One month before a campaign launches, Project Creators start planning their project’s campaign. Before a project launches on EndlessCrowds.com, the identified suggestions below should be completed in order to give the project the greatest chance for success. Not every successful campaign requires all of the suggested steps below, but for very task not properly implemented , the campaign’s chance of success will decrease substantially, which is why E.C. encourages Project Creators to Plan it out!
Suggestions for establishing a solid foundation before your campaign launches
Clear Campaign Description and Realistic Goals: Project Creators should provide all of the important details about the campaign. How much money will be needed? Who will the project be designed to assist? What will the proceeds be used for? Donations are more likely to come from E.C. supporters who have a clear and concrete understanding of what their money will be used for.
Budget/Realistic goals: Additionally, setting clear and realistic objectives will help your campaign develop momentum and meet your donation goal. Supporters want to donate to campaigns that they believe have specific goals and a legitimate chance for success. With that said, Project Creators will face occasional obstacles during the campaign. Project creators should also factor in E.C. platform and gateway fees into the donation goal. Asking for $10,000 when you need $8,000 might be necessary if the subject matter of your campaign is running on a tight budget.
Start off with a bang: Donations are more likely to be given to a campaign that demonstrates success. This is because a successful campaign allows supporters feel like they are making a difference. Successful crowdfunding campaigns start with a core group of supporters. These are often friends, family, supporting/partner organizations. Project Creators must identify their core-supporters early and consider the most effective way to communicate with them. A letter that highlights and details the campaign should be sent to these individuals. Their donations will help to establish credibility and momentum for the cause, which will pay dividends if the department, organization or business manages to exhaust its social network.
Networking and Outreach: In the event that core-supporters are unable to support your campaign’s donation goal, prepare a networking and outreach plan to help drive traffic to your campaign. For some, this will involve the use of the internet to connect with untapped networks of people that will be supportive to the cause through outlets like the E.C. campaign webpage, social media platforms and direct e-mails. Other Campaign Managers prefer more traditional means of communication including newsletters, circulars, postage, flyers and word of mouth. Combining both forms of networking and outreach will attract additional traffic and help exceed the campaign goal.
Prepare your team: A team of supportive members can help ease the Project Creator’s work load. Team members can help by working alternate shifts to avoid “burn out” and by providing a substitute in the event a Project Creator is ill or otherwise disposed. Participation by a team motivates the individual members to help with the project because they have accountability over the success or failure of the campaign. When more people get involved, a team gains different individuals with different areas of expertise. For example, a tech-savvy team member could use computers to make your campaign run more efficiently. The most important thing a Project Creator can do when assembling a team is to surround him/herself with people who believe in their ideas. Project Creators should strategically choose the right team members, individuals who are motivated, dedicated, and accountable. Project Creators then introduce the campaign and the benefits of the campaign to team members, divide and delegate tasks to the most appropriate people, and execute the game plan
Think outside of the box: Identify various marketing promotions that you are going to unveil at each phase of your campaign. Use creative marketing techniques to create interest in your campaign. For example, fireman Fred could use washable paint to write the web address of his E.C. webpage on a fire truck. Alternatively, Fred could hang a banner with the webpage address outside of the firehouse. Don’t be afraid to partner with local businesses to throw fundraising events.
See What Works: Research other crowdfunding campaigns that are similar to yours. Crowdfunding extends beyond fundraising it’s also an exchange of ideas. Research the rewards, promotions and other marketing tools being utilized by other campaigns and consider whether or not they could also be effective for your campaign. E.C. recommends researching at least three current successful crowdfunding campaigns and identifying the ways in which they are effectively marketing their campaign
Rewards: Crowdfunding campaigns often offer rewards to users who donate a certain amount to a campaign. Rewards are way to thank those who have supported your cause. For example, individuals who donate over $50.00 might receive a formal letter of gratitude from your department or special recognition on your website or newsletter. Individuals who donate over $200 might receive a T-shirt from your business, department or organization, or perhaps a K-9 assistant could be named after the donor. Donations over $1,000 might entitle a person to the reward of having a fire truck and/or room names after the individual. Having trouble thinking of incentives? Use social-media to elicit feedback from your core supporters to measure what potential incentives might motivate them to make a larger donation. The possibilities for different rewards are endless.
The Video: Industry research confirms that crowdfunding campaigns with videos are significantly more effective than campaigns launched without a video. The video introduces your idea, explains the benefit it will bring and helps to establish a personal connection with a potential supporter. Some of the most successful crowdfunding videos are recorded with a cell-phone, and convey an emotional, compelling and powerful message or need. Other videos are mere screen recordings of a strategically planned Power Point presentation. Some users might also prepare professional, high-definition videos, however do not let these videos intimidate you. The substance of the content is more important than the medium in which it is expressed.