Statistics showing that East African countries account for 38% of funds raised through crowdfunding indicate that online fundraising is quickly and steadily getting adopted, not only Kenya, but in Africa at large. With the existence of platforms, systems and favorable regulations to adopt crowdfunding as a whole, these numbers are bound to rise further.
Understanding this, we had an insightful session graced by Sakwa Maasai and Mike Muchilwa on how organizations, individuals and businesses can collaborate and leverage online fundraising for better impact. Here are some unique tips, questions and answers that came up during the session;
Why should organizations and businesses adopt crowdfunding?
In these Covid times, crowdfunding enables organizations to involve their ‘tribe’ and networks in a safe, efficient and transparent way. Non-profit organizations can also use it to cover gaps in fundraising, while for-profits can increase equity and manage debt for the company to grow, expand, and sustain business operations. With no expectation of repayment, like in loans, crowdfunding offers a sustainable financing option.
What is the estimated timeline for building a network to successfully launching a crowdfunding campaign?
While there isn’t a one shoe fits all answer concerning timeline, adequate preparation can take two to five months- except during emergencies. It is essential to focus on communication strategies, set up your team, and map out your audiences during this time. One should also consider testing messages and other communication tools via soft launches or public communication with intended audiences. One should also consider the time spent wrapping up the campaign, as you will need to thank and update donors or write reports. This time is crucial for accountability purposes, not just within the organization but with your supporters.
What is your experience with data-driven fundraising?
Data in fundraising- coupled with correct execution- plays a critical role in the success of crowdfunding campaigns. With good info on popular donation times, audience interests and appropriate language, one can effectively tailor their fundraising strategies towards success. This data can be obtained from survey reports conducted by philanthropy networks, from analytics or social media metrics where available. Proper interpretation of sex, age, social status or geographic data can provide further insights for successful campaigns.
With the engrained Harambee culture in most individuals, are we ready to adopt crowdfunding?
Remember the WhatsApp group formed to help raise a friend’s hospital bill? That is an unambiguous indication that we are already embracing crowdfunding through virtual giving. The only difference with an organization is that you are not giving to a friend but for a cause. The shift in giving mentality, where giving is not all about crisis now, is also aiding the easier adoption and success of crowdfunding efforts by organizations and businesses.
Fundraising for organizations is very similar to fundraising for individual needs or causes. While fundraising for our organizations and businesses, it is vital to keep this in mind as it makes a big difference. The way you create an emotional appeal, personalize your messages or keep it real with your friends, you should do the same for your organization or business crowdfunding efforts.
To listen in on the full discussion, click HERE for the session’s audio recording and HERE for the video recording. Register your mobile fundraiser by dialing *483*57# or an online fundraiser by clicking HERE.
M-Changa is a Kenyan online and mobile fundraising platform that was launched in 2012 to make fundraising more convenient, more efficient and more secure than the traditional Harambee. To date, over 46,303 fundraisers have raised millions of dollars from over 882,726 contributors.