Anyone who’s crowdfunded before has felt the jitters of doing it for the very first time. You’re promoting your own idea or cause and openly persisting for support. But we bet every successful campaigner will also tell you that they had a great learning experience whose results were largely rewarding. Here is a quick guide to crowdfunding for the first time campaigner to help you calm your nerves and make more strategic decisions for more effective fundraising!
Why should you turn to crowdfunding?
- Quick and easy funding. No project or cause can be driven without funding. Before crowdfunding, entrepreneurs, innovators and anyone looking to get funding for a cause had a tough time finding the means. They would turn to loans, seek investors, borrow money from family or friends or exhaust their savings to get started. Now they can bring together communities to aid their goals over a short period of time.
- Validation with no fear of loss. Crowdfunding can give you a realistic validation of your idea, with evidence to confirm. Get perspective on how your audience will receive what you have to offer and if doesn’t work out, you’ll know to improve your service or product. And many crowdfunding platforms provide free fundraising, so you have nothing to lose!
Planning your campaign
Most crowdfunding campaigns have the same journey – the first 20% gets quickly funded by family and friends, the next 50% is a slow, unpredictable struggle and the last 30% is usually funded rapidly through resharing or advertising. How do you plan your campaign so that you push through to 100%?
- Launch with the first 20% ready. Ideally, your first round of donations should come in the first few hours of your fundraiser. These will come from your closest network of friends and family. Involve them in your campaign actively.
- Start small. Set realistic goals and plan how you’re going to reach them. Try to sketch an idea of where you’ll receive funding (at least most of it) from before you start fundraising. Set a small goal accordingly and grow your audience from there.
- Don’t wing it by yourself. Involve your family or friends in your fundraising effort. Most successful campaigns were managed by a team of people, not one person.
Creating your campaign
Write a great story. We cannot emphasise this enough. Include all details: describe your cause lucidly, talk about the problem, how your solution will work, and break down your budget, specifying where each penny will go.
Provide visual aid. You can never use too much imagery. Upload quality photos and create a short video about your cause. If you can’t, some crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru can create one for you. Documents to prove your authenticity are crucial as well.
Growing your audience and donor network
- Plan a social media strategy for every medium. Post details regularly to keep everyone in the loop. Make calls, use emails, SMS, every kind of media you think your audience will be most active on. Encourage your close network to share the updates you post regularly.
- Ask your family and friends to create a support fundraiser. This has proven to get double (or more) the amount resharing can bring in.
Good luck for your very first campaign!