Crowdfund Like a Pro: Outreach Tips from 10 Successful Campaign Leaders

We asked the leaders of SeedMoney campaigns that raised at least $750 last year to share some of the secrets of their success. You’ll see from their comments below that the best outreach strategy is what might be called “all of the above” approach. By this, we mean using as many ways as possible for contacting possible campaign donors: texts, emails, social media, newsletters, phone calls and in-person outreach.

La Esquina Community Garden, Philadelphia, PA, $1400 Raised

We have a member email list of over 100 people, so we started with those emails. The graphics were awesome! We customized them, two or three times, to include in a weekly online neighborhood newsletter, widening our reach.  I posted it on my personal FB page, and that pulled in a larger network of friends and interested parties.  The campaign sold itself, honestly: thank you for the excellent templates and a variety of visuals.  The leaderboard at the end, injected a huge final impetus since we were about to slip out of our ranking and diminish the challenge grant we were aiming for.  I was astounded by the response at the end. -Peg, La Esquina Community Garden, Philadelphia, PA

Harvesting 4 Haiti Foundation, Les Cayes, Haiti, $2900 Raised

About 3 days before the campaign started, we sent an individual e-mail to all our key donors reminding them of the campaign and giving them a link to donate.  This really seemed to work well! -Lynn, Harvesting 4 Haiti, Haiti   

New Leaf Garden Blitz, Green Bay, WI, $1425 Raised

Email worked best for us in the beginning.  I tried to alert everyone ahead of time that the campaign was coming and to get support early in the campaign.  I had it in 2 of our newsletters and 1 email to all of our supporters.  One email to previous donors and then a daily countdown on Facebook.   I always feel like I did not have enough time and that I could do so much better.  It is hard to strike a balance between being pushy and getting the word out. -Kim, New Leaf Garden Blitz, Green Bay, WI

Green Acre Community Garden, Paterson, NJ, $2973 Raised

We used personalized emails and social media messages, especially for larger donors. We also promoted our campaign heavily through social media, including Instagram and Facebook (Instagram seemed to work best for us). Would recommend personalizing the garden if possible by giving more information about the individuals behind it and what their motivations are for doing this work, making generous use of pictures of the garden, and having people use their personal networks to raise awareness about the fundraising campaign. -Nima, Green Acre Community Garden, a Paterson Sanctuary, Paterson, NJ

Brooklyn Heights Community Garden, Nashville, TN, $5557 Raised

We sent out emails, posted on Facebook, Instagram and called family and friends. The best method that worked was TEXTING everyone in our phones individually!!! Also we called and texted the different businesses and asked them to post on their pages, that helped a lot. -Nella, Brooklyn Heights Community Garden, Nashville TN

Westbury Community Garden, Houston, TX, $5456 Raised

We posted our campaign on Facebook and NextDoor but direct email is by far the most effective. We used MailChimp and two email lists totaling about 550 recipients. We sent a total of 10 email messages during the 30 day campaign. -Debbie, Westbury Community Garden, Houston, TX

Meadowbrook Community Gardens, Seattle, WA, $5452 Raised

I used email, text and phone calls.  I am 73 years old, so I am the wrong generation for all the social media platforms that so many use.  I really don’t think I had to convince people during these very trying times of the pandemic, massive unemployment and hunger in our country and the world.  If people had the resources to help, they did.  I am so proud of the people who stepped up for the common good. -Susan, Meadowbrook Community gardens and Orchards, Seattle, WA

King Middle School Raised Bed Herb Garden, Portland, ME, $1815 Raised

The principal posted the information in her weekly update to parents and on the school website. I reached out to local neighborhood and gardening organizations, asking them to spread the word on their social media platforms.  I posted the link on NextDoor (I live in my school district). I don’t know what worked best. I corresponded with several of our donors and the link to them hearing about our project was interestingly circuitous! -Joanne, King Middle School Raised Bed Herb Garden, Portland, ME

Schaumburg Community Garden Club Food Pantry Garden, $1335 Raised

In my emails to potential donors, I made a generic request to support feeding the hungry, either through supporting our food pantry garden or directly to their local food pantry or similar organization.  We had an increase in donations and I’d like to think that there were more donations to food pantries as well.  The possibility of a grant was a great incentive to spur people to donate sooner or at all.  Thank you for this opportunity to engage more people in giving. -Bonnie, Schaumburg Community Garden Club Food Pantry Garden, Schaumburg, Il

The Gambia Community Garden Project, The Gambia, $772 Raised

world food day 2022

We made it a competition among members in our organization to see who could fundraise the most. A good way for us to fundraise was posting “bingo boards” on our social media to collect money from our friends and family. The bingo boards were $1-$5 of individual donations, but a completed board would be $40-$50 and as more people shared these the funds added up quickly. -Matt, N’jau, The Gambia Community Garden Project, N’jau, The Gambia

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