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cartoon image of a newspaper or press release on a yellow background

Crowdfunding campaigns can benefit from media attention by extending networks beyond campaign creators’ individual communities through a quality press release.

It’s generally accepted that traditional press releases don’t have the same kind of readership they once had. One main reason for this is that in general, we don’t consume news the same way we did even 10 years ago. Instead of shuffling out the front door for the paper to read over breakfast, we’re more likely to scroll through our Twitter feeds to see what’s up in the world around us.

In this post, you will learn:

  • Elements of effective press releases
  • What to include
  • An example of a press release.

Rather than fluffing up a press release with the kind of content we’re all tired of reading, consider including the following:

  • Do you have new statistics that relate directly to your campaign? Include them, and show your readers how your campaign will solve a problem.
  • Use shareable content, like a slick graphic, slideshare or video.

Follow these steps to guide you through the writing process.

  1. Make sure your headline is short and captivating.
  2. Your first paragraph should still include the who, what, where, when and why (just like in the old days.)
  3. Include a quote or two from relevant key figures. Your executive director, a known stakeholder, or other person that commands respect on the subject you’re covering makes your press release quotable and authoritative.
  4. By this point, your readers have all the information they need to publish or share your press release. If you include more information, make it content that strengthens your narrative, or comments on future implications if your campaign is successful.
  5. If you have outside references, link to them. It’s best to link to your own (or your organization’s) relevant pages as well. Make it easy for readers to fact check and learn more.

Press releases can still be incredibly useful. They walk a unique line in today’s communications between approachable and personable, and news or noteworthy and ready for mass consumption. One rule of thumb we love: Don’t be afraid to get creative.

Example Press Release:

Muscles Alive! Extends Excitement of Neuroscience to Young Children

University outreach program extends the excitement of science out of the lab and into the classroom

Dec. 17, 2013. Fort Collins, CO – 

Muscles Alive!, a neuroscience education public outreach program out of Colorado State University, is seeking to raise funds through CommunityFunded.com by December 29, 2013 in order to procure the equipment and a part-time coordinator to expand the program and make it sustainable in the long term. The program, directed by Dr. Brian Tracy, director of CSU’s Neuromuscular function laboratory, delivers hands-on demonstrations for school-aged children to teach the concepts of brain and nerve function, a demonstration that before would have been limited to a lucky few students on a field trip to a university lab. To date, the program has raised $1,545 of its $10,000 goal.

Volunteers from the Neuromuscular Function Lab set up stations with kid-friendly Popsicle stick electrodes, iPads, and inexpensive electronic components and perform hands-on demonstrations that allow kids to see, hear, record, and experience the electrical activity of their own muscles in real-time. Over that past year, Muscles Alive! has brought demonstrations to hundreds of fourth to 12th grade students at locations to Rocky Mountain High School, Polaris Expeditionary Learning School, Kinard Middle School, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and many more. 

Child holding a weight with college student measuring electric currents to be used for a press release

Photo courtesy of Colorado State University.

Before the Muscles Alive! program, demonstrations like this would have been confined to a university laboratory and made available to a very limited number of participants. Tracy’s hopes are to expand the program across the state with the long-term goal of taking it nation-wide.

“[Muscles Alive!] plants a seed in the mind of a child who could go on to participate in the cure of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis,” said Tracy. “This program impacts not only the science education of kids, but also the cure of disease.”

To learn more about the Muscles Alive! program or to support this initiative, visit http://communityfunded.com/projects/arobin/muscles-alive/.

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.