How does ioby staff help project leaders decide which fundraising strategies are best? Well, up to this point, experience, “best practices,” and intuition have been our guide. ioby Leader Success Strategists, ioby’s in-house fundraising coaches, have supported 1,400 ioby Leaders in raising over $4 million in funding. They’ve done this work for years. “We have a pretty good sense for which strategies are helpful to ioby Leaders and which are duds” says Lauren Patti, Leader Success Strategist since 2014, “but we can do even better.”
Last fall, the Success team began issuing a short survey to leaders of completed ioby campaigns. The survey tries to better understand the leaders themselves, but also helps identify the weaknesses and strengths in ioby’s support services. It’s still early in the process of collecting survey responses, but we wanted to share a few interesting data points so far.
90% of respondents live or work in the neighborhood where the project is taking place
Great to know! This is consistent with our principle: “Neighbors know best what their neighborhoods need. They are best equipped to innovate, organize, and make positive change, and are the best long-term stewards of solutions”. Most of the other 10% of respondents have friends/relatives in the project neighborhood, used to live in the project neighborhood, or are involved in community activities in the project neighborhood.
A third of respondents reported that more than 80% of their donors had never given to their project or organization before
Nearly every leader who responded to this question reported identifying new donors during their ioby campaign. We’ve always been extra excited to hear the stories from leaders who use ioby to build relationships with new donors in their communities. But we’re over the moon hearing that a third of respondents said more than 80% of their campaign donors had never donated to their work before! Turns out, crowdfunding is pretty great at generating new donors (whether you’re a nonprofit, or not)!
93% of respondents used social media as an engagement tactic to solicit support for their ioby campaign
No surprise there! Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for telling stories to your potential donors. However, social media should never be the ONLY tactic for engaging your donor network or making asks for donations. Thankfully, every single respondent who listed social media as an engagement tactic also used other strategies to make their campaign successful – like phone calls, personal emails, and events. (For tips on a well-balanced fundraising strategy, see our Guide to Making it Rain.)
What happens now?
This ongoing feedback will allow our team to build better fundraising resources and to be more responsive to the growing needs of communities. The Leader Success team will be keeping ioby networks updated about survey results as they continue to roll in over the next year. As we learn more from leaders, we’ll be adjusting our workflow and building out more resources to match their needs.
If you completed an ioby campaign in the past and want to provide your feedback on a survey, feel free to get in touch with a Leader Success Strategist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait to share more!