Years ago, if you needed the funds for a life-saving surgery, an independent film project, or your new startup, you were largely dependent on the generosity of your family, friends, skeptical investors, and cautious banks. But today, crowdfunding is another option and in 2012, over 2.7 billion dollars was raised via sites such as KickStarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. So what makes a campaign successful? What separates the campaigns that reach their goals from those who don’t?
Most crowdfunding sites offer campaign organizers helpful tips and insights to get them started on the right path; but some of them don’t tap into some of the most important things to achieve your goal. CrysMarie.com has got you covered. Check out these six secrets that can shift your campaign from neutral to 3rd!
1. Create a challenging but attainable goal. Your fundraising goal should not only match your project’s goal; it should also match your network’s capacity. If you have about 50 people within your network that can donate $100, why shoot for $500? You’re limiting your project’s potential! Conversely, if you know that you can only depend on about 15 people to give $30, then a goal of 100K is equally problematic. If your goal is unrealistic, not only will you know, but your donors will likely know as well and they’ll be less interested in donating to an impossible pipe dream. (There is of course, the rare possibility that you really only need a small amount of money and your ability to raise money outpaces your need. If that’s your problem, congratulations; you’re living the dream!) So how do you know what is attainable? See #2!
2. Use all of your address books. Often, people don’t realize how much capital they have access to until they sit down and make a list. In addition to reaching out to family and friends, consider the following resources when developing this list:
—> member organizations e.g. fraternities, business networks, social clubs, churches, nonprofit boards, intramural leagues, alumni associations, book clubs, etc
—> faith based organizations e. g. churches, temples, synagogues
—> career based circles e.g. coworkers, former coworkers, colleagues
Assemble a list of people from all these groups in an Excel document and assign a target amount that you think they could donate. For example, if you know your rabbi has a passion for the clean water crisis and you’re raising funds for a well, you may assign him $150. For your stingy cousin – you may assign her $15. After assigning amounts to all of these individuals and totaling it, you’ll have an idea of what a challenging but attainable goal is and you’ll also have an idea of the value of your network.
3. Make it personal. Now that you’ve got your list, all you have to do is send out an email, post it on your Facebook and you’re ready to go, right? Wrong! The real work begins now. Each of these folks is driven by something different to give. Some will give because they genuinely care about your creative idea or cause, others will give for the perks, but most will likely give because they care about you and you asked. But they need to feel personally responsible. There’s a difference in “Hey friends, I need to raise $5000; can you help?” and “Hey Daniel, I know you’re a movie buff so this may pique your interest. Can you invest $75 to support a movie I’m producing?” It takes a lot more work, but is exponentially more effective. This idea of a personal ask brings me to #4.
4. Social media should just be the icing on the cake. I’ve seen several campaigns for great causes with amazing stories that haven’t taken off because an organizer simply posted the link on Facebook and Twitter and waited for the dollars to roll in. While this method may work if you’re Ashton Kutcher or Miley Cyrus, for most, this isn’t sufficient. Think of social media as a tool to remind people who you’ve already reached out to already. Social media alone is not going to get you to your goal.
5. Don’t go it alone; help others help you. Imagine the strength of your network, multiplied by the strength of your network’s network! But here’s the thing; your friend Amy doesn’t care about saving the whales as much as you do, so you’re going to have to make it easy for Amy. Create an email, tweet, or post that Amy can send to her friends and if you’re bold enough, suggest some folks in her network that you’d like her to reach out to.
6. Be brief. It is often tempting to pour your heart out and explain all the details of your projects, especially if you are passionate about it. However, you don’t need a collaborator; you need a donor.
—>Provide donors with a compelling reason for giving
—>Provide a call to action (donate here/click here/share here)
—>Put the details in the fine print for those folks who need additional info
People are often overwhelmed when they get too much information with a request to give muddled somewhere in the middle. Ask early and often in your pitch, and then be done.
Best of luck with your campaign, and if you need any additional help or professional support, feel free to Contact Me.