How one organization turned tourists who visited their area into dedicated supporters for their crowdfunding campaign.
In 2015 The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal was struggling to keep up with major restoration work needed to keep the lighthouse open to the public. So, they competed in the National Trust’s This Lighthouse Matters crowdfunding competition which supported Nova Scotia communities who were working to save their lighthouses. But how could the group turn tourists who visit their area into dedicated supporters for their crowdfunding campaign?
Annapolis Royal won the highest prize in their category in the This Lighthouse Matters crowdfunding competition – $40,000. The lighthouse was restored in time to play a prominent role in the area’s Canada 150 celebrations.
As they watched their vote tally grow, they could see spikes in support after a tour pitch, or a walk through the market, so they knew their marketing campaign was working. They credit the last tour on the last day of voting with propelling to them to the top spot.
They connected with people from all over Canada and the world and found a new base of support for future projects.
It’s not enough to simply ask for support when you’re talking to people who don’t know about your project. You need to tell a compelling story that engages them and makes them want to be part of your success.
Refreshing your materials and updating your Facebook page throughout a crowdfunding campaign keeps supporters engaged and coming back to vote again and again.
Organizing a successful crowdfunding campaign takes time and effort. You need a team to help you. It’s not a one-person job.
Crowdfunding is the social media version of fundraising. It’s is a great way to raise funds, but it also raises public awareness, mobilizes communities and expands audiences. Any fundraising project in your community would achieve that, but with crowdfunding, the world is your community.
Small shops with 2 or less – and even no – staff dedicated to fundraising can meet the challenge of raising funds, expanding their donor base, and taking advantage of evolving trends in fundraising. All it takes is the right tools and a good plan.
If you are setting up a fundraising shop or have organized a few ad hoc fundraising campaigns or events and now you want to take a more measured and organized approach to your fundraising you need to do some careful planning to get ready to fundraise.