To raise money for a cause or nonprofit, there are numerous ways to harness the crowd. Make sure you explore conventional crowdfunding for nonprofits, but don’t forget to think outside the box.

Crowdfunding platforms

More and more people are turning to online crowdfunding platforms when they’re looking to raise a specific amount of money in a specific amount of time. This approach started with Kickstarter in 2009 as a way for creatives to raise enough money to launch their artistic projects, usually by reaching a wider audience who could kick in small dollar amounts and giving donors some sort of tangible perk. The model quickly spread to other platforms for business start-ups (i.e Indigogo), public schools (, nonprofits (i.e. FundRazr) , and personal causes (i.e.

These are some stats for nonprofit crowdfunding, according to, a crowdfunding platform for almost everything except businesses:

  • The average individual fundraiser raises $568  (i.e. running a marathon for a cause or having a fundraiser on Facebook for your birthday)
  • The average amount donated by an individual donor is $66.
  • 71% of Millennials have raised funds for a nonprofit.
  • 28% of donors to campaigns are repeat donors.

crowdfunding for nonprofits

Run a successful crowdfunding campaign by calibrating goals and duration 

Are you trying to raise a relatively small amount in a short time frame? Or do you have an ambitious goal and more time to hit it? At one end of the spectrum, with the fewest barriers to entry, is fundraising on Facebook. Anyone who’s on Facebook can set up a fundraiser for themselves or for a nonprofit. For nonprofits, the key is getting your supporters to set up their fundraising effort (donations in lieu of birthday gifts are popular) on your behalf. You’ll need to give them a compelling Call To Action- words and images that provide a reason to give now. 

On the other end of the spectrum, with larger goals and longer time frames, there are a couple other ways to mobilize your crowd. Two different social enterprises provide innovative turn-key fundraising services that don’t make you feel like you’re shaking down your friends and family. Over the Edge urban rappelling events, raise an average of over $100,000 with only 65 participants. A typical Over the Edge event takes about 6 months to plan and execute (4-5 months for “launch out” date and 1 month of planning prior to the event). The other model we love (shameless plug alert!) is Investing In Communities®, which turns any brokered real estate transaction (residential or commercial) into significant funding for the consumer/supporter’s favorite nonprofit. 

crowdfunding for nonprofits with real estate

Crowdfunding that doesn’t cost your supporters a dime

Investing In Communities is a social enterprise platform that can provide real estate consumers, people who are buying/selling a home or businesses that are leasing commercial space, with referrals to just about any real estate broker. The funding potential is significant; a typical $300,000 home sale/purchase generates over $1,300; commercial leases can generate significantly more. Investing In Communities provides two services to the consumer: 1) it provides several broker referrals that are selected specifically for their suitability to the consumer’s needs, and 2) it provides broker-funded, client-directed philanthropy that complies with state and federal regulations. 

Our research shows that 4-6% of American adults will use a real estate broker to buy or sell a home in any given year. Based on these statistics, each year a nonprofit with 1,000 supporters could have 40-60 supporters buying and/or selling a home. A supporter who sells their $300,000 home would generate about $1,300 for your nonprofit. And if they buy a home of equal or greater value, that’s $2,600. For One Supporter – and it costs them Nothing. 

Crowdfunding For Nonprofit Organizations

The bottom line is that crowdfunding for nonprofits is worth trying. The sense of collective action in a finite amount of time to hit a specific goal is clearly an appealing approach for more and more supporters. Get creative, engage your community, and have fun! Here’s to raising more money and energizing your supporters.

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