My presentation on crowdfunding basics, including the do's and dont's of setting up a campaign, characteristics of a great campaign, and how to create a plan of action to achieve success and reach your goals.
How to Plan for and Execute a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Julia Claire Campbell - @JuliaCSocial
J Campbell Social Marketing
“Crowdfunding is the pooling of
funds from passionate people to
help make something special
Websites that allow nonprofits, businesses and
individuals to set up an online fundraising
campaign based around a fundraising page,
and accept money directly from that page
using the website’s own credit card processor.
Smaller Goals Are More Attainable
successful crowdfunding campaign is
Average campaign lasts around 9 weeks.
Campaigns that can gain 30% of their goal within
the first week are more likely to succeed.
Marketing Drives Campaigns
is a direct correlation between the number
of outside links to a crowdfunding campaign and
the success of the campaign.
Social Media is a critical factor in crowdfunding
success: for every order of magnitude increase in
Facebook friends (10, 100, 1000), the probability
of success increases drastically (from 9%-, 20%,
Demographics of the Crowd
Age. Individuals ages 24-35 are much more likely to
participate in crowdfunding campaigns. Those over 45
are significantly less likely to back campaigns.
Gender. Men are much more likely to take a risk on
an unknown startup.
Income. Those earning over $100,000 per year are
the most likely to invest in startups through
Benefits of Crowdfunding
Less overhead in staff time, processing.
Potential reach. Social media, email, peer-topeer.
24/7 access via online donation platforms;
Required in our always-on, tech-reliant world.
Benefits of Crowdfunding
Opportunity to share a compelling story of
impact through multimedia, videos, photos.
Very accurate data about donors. Tracking.
It’s safe when using a verified, reliable
Challenges of Crowdfunding
Tools can be
If you build it,
Challenges of Crowdfunding
It only works with an investment of time and
It is not a fundraising panacea.
It will not work if you do not have a
compelling story to share.
So how to do it?
Three main steps:
3) Follow up
1) Get legal.
Just as with other types of fundraising, online
solicitations must be registered with the appropriate
Check with your state attorney’s office or secretary
of state office to find out the requirements in your
Also, if you do online fundraising in states other
than your own, you may need to register there as
2) Pick a project.
Specific projects work best.
Crowdfunding does not work for general asks.
Why this project?
Why are you asking?
What will happen if this is NOT funded?
3) Choose a goal.
Specific goal – We want to raise $5,000 to build
a playground in 3 months.
We need to raise $60,000 or the theater will
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform.
Make sure to budget for the fees that all the
platforms collect – whether or not you reach
Kickstarter campaigns are 1 – 60 days.
Screening Room Digital Fund
Transition to digital projection
Future: Ensuring the continued maintenance of
the theater’s equipment
4) Select rewards.
What will motivate people to back your project?
For nonprofits, it’s impact – change to society,
people helped, animals saved.
For businesses, it’s something tangible – tshirts, tickets, exclusive access, signed books.
Must be “products and experiences” not cash.
Seth Godin – self-published his book
Projecto – Instagram projector
“We must keep all 13 schools open and make
up for the lack of funding as a result of
cut-backs in USAID into Afghanistan. This
requires much more than the initial
$10,000 mentioned in this starting goal.”
In 300-500 words, be able to describe:
The WHY NOW
The HOW (how the money will be spent)
The WIIFM (what’s in it for me)
What will this do if funded? How will the world
change? How will lives change?
8) Be responsive.
Who will respond to inquiries and questions?
How will you acknowledge donations?
How will you record the donations?
How will you cultivate these donors?
Do you have a database?
Will there be a special group for these donors?
Create a detailed plan of action with
responsibilities, tasks and timelines.
9) Find the right tool.
Read the guidelines!
Look at the fees involved.
10) Press publish!
Social media share buttons
11) Tell everyone!
Don’t just put the “Donate Now” button on your
site and expect donations to roll in!
Have to change the culture in some cases.
Put info everywhere you touch investors or
Alleviate their fears and eliminate obstacles.
Start with email.
Use your network.
Personal emails work best.
Offer different ways to help – small donations,
spreading the word, sharing it, retweeting
Use social media.
Use your networks.
The key is getting others to share it for you.
Write sample tweets and Facebook posts.
Create great, shareable graphics!
Can be daily or weekly
Be enthusiastic and positive
“This much has already been done, because
“BUT we could also do so much more…”
“We are THIS close to achieving our goal!”
Have a virtual party on Google Hangout or
Have an in-person celebration party.
Create as much buzz as possible in the local,
regional and national press – find niche
Share your success (or learnings) as a case
study on your website.
Offer to talk with other nonprofits or businesses
about what you learned.
If these guys could do it…
Have a plan.
Create online policies – for email marketing,
online solicitation and social media.
Make sure everything is in compliance.
Take some time to find the right tool.
Invest resources (staff, time, money) in
fundraising, whether it be online or off.
Professional development is your friend.
Harness The Crowd –
www.harnessthecrowd.com – free e-book
and other resources
The Crowd Café – www.thecrowdcafe.com
Smallknot.com – for local businesses (not in
Boston area, but coming soon)
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