an annual report on crowdfunding. That’s a 167 percent increase over the $6.1 billion raised in 2013. The firm estimates that global crowdfunding in 2015 will double, reaching $34.4 billion.

Campaigns on crowdfunding platforms, which have varying costs and capabilities, are generally publicized using social media and can range from fast-paced Giving Days to campaigns that last a month or more. But running a successful crowdfunding campaign requires more than simply clicking a few buttons.

Here we’ve gathered some resources to help you navigate the crowdfunding world.

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April 13, 2016

11 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Crowdfunding Platform

Experts explain how to assess a crowdfunding website. Considerations include data security, fees, and the volume of transactions a site can handle.

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October 21, 2015

Indiegogo Launches Free Crowdfunding Site for Nonprofits

Generosity.com will serve as the home for both nonprofit and personal-cause fundraising campaigns.

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April 07, 2013

Raising Money From the Crowd: What Works Best

Now that Kickstarter and other mass-appeal sites have been around for a while, charities are mastering what works best to attract large sums.

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September 21, 2014

Caution! The Downsides of Crowdfunding

The fundraising craze brings new money but also new legal and ethical concerns.

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September 21, 2014

Legal Experts Weigh Regulations Best Suited to Crowdfunding Sites

Most rules for charities are decided in the states, and some commercial crowdfunding sites reject the idea that they are fundraisers.

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September 21, 2014

Inside a Crowdfunding Site: LoveAnimals.org

The site has raised about $180,000 in 138 campaigns for small and medium-size animal-welfare charities.

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September 21, 2014

How Charities Can Avoid Legal and Reputation Risks of Crowdfunding

Nonprofits need to be sure they're being accurately represented and that they understand the financial-reporting requirements.

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March 07, 2014

How Crowdfunding Sites Could Be Better

Sites that raise lots of small gifts online are bringing in billions for charities, but they have drawbacks. Here’s how they could help nonprofits and donors more.

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March 08, 2014

Tips From Experts on Running a Great Crowdfunding Site

Turn donors into fundraisers, and call attention to less popular campaigns.

Article
April 17, 2014

How Nonprofits Use Crowdfunding to Attract Support of All Kinds

Founders of two crowdfunding platforms say groups use the method to raise money not only from individuals but also from businesses—and to bring in volunteers.