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.