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On Tap: Five Lessons on Crowdfunding for a Non-Profit Organization

On Tap: Five Lessons on Crowdfunding for a Non-Profit Organization

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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April 12, 2011
On Tap: Five Lessons on Crowdfunding for a Non-Profit Organization
profit organization “committed to establishing and
legitimizing Tap Dance as a vital component of AmericanDance through creation, presentation, education and
Based in New York City, ATDF has avivid history of teaching and performing thisquintessentially American art form throughout the US andinternationally.ATDF recently moved into a new space, and theorganization needs to raise $5,000 for adequate lighting in the new studio spaces.They are very close to reaching their goal on IndieGoGo with just over a week togo.As a non-profit organization, ATDF has ample fundraising experience. Happily,their IndieGoGo campaign has been a new and successful experience for ATDF inmany ways.
We spoke with Tony Waag, ATDF’S Artistic/Executive Director &
Teacher, about lessons he has learned from conducting a crowdfunding campaignfor a non-profit organization:Revitalize your mailing list: ATDF has a well-oiled fundraising process,including an extensive mailing list compiled and carefully maintained over25 years. Tony believes that the list was invigorated by the use of this newonline platform. The ATDF community members felt that the experiencewas somewhat different from the traditional emails and mailings. It peakedtheir interest in being part of something important, innovative, and fun. Motivate your network : Many of the contributors to the campaign arecurrent students and parents of students. They have mostly contributedonline, but several have learned about the campaign and simply handed
Tony a check to support the project when they come through the doors forclasses. They know first-hand the studios need new lighting!Contributions can come from far and wide:Tony told us that he has been amazed andtouched by support the campaign has received
from people he hasn’t heard from in year 
s. Hehas also received contributions frominternational supporters, which is easy to do onthe IndieGoGo platform. You get great results with a clear goal: This campaign is slightly differentfrom the organizational level fundraising campaigns and galas ATDF runsbecause the funds are targeted for the new lighting, which is a very specificproject. Tony feels that when people know exactly where the funds are
going, they’re eager to contribute.
More importantly, however, thecampaign has also helped people understand that every single contribution
helps, whether it’s $10 or $125.
ATDF has seen the smaller contributionsadd up quickly.Persistence Pays Off : Tony has
noticed that people’s attention spans are
short these days because they are inundated with so much information. Sohe has sent out emails and posted updates consistently throughout theproject, and each communication has yielded contributions.
“It’s wort
h it to
put the energy and creativity into your project communications,” says Tony.
 Tap dance is an important part of USculture, and ATDF works tirelessly to makesure it lives on and thrives. It is also awonderful and accessible art form. Thekids that come through the doors of ATDFlearn about music and self-expression. Theyalso learn life skills, such as activecooperation, problem solving, and attunedlistening. They build self-confidence, patience, and communications skills. It isalso great exercise!

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