Every successful crowdfunding campaign starts with a good story. Whether you’re raising money for potato salad or solving world hunger, a single catalyzing moment exists behind the need for a campaign. There’s a story behind that moment.
Crowdfunding relies on many individuals to pool their money together in order to pull something off. More than a call to action is required for people to part with their money. It requires empathy, and a good story brings out our instinctual ability to be empathetic.
Successful campaign pages tell compelling stories. Here are six very simple ways to appeal to your donor’s emotional side and encourage them to contribute to your crowdfunding campaign.
1. Use Your Brand, Your Voice
Supporters care about you. They donate to your organization because they relate to your brand, voice, and work. That admiration and recognition is important for developing strong, lifelong relationships with donors, so make sure your unique brand is present in all that you do. The best crowdfunding pages maintain a style and voice that is consistent with the rest of your assets and channels. You’ll build instant credibility with campaign page visitors when they can establish empathy for your cause just by recognizing it.
2. State the Problem
Prospective donors are compelled to donate when it’s easy to understand the problem your organization confronts. Problems tend to be complex, but work hard to boil down the core issue you want to address into one statement or sentence.
Here are some examples:
“748 million people live without clean access to water.”
“Education is a basic human right, yet those who need it most—the children living in poverty—are the least likely to attend and complete school.”
“Each year, more than 1 million babies die on their birth day. 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world.”
“Lions attack livestock, threatening the livelihood of a whole community. The community retaliates by killing the lion.”
“250 million kids can’t read this.”
Consider stating the problem in the headline of your campaign page. This will captivate site visitors and encourage them to read on and find out about your solution.
3. State the Solution
Now that people are aware of a problem, you need to offer them a solution. Otherwise, your campaign will feel meaningless. What’s the point of raising money if there’s no plan on how to approach the problem? Demonstrate how you will address the problem and if you’ve proven your model before. Potential supporters will appreciate the transparency and will be more motivated to give knowing you have a plan in place.
Here’s an example of Embrace’s solution statement:
4. Show the Impact
Supporters want to understand how their dollars will be spent. Impact levels should describe how different gift amounts affect your ability to implement a solution. If you’re an education organization that builds schools, you might consider: Does $15 provide books for one student? Does $250 send a child to school for a year? Connect support with outcomes using customized impact levels.
5. Write the Campaign Story
You’ve demonstrated a problem, a solution, and how a supporter fits into the picture. Bring the story full circle and explain your campaign’s why. 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?
- Why does it matter to the problem you’re addressing?
In some cases, impact level descriptions or images will easily round out your campaign story. If you want to provide more context and information to page visitors, you can add more to the campaign page. To ensure readability, separate context into themes by blocks.
Here’s an example from the John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s #ShowYourGrit crowdfunding campaign page. In the light orange area, they describe the campaign, in the next block they describe the organization, and they tie it all together with a quote from their champion in a third block.
6. Give Social Proof
People care about what others think and seek validation for their behavior. Crowdfunding pages that show others supporting your cause can encourage new viewers to do the same. Also, if other people contribute to your campaign, it’s a good indicator to someone who’s completely new to your organization that you’re trustworthy.
These six steps make up a repeatable process for building compelling campaign pages that are easy for supporters to digest and act on.