There are 2 main models or types of crowdfunding. The first is what’s called donation-based funding. The birth of crowdfunding has come through this model, where funders donate via a collaborative goal based process in return for products, perks or rewards.
The second and more recent model is investment crowdfunding, where businesses seeking capital sell ownership stakes online in the form of equity or debt. In this model, individuals who fund become owners or shareholders and have a potential for financial return, unlike in the donation model.
The Top10 Crowdfunding sites (according to Forbes)
Kickstarter is a site where creative projects raise donation-based funding. These projects can range from new creative products, like an art installation, to a cool watch, to pre-selling a music album. It’s not for businesses, causes, charities, or personal financing needs. Kickstarter is one of the earlier platforms, and has experienced strong growth and many break-out large campaigns in the last few years.
While Kickstarter maintains a tighter focus and curates the creative projects approved on its site, Indiegogo approves donation-based fundraising campaigns for most anything — music, hobbyists, personal finance needs, charities and whatever else you could think of (except investment). They have had international growth because of their flexibility, broad approach and their early start in the industry.
WordPress plugin to create your own crowdfunding campaign. Here you do not have to compete with thousands of other campaigns. It can be much more personal that way. They offer also themes and plugins to streamline the campaign. It is also cheaper in the end than most crowfunding sites, as you pay only a one-time fee – independently of how many donations you collect.
Crowdfunder.com is the platform for raising investment (not rewards), and has a one of the largest and fastest growing network of investors. It was recently featured on Fox News as the new breed of crowdfunding due to the story about a $2 Billion exit of a crowdfunded company. After getting rewards-based funding on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, companies are often giving the crowd the opportunity to invest at Crowdfunder to raise more formal Seed & Series A rounds. Crowdfunder offers equity crowdfunding currently only from individuals + angels + VCs, and was a leading participant in the JOBS Act legislation.
Rockethub powers donation-based funding for a wide variety of creative projects.
What’s unique about RocketHub is their FuelPad and LaunchPad programs that help campaign owners and potential promotion and marketing partners connect and collaborate for the success of a campaign.
In a sentence: This website is dedicated to raising money for anything from personal causes to nonprofits to entrepreneurial projects.
Cost: 5% for completed or incomplete campaign plus 2.2% +$.030 transaction fees
Pros: Deep social network integration to connect to people in your network, cheap and convenient transaction fees with funds going directly to your PayPal, can be used to fund anything, anywhere
Limitations: More difficult to connect with other entrepreneurers and investors, with less than 5% of projects falling into the category of entrepreneur/creative
In a sentence: This London based fund-raising site can be used to raise money for anything from paying for pet’s medical bills to creating a short film.
Cost: 3.5% with a keep-what-you-raised model, plus 2.9% transaction fee
Pros: Can be used for public or private projects, anyone can post a project, easy to use
Limitations: Fewer business/entrepreneurial projects
Crowdrise is a place for donation-based funding for Causes and Charity. They’ve attracted a community of do-gooders and and fund all kinds of inspiring causes and needs. A unique Points System on Crowdrise helps track and reveal how much charitable impact members and organizations are making.
A crowd funding company out of Montreal, Canada, that works in french and English; donation-based. can be a 1-page campaign which solicits directly donors; or a multi-team campaign where each team raises funds via a personal page; teams can be grouped together by team-captains; uses Paypal as a collecting agency; no set-up fees; 6% held back for service; creates a web page that can be linked-to from the projects own website – the contact to the donors remains personal; on the web page all the other donors are visible (« competition »); success rate is about 53% (of the solicited people actually make a donation); tax receipts available (only for charity non-profits) for a 1x fee of $2,500.00
If you want to build the next new mobile app and are seeking donation-based funding to get things off the ground or growing, then check out appbackr and their niche community for mobile app development.
If you’re a tech start up with a shiny lead investor already signed on, or looking for for Silicon Valley momentum, then there are angels and institutions finding investments through AngelList. For a long while AngelList didn’t say that they did crowd funding, which makes sense as they have catered to the investment establishment of VCs in tech startups, but now they’re getting into the game. The accredited investors and institutions on AngelList have been funding a growing number of top tech startup deals.
French crowdfunding site au Canada. Fonctionne par promesse mais aussi par donation directe.
If you’re an inventor, maker, or tinkerer of some kind then Quirky is a place to collaborate and crowdfund for donation-based funding with a community of other like-minded folks. Their site digs deeper into helping the process of bringing an invention or product to life, allowing community participation in the process.
Ulule permet de découvrir et donner vie à des projets originaux. Sur Ulule, les projets ne sont financés que s’ils atteignent (ou dépassent !) leur objectif de collecte. Que vous soyez créateur de projet ou soutien, la page ci-dessous répond à toutes vos questions.
Depuis son lancement en octobre 2010, ce sont 10 709 projets créatifs, solidaires et innovants qui ont été financés avec le soutien d’internautes de 169 pays. Vous pouvez consulter nos statistiques complètes, mises à jour en temps réel.
“Narrative is the story you tell about who you are and what you want to do. You have to convince potential donors of several things. First, that you are a person worth supporting. Second, that this idea is worth making real. And finally, that you are a person who is capable of coming through and actually making it come true.”
Before you start
Plan who you’ll invite (and start a dialogue with them about the opportunity!) before publishing your raise. By planning who you will invite, you can gain confidence about your raise amount, set a well-reasoned minimum invest, and be aware of how many investors you can have per state.
List down the specific segments of people that you are targeting at. The trick here is to not be too general, yet not too narrowly specific with describing these customers.
Let’s say you have a innovative idea for takeaway lunch box meals. People who like to eat is too broad a category, while people who like to eat only spaghetti bolognese with beef is too narrow. White collar workers who work in the city, and takeaway their lunches daily from fast food chains sounds much better.
Then you’ll need to make educated guesses to find out what their biggest problems are, and what do they need the most. I’ve found that it helps tremendously to develop customer personas, which are fictitious models of your target customer.
A quick and simple way to do this is to go to the streets and ask 10 people who fit your target audience profile. If they bring up the same problems that you guessed, and are actively looking for solutions, you have a winning campaign.
Build Interest Before You Close
Even before you launch a crowdfunding campaign, you can drum up interest in your project or your business. With a solid fanbase in place, your campaign will get off to a good start.
Research similar projects. On Kickstarter or Indiegogo
Create your pitch
- Tell the unique and compelling story of your business (the extent of financial information you’ll enter is simply forecast revenue and costs). Tell your personal story; be real, authentic, personal and feel your passion.
- As the old adage goes: facts tell, stories sell. When it comes to eliciting customer engagement, a campaign with a good story is an unparalleled strategy. Did you experience some kind of obstacle on your path to entrepreneurship? Did a major life event influence your career choice or business decisions? Describe the problem (and severity of the problem) your product will solve, or discuss the vision for your start up. Keep your tone and messaging personal to make backers feel closely connected to you and your project.
- Introduce your team to let your supporters meet the people behind your project regardless of whether you’re an established company or an up-and-coming start up.
- Don’t Ask for Money Immediately. Tell your story and share your enthusiasm for your project, and people will naturally want to add their support. I’ve sold enough products and started enough businesses in the past to know that if you begin with thinking about how a relationship will benefit you, you are bound to fail. You need to start from the beginning with how this project or opportunity will benefit someone else.
- Remember that your supporters are giving you money with the expectation of getting something back: they want to receive a return on their investment, whether it’s a physical product or an emergency relief operation that swings into action. Consider how well the IgnitionDeck-powered campaign for The Public Domain Review worked — it shows the benefits and value of the publication up front, so backers know what it is they’re supporting. What’s more, supporters could pledge as little or as much as they liked.
Build credibility and legitimacy.
Many backers will believe it when they see it. Show things that give reality to your project.
Use headlines appropriately. It makes it much easier to scan through the content and pick out sections that are relevant to you. Make it easy for people to go through the elements of the pitch with descriptive and eye-catching titles so that they don’t look at long blocks of text and close the browser window.
Short and point-driven paragraphs win out. Ideally, the first sentence of every paragraph should encompass the primary point you are trying to make. Each sentence following the first sentence should support or elaborate on this point. When you are finished with this point and would like to introduce a new topic, a new paragraph should be created.
Bolding, Links, and Italics are your friend. You might not think it, but when people are scanning an article or pitch, their eyes really do gravitate towards bolded words, links, and italics. Use these tools to convey tone or emotion with your pitch.
Put the backer first. If you are using the words « me, » « I, » « mine, » etc…You should only be doing it 10-20% of the time. During the rest of the time, the focus should be on YOU. How does the campaign benefit your backers. How will their life be awesome because of this product. Why will their contribution make this project a reality and ultimately change the world for the better?
Read your pitch out loud. Your goal in composing a Kickstarter pitch should be to communicate your vision and idea to another human being and getting them excited about it in the process. Read your entire pitch out loud. Are you using language and grammar that you would use if you were speaking to someone in person?
Include a video
Videos are compelling! People want to see your shining, familiar face speaking to them directly. Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project — they can see you or your product in action rather than clicking through a series of static images. They are also labor-intensive, so don’t attempt to put together a clip if you don’t have the time, resources and expertise required. An amateur-looking video isn’t going to convince anyone to get involved, and at worst, could damage your campaign’s credibility.
Create a video with two endings. When producing a video for your campaign page, shoot two different video endings: one for before the campaign launches and one for when the campaign is live. The first ending should invite people to sign up for email updates on your upcoming crowdfunding campaign and should be posted on your company’s website six months before your campaign launches. The second ending should be used when you post your video to your campaign site; it should invite people to contribute.
The most crucial aspects for the video are what the project is, why you are doing it, who you are, and what rewards are available.
The art of the thumbnail. Youtube creators have mastered the art of the thumbnail. They figured out how to get rapid browsers between the ages of 18-34 to click on and watch their videos by using intriguing images that capture people’s attention.
On Kickstarter your video thumbnail not only shows up on any websites that embed your video pitch, but also in the Kickstarter discovery engine. Use this functionality as another way to engage with potential backers.
Don’t be afraid to use photo editing software like Pixlr (free) or Photoshop to combine multiple images or to overlay your logo onto a product picture.
You can also change your thumbnail throughout the duration of your campaign to announce key milestones.
What is your call to action? The true underlying purpose of a call to action is to focus someone’s attention on what action they should take now that they have watched your video, visited your website, or read your blog post.
If you are speaking to a particular audience, think about what items about your project that they will resonate with. Should they support the project to bring back a previous game series you made? Are they pledging their hard-earned dollars because getting your product out there will change the world?
Ultimately, your call to action should connect the problem that the potential backer is experiencing or cares about with your solution and how they can make it possible.
See examples of good Elevator Pitches :
- Public Domain Review (youtube and vimeo);
- House for Lions (youtube);
- SumOfUs/Doritos (youtube)
- Académie Adapt (solutionera) – youtube
The wider your reach the better. Pick the networks that best match your marketing and content strategies and where your potential supporters are most likely to be found. Don’t forget to customize your promotion to suit each platform too: indie band Bigtree Bonsai raised $6,956 (almost double their target) via IgnitionDeck after spreading the word with a #letsmakearecord hashtag (twitter).
Don’t forget to promote your project too on social media channels. If you don’t already have a Facebook page or a Twitter account for your project, start one! You’ll be amazed at the amount of initial support that will come from these channels.
Get deeply involved with the scene that you are in, and it certainly helps to build rapport with people in the same niche as you. They can be some of your greatest supporters; helping you to share your Facebook page for example.
If you have the cash to do so, invest some money in creating highly shareable ‘viral content’. Some examples of viral content include infographics, videos and 9gag photos. Also, if you do wish to boost the speed of your lead generation efforts, I find that a clever combination of using the Facebook Ads Suggested Post Boost feature together with viral content can greatly increase traffic to your landing page.
To not reinvent the wheel, you can learn from successful campaigns which dealt with a similar project as you. Salvador Briggman explains that very well in a video.
So you choose a similar kickstarter project, then you run a twitter advanced search: in this way you will find people who engaged in this project and may engage in yours as well – follow them.
Then you go to the kickstarter page of the project, click “share” > twitter> then you will see the twitter shortlink (something like http://kck.st/1g5xVf3); paste this shortlink in your browser followed by a +sign. This will take you to the bitlink website where you can see what kind of traffic they generated and with whom.
Another tool is Buzzsumo: put “kickstarter project name” in the search box and you will see the who shared and their numbers… it gives a little more infos than bitly.
Create a Helpful Media Page
You’ve no doubt seen some of the most popular crowdfunding projects covered in the press, but this won’t happen if you don’t have a solid website and some press materials that journalists can download. If journalists can’t find more information about your project and some high-resolution pictures to illustrate their features, they may choose to promote a different project instead.
If you have grander plans, think press releases and even tours: the Star Citizen video game raised over $14 million through IgnitionDeck’s WordPress plugin, and the campaign included a press tour before the crowdfunding element was even launched.
There are 2 main groups of people in the media industry that you’ll want to inform about your project. They are: influential bloggers and journalists. Both groups of people wield very powerful influence, and can really help to broadcast your project to the mass audience. Your aim here is to compile a list of these peoples emails, and then make contact with them.
Influential bloggers: Followerwonk and Klout are two very useful tools to find influential bloggers in your niche, ranked by influence metrics.
Journalists: Press Pass, and Help A Reporter Out(HARO) are two excellent ways to start looking for journalists in order to get press.
Other good places to search for their email are newspapers and editorial sites (like Techcrunch, Lifehacker). I also find Rapportive to be a free, and very useful Gmail plugin to help find emails that you are looking for.
Do bear in mind though, that you either have to pitch a very good story, or help them out first (as in the case of HARO), in order to get press publicity. After all, why should they help you, a stranger, when there’s nothing in it for them?
Make a simple landing page to capture email leads
This was Duet’s landing page on Launchrock, way before it launched. To be honest, the formatting sucked, and it wasn’t impressive at all. But this landing page was good enough to capture over 400 qualified email leads. You really don’t need to design a super-classy landing page. Just a simple and eye-catching one, with a perk thrown in, will do.
The money is really in the email list. So you’ll want to find a way to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. There are many services out there that can help do this for you, but my personal favourites are MailChimp and Nathan Barry’s ConvertKit.
MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers, whereas ConvertKit is very simple to use, and seamlessly integrates beautiful landing pages with your email list. Make sure you offer something in exchange for people to sign up.
Setup a blog
At the day’s end, first impressions do count, and you want people to trust that they are dealing with you, a legit entity.
WordPress, and Ghost are highly recommended blogging platforms. Invest some money into getting a good domain name, web hosting, and a premium template. There’s no excuse that it’s hard to setup, because both blogging platforms are made to be so simple to set up, you can start blogging within 5 minutes.
Begin with 10 people in your networks who might need it most
This is the fastest and simplest method you can start with to get traffic.
Think about your product for a moment. What value does it offer, and who could benefit most from it? Think specifically of names in your immediate network. It could be your friends, or acquaintances who might most likely need it. Still can’t think of 10? Stretch further to people you met at an event, and ex-colleague, or even a friend of a friend you might know.
Then write them down:
Note: Listing these 10 names is super important. Do not skip it!
Once you’ve listed them, email and reach out to every single person on your list, and share with them the link to your landing page.
Hang out in your target audience’s online communities
At the very least, you should at least join all relevant Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ communities of your target audience. Then explore related forums that they hang out in.
You can do this quickly by going to Google and typing in:
(make sure you type in “forum”, and not “forums”)
Then register for an account in those forums, and focus on making yourself incredibly useful. Don’t immediately look to promote your product’s landing page, but learn to listen and help other people out with their problems first. Remember, its always better to give than to receive.
Submit your landing page to link sites
The next easy thing to do is to submit your landing page to link voting or weekly email lists. Even if your post doesn’t hit the home page of Hacker News, it may still pick up a little traffic from being on the new page (I’ve had up to 30 subscribers just from that). You can also try contacting the owners who run weekly mailing lists by topic, such as the iOS Dev Weekly newsletter run by Dave Verwer
Find the sites most relevant to your topic. Here are link sites you can start with:
Reddit (there are subreddits on nearly every topic)
Don’t forget to promote offline!
Although much of the developed world population has at least a computer in the home, that does not mean that they’re glued to their screens all the time. They also attend social gatherings, BBQ s, hang out in the pubs, congregate in religious venues and play sports together. So it definitely makes sense to promote your campaign to them offline!
In fact, promoting your campaign offline is still one of the best ways to get people interested in your campaign. That is because nothing proves the authenticity of your campaign more than a face-to-face conversation. It does not mean that you go around pestering people like a pesky salesman, but you do need to get the word out as widely as possible.
The trick is to naturally be yourself, and when someone asks: “So, what have you been up to?”..just follow on from there to share about your campaign.
Listen To Your Supporters
Make sure you have someplace your supporters can talk. Make sure you listen. The chances are VERY high, that if those that have already pledged to you have given you money, they are speaking for those that have not given you money as well.
Some ways you can value add include frequently writing useful content that is tailored specially to your target audience.
Write articles that address their pains, concerns or frustrations.
Then post this content on your blog, as well as in the mailing list.
What if you are lost for ideas and don’t know what to write? A great way to find out will be to go into one of the forums, and look for a search tool, or a search field that will let you search for certain terms that people have written in the forum posts. Some forums allow visitors or guests to perform searches without registering, while others require you to register first.
Then in the search field, type in some the following terms and see what you come up with:
“advice about”; “I hate it when”; “I need help with”; “can anyone help me”;
I’m looking for”; “really bad”; “desperate for”; “can’t find”;
“have no clue”; “newbie”; “question about”
You can also try other search terms that are related. Some forums will not allow regular search words such as ‘help’, ‘question’, so you’ll have to get a little creative there with your search terms.
Chances are, you’ll find someone in need of help about something.
When I did a quick search on a crowd funding forum, here were some threads that came up:
How do you get more users to visit
How do you get attention from bloggers
Searching for tips…..Please help!
May I ask for advice on how to improve?
There you have it…ideas for your next blog post. I’ll also try to craft in the thread comments as the body for my post.
If you’ve done all the above properly, by this stage you should have at least gathered approximately 1000 highly engaged email list subscribers.
Do this day-in and day out for 5 months, and you’ll be ready to finally launch your crowd funding campaign with a good start!
Have all of the co-founders/ officers of your business get involved
If you have multiple co-founders or Board members, create accounts for each of them tied to your webpage and ask them each to invite their networks to invest as well (pyramid scheme!) and create the page in a way that the donations/investments of all the same group friends show: so if I log on to donate, I’ll see what my friends have given – which may influence my willingness to donate a higher amount.
Highlight examples of social proof.
Going back to the human desire to feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, most people don’t want to be the first or only supporter of a crowd funding campaign — they want to see other influential advocates joining in. Do you have someone notable as an adviser, backer or endorser of your start up? Share your list of partners and patrons to give confidence to new backers and let them know that they won’t be the only one at your party.
Create a marketing event.
People love to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Try to build a feeling of excitement and rally others around your crowd funding campaign by tying the launch to a large, well known event.
Whether it’s good news or bad, keep your backers and potential backers in the loop. Post regular updates on your crowd funding page, and keep the process going after the campaign has ended.
You can build anticipation and increase engagement in many ways. Post updates counting down to a big surprise regarding your project, conduct a product giveaway, or even host a contest involving your crowd funding campaign. The opportunities here are endless and can be tailored for your specific start up. When interacting with your backers, always encourage an open dialogue and engagement. In general, people would rather talk than listen. Treat your updates and outreach as a conversation rather than a one sided message.
Updates and Comments On Your Project. I recommend updating your campaign at least once a week (ideally 2 times). By backing campaigns, you will get a sense of how updates work and why they function sort of like a mini-blog for your campaign. If the goal is to build a community that supports your new initiative or wants to be a part of your movement, then the comments section is where the foundation is laid. By encouraging and incentivizing backers to leave comments, ask questions, make recommendations, and even share resources/links relevant to your project, you will have the opportunity to interact with them in an open forum.
Besides: On Indiegogo, comments impact your project’s gogofactor, or the unbiased algorithm that determines whether or not your project will be featured on the front page of the website. no matter how high or low your funding goal, until you hit 20%, you won’t appear in Most Popular or be eligible for all that great promotion and featured placement that drives thousands of unique views to your page, hopefully converting into funding. My brother figured it out and funded my campaign to 20%. I instantly became the 15th campaign in Most Popular, 1st when filtered by Canada. I moved up 76 places from my rankings in All Campaigns.
Your comment section is your customer service center. Be attentive! You don’t want any of your backers to leave complaints about your project on forums or write angry blog posts if they have a problem that is not being addressed.
Complaints: Make it super clear that you will respond to any and all customer service inquiries via your comments. Section. As a rule of thumb:
– Never leave an angry, condescending, or argumentative comment.
– Respond to all comments politely in proper grammar and english
– making use of smileys and emoticons to convey emotion. “Thanks.” Has a different feel than “Thanks :-).” Your goal is to build a relationship with your backers
– Ask follow up questions to spur discussion.
Testimonials. If your goal is to use crowdfunding as a platform to launch your dream business or project, it’s likely that farther down the road, you will be working to attract real customers. After you have shipped your rewards, why not ask your backers to leave a testimonial comment on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page?
Provide value for value. Crowdfunding campaigns hinge on reciprocity. If your startup offers fantastic products, rewards or opportunities, you’ve created a huge incentive for backers to pledge to your campaign. When choosing your reward tiers, reflect on whether the incentives would appeal to you if you were the consumer; ask friends, family members and business acquaintances for their honest opinions as well.
Award your donors with reduced prices. You are asking your backers to take a risk on you. And you need to compensate your backers for taking that risk.
I find that giving away an e-book, or a lucky draw contest for people to win early versions of your product, work best.
Value to the backer is the best reward at a reasonable price. This value could be physical (the product), creative (input in the project), experiential (the creator will perform an activity, perhaps for entertainment), sentimental (great perk aimed at friends/family as a show of their support), or exclusivity (early-adopter perk).
The best way to test your reward tiers before launching is to put yourself in the mindset of a backer and try to imagine whether or not you could get excited about the perk for the given price. It might take a while to come up with compelling rewards, but keep brainstorming, ask for help from friends and family (or from your target audience), and browse through other projects in your category to generate perk ideas.
“Never create a perk that you yourself would not be interested in as a backers.”
Involve your backers in the creative process: from posting images of the orders being shipped out, to naming product parts after his early supporters.
The best way to build a community around your project or your cause is to involve backers in the creative process. The goal is to instill a sense of ownership in the project, meaning that community members have a say as to how the project will turn out. AND you may be able to really physically involve backers in the project: a project of “Building a Permaculture Schoolyard” can be designed in a way where backers (let’s say above $100.00) earn the right to be part of the actual building process: they are given food and shelter of the time they help and have each day 1 hour about ‘the theory of permaculture’.
Another involving incentive is to offer the backers a free-entry ticket to workshops you give for fund-raising off-line!
In addition, giving the backers a way to impact the creative process is great strategy to excite evangelists that will share your project on their face book or twitter. When a backer can directly impact the outcome of the project, be it choosing product colors, adding a line of dialogue in a screenplay, or naming a character in your novel, they will be more emotionally invested in the outcome of the project, look forward to your updates, and be more likely to engage in your mini-community through the comments section (where they will meet like-minded backers who interested in the same industry or technologies).
The lower tier backers along with the upper tier backers will form the heart of your community and be responsible for the bulk of discussion regarding your project on social media networks and the comments section. It’s crucial that you deliver a reward tier for these backers that is affordable (not retail price). Remember, once your campaign is done, you will still have permission to email these backers regarding future product offerings and company updates. Generating rapport with all your backers now could lead to greater revenue down the road!
Reward an investor with a useful reward that is free to distribute — either a video, tip or photo.
The Back To The Roots AquaFarm raised $248,873 after setting a $100,000 goal, with rewards ranging from $1 (for behind-the-scenes updates) to $10,000 (for an educational seminar in your community).
Don’t get discouraged!
We all get told “No” sometimes – the most successful entrepreneurs are those who are not discouraged by a no and just keep on trucking. Think of other ways that people can contribute to the success of your business – advice, spreading the word or writing a testimonial.
Engage with investors for non-monetary help
After you have reached your goal, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and advice, or to extend special offers to them using discussion forums and other tools.
Reward your investors
Each quarter throughout the duration of your investment term, you will report your quarterly revenues. Based on these, we will pull the percentage you’ve chosen to distribute proportionately to all of your investors.
Get feedback/testimonies from your early investors
Ask your early investors to share testimonials about you and business and distribute these testimonials in follow-up emails to other potential investors.
Integrating your campaign
Here “context” means your locality with all the organisms, clubs and people that may find your initiative worthwhile; and “context” refers to the structure of the particular project that you are doing: i’ll give you an example of a project for a in Germany – the “Wendelinushof” is a non-profit organism in a small rural city; it takes care of mentally disadvantaged people by integrating them in the work of a farm. The Wendelinushof got 350ha of land as well as several large buildings from a former monastery. Up to today the handicapped have to be brought each day by bus on site to work and have fun… and in the evening the same bus carries them ‘home’. At the same time there are these large buildings with 80+ rooms; but they cannot be used to accommodate the handicapped because they need extensive renovation – a recent estimate put out a figure of around 1 Million Euros… and this put the idea on the back burner because government grants and donations from the wealthy can by far not supply this kind of money. And the organizers did not know anything about crowd financing…
While elaborating the crowd financing campaign another great idea came up: why be contented with just « donors » – why not incite these people who are already positive towards the project, to much more involvement … and much more fun?!
The idea was that we offer to people not only to donate but to get more involved which we think is something many of them like: they can actively collaborate, help shape the project and finally develop some kind of ownership of it.
One idea was to integrate the possibility for collaboration into the perks: say everybody donating $100.00+ « earns the right » to be part of the crew who will renovate the buildings in an ecological way. So they not only work together in crews but every day they will get a 1 hour classroom to learn about what they will be doing during the day. And of course they will be lodged and fed during the renovation…
In this context we have been reminded of the american tv series « Extreme Home Makeover » where a TV gang renovated homes for the less than fortunate. Local renovation crews (recruited from different construction companies) supervised and guided the hoards of volunteers through the project. This crew of experts can be offered by their respective companies on a sponsorship basis as well. The same for the materials used in the process.
In an ideal world everything will be paid: materials and workmanship – the only remaining expense would be food and lodging for all the workers… and we would take in the donations which could then be used to upgrade the original renovation idea to more self-sufficiency – or even to spawn and support other community projects.
And: all the crews and the volunteers will create a very solid pool of sympathizers which may definitely want to « stay in touch »!
- https://stripe.com/ca (can accept credit cards)
- http://www.touscoprod.com (crowdfinancing for films in France)
- Your Crowdfunding Cheat Sheet (Infographic)
- This Site Allows Celebrities to Crowdfund for Causes in Real Time
- My life signature to sign pledges online