Over the summer, my friend and I attempted to fund a summer camp through crowdfunding. It was an epic fail. I don’t say that to discourage you in your desires, but I say that to say that I’ve given it a try.
We didn’t do it right, we didn’t use our resources or our friends to make it successful. At the beginning of the summer, another friend successfully started a crowdfunding campaign that hit his goal. I was surprised, so I inquired to figure out what he did. It turns out online fundraising is much easier than many people think. There are three steps necessary to making sure that your crowdfunding campaign is successful:
Find the Right Platform
The explosion of crowdfunding sites means that you have options. You have to research the one that’s right for your cause. These sites are often separated by types of requests: creative endeavors, charitable causes, personal gain and/or business investment. Also, some sites will allow you to keep the amount you raise while others require you to return the funds based on whether you hit your goal.
Crowdfunding sites also are grouped into two types of sites: donation-based and investment-based. Donation-based crowdfunding is where a group of people donate towards a goal, often receiving something, like a perk, in return. Investment-based crowdfunding is where businesses sell a piece of their business in return for their investment. The hope with this type of funding is to recover their funds, plus share in any successes of the venture.
Each platform will give you step by step instructions on how to make their platform work for you. Taking the time to find the right one can quickly get you to the next level.
Create Your Pitch
Make sure that you find the right verbiage so that others can easily understand why you’re raising funds. Whether selfish or selfless, you want to clearly make your cause known, making your case for others to support.
Remember, you will have to convince your potential backers that you are a trustworthy and reliable cause, often in just one short paragraph.
Advertise, advertise, advertise. You can call it sharing. You can use messaging or emailing, but whatever you call it, get the word out there! As much as I believed in our summer camp, I would have to say that I did not like the idea that I was bombarding my Facebook timeline with a “cause”, even though I believed in it. I wanted it to come easy. I wanted the few posts I made to move all of my friends to drop their cash. Truth is, the way social media platforms work, information moves quickly and not everyone sees everything. No matter what way you choose to advertise, DO IT. Do it well. Do it often.
Have you run a crowdfunding campaign? What has worked or not worked for you? Would you do it again?
This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.