How to Collect Donations for Your Nonprofit through Crowd Funding

By Stan Hutton, Frances N. Phillips

You may find a needed source of donations for your nonprofit from crowdfunding. Crowd funding (also called crowdsourcing) is a form of online fundraising that can benefit from the social networks you’ve developed. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the best-known crowd-funding sites.

Kickstarter is all about projects and isn’t specifically designed for nonprofits. You can’t use Kickstarter to raise funds to support the ongoing costs of your nonprofit, for example. But if your work involves making a film or producing a play, Kickstarter may be the place to go.

Generosity by Indiegogo lets you raise funds for a cause, as long as your organization is recognized as a 501(c)(3) public charity. Fundly is just for nonprofits and works well with Facebook. So if your organization has a lot of Facebook friends, and you’re eager to try out crowd funding, Fundly may be a useful fundraising tool. For more details about these innovative funding initiatives, check out Crowdsourcing For Dummies, by David Alan Grier (Wiley).

Using crowd-funding platforms does involve some costs, so be sure to research carefully before you commit your organization to any one of them. Also, don’t expect the contributions to flow into your organization’s bank account without lots of work publicizing the campaign to your friends and followers.