One of the most common questions we get asked is, "Can you help us put our crowdfunding message together?" The term "message" means the complete and total "ask" of the campaign.
When asked, we can and do contribute our own 2-cents, but we feel that a deeper exploration into the dynamics of fundraising via crowdfunding and requests for donations is in order.
Things You Must Do:
In today's soundbite world, people do not have the time and inclination to read 5 chapters on how much your ensemble needs and depends on your donation. Your reader gets it - believe us.
Your initial touch - either via social post or by email - ought to be tight and short. The goal is to bring eyeballs to your campaign page, and that's it. Do not feel as if you need to lay it all out in your initial touchpoint, because people won't read the whole thing.
Your page ought to state the basics and outline the "who, what, when".
Be tighter, and once you write your campaign description, attempt to trim it by 20%.
Always paint a clear and true picture of your ensemble, the campaign at hand, and the goals you are striving for. Part of this is also "be realistic" - your 15-member indoor color guard isn't going to raise $200,000, so your goal should be both realistic and achievable.
Your tone should be strong, confident, and reserved. Do not slide back into the mode of "begging" for donations, but simply request support:
Here's an Example -
"Our ensemble desperately needs new equipment, as our existing instruments are old and failing. Our kids deserve better, and with your help, you can help us replace the older, dented, and tarnished instruments that were purchased in the 1960s."
"Our students are playing on instruments that are older than they are, and while we make due with what we have, our ensemble would become a regional powerhouse with modern and up-to-date equipment."
The first example is weak and mealy-mouthed. The second is much more matter-of-fact.
For more tips and strategies on how to put together your performing ensemble's crowdfunding campaign, be sure to pick up our new report: