Learn to Tap your Online Communities for Fundraising
Having an online community is an invaluable resource. A group of like-minded individuals that all have a common thread of interest is a great source to reach out to for fundraising efforts. In this article, we outline two important aspects to achieve great fundraising results from your online community.
Your key to crowdfunding is not the money, it is the community. As outlined by this Harvard Business Review Article, reaching out to like minded communities helps establish a direct connection between creators and actual users or supporters. “The pressure of community support also instills a sense of obligation.”
So, how do you find the right communities to crowdfund?
Targeting your Online Communities
When targeting the right people, delving into communities that you are already part of will be extremely beneficial. If you have a presence in various Facebook or LinkedIn groups, this will be a great place to leverage support. Same goes for email campaigns that you have run.
To move away from your already established group of connections, focus on niches. Niche crowdfunding will allow you to reach groups that are like-minded, and encourage supporting missions that they believe in. Establishing rewards along the way that will benefit these communities is also a great way to draw them in further.
Targeting online communities can best be achieved through social networks and the communities within them. As long as your community is dedicated, taping in should be simple. Take a look at the social networks in the image below and investigate to see if they could be networks worth investing time into.
Read this article: How to Develop an Online Community if you want to learn more.
Measuring your Online Community
As you reach out to various communities across the web, it will be essential to monitor how successful each of these networks is. Let’s say you put $50 into 5 platforms promoting a fundraiser that you are holding online. If one of these networks does not lead to signups or fundraising, you should cut that budget. Which landing pages, blog posts and content are successful in both a private social network like the Rasa platform, or public social network like Facebook or LinkedIn.
Having a landing page specific to this fundraiser, that has
goal tracking on it will be key to effective measurement.
Having a landing page will be extremely useful when measuring your results, for you will be able to collect email addresses that you can then reach out to with a fundraising-specific email campaign as well as analyze people who visited. Use a platform like Google Analytics to best analyze your landing pages and track who visits, and where they came from.
Because email is one of the highest converting marketing mediums, being able to measure its effectiveness is also very important. Use a platform that tracks email campaigns like Hubspot.
Measuring is especially important for future campaigns. Keep a list of your best marketing channels, and your best contacts. Perhaps a person reposted your campaign on LinkedIn, which drew a lot of people into the fundraiser. This will be a great resource to reach out to for your next fundraiser. The online community that these people have is more subtle than a LinkedIn group, so establishing a relationship with them is essential. Maybe get these people more involved in your next campaign by having them produce content or managing contacts.
Tapping into effective online communities is key to a successful campaign. While your first campaign may not be the most effecting, you will learn a lot about your marketing channels that will help your future campaigns. Be sure to measure and record everything from where you spend your time and budget, to the effectiveness of post titles, and email subject lines. All of these variables will be important in creating a successful campaign in the future.
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We created rasa.io because we fundamentally believe that up to now, the approach most associations take to online community building has been far too narrow. Networking, resource sharing, and Q/A are just a part of the online community experience, so we created a platform the puts member engagement where it should be - at the heart of your association’s community.