Setting up a crowdfunding campaign for the first time might seem a little daunting, but with the proper planning and preparation, you can set yourself up for success.
Maximises Crowdfunding Campaign Success?
Having a great looking campaign
You need to make your campaign eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing to attract potential donors. Choosing the right site will play a big part in this. Lots of sites, like GoGetFunding, will allow you to customise your campaign. You can select a colour theme, pick a font, and choose an eye-catching title.
Having a solid crowd of friends, family, business associates or community
You need to have a group of people you will ask for donations, as for the vast majority of crowdfunding campaigns, it’s people you know who will be your donors.
Strangers do not donate to a campaign that is not established, well presented and trustworthy. If you hope to reach out to strangers, you’ll need to ask everyone you know to share your link to get the word out there. It is their contacts that are most likely to become the strangers who donate.
In short, you need a community of people you already know to get your campaign off the ground. They will be the foundation of your campaign.
Having a worthwhile cause
Your cause needs to be something that your crowd can connect with, something they will feel passionately about and want to share.
Ensure you set aside enough time to raise the amount of money you’ve set as your goal. If you’re unsure, it’s better to allocate more time; you can always finish early.
So if you can tick all of the above, how do you plan and sustain interest in your campaign to achieve success?
Sharing your campaign effectively is one of the most important things you need to do. If you follow this simple template, you should find donations will start to arrive.
Focus on family and friends first. Let them know when you’re launching your campaign. Ask if they would be willing to donate during the first 2 weeks of your campaign to help gain momentum. It’s also beneficial to encourage them to share your campaign once it’s live.
At this stage, it’s a great idea to put together a checklist or jot down notes of what you need to do to get your campaign off the ground. This will help to keep you on track even if things get busy.
You could include details like:
What you want to include in your campaign story
Which photo and videos you want to take for your campaign
What you’re going to offer as rewards and when
The details of any fundraisers you’re going to organise
Which social media platforms you’re going to use, when you’re going to post on them, and so on.
The more prepared you are, the more smoothly your campaign will run.
First 4 weeks
Keep focusing on family and friends, as well as social media contacts. You should use email, social media and word of mouth to tell them about your campaign. As a guide, you should Tweet about your campaign several times a week (as Tweets can be easily missed).
You should post direct appeals via Facebook or other social media platforms around 4 – 5 times in total for the duration of your campaign. It’s crucial to find a balance between promoting your campaign regularly and not ‘spamming’ people with too many posts.
Weeks 4 – 8
Focus on all the above, but also include business contacts, utilise appropriate online forums, and connect with suitable bloggers. Perhaps start to consider traditional media such as magazines, newspapers and radio stations.
At this stage, you should be providing regular updates – around one every week or two. Once someone donates, they become invested emotionally in your story, so it’s important to share your progress. Post these updates on your campaign page, as well as on social media.
Week 9 – 12 (and beyond)
Continue to focus on all the above. Consider revamping your campaign. Add new photos or videos, add new rewards, and add a big update with photos. This should help keep your donor’s attention and potentially catch the attention of new donors.
If your campaign is flagging, consider adding a team member (a person you know) to join you. They may be able to look at the campaign with a fresh set of eyes. For example, they might have contacts that can help with marketing, events, or publicity.
It’s so important to remember that crowdfunding is rewarding but requires effort – this is often forgotten. We recommend spending a minimum of 3 – 5 hours a week working on your campaign.
I'm Ann-Marie, I'm 32 and a passionate freelance blogger and writer. I live in Scotland with my husband and lots of pets. My favourite things are bright coloured hair, animals, hiking, writing and anything creative!