Crowdfunding sites have become a very popular and widespread way to raise money for a variety of causes including conservation raising money for emergency support for an individual and even for the conservation of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit. You can reach a wide swath of people and broaden awareness of your cause.
Crowdfunding sites include GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. The right cause can raise significant amounts of money. There are however some considerations thinks about.
First, be aware of who controls the site. You may not have any control over donors or dollars or data that the site will have. Make sure the site will give you access. Also, make sure the site will let you exhibit the brand that you want to show for your organization.
Fees can sometimes be significant. Find out if they require that you reach a baseline amount. Some may require that you reach a minimum or you don’t get anything. One site I’m aware of charges 8% of the amount collected for example. This amount is taken off the top.
Many sites will not tell you who the donors were so you cannot think phone and therefore cannot build your donor base.
Finally, be aware that these sites will or may require that you register in other states. This is still a gray area in many states but be aware that soliciting funds on the Internet from places other than your own state may require registration. For example, you are an Illinois nonprofit soliciting donations from donors in New York using a crowdfunding site in California. Where do you register? Be careful to answer that question.