One of the newest ways nonprofits gather prospects is through crowdsource funding. Do some of your own research beyond what is discussed in the book, discuss your understanding of the crowd funding process, and give your opinion on the ethical implications for gaining donors through this method. Also, discuss how this might affect raising grant funds for your selected program – what methods would you like to use to gain donors overall?
Crowdfunding has become an innovative way to source venture capital for businesses and to raise funds to support nonprofit programs. In order to be successful, the goal of the fundraising project must be clearly defined as well as the goals of the investors (Mollick, 2014). Once these goals are clear, the nonprofit must choose a platform through which to advertise the crowdfunding campaign. Coley and Scheinberg (2017) mentioned several sites including CauseVox, a site I have used to raise funds for Empire City Men’s Chorus. Once the campaign is set up on the platform, the link needs to be shared with stakeholders and friends of the organization. Mollick (2014) found that crowdfunding campaigns are more likely to be successful if the organizers have a deep personal network and the program being funded is of high quality.
Crowdfunding campaigns require constant diligence and work. For example, organizers need to remind members and staff to share the link with their friends. Additionally, the nonprofit’s Facebook and other social media accounts need to be posted to regularly to remind viewers to donate. These efforts usually pay off and result in a program being fully funded (Mollick, 2014).
Along with the freedom to raise money on the internet comes responsibility. There are two ethical implications of gaining donors through crowdfunding. First, it is important to make donors feel that their giving goals have been met. For example, if I give money to a nonprofit that rescues boxer dogs, I want to see that the organization has rescued more dogs, found them homes, or upgraded their facilities. The second ethical implication is the question of what to do if the organization does not raise enough money to implement the proposed program. Does it get returned to the donors or can it be used for other projects? Ethics dictate that the answer to this question must be given to donors before they make a commitment.
For my final project in this class, I will be writing a proposal to support Empire City Men’s Chorus’s 25th Anniversary Season. We have already added crowdfunding to our revenue budget for this fiscal year. We would like to see this reach the level of 10% of our budget at some point. With 40 members, our family and friends have provided much needed support for our programs. I expect crowdfunding to be a part of our fundraising mix on a permanent basis.
Coley, S. M., & Scheinberg, C. A. (2017). Proposal Writing: Effective Grantsmanship for Funding (5th ed.). Sage Publications.
Mollick, E. (2014). The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2013.06.005