Crowdfunding for nonprofits: 4 tips for impact fundraising on Indiegogo - Fast Forward

August 14, 2015 | Accelerator

Crowdfunding for nonprofits: 4 tips for impact fundraising on Indiegogo

Alisa Cordesius, Manager of Social Innovation and Design at Indiegogo, gave our cohort advice on crowdfunding for nonprofits on Indiegogo. Indiegogo is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms, helping entrepreneurs around the world fund projects from technology to engineering to clothing. The biggest campaigns are able to raise millions of dollars. Alisa helps nonprofits and social enterprises get the most out of their fundraising campaigns.

Here are her 4 tips for running a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign:

  1. Set an attainable goal: people want to fund a project that has made significant progress toward its goal. If you set your initial goal too high and haven’t fundraised enough, strangers are less likely to donate (this is the “green bar effect” or the “bandwagon effect”: a progress bar showing 40% project funding versus 15% is more successful). Failing to hit your goal can be detrimental for your organization, while going over can be a good thing, especially if you pair it with additional perks and benefits.
    Pro-tips: aim to have about ⅓ of your goal locked down via commitments from your network before you even open up the campaign. Planning prior to campaign launch is crucial – give yourself at least a month of prep time.
  2. Create a compelling pitch: the pitch consists of both your pitch video and your pitch text. The video is the hook. It should be about two and a half minutes in length, and must demonstrate authenticity, urgency, and transparency. The text should be detailed and, as a nonprofit, must make a compelling case for your projected impact. Try to include any past credibility boosters such as press, and photos and images always help. Express gratitude in advance and leave your viewers with a strong call to action.
  3. Give funders unique perks: for nonprofits in particular, the perks are a great way to make the impact of a donation clear. People tend to contribute for four main reasons: they want to participate, they are passionate, they want to support the people running the campaign, or they want a tangible perk. It’s important to offer perks that resonate across all four motivations to attract a larger supporter base. For example, tell the audience that with their $50 they get the perk of saving a child from blindness, or that they can teach 5 students to read. Beyond impact perks, offer unique product, digital, and experiential perks (videochat with the founders!).
    Pro-tips: start with 5-8 perks, and know that people purchase the $25 perk more than any other.
  4. Make proactive outreach: talk to your audience before, during, and after your campaign. Realize that executing a campaign is time consuming but also essential for success. Follow an email outreach strategy with a social media strategy, and be sure to give funders updates along the way (campaigns with updates raise 286% more funds than campaigns without). Treat your Indiegogo campaign like a living blog.

As always, remember you’re trying to make a personal connection to the audience, and you want readers to believe both in you and in the importance of the mission.

Interested in learning more? Contact Alisa Cordesius at