In crowdfunding, size doesn’t always matter

I have a new, wonderful crowdfunding insight and story to tell:

cheder moms 72k

A couple of my kids attend a super small school. The elementary has maybe 50 kids total, but there is a preschool with ~120 children. This year, their deficit doubled. Not good. Their executive director left. Not good. Their board dissolved. Ahem. So – they asked, “Can we run a ‘Charidy’ (crowdfunding campaign) & will you help?” Of course, I’ll help – but help. Not run it. Running it will be up to you. It was the best (probably frustrating to them) thing that I could EVER have said. How will I help: I need your board (parents) to meet with me for 1 hour and then I’ll advise your volunteer campaign coordinator (parent, SAHM) through the 4 weeks leading up to the campaign, and I’ll show up on the day of the campaign at the Operations Room. How you take whatever I tell you is up to you, but you can totally do this.

Result: Original 24-hour all or nothing goal: $72,000 ($18,000 in crowdfunding, $54,00o in matching donations). Final total: $165,200 raised!!!

9:00 a.m.-2:30: The operations room of primarily SAHMs led the grassroots effort to its $18K/$72K goal in 5.5 hours.

2:30 Bonus Round: A matcher would double (not quadruple) all gifts to $122K

9 PM Bonus Round: $122K Goal hit, primarily through the mid-tier entrepreneurial committee-led efforts. The matcher would double all gifts to $144K

9:00 a.m.: $165,200. (WTH??? $21,000 of unmatched funds were donated above the goal!!! I know – why didn’t they just mail in checks? See how motivating this can be?)

That = a crowdfunding of $75,200 in 24 hours, with $90,000 in matching. And a total of almost the entire amount of fundraising from the prior year, raised in Dec. in 24 hours (or 4 weeks, including prep) with a 2.9% platform fee (on crowdfunds and matching) and well less than $2000 in publicity, printing, postage, and decor.

Without a director of development. Without an executive director. Without an ‘experienced’ or wealthy board (but well connected). HOW did this happen? The platform, Charidy, had never seen such an excess in crowdfunding before. There were multiple people with expertise, connections, and experience all working together, and their crowd was cheering itself on throughout the entire time. Giving. Is. Social. And their team expanded its results exponentially.

Call me and I can break it down for you, you can speak to these amateur experts as well. But beyond the money, this group is now empowered – and realizes it is THEY that can do this. They, their donors, and those in their community realize that they and so many others are committed to this school beyond reasonable expectations. They motivated this giving. It was an absolutely sophisticated yet inelegant plan – and they conquered a giant. Game-changing crowdfunding turns the Davids into Goliath (but in a good way) and vice versa! They and anyone brave enough to harness it well will continue to grow this fabulous tool to rally crowds and support amazing causes.

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