Go independent with your crowdfunding project?
Should you use a platform for your crowdfunding project – or go it alone
I was asked at a recent workshop whether it was possible to run a crowdfunding project independently – without registering on a platform. The answer is – yes, of course. But you should look carefully at the pros and cons.
Running an independent campaign saves you the 4-5% commission on the money you raise. If you run a “keep everything you raise” campaign it would save you 9% if you do not reach your target.
You would need a well established site, flexible to run an interactive subsite, with payment processing through PayPal or credit card and an IT and admin team to process the data.
What are the cons of this approach?
- time to set up a landing page on your website and maintain it
- lack of a presence on a platform could narrow your marketing to the people who already access your site
- administration of payments
Crowdfunding is different from other form of online giving i.e. a campaign for a project or venture which runs for a limited time with tiered donation levels linked to rewards or perks. As the campaign progresses everyone can see the amount raised. Donations are returned on the “all or nothing” model if the target is not met.
Asking for donations to ongoing costs with a “donate now” button without an end time, rewards or tied to a specific project is online giving. See TIDE (an educational centre in Birmingham) or Independent Midwives.Crowdfunding a project hard work but exciting. The short time frame acts a catalyst for action and can grow your community and support base quickly. It also allows donors to become part of something specific and enables a relationship through engagement rather than donation to happen.You can do both. The Contact Theatre Manchester has a “donate now” button which links to their Just Giving page. They are also running a specific crowdfunding campaign Contacting the World to fund an International Theatre Festival through IndieGoGo.
Other go it alone campaigns Cancer Research My Projects allows the donor to chose a particular research project that means the most to them. Though if the target is not met on any project then it will be funded.
Dr Marta Vicente, a scientist based at Kampala University, is fundraising to set up the Institute of Biomedical Research in the medical campus of Kampala International University. She posted her idea – asking for donations of equipment, stationery and money – to her circle of friends and it has proved so popular she has now to think of administration and collection of material. She is planning a bigger launch soon – so watch this space.
So whether you go alone or join a crowdfunding platform depends on (as always)
- the size of your organisation
- your IT and person resources
- whether you really want a “donate now” button rather than run a crowdfunding campaign
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