How to Run a Major Crowdfunding Campaign




  • Identify key influencers from the organization’s network.
  • Estimate the size of potential end donor bases, and look at (non-viral) routes to reaching them.
  • Build an engagement strategy for key donor groups and test campaign messaging.

Key Questions

  • Who do we know who could help shape and spread the campaign?
  • How big is the potential donor base?
  • Are they receptive to our message? How can we change it, if not?


We strongly recommend undertaking network mapping workshops: two to three hour sessions that enable a group of people connected to an organization or campaign to brainstorm networks in an open manner. These allow everyone to contribute their ideas, connections and channels in a way that will help maximize campaign engagement.

These workshops are not particularly hard to deliver, but ideally you will want to train key staff in running them, so they can be repeated several times to ensure maximum network exposure. Typically, organizations will have several constituent groups who can help with network mapping - e.g. trustees, fundraising staff, the campaign team, directors, focus groups, etc.

Once you have mapped influencers, you should also run bottom-up network mapping, focusing on key subsets of potential "public" support for the campaign - e.g. those who are likely to give $500 or less but the vast majority of whom may not be within your inner circle. This builds the "money table" for the campaign (mentioned earlier), and will help us to simulate the campaign and generate suggested targets.

Next Steps

  • Identify opportunities to run the workshop inside all key groups of staff.
  • Receive training and/or materials to run the workshops.
  • Collate the results.
  • Run bottom-up analysis of potential donor networks.
  • Add key influencers and donors to your pipeline management tool (see later).
  • Send bottom-up mapping to your simulation tool provider.

Request a free major campaign consultation with me.

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