80-20 rule applied to crowdfunding

Pareto’s Principle or the 80-20 rule

80% of the results flow from 20% of the causes

This theory can be applied to

  • gardening – 20% of pea pods produce 80% of the peas
  • land owning – 20% of the population own 80% of the land
  • software – 20% of bugs create 80% of crashes
  • global wealth – 20% of the world’s population owns 80% of the wealth

pareto-principle 80-20

 In business the theory would be (Richard Koch, 2004 Living Life the 80/20)

  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of the time you spend
  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products
  • 80% of your sales are made by 20% of your sales staff

 Application to crowdfunding

The research is that the majority of your donations come from your close social networks. 

If the theory holds true approximately 80% of your funds will come from 20% of donors – who will be well known to you.  It may also be the case that only 20% of your entire social connections will be donors to your campaign – a sobering thought.

Who then are the 20% who are willing to support your campaign or invest in your business. Map these people out before you launch and involve them from the start.

80-20 pareto

Your potential donors will be 

  • closely connected to the team
  • have a long history of connection
  • existing customers or service users
  • be passionate about the cause or idea

The key 20% of all your social connections will show one or more of these characteristics. The ones who tick all the boxes are the ones you focus on. Once you have connected with these potential donors, bring them into the campaign early so they believe in it and want it to succeed. Continually engage them.  Focus your energies here. If they bring in 80% of the funds then the 20% is more likely to follow.

Come to the Manchester seminar 22 January 

to find out more  about how it works in the UK

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  1. […] and the Pareto Principle but I found a short article on crowdfunding and the Pareto Principle. https://crowdfunduk.org/2012/12/08/80-20-rule-applied-to-crowdfunding/ Crowdfunding is similar in thought to crowdsourcing but it is strictly dealing with money. In the […]



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