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4 Must-See Examples of Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns


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Published March 14, 2023 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Every small pebble in a jar can have a big impact when it comes together with thousands of others to form a stable foundation. Crowdfunding can be the same way, gathering many small donations to make a force for good as people come together to raise a significant amount in a short period.

Every successful nonprofit crowdfunding campaign starts with a good story. Whether raising money for emergency humanitarian aid or supporting families impacted by brain cancer, it’s critical to illustrate the problem, articulate the solution, and forge emotional connections with your supporters to help you solve it.

These five examples of successful crowdfunding websites will help you articulate the motivation behind your goal and encourage supporters to contribute to your awe-inspiring efforts better. 

Why You Should Consider a Crowdfunding Campaign

So what is crowdfunding?

While crowdfunding projects support entrepreneurs, venture capital endeavors, small businesses, and startups, we’re talking crowdfunding for charity here. Here’s a deep dive into crowdfunding for nonprofits, specifically.

Crowdfunding Explained

The way crowdfunding works is that a single crowdfunding site acts as a fundraising campaign to attract a large number of people with a powerful message and a timely need for their support through monetary donations to support a specific need.

We always suggest nonprofits switch up the options given to supporters to participate and engage with a cause through various campaign types. Adding a crowdfunding campaign (where it makes sense) in your fundraising strategy can be a great way to attract new donors and give loyal supporters another way to act.

Now, let’s dig into some incredible examples of crowdfunding that led nonprofits to outstanding fundraising results.

4 Crowdfunding Examples

1. Direct Relief Boosts Conversion Rates to 35%

Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization offering emergency medical assistance and disaster relief worldwide. The organization views fundraising in a unique way by uniting individuals for a cause instead of marketing to them proactively to solicit donations. Crowdfunding campaigns are a key part of its strategy, which helped them raise $5.8M in its first seven months using the Classy platform.

Crowdfunding Example: Supporting Ukraine

Direct Relief partnered with AmerisourceBergen and Alliance Healthcare to respond to the Ukraine Crisis. Using a crowdfunding page that led with a powerful story, the organization successfully campaigned why the community needed help quickly. Additionally, Direct Relief was able to offer a 200% employee donation match to increase the urgency of its ask, followed by a simple experience for donors to give in minutes.

The expanded audience reached through its partnership with prominent corporations called for more focus on a simple donation experience. To do this, Direct Relief made its crowdfunding campaign page and payment methods with trusted apps, like PayPal and Venmo,  easily accessible on a mobile phone or smartwatch. It also features its pledge to spend 0% of donations on fundraising, alongside its accolades as a top-rated nonprofit on Charity Navigator, Forbes, and CNBC, right on the donation form itself.

Donors are doing good in the world through their support of Direct Relief. They deserve to be recognized for that and the process deserves to be easy. None of this work happens without them.

Steve Lange

Director of Web


Read More About Direct Relief’s Fundraising Approach


2. Riley Children’s Foundation Acquires 22% More Donations

Riley Children’s Foundation is on a mission to support children through pediatric research funding, care, education, and access to healthcare. The organization fundraises to activate loyal donors and advocates while expanding its brand awareness to new audiences. Its Giving Tuesday crowdfunding campaign helped to increase fundraising by 19% and acquire 22% more year-end donations year over year.

Crowdfunding Example: Community Fundraising on Giving Tuesday

Riley Children’s Foundation turned to crowdfunding to host its dedicated Giving Tuesday campaign. The campaign page featured bold branding with the fundraising goal front and center and a prominent “donate now” call to action. Funders also saw a video that encouraged contributions to support children who needed it most at the end of the year. Additionally, it utilized creative and visual impact blocks that tie donations to the results the organization can offer kids in need.

With the help of Classy for Salesforce, Riley Children’s Foundation exceeded its funding goal. It created a multichannel approach to optimize marketing efforts and donor communications that brought more individuals to its campaign. Salesforce also provided a clear view into supporter data for a new level of engagement and personalization to the campaign, giving it that special touch.


Read More About How Salesforce Powers Crowdfunding

3. Saprea Increased Donations by $40,000 Year Over Year

Saprea fundraises with a commitment to eradicate child sexual abuse and its effects on individuals. It has a beautiful approach to sharing stories of survivors through campaigns, making crowdfunding an ideal outlet to connect those stories to passionate donors. Saprea also turned to crowdfunding for Giving Tuesday and saw its donation volume increase by $40,000 in just one year.

Crowdfunding Example: A Giving Tuesday of Visual Story Sharing

Saprea gave donors a memorable moment on its crowdfunding campaign launched on Giving Tuesday 2020, with a beautiful page design that stood apart from millions of other movements that go live on this massive day of giving worldwide. Still, it was its genuine and authentic video that stole the show.

Featuring a personal story from a child sexual abuse survivor, Saprea was able to successfully pull in an emotional call to contribute to the vital cause. It supported this with startling statistics and story elements that pull a specific group of people in to help, even if it’s their first time hearing about the organization. Adding the option to give a monthly donation additionally resulted in 113 new recurring donors for Saprea, all from one powerful crowdfunding campaign.


Hear More on What Makes Saprea’s Approach Unique

4. Many Hopes Modernizes Giving to Increase Donations by 56%

Many Hopes began in Kenya and now operates in six countries to rescue children from oppression. Using donor-first fundraising initiatives focused on simplicity and various campaigns, it builds a well-rounded donor experience. Many Hopes also uses crowdfunding as a key campaign in its portfolio to deliver the consistent and frictionless experience that helped them increase donations by 56% year over year.

Crowdfunding Example: The Gift of Hope Holiday Call to Help

Many Hopes used crowdfunding to host a time-sensitive holiday campaign that spoke to donors with simple yet impactful language. The campaign matched all donations until the last day of the year, prompting more donations to flow in at a critical time. Many Hopes also explained clearly how much a donation would mean to a child during the holiday season with the added element of a moving testimonial.

Donors saw how different gift amounts benefited four specific children in need to build trust and transparency around their actions. Additionally, Many Hopes put donors first in every aspect of the donation process throughout the campaign, with simple payments from Google Pay and PayPal to Venmo and ACH transfers to capture the most impact possible.


Read How Many Hopes Upleveled With Embedded Giving

Top Takeaways to Build Your Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

  • Showcase a consistent brand: Donor admiration is foundational to lifelong donor stewardship. To keep your unique brand presence in all you do, start by crafting a cohesive narrative. Although seemingly small, building this instant credibility with campaign page visitors can strengthen donors’ connection to your cause and inspire giving that stretches far beyond one campaign.
  • State the problem your campaign addresses: Nonprofits address an array of complex problems, so presenting the core issue in one clear statement is nonnegotiable for achieving your crowdfunding campaign goal. Consider stating the problem in the headline of your campaign page to captivate site visitors and encourage them to read on.
  • Offer a solution to the problem: Now that people are aware of the problem you’re trying to solve, offer them a solution. Otherwise, your donors may struggle to understand how their gift can make a difference. Demonstrate how you’ll address the problem with an action plan and clarify if you’ve proven your model before.
  • Show the impact of your crowdfunding campaign: When a donor understands the impact of their gift, they’re more likely to offer repeated support to your crowdfunding campaign. Get specific, emotional, and creative with your communication to demonstrate exactly how each dollar will change the lives of your beneficiaries. You can also describe how different gift amounts affect your ability to implement a solution by customizing the copy in each impact block on your crowdfunding campaign. 
  • Explain the “why” behind your call to action: You’ve demonstrated a problem, a solution, and a supporter’s fit into that picture. Bring the story full circle and explain your campaign’s “why” to backers of your mission. Here are some questions to address on your campaign page: 
    • Why now? 
    • Why this goal? 
    • Why does it matter to the future of your organization? 
    • How does it solve the problem you’re addressing?
  • Give social proof to drive action: A well-crafted crowdfunding campaign has the potential to provide that social proof. With campaign features like a real-time progress barorlive activity wall, prospective donors can immediately see how many people trust your organization and are passionate about your cause.
  • Mimic modern transactions with your donation process: Business owners attract customers to purchase a new product with a seamless transaction experience. Just as Amazon customers know they can make a purchase in seconds, you can offer that same consistency and reliable process on your checkout form to convert as many campaign visitors as possible.

Strengthen Your Crowdfunding Success

Crowdfunding platformslike Classy and GoFundMe, make it simpler to establish a campaign that meets your audience where they’re at, from mobile-optimized donation forms to easy sharing on social media. The examples and takeaways we’ve shared today will help you establish a repeatable process for building compelling crowdfunding campaign pages that are easy for supporters to digest and act on.

For more comprehensive tips and ideas on how to elevate your crowdfunding campaigns, explore our crowdfunding campaign checklist

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