Don't be fooled - so many people think all you need for a successful crowdfunding campaign is a compelling story and well-designed pitch, and the money will flow in once you hit "Go Live!".
While the well-designed pitch is neccessary (read this guideline), it is not sufficient. In reality, you will only succeed if you plan for success.
Here's our recipe for a successful strategy. It starts before you ever launch, ideally 1-2 weeks before going live:
Fact: Campaigns with teams raise twice as much compared to campaign creators without teams
The more team members a campaign has the more likely you are to hit your goal. Teams help expand your reach plus make the experience more fun, where you're working together but also competing with one another!
There are 3 minimal expectations for team members:
To consistently share the campaign in their offline & online networks. Stats show that you need to be able to "touch/contact" someone up to 7 times before they finally support!
Call up or ask in person 5-10 of their closest friends and family and make sure they support.
Almost everyday your team should be communicating, sharing updates and good news and motivating one another. You can create a Whatsapp group, GroupMe, Facebook group, etc. - whatever gets the job done!
Fact: You are 50 times more likely to get support from somone you ask in-person or on the phone versus asking over Facebook & Twitter.
It’s often assumed that since crowdfunding is fundraising online all your outreach should be online. While you definitely need leverage Facebook, Twitter, etc. and it will lead to some support but mostly it will lead to awareness. Nothing beats an old-fashioned phone call or best-yet in-person meeting!
Here are some steps you should take to prepare your individual outreach:
Identify potential supporters & influencers (people who can share and spread the word) in each of your networks through a master contact spreadsheet. Feel free to use this as a template.
Start first with family and friends, because if you can get them to support, then they can build the necessary momentum on day 1 and make the campaign more valid to others who see how well it has done from the start.
Send an email to those potential supporters & influencers one week before launch to ask for their support on Day 1, both with support and promotion. Explain the importance of starting with a bang and how you want them to be part of that. They will feel much more invested in the campaign because you personally reached out even before you went live.
People are bombarded with causes to support all the time. When reaching out it's important to send personalized messages to all individuals to ask for their support. Posts in facebook groups, large email threads, etc. are good for general publicity, but it diffuses responsibility to the extent that everyone assumes someone else will contribute.
On day 1 call those people and make sure they follow through with their support. You will hear from so many people how they love your campaign and support you, but unless you really stay on top of them, they won't support. That means remind, remind, remind!
Update your contact list to mark off those who have supported and identify who has yet to follow through. And if you're working with a team make it a competition to see who can raise the most money!
Fact: 80% of funds are raised in the first & last 3 days
To close, we want to share with you a few points that will help you know what to expect and how to approach your campaign:
Whoever supports on Day 1 should be made to feel super-appreciated and honored. They are people who walk the talk and get stuff done, so who better to help advocate for you and your campaign! Engage these early supporters with a personalized email or phone call, and ask how they heard about the campaign and what motivated them to support. Finally make sure to ask them to help you spread the word.
Don't think of your campaign as "I need to raise X dollars" but instead "I need to find Y supporters". This simple approach will get you focused on publicity over fundraising, and if you approach it from that angle and do your publicity right the money should follow. You still need to ask people to support (can't avoid this step!), but this will make it easier.
The #1 determining factor of crowdfunding success is the campaign creator's personal passion for the crowdfunding campaign. Live it, love it, enjoy it! See this as a fun opportunity to get others involved in a meaningful cause. And never quit - it's common that 50% or more of the funds are raised in the final few days of the campaign. We've even seen 1 anonymous supporter give $5000 at the very end of a campaign to help it hit its goal.
Nothing beats organic traction. But if you have a successful campaign, investing in a marketing package can really boost your total funds raised. Once you’ve reached 20% of your goal, you are eligible for one of our marketing packages. These may include Facebook/Instagram ads, Homepage feature, Newsletter feature, and more! Typical packages return 4x the investment, with some as much as 10x. Find out more here.