Similarities of Crowdfunding and Major Gift Pitfalls

It is interesting to observe the similarities of crowdfunding and major gift pitfalls.  This opinion piece highlights “crowdfunding fails” which in our experience are similar to a prescription for a failed capital or major gifts campaign.  Some of the terminology is a little different, but consider how a comparison between the importance of a video to crowdfunding can be made to the importance of a strong and defensible case for support that is presented by recognized and respected volunteer leaders.  Can you identify any others?

5 Reasons Why Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns Fail

Guest post by Vipin Shri, Marketing Manager at CauseVox.


The majority of all crowdfunding campaigns fail to reach their monetary goals. Ouch!

Crowdfunding campaigns that hit their goals start with a comprehensive plan. While there are plenty of success stories in nonprofit crowdfunding, there are also many failures.

What are the most common reasons for why a campaign is unable to meet its goal?

Lack of Preparation

With any fundraising campaign, a proper amount of time needs to be allocated prior to launch for planning. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work for nonprofit crowdfunding so coming up with a plan with specific details on the campaign structure, goals, promotion, etc. is necessary for success.

Lack of Promotion

A crowdfunding campaign is as successful as its reach. Even if every aspect of the campaign is deemed perfect, without huge emphasis on strategic promotion, reaching funding goals is highly unlikely.

  • A good promotion strategy should include; social media, email marketing, and traditional press & PR.
  • Find ambassadors and influencers who will spread the word across their networks.

Lack of Engagement with Personal Network

If a crowdfunding campaign lacks engagement or enthusiasm from friends, family, and colleagues, it’s safe to say that external supporters will also feel the same.

Engaging with a personal network and building a community will ensure that there are campaign ambassadors ready to not only spread the word, but also be the first to donate.

  • Sit down with friends and family before launch to hear their thoughts and ideas on the campaign.
  • Before launch, you’ll need at least 30% of donations already accounted for…friends and family will be a major factor!

Lack of Press Relationships

Obviously, no one does a better job of getting the news out like journalists and reporters. Not cultivating relationships with members of the press can limit your promotion to only your personal network.

Finding press partners is tricky and time consuming but can get a campaign the reach it needs to meet or exceed goals.

Lack of Video

Video is the easiest and most engaging form of storytelling, so not having one can ward off potential supporters and donors. Research has proven time over time that having a video in a campaign can exponentially increase the rate of its success. For instance, on CauseVox, most of the top 10 grossing campaigns all included a video.

  • Having a video is important, creating a video that tells the story and impact of your fundraising is much more important.
  • Using people or things affected by the issue will develop a more personal connection between your campaign and supporters.

Avoiding all of these factors is easier said than done, but by no means is it impossible. Check out our learning center and blogs for tips to make sure you reach your goals.

If you’re planning on setting up a crowdfunding campaign, check out our latest ebook: How to Plan a Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaign


Vipin Shri is the Marketing Manager at CauseVox, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform used by charities and individuals all over the world.