How to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for a specific cause, expanding your reach in order to interest and motivate a wide base, usually smaller donors. Carrying out a successful campaign requires kraudfandingovoy counted effort and attention, and after working for five years in the area of fundraising with the largest in the country financial sponsor in the field of art, I realized a few things.

Indicate your specific funding needs

Describe in detail the circumstances of your chosen case, the people involved, and what it takes to achieve your goals. Your donors are in some way joining the cause, even if their participation is monetary, so they need to understand the details of your needs.

Tell your site visitors exactly how the funds will be used. For example, if you are raising funds for a college, include book costs, room and board costs, and tuition fees in your campaign details so that sponsors know exactly how much they are contributing to your success. This not only allows them to be a part of your journey, but also gives information about the amount they decide to donate.

Include campaign videos to illustrate your needs in a personalized manner. “Video can also increase your appeal if you reach out to the donor directly using a variety of second-person statements such as ‘your donation will help us …’ and ‘you can help …’ to attract your donors and make them feel part of the job, ”says Lauren Lattimore of Fractured Atlas. Lattimore suggests limiting video viewing to roughly three minutes, given that busy viewers with limited attention are more likely to watch shorter videos.

Ask for the required amount

Your goal should depend on several factors: your budget, your customers, and your reach. It is said that the average size of donations from person is $ 66 , and about one in three people who find time to visit your campaign, make a donation at the time of its implementation.

Courtney Harge, who has worked for the New York Foundation for the Arts and is currently Associate Director of Inbound Marketing at Fractured Atlas, offers the following recommendations:

[Your goal is] the amount needed to complete the project, plus 15% incidental expenses. If this is your first fundraiser and your team is one person, stay below $ 10,000 unless you have any guaranteed contributions before the campaign starts.

The Rule of Seven gives some idea of ​​how much communication is needed to achieve this goal: you can expect to reach out to someone about seven times before they actually take action when requested. For example, if your goal is $ 5,000 and 1 in 3 people you contacted will give $ 66, you will need to reach about 228 people at least seven times to reach that goal. Before setting a target amount, think about your reach, what you need to cover the costs, and who your constituencies are.

Define your target audience

There is a common misconception that crowdfunding is a set-and-forget approach to fundraising; Unfortunately, people don’t browse crowdfunding sites looking for places to donate, and most of your funds will come from friends, family, and networks. Start by reaching out to your personal and professional circles and ask these people to reach out to their extended circles as well.

This is where social media plays a big role: you want to connect with a wide variety of connected people in your life, and yes, even if they’re just acquaintances. “The tip I learned is group your audience by interests or connections: school friends, coworkers, poker buddies, your knitting circle, etc. Talk to all of these groups, but target each message to their interests and / or connection with them. – says Harge.

Respect tight timelines

Crowdfunding is time-based to give donors a sense of urgency, and crowdfunding statistics show that the most successful campaigns to date have lasted for about 113 days. Choosing the length of your campaign depends on factors similar to your goal setting: Consider your community, your personal time commitment, and when you need funds. Harge says 30 to 45 days are recommended: “This can be increased to 60. You want people to feel the urgency and also have time to include the gift for you in their budget,” she says.

Campaigns usually have the most traffic at the start and end of the campaign. “Plan for mid-campaign breaks,” says Harge. “It will likely subside and this is where you can energize for a good result.”

Give something back to donors

Rewards are a great way to show your gratitude to donors. Set reward levels based on different donation amounts to motivate donors and help them decide how much they are willing to donate. Receiving something in return for their donation – even if it’s a small reward – will help donors feel more connected to your journey.

Lattimore offers simple rewards such as donor name on website or promotional material, listing donors as “Producers” in movie loans, offering discount codes for future product purchases, shouting out on social media, video help, or even behind the scenes. access to a show or creative process.

But be careful: reward offers should be based on your ability to deliver them. If you promise t-shirts, but printing and shipping t-shirts costs more than a donation, that may not be the best reward for the cause.

Choose the platform that will benefit you the most

Not all crowdfunding sites are created equal, as each site has separate rules, fees, and processes that need to be considered. Due diligence should be about choosing what works for you.

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, which means that if you don’t reach your goal, you won’t receive any of the promised funds. Donor fees are not charged until the end of the campaign and only when the goal is achieved. It is based on the idea that every dollar you raise is critical, and if you don’t make it to the finish line, the project won’t take place. All or Nothing is great for projects that have a minimum baseline required to get things done – things like inventions, book orders, and clothing lines tend to be made in bulk, and creators can’t start the production process unless most are ordered.

On the other hand, sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo are donation-raising platforms, which means you receive donated funds regardless of whether you reach your goal or not. Be sure to indicate what fees the platform charges on the funds raised – for example, Indiegogo charges 5% of all funds raised, plus a credit card processing fee of 2.9% of the donated amount plus 30 cents. The Fractured Atlas platform charges an 8% commission but is only available to artists who participate in their financial sponsorship program.

“A good crowdfunding campaign is only part of the fundraising pie,” says Harge. “Before airing, there should be a quiet part where you build relationships with potential sponsors and audience. Don’t skimp on early work. ” Build strong connections that go beyond your campaign days and build long-term relationships.

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