How to Run a Major Crowdfunding Campaign

4.1

Matchfunding / Major Gifts

Goals

  • ‍Get a clear idea on how and when to use matchfunding and major gifts.

Key Questions

  • Is there anyone who will matchfund your campaign or contribute a significant gift?
  • If so, how and when do you put the money in and/or reflect it in the campaign?
  • How should you steward / notify that donor (or donors)?

Recommendations

Matchfunding can super-charge your campaign. Even a relatively small amount of matchfunding provides two key things:

  • Validation that the project is credible.
  • Momentum and inspiration for people to get involved early.

In crowdfunding, once a project reaches around 30-40% of its target, it has a 90%+ success rate. There are qualifications to this, and to some extent this reflects the fact that better fundraisers are more likely to reach this target. However, if you think about the social proof dynamics explained earlier, it makes sense that the more successful a campaign appears to be, the more likely people are to want to give to it.

This provides an ideal role for matchfunding. A project can secure around 15-20% of the project’s total target in matchfunding, and this is sufficient to stimulate early gifts, validate the credibility of the project, and also reach the 30-40% of the total that correlates with success as early as possible.

Most significantly-sized organizations have a tier of low-level major donors, giving $1-10k annually. This tier is typically difficult and expensive to solicit and steward, as their giving is not quite at a level where deep personalization and physical meetings are easy to justify. However, it’s above the level where standard communications and stewardship can be used. This is the ideal target for matchfunding asks, particularly for projects in the $10k to 250k crowdfunding range. Across the Hubbub network, we have seen almost $500k in low-level major donor matchfunding contributed in the past year alone.

Securing these gifts normally requires the involvement of whoever handles the lower-level major donors. Engaging them in the campaign and explaining the value of the lower-cost solicitation and stewardship journey is the best sell. However you’ll need to get used to providing them with more personalized and detailed campaign materials - you can’t just point them at a website.

Next Steps

  • Talk to your major gift fundraisers about getting one or more low-level major donors involved. In smaller organizations, this might be your CEO or Board.
  • Prepare a short infopack on the project and the opportunity, which can be presented to the donor(s) in question.
  • Do this before going live(!)

Request a free major campaign consultation with me.

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