The art of crowdfunding


Crowdfunding is a way to raise money, awareness and support for a project from the people and community around you.

Steps to building your crowdfunding campaign

  1. Choose a crowdfunding platform first. There are loads – all with different audiences and T&C’s – Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, etc.;
  2. Build your page;
  3. Tell your contacts, encourage them to share and tell others;
  4. People who love your project will pledge money in return for a reward.

 Top tip: Planning is key – put time and effort into creating your project plan

The pros

  • Validation – gives your project credibility and provides that people have confidence to support;
  • Funding – unlock other funding for charities, such as grants;
  • Advocates – the people who support you become part of your journey and ambassadors for your project and organisation in future;
  • Marketing – you need to really think about how you market your idea and in the process raise awareness.

The cons

  • It requires lots of hard work – but it can be very rewarding for your project;
  • Requires a lot of planning and activities before, during and after the campaign, from sending the rewards to donors, to sending thanks to everyone who donated, etc.;
  • Crowdfunding platforms don’t do the work for you – they are just a way of linking with your contacts.

Build your project

  • Build your team:Crowdfunding can be a lot of work, make sure you have a core team to support you. Make use of your team’s ideas with creative ways of telling your story, exciting rewards and lists of potential supporters.
  • Think about what roles and essential skills you need.
  • Remember: the bigger the team, the more supporters you will likely have.

 

Telling your story

  1. A good crowdfunding campaign involves compelling video and text. An engaging video is more likely to attract interest and convince people to fund your project;
  2. Images can make your case quickly and powerfully. They can also provide a way of making the content personal and link back to your organisation;
  3. Introduce yourself, your cause and your achievements so far, your partners and collaborators;
  4. Testimonials let people know that your project is worthwhile and that you already have support;
  5. Show the rewards you’re offering with images and graphics;
  6. Make it compelling, unique and innovative;
  7. Remember: People lend to people.

 

Rewards

Crowdfunding is about rewarding the donors.

  • Try and link back to your project; tickets, posters, exclusive opportunities etc.;
  • Most pledges are between £10 – £50 make your rewards suitable for these price points;
  • Offer good value for money – what would your reward cost elsewhere?;
  • You will have to give out or post lots of rewards – make them easy and cheap to deliver;
  • Have at least 5 reward options and add rewards in incremental amounts up to 10% of your target – ‘bump up’ a pledge with £10 will help us do x but £15 will help us do x and y;
  • Offer a money can’t buy option; something that’s unique or exclusive, such as a behind the scenes tour, meet the makers, opening night tickets;
  • Reach out to your connections – they might be willing to offer something you can’t.

After the end of your campaign

  • Say thank you as loudly and publicly as you can;
  • Thank as many people as you can personally;
  • Use social media to celebrate your success and thank your supporters;
  • Keep backers updated with developments and updates;
  • Make sure you deliver the rewards – if they are going to be delayed, let people know.

 

Case study: Fix the Flora Day Clock, by Helston Museum

In 2015, Helston Museum launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder to raise money to fix the iconic Flora Day Clock.

The campaign set a target of £1000 and managed to raise £1130 in 28 days, with the support of 23 donors. The campaign featured an engaging 3-minute video which explains the significance of the project. The video also features a number of people who were passionate about the project, including a group of children and the person responsible to fix the clock. Apart from the compelling video, the campaign page features images and text to support the project’s case.Heritage Lottery Fund Logo

 

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