While we’ve been encouraging you to educate yourselves and to pay close attention to our crowdfunding tips, we wanted to make it even easier for you by going back to basics and breaking down the main component of crowdfunding: fundraising. Below are 9 valuable fundraising tips that will surely jumpstart your project.
1. Have a clear goal
This is step number one. Why are you starting this campaign in the first place? What are you hoping to achieve? If you have a clear answer to this question, move forward to step two.
2. Have a killer presentation
A clear message with an equally clear goal is your key to a good start. Your Rock The Post presentation is your first introduction to the public, which means it needs to be compelling and enticing enough for people to pledge. Videos are the best way to sell your fundraising campaign and your idea. Another way of thinking about this is movie trailers, where in 2-3 minutes people are excited enough to take an action and buy tickets. That is what you need to accomplish in this step.
3. Be realistic when setting your fundraising goal
You should have a clear idea on how much you need to raise for this campaign. Most importantly, you have to be realistic and know exactly how much you WILL raise, or at least how much you predict to raise. Sure, $100,000 wouldn’t be bad for your small project, the real question is how much can your network yield?
4. Have a plan (and stick to it)
The most effective way to achieve your fundraising goal is to create a detailed plan outlining the steps you’ll need to complete to meet your objectives. This plan will be your guideline throughout the campaign. Have you ever heard of the backward exercise? It’s this vision and strategic planning exercise where you backtrack your steps from reaching your goal all the way to the beginning of your campaign. So you have to think, for instance, if you want to raise $10,000, and the average pledge is $50, you would need 200 people to donate. So if you need 200 people to donate, in order to get to that number, you need to think about who you know, how you will contact them, what your messaging will be, etc… (Please also read about the best places to you can market your project)
5. Reach and follow up
Ready, set, go! Spread the word like your life is depending on it. This is probably the most decisive step you have to take during your whole campaign. Our observations show that more than 40% of the pledges’ project owners receive come from their own network. Make sure to tell everyone about your campaign, even media publications and groups/forums on various social network sites. Who would be interested in donating? Get help from family and friends and come up with an e-mail list which will give the first push to your idea. Make sure not just to let them know what’s cooking, but to follow up and update them on the developments of your campaign.
6. Make specific and direct asks for money
In fundraising you cannot afford not asking for money. Although it seems hard and embarrassing asking someone directly to fund your project, the answer will always be “no” if you don’t do it. Be as clearly as possible on how much you want them to donate and what will you’ll use that money for. Encourage them to pledge whatever they can, even if it’s $5 as that helps! People like to know they are needed and they have the power to make a difference.
7. Control expenses
Part of being realistic is not only having a clear idea of how much you want to raise, but also knowing how much you will spend for the whole campaign. Rewards will probably cost you money and anyways, it always costs money to raise money. It is simply the nature of things. Put together a budget to make sure you are ready for all upcoming expenses and can deliver on your promises.
8. Valuable rewards
As we have mentioned many times before, people need incentives, especially in fundraising and crowdfunding. What will you give in return for their pledges? Will it be enough to turn heads? Make sure you offer valuable and interesting rewards that will make the crowd donate.
9. Organize meet-ups and events.
This is probably the most expensive part of your whole campaign, but it is a necessary one. Organizing meet-ups and events will require a big budged (think of the place, the food, the invitations, the materials to hand out etc.), but it can give back more than you think. It will make your relationship with potential donors more personal. They will get a closer view of your concept, and after that, your professional network will grow tremendously and you will not be just another person in need of money.