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
- Choose a crowdfunding platform first. There are loads – all with different audiences and T&C’s – Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, etc.;
- Build your page;
- Tell your contacts, encourage them to share and tell others;
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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;
- 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;
- Introduce yourself, your cause and your achievements so far, your partners and collaborators;
- Testimonials let people know that your project is worthwhile and that you already have support;
- Show the rewards you’re offering with images and graphics;
- Make it compelling, unique and innovative;
- Remember: People lend to people.
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.