About Andrew Vassallo

FundLatinos.com General Manager Andrew Vassallo identifies opportunities for innovative and disruptive new ventures at StartingFive. A partnership between several multi-time successful entrepreneurs, StartingFive conceived FundLatinos.com. Andrew is expert in transforming ideas into promising startups by providing all aspects of business building, including capital. His objective in co-founding Starting Five was to create a select number of innovative technology businesses that have the potential to impact industries and generate long term value. Immediately prior to launching Starting Five, Andrew was an associate at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that makes early-stage and transformational investments. His role was to focus on early and growth stage investing in the consumer space for the exceptional entrepreneurs the firm backed that were building innovative technology companies and market leading businesses. Andrew graduated magna cum laude from the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

Social Media: An Indispensable Tool for A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Social Media for NonprofitsFor the past several years, crowdfunding, – in the age of shared economy and “pay it forward” – has become one of the best ways to fundraise for organizations and individual causes. Crowdfunding is so effective because it allows individuals to quickly and efficiently reach large numbers of people through various social media channels. It’s that instant communication of a story with friends, family, acquaintances, and others who share similar interests, that makes crowdfunding so profound. 

Social media has become the megaphone and public relations of crowdfunding. As an organization or as an individual you must be ready to create content that will engage all possible donors. Latinos – for example – over-index in the use of mobile social apps and at FundLatinos we encourage our campaign creators to leverage that usage. 

Some of the best practices to use social media in crowdfunding campaigns are:

  1. Be ready to engage family and friends. Let them know beforehand that you will be setting up a crowdfunding campaign and ask from them to let their networks know. If necessary, write for them the pitch: “My cousin Ernesto just had a baby which needs medical care – will you help?”
  2. Identify “campaign ambassadors” early on. These are the people who believe wholeheartedly on your campaign and will help spread the message of its importance.
  3. Be truthful when writing your campaign story. Be specific and to the point. Remember people are giving you willingly their time (to read about your campaign) and hopefully their money to help.
  4. Use social to your campaign’s advantage. If your campaign is about a start-up or a product be sure to be a member of interest groups / pages on Facebook as well as already follow specific Twitter / LinkedIn accounts that have an interest in what your campaign is about.
  5. Create a content calendar.  Your campaign needs attention, just like you need air to breathe. If a campaign is left unattended and no follow-up content is created or posts written in social media, it will never thrive. Think of sharing aspects of your campaign at least three times per week.
  6. Be sure to discuss how this campaign will ____________ (innovate, help, secure, transform). Write the milestones and why are they important.
  7. Schedule your posts in social media and be sure to celebrate every milestone and thank people for their contributions. Donors who are engaged with a personalized thank you could donate more money, engage their own audience to help, or help you in the future.
  8. Use good visuals, video, testimonials to engage your audience.

A funding goal that is achievable is also important. For Latinos who donate close to their community and many times to organizations they know, it is important to know the success of a campaign is achievable. Crowdfunding on the FundLatinos.com platform is geared to individuals as well as organizations and we are there to help you construct campaigns that will be successful.

If your campaign reaches its goal be sure to thank the whole community that has supported you. Social networks should not only be used to fundraise but also to give thanks. Have that content ready and stay positive!

 




Charity Starts at Home for Latinos – Crowdfunding with FundLatinos

Crowdfunding TipsFundLatinos is a new crowdfunding site that brings the Latino community together to raise funds for life’s celebrations, challenges and needs.  While individuals use the platform to fund personal causes, FundLatinos also works with nonprofits to fund organizational needs.  As a charitable organization, it can be difficult to navigate the world of online fundraising Here are some tips on how to choose a platform, create your campaign, and make it successful:

Pick the Right Platform for Your Campaign

It is important to research the platform you will use for your crowdfunding efforts. Sometimes crowdfunding platforms can charge up to 15% of the total amount raised during a campaign. FundLatinos, as part of its commitment to the community, waives its fees for all charitable organizations. For nonprofits, who often struggle to have more than 50% of each dollar donated go towards their ultimate mission, this can make a huge difference. While FundLatinos will never charge fees to nonprofits, they’re also offering a “No-Fees Holiday Giving” promotion for individual projects until the end of the year.

Tell Your Story

Once you’ve selected the right platform for your crowdfunding campaign, it is time to create an inspired and compelling campaign and content strategy. Crowdfunding campaigns often work best when they present shorter term, attainable goals. Pick a specific cause that you need to fund within the next few months, rather than trying to fund your entire capital campaign over the course of a year. Once you have your cause, write a story that attracts prospective donors – tell them exactly what their funds will go towards and how each dollar will positively impact the organization. Then add visual, either a series of photos or a video. Stories that are relatable will draw more attention and interest. For example, FundLatinos has worked with Esperanza Immigration Legal Services, a nonprofit organization which assists with legal immigration needs in North Philadelphia, to create a campaign to help with the education and legal costs of undocumented immigrants.

Get the Word Out

With the assistance of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, you can tell your story to a mass number of people in a short amount of time. Use social media consistently during the period of your campaign to spread your story. Have “friends and family” of the organization use their own social channels to share your campaign too. Never underestimate the social circles your organization has worked so hard to create. Include the campaign as part of an email blast to your stakeholders and be sure to ask them to share with their networks! You can even make it easy for them by pre-writing Facebook and Twitter content for them to post. They will thank you!

Update! Update! Update!

Maintain open communication lines with the members of your community and your donors. The FundLatinos platform allows you to write updates about your campaign. Announce large donations, number of donors, and news regarding how your specific project will benefit from the monies raised. Donors of your campaign would like to see their efforts come to life. Crowdfunding is a collaborative effort and it is key to keeping your supporters informed.

Celebrate Your Success

Lastly, when you achieve your campaign goal, celebrate and let your network know!  Keep them informed of how they assisted you in reaching your goal and how it will help those in the community.

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