In today’s marketplace, where peer-to-peer social media marketing is growing in importance, crowd funding is fast becoming a viable income source for both startups and nonprofits. Ronn Torossian, the CEO of 5W Public Relations, explores the impact crowd funding can have on charity PR.
Crowd funding requires different messages than typical corporate support communications. When approaching business sponsors for charity, there are several reasons why they will say “yes.” They may be looking for a similar charity to support. The ownership may appreciate your work or they may just want to generate some good press. These are all important, valuable and viable motivations, but dealing with individuals is a little different.
Ronn Torossian noted that individuals respond to charity PR on an intensely personal basis. The vast majority of the time, they start promoting or supporting a charity because that work speaks directly to them on an emotional level. Then, once they start supporting that group, they are very likely to keep supporting it.
Individuals have vastly different motives. This may seem self-evident, particularly in light of what we just talked about. But what I mean by this is that each individual who supports your charity or non-profit group will have his or her own reasons. While a general cause may work well to attract corporate sponsors, individuals need a specific reason or cause. Crowd funding for a specific reason meets this want perfectly. Crowd funding charity PR should be about a certain project, specific cause or line item. In this way each donor can specifically connect with the cause.
Volunteers want to be invested. People go out and sweat for a cause they believe in. Most of these same folks, given the chance, would dig deep to support the cause. Giving them an opportunity to not only touch a project but have a hand in funding it going forward allows them to keep a piece of that “ownership” feeling perpetually. Charity PR that uses crowd funding as a source of revenue should always remind donors that, as long as they give, they are making that specific work possible.
So, next time you are crafting a PR campaign, consider adding a crowd funding element. Interact with your donors on a more personal level and allow them to be a more direct link in the chain between cause and effect.