The ask needs to be very direct: “Can you support this campaign?” People are most likely to feel compelled to respond if they’re actually asked, rather than just implying the ask. Be smart about your targeting: if it’s a mass email, I’ll always emphasize that ANY amount will help, and that no donation is too small. Sometimes, people feel embarrassed about giving a small amount, but most of my successful crowdfunding campaigns have been built of dozens of small donations($10, $25, $50). I just raised $1,078 from 45 donors--with an average donation of $23.96 and only one donation over $50.
Be sure to promptly thank people after they donate. I usually send a personal email (to communicate that I really do care and that our relationship is worth a private thank you note) and post a thank you on Facebook (so they can get the public recognition). A very important piece of the thank you is the Second Ask: "Thanks again! Also, could you please forward this to friends you think would be supportive, or post and tag on Facebook? That would be a really helpful way to spread it beyond my immediate network."
- Avery Book
Thanks to Avery for his guest blog post. He's still $122 short of his goal for his latest crowdfunding effort -- want to help him tell the story of migrant workers? You can learn more about the project and give at http://www.gofundme.com/3wvi0s