How to Make Your Crowdfunding Campaign a Success
You have decided to go the crowdfunding way to raise money for your cause. You have found Contributenet where you can post details of your project and register a campaign. You have also complied with the basic requirements and your campaign is on the web.
Is that enough? Can you expect funds to flow in?
Unfortunately, the answer is a big NO. Funds are NOT going to flow in.
On the other hand, if you do needed preparatory work even before putting your campaign on the Contributenet, and then publicize your campaign once it is posted, you have every chance of succeeding. Here is a list of things you should do.
Before Publishing Your Funding Request Online
- If your project is a continuing program that addresses a community issue, and will require funds on an on-going basis, register a trust or NGO to carry on the activities. Trusts and NGOs will inspire confidence among prospective donors that the program is genuine.
- If yours is one-time individual need such as raising funds for medical treatment or for education, generate credibility by supporting your request with an authentic communication from a reputed hospital or educational institution. The hospital or institution will testify that medical or educational need is genuine.
- Whether you are an NGO or individual, present your case honestly and believably. Describe the problem and proposed solution, the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW. Provide details that can be verified if needed. Add a high quality picture that communicates the problem.
- Get a few backers before you publish your crowdfunding request. Donors are more likely to donate if they see that many people have already donated to the cause. Get these initial backers contribute to your cause through the Contributenet so that it is on record and the statistic appear on your campaign page. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
After Publishing Your Request Online
Once you have prepared as above, you are ready to post your appeal on the web. Publishing the funding request is only a beginning. You have to follow it up with a sustained campaign to get people to your campaign page and make contributions.
- Tell your relatives and friends to visit the campaign page and make some donations. Putting all donations on record at the campaign page is important because it motivates others to donate to that cause. So even if you can get the donations direct, it is better to get it through the campaign page to show some statistics.
- An email campaign in which you describe your cause and ask the recipients not only to donate at the campaign page but also to send their friends to the campaign page. Make the email content honest and believable and don't forget to include a clickable link to your campaign page. Send a thank you mail for donations received and for any shares of the campaign.
- Create social media pages for the campaign at Facebook, Twitter, etc. and describe the cause on the page. Include a link to your campaign page. When donations are received, post a thank you message to the donor at the social media pages.
- Ask your social media friends to spread the word by sharing the details to their own friends.
- If you have journalist friend or acquaintance, ask their help to publish a story about the campaign in the press with the URL of the campaign page in the news item.
What Contributenet Does
Contributenet's focus is primarily on providing a platform for publishing the funding request, accepting donations from the public on our behalf (and making it easy) and providing tools that help you to publicise the request. They might also provide some fund-raising advice and tips. However, the key responsibility of publicising your cause and seeking contributions remain with you.
However, Contributenet could offer active help in publicity for a little extra charges. If you want such extra help, ask for it. As it is, the platform allows you to:
- Post campaign updates to your campaign page. Posting regular reports about the progress of the project is a great way to sustain interest among prospective donors.
- NGOs will find an option to invite visitors to "Subscribe to Email Updates." This allows people interested in their cause to sign up and receive updates about the project progress. The email addresses gathered thus can be used for future campaigns also.
- If the fund-raiser has a website, they can put a "Donate" button at their site and link it to their campaign page. This will enable them to raise funds without putting details of their bank account in public domain, or having to go through the cumbersome process of accepting cheques and depositing these into their bank accounts.
If you need more active help, ask Contributenet about their fees for providing such help. The extra cost could be worth the additional exposure you get.
Publishing your funding request is only a beginning. You have to follow it up with an active campaign to generate wide awareness about your cause, and reach prospective donors. Use all the means recommended above to do it. And seek Contributenet's help for active publicity support.