Crowd funding gaining popularity with ministries

Donor management software can lead ministry nonprofits to their crowd funding goals.

Crowd funding, fundraising efforts administered through a website where people can make donations, has risen in popularity exponentially over the past few years. Christianity Today’s Abigail Miller reported it was a $5.1 billion industry in 2013. Among independent films, art projects and study abroad trips, ministries are setting up accounts to receive funds online as well.

Miller wrote crowd funding can be successful for ministries if done correctly. This means working hard to reach a goal, not simply posting a plea for funding online and expecting it to see traffic. Miller asserted that defining the needs of the ministry and relaying that message to supporters and friends is the best way to attract attention to the fundraiser. Donors need to know how their gift will impact the community.

Along the same lines, Joe Boyd wrote on the Huffington Post about his experience with a faith-based crowd funding project. Though Boyd was campaigning to raise money for a tour of his one-man show The Bible Experiment, he reached out to friends of all faiths to share his passion and his story. This was a huge steppingstone on his path to meeting his monetary goals.

Both Miller and Boyd mentioned that communicating their goals in a variety of ways expanded their reach and led to a more successful result. If a ministry’s congregation or members do not already use social media regularly, don’t feel pressured to begin now. Start with what the congregation knows, whether that is email, postcards or in-person conversations.

More than money
On the bright side, even if a fundraiser fails to garner the amount it set for itself, it can establish important personal connections that will help the next event become a bigger success. It can also realign a ministry’s vision and help define future efforts.

This is a situation where utilizing a reliable donor management software can really come in handy. If email or postcards are critical options for your funding campaign, donor contact information will be neatly stored and ready to go when the opportunity arises. Donors can also track what they’ve given and stay in touch with the fundraising efforts with member profiles. Communicating with donors to keep them up to date with the crowd funding progress is a big part of reaching a financial goal. Backers enjoy feeling involved from start to finish, even after they’ve given. Who knows? Maybe they’ll give again!