Planning your crowdfunding campaign – from daunting to possible
Got a great idea? A service or product that you just know people will want if they know about it?
It might seem easy to post and launch your project to a platform but crowdfunding campaigns are hard work and should be carefully planned in detail
Teams I have been working with over the past few months find it daunting when they realise there is more to a campaign than the idea, posting, launching and tweeting the link. These teams are made up of dedicated workers in charities or social enterprises where everyone has a full time job. Or they are student groups when a campaign comes on top of course work and other commitments. Crowdfunding cannot be worked up in an odd evening or a couple of extra hours over the weekend.
What can you do? Plan the campaign like any other project
- You have to commit to the project and allocate resources: you need a dedicated coordinator supported by the team. Allow for 2 hours at least a day during the campaign.
- Draw up an action plan in advance including a marketing strategy – who is your crowd? who are you going to target? how are you going to reach them? what are you going to say and how often?
- What will success look like and work backwards. And think beyond money. You will not only achieve the funding target but you will also raise the profile of your organisation within the community; increase the number of customers, repeat and dedicated customers or test an idea to receive valuable feedback from the market. What steps do you need to take to make this happen? How will you capture and utilise this success?
- Think PR – what’s the story that would interest the press? Is this the first crowdfunding campaign in your area? is the project unique? is the collaboration unique?
- Find out and use all the skills in the team in advance of the campaign launch – who is good at writing? who is convincing? who is photogenic? who loves to tweet or post on Facebook? who likes to talk? who is good at making videos? If someone can juggle or make a mean cupcake – how can this be brought to play? Use what people love to do but don’t often bring to their job.
- Sometimes it will be unprofessional or unethical to ask professional contacts or a partner organisation for money – but you are fundraising – so think of what support you need and ask for that e.g. retweeting, a link to the landing page, a mention in the newsletter etc
- The team must back up the coordinator with positive agreed action using their skills – this could be to tweet/retweet once a day, add a post to the Facebook page, write a guest blog post or upload or like a video.
- Link to all other actions/projects the team is making – if you attend a meeting – hand out a flyer; if you are attending a work social event – announce the campaign; ask the Trustees to actively support you at the Board meeting
- Do all of this before you launch!
Join me on an introduction to crowdfunding workshop
Middlesbrough 14 June 10.00 15.30
Workshop in partnership with Funding Information North East and Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency
Central Middlesbrough venue
Rochdale 26 June 09.30-13.00
Workshop in partnership with CVS Rochdale
Venue: CVS Rochdale, Partnership House, Sparrow Hill, Rochdale OL16 1QT
Crewe 3 July 10.00 – 15.30
Workshop in partnership with CVS Cheshire East
Venue:The Exercise Studio, Belong, Brookhouse Drive, Crewe