Wondering whether Crowdfunding right for you? Here are a few questions that you should keep in mind before you starting putting your campaign together :
Do you have a tangible product or a defined theory of change?
It can be a new drone that will save lives. Or organising a trip to an art museum for underprivileged kids. What it can’t be is ambiguous, vague or intangible. You can’t say that you plan to change the world with the money you raise. While we love people who aspire to change the world, you need to have a concrete plan to do that.
What is your story?
The best thing about crowdfunding is that it is personal. It’s your story or the project’s story that has the biggest pull for the contributors. They want to know who you are and how their contribution can make an impact – if you can convince them of that, that’s half the battle won.
Who is most likely to connect to your story?
Are you looking at a concept which has a mass appeal or does your campaign have a niche audience? Do you have the initial networks to reach out to and mobilise them to contribute to your project? If not, do you know people who would help you reach out to a wide network? – Crowdfunding is a BYOC (bring your own crowd) exercise for the first 40% of the campaign, it’s important that you know where to get those people from.
Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself – you’re probably ready for the roller-coaster ride that is crowdfunding. Here are a few starter tips for conceptualising your campaign:
Set your goal & be realistic:
Start putting together your budget for the campaign. How much do you need? Make a optimistic budget and a bootstrapped budget. You need to know what is the bare minimum for you to make an impact as that would most probably be your target goal on the campaign. And do make sure you factor in your campaign rewards into the budget!
Get your forces ready:
The Campaigners’ personal networks is instrumental is getting you traction. And they will be your earliest donors. Do a reverse calculation of how many people will have to contribute for you to make your campaign successful (Average contribution taken at Rs. 1,000 or so) and start making lists. List every person you have spoken to about your project. Every person who thought this idea was a good one and every journalist who promised you a story. Call them or email them and tell them this is happening. Your personal network or your ‘soldiers’ are incredibly important for your campaign to succeed.
Think Partnerships & Outreach
The biggest crowdfunding campaigns saw influencers and partners coming in at some point to elevate the campaign. Start thinking of media agencies who stand for products or initiatives like yours, who is that influencer on Twitter or Facebook who constantly talks about the same or is there a fund that might double the contributions that people make to your campaign? Find out how you can get in touch with them and pitch them the campaign – familiarise yourself with cold calls, cold emails and tweets to influencers. You never know who might come on board and help you out!
Get creative with your campaign positioning. Whether you’re a one person team or have 3 more people helping you out with this, make sure you demarcate the different things you will need to do to make the campaign successful – make a tasklist, delegate and make a weekly plan of action. Parts of the campaign cycle are dull – have a few interesting conversation starters in place to get the campaign into limelight once again.
Once you’ve got these basics in place, it’s time to start putting together the campaign on the platform and seeing it come alive. Learn more about it in the next step!