Preparation for crowdfunding campaign

The optimal preparation time for your crowdfunding campaign depends on the kind of project you have. That said it should take you 2 to 3 months to put your crowdfunding campaign together and plan out the strategy you're going to use to get your message to the crowd, be it in India an all over the world. There are a number of things you have to consider at this stage such as the funding goal, expertise of your team, your reach through social networks and your funder acquisition plan of action. Planning ahead will give you time to begin building relationships with individuals and organizations that may be interested in funding you.

Objective & target

Setting an ultimate target will be a ray of sunshine for your campaign.

At once the campaign is published then no changes can be done later.

The target should be realistic and cheerful so that al least 40-50% can be funded through your own friends and family. A potential funder/contributor who happens to come across your campaign on Incrowd must be able to see some transaction (E.g. 35% already funded in the first 42 hours) to be interested in contributing in your idea. People want to be a part of campaigns that look like they could be successful or have received funding already. This means smaller targets that can be easily funded. If you have a larger project, you might want to consider splitting them into smaller projects with smaller targets to attract more funders. Crowdfunding through Incrowd is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding helps you reach a very vast audience in almost no time. You. Yes, you. Standing “IN the CROWD!? It is time for you to Shine.

It is important that you understand the difference between the two funding models - Fixed Funding & Flexible Funding.

Flexible Funding- KWYG "Keep what you get": You get to keep the funds you raised whether you meet the target goal or not, by the end date of the campaign.

Fixed Funding- AON "All or Nothing": You get to keep the funds you raised ONLY if you achieve or exceed your target amount, by the end date of the campaign.

Setting your benchmarks

For example, let's assume that your project runs for 60 days.

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You should aim to receive at least 10-20 % of your target amount on the 1st day of your crowdfunding campaign launch. By the end of the 1st quarter of your campaign period, the aim is to raise at least 50% of your target (i.e. If your campaign is for 60 days, then aim to raise at least 50% of your goal by DAY 15). Most successful campaigns raise 30-40% of their funding goal in the first 1 week after the project has been launched. Funding tends to slow down in the middle of the campaign, which is why it is important to gain momentum right at the start.

Campaign duration

"Short and sweet". It has been observed globally that most of the successful crowdfunded campaigns have an average duration of about 45 days. Longer campaigns do not necessarily mean you will raise more money. Short campaigns ensure that you maintain the momentum of the project contributions with a sense of urgency.

Note: You need to give yourself at least 3 weeks after the campaign ends to receive funds.

Define your crowd

Find out who your crowd is, who your funders are, what kind of charities (NGOs), social causes, products, ideas, events they would be interested in funding. Apart from your inner circle of friends and family, make sure you go through other individuals and organizations that may be interested in your crowdfunding cause. Prepare the email list of all your contacts to mobilize their participation. Make sure they are also connected to you over Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). If you have any other online presence, like your own websites or blogs, make sure they carry the campaign message, with the same link to your campaign page.

For IDEAS and individual CAUSES

  • Friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues & organizations
  • Communities and groups, which may have a passion to support your project.
  • Focus on friends with large social networks, those who are influencers etc.
  • Ensure that they do not JUST fund you but also SHARE the fact that they funded you on their social networks. E.g.: if you're publishing a book, you could find groups on FB for book lovers where you could post your campaign for a greater outreach. Plan this in advance and become part of these groups.
  • They can help you to reach say 30-40% of your target amount, immediately after launch. Campaigns that get such a good start increase their chances of attracting more interest from the crowd, and hence, reach their target faster!

For CHARITIES/ Non Profit Organisations

  • Existing donors (these could be individuals, corporates, friends, family) will be your key supporters and should ideally contribute 40% of your funding goal in the first week.
  • In addition to them, look for groups and communities that are aligned to social causes, leverage your database, to reach out to a larger audience.
  • Tell corporates who have supported you to communicate your crowdfunding campaign initiative to their employees and partners
  • Get large donors to MATCH individual donors and become advocates of your charity.
Sponsor /Alliance partners

Get matching funders on-board, ideally before the campaign starts. Matching funders can be individuals or organisations that are as passionate about your idea/ cause and who are ready to join your crowdfunding campaign.

Setting your rewards

Setting your rewards carefully is crucial to your crowdfunding campaign. You want to set unique rewards that can attract funders to fund your campaign.

There can be many types of rewards that you can offer. Here are some thought starters:

Physical rewards (which you will be able to ship across to Funders, at your cost):

  • An innovatively designed item, like a badge or cap or a T-shirt
  • Stuff that Funders can't easily find elsewhere, like handicrafts/ paintings by an artisan tribe
  • DVD copy of the film you're crowdfunding for, autographed by the entire cast Digital rewards (which you can use the internet, as the channel, to fulfil)
  • A unique 'thank you' on a picture/ poster that you can email across to Funders
  • A sneak peek to one of the tracks in your music album, as a link, before the album is released
  • A short Skype call with your founder/ celebrity patron, that Funders could cherish Experiential rewards (enable access to a one-of-its-kind experience)
  • VIP passes to the premiere show of the movie you're raising funds for OR a 5-min behind-the-stage meeting with the artists/ bands performing at the concert
  • A 2-day stay at your organization's premises for the top Funders, to immerse themselves with your team & your activities
  • A dinner with one of your celebrity patrons/ supporters

It is important to be INNOVATIVE with your rewards.

  • If you wanted ₹8 Lakhs to fund your music album, some rewards could include having the funder's name printed as one of the Producers on the album cover or even put the funder's name in the lyrics of the song etc.
  • If an NGO needs ₹20 Lakhs to build a new building, a reward for a funder donating ₹5 Lakhs could be having the building named after him/her, with a plaque.
  • If you're getting a book crowdfunded for ₹5 Lakhs, the reward for ₹1Lakh donation could be "We will put your name and photograph at the end of the book OR we can name a character in the book after you! Now how is that for a reward!

As you see, the kind of rewards you can offer is limited only by imagination & capability.

Decide the contribution levels at which you wish to offer rewards - the higher the contribution, the rewards needs to be more unique/ memorable. You can request us to increase the no. of the rewards you have to give at a certain level, even after your crowdfunding campaign has launched, if you see it becoming popular.