An Appreciative Rebuttal to “Why I Don’t Like Crowdfunding”

By Ajay Rajan

An Appreciative Rebuttal to “Why I Don’t Like Crowdfunding”

Dear Marc,

Thank you for your continued contributions to the fundraising field. Between your blog and the Storytelling Conference, you have left an indelible mark on fundraising strategists all over the globe.

From the moment I saw the headline of your most recent post, “Why I don’t like crowdfunding,” you had me captured. You see, my colleagues and I at CauseMatch are dedicating our professional lives to crowdfunding. We believe that it is an invaluable addition to any nonprofit’s strategic plan.

Your words of caution, however, are much appreciated. It’s true that many organizations expect an avalanche of funds to roll in with just the slighting push of a snowball. That’s why we’ve developed an extensive Ignition Packthat instructs fundraising professionals to build a strong infrastructure for their campaigns.

We begin by helping organizations find matching donors willing to double (or triple or quadruple) each dollar raised from the crowd. We give organizations the exact scripts to use to solicit a team of ambassadors who will commit to donate to the campaign before it even begins. And we provide a comprehensive suite of email and social media templates specifically designed to inspire their mid-level and prospective donors.

With each demographic — the big matching donors, the ever-important ambassadors, and the crowd of mid-level and prospective donors — relationships ARE deepened. The organizations stress how valuable these donors are to the success of the campaign and ultimately to the service being provided.

Successful crowdfunding campaigns require hard work; we tell our clients that from day one.

Further, our creative team uses YOUR strategies to ensure that donors feel integral to the cause. Because of you and Jeff Brooks and Chris Davenport and Beth Ann Locke, etc. etc. etc., the creative that we provide our clients is all donor-centric.

And the results have been amazing. Massive numbers in donor acquisition and re-attracting lapsed donors. Organizations are seeing more than three times the average gift size through CauseMatch. And roughly FIVE times the total amount raised.

It has surpassed our expectations, as well as those of our clients.

All of this is to say that if organizations look at crowdfunding as a silver bullet, I couldn’t agree with your blog post more.

But if they see crowdfunding as a PIECE of the puzzle… a way to infuse their annual campaigns with new energy…. a way to inspire their communities to come together for something special…. crowdfunding can produce results that even the greatest direct mail solicitation cannot touch.

Crowdfunding isn’t the sugar cereal of fundraising…. it is the eggs of fundraising. Once thought to be harmful, more and more people are beginning to see that crowdfunding, prepared correctly, gives donors a healthy boost of elation that’s hard to replicate elsewhere.

Marc, thanks so much for all your hard work and insight. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be professionally if not for you and your colleagues.

All the best,

Raimy Rubin

Creative Director

P.S. Elimelech’s comment is well-received. We should start following up with our clients to learn about the retention rates of donors that gave for the first time through our platform.