Business Planning for Crowdfunding

Using the principles of business planning for crowdfunding



1.      Mission Statement - what is your campaign about?

You need

  •  a memorable name - that’s what appears at the top of your landing page and promotional emails.
  • A snappy one sentence description.
  • A no waffle 30 word description that grabs the attention and tells readers of your campaign what you want to do and why.

2.      The goals and objectives - the why and what

A difference from normal business plans. Crowdfunding is about people so start with you - why you want the project or business to happen, your passion and your team? Now clearly describe the goals of the project or business. What will happen if you are successful. This could to raise awareness, increase customers and revenue or save a building.

3.      What are you offering - the product or service

What will be the end result. What exactly are donors or investors buying into? Do not assume knowledge of the industry and don’t use jargon. Complicated information can be added as updates or documents.

4.      Target Market

In your campaign business plan you might have two separate targets

1. Those who you hope will donate or invest

This target will not be part of your final pitch but is central to the success of your campaign.

  • Who are your key contacts and networkers?
  • Who will donate when the pitch goes live?
  • Who bridges between different social networks?
  • Who will benefit from the project happening?


2. Those who will be the beneficiaries, customers or fans who will buy your products, see the film or benefit from the service you  will provide.

Those who donate need to know that you do have a market for your project or business. How do you know people want it? What evidence can you give? Again any detailed information can be added as documents.

This is central when you are raising finance for equity or a business loan.

5.      Competition

You need to be clear about your USP. What is different or unique about your venture? Why should anyone care? Show you have researched your industry or sector. How many films are there in this genre in circulation or in production? What other community ventures serve the local area? Are there similar courses on offer for these young people? Is there another charity doing exactly the same?

7.      Marketing Strategy

This section assumes that your campaign is compelling and the end result needed - see above.

Again you will have two strategies

1. To reach your donors or investors 

Think of your target contacts above - how will they know about your campaign? When will they know?


2. To reach the customers or users of the final product or service. The former will not be in your pitch but you need to know how people will find out about your project or business if successful. You can use strategic marketing and sales techniques.

8.      The finances

You need a budget for the campaign which includes

  • staff and volunteer time - be very realistic about this - crowdfunding takes a lot of time and energy!
  • any face-to-face networking events
  • promotional material

Then you need the project or business budget

Be open, transparent and realistic.

  • What do you need to make the project happen?
  • What do you think you can realistically raise from your social networks?
  • Is your budget competitive for its offer (e.g. if your film costs three times more than others - why?)
  • Have you got co-financing - can you use the possibility of Levering other sources of income then add this to the pitch (e.g. a local business will match any funds raised or will donate only if we reach 90% etc). Use the campaign to talk to other funders.
  • Are salaries and overheads already paid for? Then make this clear.
  • Don’t forget to add in commission and costs of rewards.

Be clear in your business plan and add headline figures to the pitch. A full budget could be made available to potential donors.


Join me on an introduction to crowdfunding workshop

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

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