Tips for conducting successful crowdfunding campaigns

By Liana Barcia 04 January 2016

What are the secrets to a successful crowdfunding campaign? Photo by: / CC BY-SA

When the two deadliest earthquakes in Nepal’s history struck in 2015, killing 8,500 people and leaving over a million more homeless, the world sprang into action. Local and international NGOs hit the ground running and funds poured in through the usual channels — governments, aid agencies, multilateral development banks, philanthropic foundations and private corporations.

But millions of dollars for basic necessities like food, clean water and temporary shelter — as well as for longer-term projects like the rebuilding of schools, hospitals and houses — were raised through relatively small amounts of money from individuals and entities across the globe, mostly through the Internet.

The global refugee crisis has inspired a similar outpouring of support, with people turning to online platforms to donate funds to both established organizations and individual fundraisers. Popular website Kickstarter, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has already raised close to $2 million for Syrian refugees. The figures are similar for GenerosityIndiegogo’s free personal and social cause platform. Some initiatives are more small-scale and personal, such as a campaign that raised $191,000 — almost 40 times its initial target — to fund a refugee family’s new life in Lebanon.

Crowdfunding, as the movement and practice is known, leverages social media and Web-based communication to solicit relatively small monetary contributions from a large group of people. And the emergence of more specialized crowdfunding websites, such as Humanwire, a platform specifically designed to provide financial support to refugees, and ShareTheMeal, a U.N. World Food Program app that raises funds to feed Syrian refugee children — suggests that this type of digital fundraising is becoming more widely accepted and more commonly used in the development and humanitarian community.

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About the author

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Liana Barcia

Liana is a Manila-based reporter at Devex focusing on education, development finance and public-private partnerships and contributing a wide range of content featured in the Development Insider, Money Matters and Doing Good newsletters. She draws from her experience in business reporting and advertising to generate coverage that is engaging, insightful and relevant to the Devex community.

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