Whether you’re a startup, a NFP, have an amazing idea or you just want to give back to your community, crowdfunding can be an effective tool to accomplish your goal.
Where, how much and by when?
To run a successful campaign, you need to get the basics right. First you should find a crowdfunding platform and set your goal and deadline: where are you going to raise funds, how much money do you need and by when do you want it? Keep in mind, they should be realistic. No matter how good your cause is, trying to come up with $250,000 in less than a week is next to impossible.
Tell your story
“Facts tell, stories sell”: You need to convince people that your idea deserves to be funded. If you show them how passionate you are, contributors are more likely to chip in. Start by introducing yourself and give a brief description of your background. The aim is for people to trust you. Describe your project, what you’re hoping to achieve and why it’s important that you reach your goal. Keep it simple, short, sweet and to-the-point. Images and videos have proved to be a particularly compelling way to sell ideas and convey a stronger message. Keep everything (media included) concise, yet professional.
You’re out to get money, we get that. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t offer something in return! An incentive might just make supporters give a little bit more. You can offer discounts, special gifts, exclusive content or access. Why not even offer a range of perks at different contribution levels? Just make sure you fulfill what you promise.
- Pick a crowdfunding site
- Establish your goals and publish your campaign
- Spread the word
- Collect your contributions
- Thank your funders
Get the word out!
There is a dozen ways to let the world know of your idea: face to face, email, sms, phone calls, social media, blogs and even your own website. Don’t wait until your campaign is live to start spreading the word! Generating anticipation might land you with big funds on the first day of your campaign.
You should now have all the tools you need to launch your campaign. Log into your e-platform, complete the steps and… Go!
Once you’ve collected contributions, don’t forget to thank your supporters.
Once your campaign is over
Each platform has its own funding model, where some sites even offer both:
- All or Nothing (AoN) – You only get to collect if you reach your goal. Otherwise, all contributions are given back to your supporters.
- Keep it All (KiA) – Even if you run a campaign that fails, you get to keep what you’ve raised.
Before you get your hands on your earnings, there are a number of fees that will be deducted, such as service, processing, transaction and exchange fees. Once these are subtracted, you can chose where to transfer the remaining money.
Remember that your project is competing with a lot of other campaigns and that, in the end, you rely on other people to reach your goal. If at first you don’t succeed, you can always try again. You can find some websites useful for crowdfunding in my article on crowdsourcing. Go have a look and happy crowdfunding!