Crowdfunding for Non-Profits: The Rebirth Of Third-Party Fundraising.

GG logo by Sabrina Nicosia, National Marketing Director, Every charity has one - the obligatory “Ways To Get Involved”section on their websites. But unless you host an annual run (or anything-a-thon) this lacklustre section of a not-for-profits’website has remained relatively unchanged and under-utilized for the past half-decade. But with the emergence of some new & exciting ways to give online and a savvy new giving generation on the horizon, charities need to —now more than ever —explore some new opportunities. Enter crowdfunding, stage left. Crowdfunding is new. It’s shiny. And for most non-profits it just sounds like a lot of work. Crowdfunding is a way of raising funds online by getting the people around you to contribute in small amounts towards a larger goal amount. It’s essentially peer to peer fundraising on steroids - the custom pages are often highly dynamic allowing users to add pictures & video throughout the duration of their campaign, the custom pages are loaded with social media share tools, the real-time campaign report offers tons of data to be sliced, diced & analyzed, and most importantly, there are Perks. Perks are incentives that crowdfunders add to their campaign to either encourage and/or thank people for their support. Perks come in many forms and in most cases are closely associated with the nature of the campaign. For example, if I am a filmmaker trying to raise money for my next movie, my perks might look something like this: “Give $50 and we’ll add you to the credits,”or “Give $500 and we’ll give you a walk-on role in the movie.” Perks are what makes crowdfunding unique and, in many cases, make the contributor feel like they are a part of something bigger - a movement. People have successfully used crowdfunding across a plethora of industries, so why not the not-for-profit sector? For the goliath organizations, the thought of suggesting something new at next week’s board meeting is quickly poo-pooed by the sad recollection of the last time a good idea died a slow death at the hands of some (nay, many) well-intended old-timers. And for the small but feisty organizations, just the thought of adding anything more to their already piled-high plates of responsibility makes them want to keel over. But crowdfunding can be a tool for charities to get their existing networks as well as some new fresh young faces to do the heavy lifting. Although some have coined The Millennial Generation as the “lazy selfie generation”, they are actually pretty engaged and determined when they want to be. The keyword being - want to be. Crowdfunding allows the campaigner to be creative & shape their campaign into a true reflection of themselves. Let’s say for example that the fundraiser is a talented baker, they also excel at digital design, and love to silk screen funky bandanas. Their perks could be a reflection of all of those things. “Give $35 and I’ll bake you a dozen cookies, give $150 and I’ll design a custom logo for your new business, or give $50 and get a cool hand-made bandana in hot pink or gekko green.” Crowdfunding also allows the For Profit sector to support charities in a way that also brings them new business or a lift in sales.  For example, “give $10 and get a free gift with purchase”or “give $25 and get 50% off anything in the store”.

Crowdfunding empowers third party fundraisers to raise money on their terms, in their own unique way.

As GivingTuesday fast approaches, many charities are faced with the daunting question - what are we doing to capitalize on this national day of giving? GivingTuesday has a high awareness rate amongst Canadians making it too big of an opportunity to pass on, so how can charities bring in more dollars without cannibalizing their upcoming “holiday ask”., a Canadian crowdfunding site, has just launched The GivingTuesday Challenge - a free and easy-to-execute program for charities to adopt as their GivingTuesday initiative, either on its own or as a compliment to an existing planned initiative. The Challenge encourages do-gooders to use simple acts of kindness to raise money for the charity of their choice. The organizers have also just released a Charity Toolkit loaded with a host of pre-designed marketing communication pieces for charities to use to rally their supporters (email templates, inspiring social media posts, cool Facebook & Twitter cover photos) as well as bevy of fun social media posts for the fundraisers themselves to use to let their friends & family know of their noble undertaking. All monies raised through The GivingTuesday Challenge will be sent directly to the chosen charity and charitable tax receipts can be issued on behalf of the charity automatically. For charities that want more info or would like register visit:

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