Crowdfunding is an alternative means of funding projects by raising money from large numbers of people. The concept is simple – individuals pitch their project and encourage people to support them with donations.
Below are some guidelines to make a success of your crowdfunding event and also two of the Crowdfunding sites that are available.
Steps To Crowdfunding Success
Pick your project
- The thing that you are crowdfunding for needs to be specific and time-limited.
- A specific, easy to describe project will increase your connection with donors, making them more willing to share it with their networks.
- Be realistic with what you want to achieve and how much it will cost.
- Be transparent about what the money you raise will be used for.
- Decide what rewards you are going to offer in return for contributions.
Decide on your budget
- How much money are you asking for and what will you do with it?
- Remember to factor in the cost of using the platform and the cost of honouring your rewards.
- Decide on different size contributions for different pockets, with a different reward for each.
- Check whether or not you are able to claim gift aid from contributions.
Prepare your pitch
- Make a short video (three minutes max) to ‘pitch’ your project to potential supporters.
- Use your video to give a compelling story about your project. Talk about what your project is and what difference it will make.
Pick your platform
- Decide which crowdfunding site you will use and pay attention to the commission charges you will be expected to pay.
- Submit your pitch to the platform, which will be checked before it goes live. Sites don’t automatically approve campaigns so make sure you’ve submitted something compelling and achievable.
Plan your social media campaign
- Successful crowdfunding relies on making the most of online networks. If you’re using a crowdfunding platform then the ability to share will be built in but it will take work to make people want to share it.
- The wording you use in your social media needs to talk from the heart, not like something that’s come through a PR team or been written by committee. Focus on the difference your project will make.
- Make it easy for people to find your campaign. Put a link in all of your newsletters, in your emails, on your website. Tell your local paper, CVS, anyone that can tell others.
- View resources to help you get to grips with social media on KnowHow NonProfit.
Engage your strong supporters
- Get the people that are most likely to give to your campaign to make their contribution right at the start, others are then more likely to give. Engage these key people before the campaign goes live.
- Having momentum in your project right from the moment it goes live will help people to see there is demand for it. Remember that it is time-limited after all.
- It takes skill and effort to make a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- Get everyone involved in talking about the campaign, sharing information with their networks and spotting opportunities to fit it in with existing work.
- Factor in time to be responsive, you never know what’s going to come up.
Keep in touch
- Be sure to thank the people that have contributed to your campaign. If you are using rewards then remember to honour them when you reach your target.
- Keep your contributors updated about where the project is and what it has achieved.
- Even though a contributor has already given money, they are perfectly placed to continue sharing the campaign with their networks. Introduce new elements to keep them interested and give them something new to share.
Crowdfund with BVA and Spacehive!
A new website has been set up to make it easier for local people, groups and businesses to support community ideas and give to local good causes.
Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) – the borough’s umbrella organisation for the local voluntary and community sector – has worked in partnership with the council and national organisation Spacehive to set up the website which provides a platform for ‘crowdfunding’ projects.
Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money whereas until recently, financing a project or venture involved asking a few people for large sums of money.
Crowdfunding switches this idea around, using the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. By setting up a profile of their project on the website, local ideas can be turned into reality. They use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work acquaintances, to raise money.
The website was launched alongside a local campaign called ‘Real Change, Not Loose Change’ which aims to raise money for local homeless schemes and urges residents to alert homelessness services to people sleeping on the streets. This is to be sure that they are taken care of and connected to help to find housing, support and get back on track financially and emotionally.
For more information on the work BVA has done with Spacehive visit the website.
This is a definitive guide to running a thriving Spacehive campaign from planning to execution containing links to a wealth of tools and information which will help develop a successful project.
Money Advice Service – Crowdfunding: what you need to know
Crowdfund with Crowdfunder.co.uk
Everyone has a great idea and Crowdfunder want to make as many ideas as possible succeed.
Whether you own an existing business, are launching a new one, are a school, work in the creative industry, need funds for a social enterprise, are a charity, or are just an individual with a fantastic idea then we can help you raise the funds needed for your project.
Crowdfunder gives thousands of people that platform to raise money for their great ideas. The people behind the great ideas submit them to Crowdfunder adding rewards, a project video, their story and images. They then spend time building their community and when we think they’re ready they launch their campaigns.
Lots of people – each giving a small amount – can make good things happen. The ‘crowd’ decides what’s good, what’s not, what they want to fund and what they don’t. If the crowd doesn’t back the project it won’t happen.
For more information, including the fees, visit their website.