Brian Gawor, CFRE, is a former annual fund and major gift professional who now focuses on research and benchmarking to drive fundraising strategy. He is also a doctoral student studying higher education giving.
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We recently released the 2017 RNL Crowdfunding Index, where we looked at over $22.5M in crowdfunding gifts through the ScaleFunder platform. This powerful new fundraising technology has let higher education fundraisers and other charities harness optimized online giving, peer-to-peer communication, and engaging technologies like videos and live updates to bring new and loyal donors in to support specific projects.
A common question we get as institutions get ready to go “live” is just how to name a campaign. In preparing the Index, I found that in general, the most successful crowdfunding campaigns:
• Name the organization or group being supported in their project title.
• Use active language such as support, help, or send.
• Mention a challenge in their project title.
It is clear that donors are more inspired to give to specific projects. They want to understand why their gifts matter and will be more likely to respond when they feel a personal connection to the cause. These naming strategies also greatly increase the chance that a supporter will come across your crowdfunding campaign in a web search (this is known as search engine optimization, or SEO).
A visual of crowdfunding campaign project titles
We took the titles of 4,200 campaigns and created a “word cloud” of the terms that appeared 20 times or more across all the projects:
Click to see the word cloud at full size
The words that are more commonly used appear larger in the cloud. As you can see, it’s common for fundraisers to use words that describe key areas of support, like students and scholarships. This is a good practice, but looking at the cloud, it seems to me that there’s an opportunity to better use some different words.
In contrast, here’s a word cloud I made of the recent slogans of S&P 500 companies from this great list:
Click to see full size
While we would definitely expect charitable fundraising titles to be a bit different from the corporate world, it’s probably worth looking at some of the strategy used to gain consumer attention. I see more action-oriented and “emotion” words.
Download the 2017 RNL Crowdfunding Index today and find out how your fellow fundraisers are having success with this new donor-centric technology. And if you’d like to get started, or improve your crowdfunding campaigns, contact us today to find out how we can help you with your fundraising strategies, including online fundraising like crowdfunding.