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At least that's what all the content marketing people tell me :-)
Over the course of the last week, I was asked the following question on two different occasions when speaking with potential FansRaise clients that are planning a band crowdfunding campaign:
"What are the most important things we need to consider to make sure our campaign over-delivers results?"
- Executive Endorsement
- Campaign Focus - What is it? Who does it benefit?
- A Plan For the Audience
- All Hands on Deck
- All the Mechanics Figured Out
You would be surprised how often I stumble across a crowdfunding campaign that is the product of an isolated eager-to-help band parent or drumline/guard instructor. It's actually quite common.
What's fairly "uncommon" is when these campaigns produce much of anything.
At the core of a successful campaign is a high degree of executive sponsorship in the sense that the head band director or org director not only "allows" the campaign to propagate, but verbally endorses it, and urges/pushes/requires others to do the same.
* One additional consideration to be made: In most high school band programs, the band director is the "alpha". Despite that status, in many cases the students in the non-wind-playing captions (percussion, colorguard) tend to view their caption heads as their own "alpha". If you think about it, those students take 99% of their performance direction and constructive criticism from those caption heads so that makes sense. Endorsement from those caption heads is also critical to total success.
Campaign Focus - What is it? Who does it benefit?
Another key component that is also vital to your crowdfunding success is the focus of your campaign. As long as you can answer the two questions above, your campaign will stand a good shot at being successful (however you wish to define that).
We have talked about how to identify your campaign goals and targets in other posts. One of the most important questions to cover becomes "Is my campaign set up as a capital campaign, or as an annual giving campaign?" (Note - we are not considering member campaigns (those designed to offset band trip costs, activity fees, or other member costs) as part of this campaign).
The differences between those two are important:
Annual giving campaigns are those that cover basic operational costs, and can actually be general in nature. These campaigns typically account for ongoing expenses, overhead, and other typical less-than-sexy items in the expense column.
Capital campaigns are those larger-than-normal campaigns that come along every year or two that cover larger, splashy big-ticket items. Uniforms, trucks and trailers, and other larger goals would fall into this category.
Understanding the distinction between these two types of campaigns is key. Once you get your arms firmly around the main campaign thrust, you'll be much better off.
A Plan For the Audience
The audience for your campaign is another key component that must be considered. Are you targeting families of current members? Alumni? The local community? All of the above?
You not only need to isolate your chosen audience, but also develop a plan on how to reach them. Will you use only social media? If so, be prepared for the inadequacies of Facebook and social media. Social is fine, but you also need to understand the true limitations of broadcasting your campaign across social media.
If you opt for email (always our first choice, by the way), you need to have a plan for the tone and voice of your emails, messaging mechanics (do you comply with CAN-SPAM?), list maintenance, and all of the mechanical requirements for conducting a comprehensive email campaign.
All Hands on Deck
Having something close to 100% of your organization engaged and involved with your campaign will allow it to reach its fullest potential. By creating structure around member expectations and how your students or members should/would engage with the campaign, your campaign will be promoted across people that will be most likely to donate.
To that point - we want to point out that the people that will be most likely to donate to your campaign are those people directly connected to your members or students. The ability to leverage the widest audience that has a connection to your membership is the key to cultivating ongoing donors.
All the Mechanics Figured Out
Fortunately for you - FansRaise has got you covered.
- Our automated tools help you identify your audience
- Do you have a launch date or end date selected? We have that built in...
- What about your communications? You can use our templates or create your own...
- Your donation page is very tricky - do you have it set up the way you want? FansRaise has that built in for you.
- Payment processing
All of these elements are built in for you with FansRaise.
We've also published our $10,000 Blueprint on how your ensemble can set up a quick and easy crowdfunding campaign that will put huge dollars in your account. Download it today: