Crowdfunding for cultural institutions: what are the key factors for success?
The first three Creative Funding crowdfunding campaigns are a success! Nationale Opera en Ballet, Limburgs Museum and Nederlandse Dansdagen successfully finished their first campaigns. What has made their crowdfunding campaigns successful? This article looks back on three successful creative crowdfunding campaigns for cultural causes.
What are the results?
Nationale Opera en Ballet
The crowdfunding campaign for the Dutch Nationaal Opera en Ballet aimed to finance alternative programming for young talent. To give them a place to shine, despite the Corona crisis. The crowdfunding target was 50.000 euros.
Over 600 donors gave 52.577 euros to the project, exceeding the original target.
This year, Festival de Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Days) was experienced mostly online. The festival offers dancers residences to help develop their talent and showcase their work. To be able to continue doing this for the next year, they launched a crowdfunding campaign (which ran during the festival) with a 10.000 euro target.
Over 250 donors contributed to raising the money.
The Limburgs Museum gives people living in a care facility with memory issues a moment of happiness. The 'Onvergetelijk Limburgs Museumtafel' (an interactive touch table) allows museum guides to come to them (once Corona allows it). The crowdfunding campaign aims to finance three such tables and lets guides make visitations through the whole of Limburg for a year. The target was 29.000 euros.
At the time of its conclusion, the campaign has raised 39.551 euro, thanks to 151 donors. That's 136% of the initial target!
What else does crowdfunding offer you?
Apart from the money raised, these crowdfunding campaigns have brought a lot more positives for the organisations. All the more reason to start crowdfunding as a cultural institution:
- Crowdfunding is above all a promotional campaign for your project. When the campaign is finished, everyone in your network will know of the project's existence. You can use crowdfunding to put a spotlight on important activities of your institution, like talent management.
- Crowdfunding brings togetherness, both within your organisation as with your audience and supporters. Making things happen together creates a bond.
- Support and engagement from your supporters, it's an easy and accessible way to reach and connect with your audience. When organisations are going through a tough time and ask for help, crowdfunding and reactions from donors and supporters can be a much needed helping hand.
Ide Mens: (Head of fundraising for Nationale Opera & Ballet):
We're delighted that we've reached our goal and can make our new programming by young talent and new artists. But what moved us most was the overwhelming support from the many donors who contributed. More than 620 donors have lent a helping hand and have surprised us with messages of support. The support and involvement of our audience is the most valuable result that crowdfunding and the Creative Funding trajectory have brought us.
What are the key factors for crowdfunding success?
The first three Creative Funding crowdfunding campaigns were a success. What are the key factors for crowdfunding success?
It all started with a well-thought-out plan.
The campaigns didn't go live just like that. Before they started, a thorough plan was made, giving thought to the message, potential donors, communication, crowdfunding rewards and a realistic crowdfunding target. In this case, the organisation were supported by a Creative Funding crowdfunding expert.
There was a clear and genuine (video )message.
The three crowdfunding campaigns were explained with clear and concise text and imagery, as well as a genuine video message. This illustrated clearly why the campaigns were necessary and for who. People enjoy giving to other people. Giving the people who the crowdfunding is for a spotlight makes the campaign very personal.
Within the organisations, everyone was involved and invested.
Having a support base within your organisation for the campaign is paramount. Crowdfunding works best when a passionate team of people runs the campaign. Organise a briefing for your entire organisation to bring people up to speed and get them excited about the crowdfunding campaign. Consequently, if everyone believes in your cause, it's easier to spread your campaign message.
The crowdfunding campaign was cleverly promoted on owned media channels.
Without a doubt, the crowdfunding page itself is an important page when it comes to attracting donors. Promoting the campaign in other places where your supporters might see it, however, is crucial for promotion and attracting donors.
The Limburgs Museum pointed out their campaign on their ticketing page, using a campaign widget.
De Nederlandse Dansdagen added a donate button to their streaming pages as their audiences enjoyed their festival online.
There were amazing crowdfunding rewards, directly linked to the campaign or organisation.
Not every donor wants something in return for their gift. However, the right rewards can convince a potential donor to get on board. By choosing rewards that are linked to your campaign or organisation, you can also increase the engagement with your cause.
Don't forget about businesses when thinking of rewards. They are often willing to make a higher donation. A reward aimed specifically at them can help.
Donors were kept up to date and thanked
The campaign pages were updated with news regularly. This way, donors stayed informed about the progress and potential donors could see the latest news immediately. These updates were also used to thank the donors.
Current affairs were anticipated and utilised.
The Corona crisis. It's here whether we like it or not. It was mentioned in all three crowdfunding campaigns because it impacted the organisations directly. Nationale Opera en Ballet even made a special reward: a facemask. The mask ended up being the most popular reward, chosen by 140 donors. Utilising current affairs can be helpful as long as there is a genuine connection.
All campaigns were part of a Creative Funding crowdfunding trajectory. Participants in these trajectories were closely guided by crowdfunding experts of voordekunst and use the Kentaa platform for online fundraising.