Thoughts

Flying into NTC

I don’t know about you but I have a very mixed relationship with flying.

I love setting my phone to airplane mode. Filling up on little snack bags and telling myself it doesn’t count at 35,000 feet. And the chance to catch up on every 6 month old Marvel movie (and that Brene Brown book that’s been with me the past three flights). But most of all I love the excitement of going somewhere.

And then there’s takeoff. Which completely freaks me out. Hence that Brene Brown book.

A couple of weeks ago, several members of the Charidy team had the amazing opportunity to attend and lead a session at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference in Portland, Oregon on March 13-15. If you haven’t heard of NTEN, it helps nonprofit organizations learn how to use technology to engage their communities and fulfill their missions. Over two thousand nonprofit professionals from around the world came to collaborate and learn new ways to integrate technology into their organizations.

With more than 100 sessions to choose from, these nonprofit professionals were able to learn about new technologies, explore best strategies, and speak about pressing issues. One of these sessions was led by Charidy’s Chief Innovation Officer, Moshe Hecht. Moshe ran a session called “Why your crowdfunding campaign might fail (and how to avoid it).”

Everyone always wants to know how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. In true Moshe form, he got to the heart of this issue with videos, jokes, music (not his own), and more importantly, discussed the best practices and techniques he’s seen in the organizations he works with every day. He spoke about how to engage donors, which donors to target, marketing and messaging practices, and more.

Moshe gave his audience anecdotes from past successes to help paint a picture of how crowdfunding campaigns can be successful by using resources, correct timing, messaging, and more. One story he told was about a Yeshiva University campaign that made a video featuring one of their honorary alumni, Hamilton star, Lin Manuel Miranda. The video went viral and the campaign was one of the most successful University campaigns of the time, raising 6 million dollars.

It has something to do with my fear of flying.

A successful campaign, Moshe explained, is like the velocity of an airplane. To take off, an airplane needs the right amount of speed, achieved in the right amount of time, space and direction. Without any or all of these elements, that airplane will never leave the ground. Just as in a campaign, for it to be successful, all of the elements need to come together, while sharing the weight of campaign-making with your community. Members of the community need to take on some of the responsibility of fundraising to generate the momentum for it to gain flight.

The Charidy team had a great and successful time at the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference and cannot wait to attend again in the future. Especially if we have to fly there.

Written by Meira Kreuter and Ariella Shapiro