Crowdfunding Change: Tips and tricks for social innovators from Indiegogo - MaRS Best Practices


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Are you a social entrepreneur with a vision for social change? A tech founder with a dream? A non-profit leader looking to engage your supporters as stakeholders?

If so, then you know what often stands between an innovative idea and its execution is financing!

With increasing frequency, crowdfunding has been filling the money gap―and it empowers action while raising awareness for issues. This platform enables individuals around the world to participate in big ideas and take ownership in the projects they believe in.

Amy Lesnick, Head of Social Innovation at Indiegogo, discusses how crowdfunding serves startups by helping entrepreneurs to:

-Demonstrate a market for their products
-Gain rapid customer feedback
-Cultivate customer advocates
-Increase awareness for their brand and offering

Join us to learn more about making crowdfunding work for you.

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Crowdfunding Change: Tips and tricks for social innovators from Indiegogo - MaRS Best Practices

  1. 1. The world’s largest crowdfunding platform! Mars Best Practice Series Amy Lesnick Head of Social Innovation
  2. 2. Crowdfunding What? Who? Where? Why? How?
  3. 3. Pooling of funds from the people who are passionate about an idea, leader, cause One dollar at a time Often in return for a… “Perk” or Token of thanks Reaching into your community and Engaging their community What is Crowdfunding?
  4. 4. Crowdfunding is not new…
  5. 5. Crowdfunding is not new… Over $100,000 raised Average contribution: $0.89
  6. 6. What is new… You don’t need to be Pulitzer Rise of social networking Adoption of online payments 24/7/365 Crowdfunding = efficient + accessible + fun
  7. 7. Musician Writer Entrepreneur Inventor Small Business Maker Religious org Artist Community Activist Photographer Food lover Game Developer Non-profit Designer Dancer Who is crowdfunding?
  8. 8. Anyone, Anything, Any time Global Keep what you raise Gogo Factor What makes us unique? Since 2008 196 Countries Over 100,000 campaigns $ millions disbursed every week 60+ employees
  9. 9. 1. Passion 2. Participation 3. Pride 4. Perks Why do Funders Fund? - The 4 “P”s
  10. 10. 1.  Raise Capital 2.  Increase Awareness 3.  Engage Community as Stakeholders 4.  Validate Market 5.  Get Smarter faster 6.  Serendipity Why should you Crowdfund?
  11. 11. How Are Social Innovators Crowdfunding? Launch/Ignite Seed/Scale Raise awareness
  12. 12. How Are Founders Crowdfunding? Brand/Pre-sell Customer Design Fund production .
  13. 13. How Are Funders using Crowdfunding? CSR/Leverage Validate Market Community of support . $10,000 in matched funds by
  14. 14. How Are Funders using Crowdfunding? Build Capacity of Grant Portfolio & Amplify Grant .
  15. 15. Whole Foods Foundation Warner Brothers/Batman How Are “Citizens” and Brands using Crowdfunding?Over $2 million raised in Hurricane Sandy Relief; Over 160 campaigns .
  16. 16. Partner Pages –Your own curated site
  17. 17. Innovation Prize Challenges & Crowdfunding?
  18. 18. How Crowdfunding Works 1)  Create a campaign 2)  Engage your community 3)  Raise funds 4)  Fulfill perks
  19. 19. So, what are the secrets of success? q  Engaging Pitch q  Compelling story/Specific objective q  Attainable Goal q  Unique Perks q  Audience that cares q  Proactive Communication
  20. 20. What problem are you trying to solve? Why should I care? What will happen if this continues to go unresolved? Stats/Impact? How does this help me? Who are you? What is your vision? Why are you/your team uniquely suited to solve this? What is your solution? Why is it better than other solutions? Have you demonstrated effectiveness? What is the potential here? Creating a Great Pitch The keys to creating a good pitch are honesty, transparency and authenticity.
  21. 21. What specifically are you raising money for? Pilot, first manufacturing, replication/scale? Budget numbers? Matches or other funding sources? When will this happen? How will I know if we’re successful? If successful what happens next? Call to action What do you need from me? Why should I join with you? What are the cool benefits/perks if I do? What are other exciting engagement opportunities? Creating a Great Pitch
  22. 22. Creating a Great Pitch More tips: People contribute to a compelling story/people, not a product… Make it personal… Original Pitch Video Here:
  23. 23. Written Description Campaign Essentials More tips: §  1-3 min max §  Grab attention in first 30sec §  Campaigns with pitch video raise 114% more money Video Basics
  24. 24. Goal Size Reasonable goal: $15,000 to start manufacturing.
  25. 25. Goal Size •  81% of campaigns that reach goal, exceed it by average of 32% •  Probability of campaign reaching goal quadruples once reach 10%
  26. 26. Creating perks More tips: §  Perks should be unique, creative, and personal. §  You can add up to 12 perks at one time. §  The average successful campaign has 5 – 8 perks. §  You can change/add perks throughout campaign §  Perks can be limited edition §  Watch for costs of fufillment Perks
  27. 27. Creating perks Perk Ideas 28More tips: •  Offer early access to products/services •  Offer discounts or coupons •  Throw a party for funders •  Donated perks from local businesses •  Teach a class or host a tour •  Offer unique, limited edition items •  Free entry or membership discounts •  Personal thank you notes or phone call •  Share insider secrets •  Join the conversation
  28. 28. Creating perks Show appreciation More tips: Pre-sell product Engage in design
  29. 29. Build a campaign “host committee” Seek out communities that already exist Audience that cares More tips: §  Raise 30-40% from inner circle within first 24-48 hours §  Consider soft launch Early $ matters
  30. 30. Communication 31More tips: Communicate early & often §  Develop a social media/PR strategy §  Discuss updates, new perks, new media, milestones, etc. §  1-2 updates per week (60% of successful campaigns donors give twice; Campaigns that do 1-5 updates per week raise 2 times the money) §  Adding media to gallery post launch increases $ by 81%
  31. 31. ü Soft launch ü Creating an “Action Team" at the beginning of your campaign. ü Share with friends & family immediately – email everyone you know! Personalized emails result in highest contribution rate ü Update your email signature ü Once you gain traction, engage in a broader media push ü 20-30% of early funds should come from inner circle Communication 32More tips: Engage Inner circle first
  32. 32. Communication 33More tips: Have a weekly marketing plan
  33. 33. Communication 34 Leverage updates to update funders The Basics • Sent at the end of the day to all funders and “favorites” • Send 1-2 a week • Treat it like a blog • Engage your community What to Talk About • Specific perks (details, new additions) • Campaign developments/milestones • Media coverage • Organizational developments • Add new content • Make funders feel like they’re special, part of an exclusive community
  34. 34. Communication 35 Use social media to engage •  Ask questions •  Recognize and thank contributors •  Do polls •  Always include your campaign link •  Use hashtags •  Ask for retweets •  Whole team should tweet
  35. 35. Communication- Thank Social influencers Identify, thank, and engage key influencers!
  36. 36. Communication- Innovate with your customers Test a concept directly with your customers. Not just investment: ENGAGEMENT. These guys now have money, press, and a gang of evangelical customers who will spread WOM.
  37. 37. Are you next?
  38. 38. $13,412 RAISED Emmy’s Organics FOOD 63 FUNDERS $5,810 RAISED Makepeace Brothers MUSIC 114 FUNDERS $7,281 RAISED Walking Audio Tour COMMUNITY 69 FUNDERS $2,976 RAISED Design Junction SMALL BUSINESS 26 FUNDERS $4,062 RAISED Impossibly Funky MAGAZINE 80 FUNDERS Are you next?
  39. 39. We’re looking forward to working with all of you!