All it takes is a quick trip over to the big "GFM Crowdfunding Site" to look at many crowdfunding campaigns that seem to never get off the ground. While it becomes difficult to assess the validity of any single campaign in a vacuum, it is possible to look at trends and extract broad conclusions.
When band boosters and band directors are looking at crowdfunding as a high school band fundraiser (or any non-profit or independent performing ensemble fundraiser, for that matter), consider and then AVOID THESE as you are planning your campaign.
Reason #1 - The Campaign Asks For Money - JUST Money
If you simply ask for money, you may generate a little activity. The mark of a slipshod and disorganized campaign is just a meek appeal for funds. It lacks vision and any kind of an emotional connection.
Your campaign must not resort to simple 'begging' - it's unbecoming and rarely stirs any kind of emotional urge to help, plus I believe that fundraisers for band boosters ought to be conducted with a higher standard (I'm certain you agree). Think about framing your request in a way that tells your story and placed your performers and your mission at the core of that story. The results will be improved dramatically.
Reason #2 - The Campaign Isn't 'Packaged'
With that lack of planning illustrated above, it's common to see campaign pages with just one or two photo images, and a very short, general description.
While I agree that 'less is more' in many cases, use everything at your disposal to give your potential donor a look inside your organization. Use many high quality images, and perhaps a short video, to put your group in the best light.
The writing and video may be short, but as long as it creates an impact, the result will be fantastic. The technical expertise required is minimal, and any group that is preparing high school band fundraisers ought to be able to handle it.
Reason #3 - It's JUST Social, and Nothing Else
We've talked about why social media is just not enough on it's own to make most campaigns deliver. Facebook is a great way to grab an extra donation or two, but as a cornerstone of a crowdfunding campaign it isn't going to work on a regular basis.
While many band booster fundraisers do involve some degree of online social media promotion, take advantage of the fact that it's not the only way!
Think about it - if a close contact approaches you ONE-ON-ONE to ask you for help (and if you are able to help) - you'd be much more likely to lend a hand than if that same contact asked you and everyone else in a crowded restaurant for the same assistance.
FansRaise, for instance, builds campaigns using an aggregated email list created by your ensemble members before the campaign begins. The system emails those contacts, as if it's coming directly from the performing member, and the messaging is much more contextually personal than blanket Facebook posts.
Please give these points some consideration as you plan your next fundraising campaign. You can learn from the ensembles that have gone before yours.
Use this link to download out comparitive InfoGraphic on how FansRaise compares to the other crowdfunding platforms out there.