While online crowdfunding dollars are not a replacement for foundation grants, Foundation Search clients wanting to diversify their contributed income have a flexible and powerful tool with crowdfunding.

Raises New Money:

Online crowdfunding sites for non-profit raises money for one-time events, existing programs, pilot projects and long-term campaigns, such as a capacity building or annual giving campaign. Everything from a food bank’s new freezer to a multi-year, multi-million-dollar capital campaign can be funded through an online campaign that anyone – a former board member, a current donor or a stranger – can discover and fund.

A recent report by Classy, a fundraising platform for social impact organizations, found that though the median one-time gift size for crowdfunding is about $52, its value grows over time. Classy account manager Elizabeth Hilbert explains, “A vast majority of recurring giving occurs on donation and crowdfunding funding pages, so these donors acquired through crowdfunding are your future major donors and recurring givers.”

Expands Fundraising Capacity:

Alison Carlman, the Director of Impact and Communications for Global Giving, a non-profit crowdfunding organization that has connected donors, non-profits and companies in over 170 countries, says that crowdfunding does more than generate dollars. “Our partners have described how their experience on Global Giving has helped them build their teams, develop processes, establish new relationships and revitalize old ones.”

Board members, staff, donors and allies can create their own campaigns to fundraise among peers, simultaneously with the non-profit’s campaign. One of Global Giving’s partners explained that online crowdfunding prompted staff previously not involved in donor development to transform into enthusiastic fundraisers.

Increases Organization’s Visibility:

A non-profit grows its online presence through crowdfunding campaigns by sharing news and updates to prospective and existing donors. Keeping supporters updated through the life of a campaign (and afterward) goes a long way in building trust between a non-profit and its donors.

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