17 January 2016 | 11 Comments
With previous guest author Liza Baskir–our first-ever guest to write about non-profit crowdfunding–having now launched a campaign for her organization, I asked her if she’d be willing to return to this blog to share what it feels like to be running a first-time campaign. Here’s Liza’s open, honest, and vulnerable perspective:
That all changed when I started a job with SPUR, a civic planning organization in the Bay Area. My supervisor tasked me with managing a campaign raising funds for our new office. Suddenly I found myself getting asked numerous questions, and I couldn’t confidently answer any of them.
I jumped head first into the vast ocean of information that is the Internet. Through a combination of online research, the advice of veteran fundraisers and sheer force of will, we launched our SPUR on Broadway campaign.
We are a little over a week in, and I am no crowdfunding expert. However, being in the middle of a campaign provides me with an interesting perspective. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- The campaign can take over your life.
- Since launching the campaign, I have had an incessant need to check my email for new contributions every 5 minutes. I feel like if I don’t check on the campaign, it’ll boil over.
- Staring at the computer and willing a contribution to come through does not work no matter how bad I want it (or how hard I squint my eyes).
- Sometimes when I posting to social media I feel like I am shouting into the void. In these moments no matter how much I post, it stares back at me blankly.
- Patience is hard. Successful campaigns make it look like raising $50,000 is a piece of cake. The ubiquitous crowdfunding thermometer reveals nothing of the hard work and countless hours put into those campaigns.
- It is exciting every time we get a contribution. My co-worker caught me doing a contribution dance, but I was too excited to be embarrassed.
- Running this campaign has brought me closer to my co-workers because we are all working towards a common goal.
- Crowdfunding is a great way to build community. I have already re-connected with a buddy from college because of the campaign, and I can’t wait to see what other connections it forges.
Hopefully you can relate to these experiences. At the very least, it’s been an entertaining distraction from the campaign.
What are some struggles and successes you have experienced as a first-time creator?