How do I plan a crowdfunding campaign?

Posted: Thu, 21 February 2013 by Cara

So you’ve heard about this new type of funding, and think it could work for your idea, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Don’t worry! As always, the Bloom team are on hand to help. We’ve launched a wide range of projects, from hundreds to thousands of pounds, from films to animal rescue to football teams. What we’ve learned is that a successful crowdfunding campaign is built on several key areas, and we’ve got some great tips on how to plan your crowdfunding campaign around these.

1. Clear and compelling pitch

You need to write a pitch which engages potential backers, and sells yourself and your idea. This needs to clearly explain what you want to achieve, and why it’s so important – why should a stranger back your project? You need to get to the point quickly, and then go on to provide detail so that if someone only reads the first few lines, they understand the aim of your project.

Keep in mind the global audience you are addressing, and write in simple language that anyone could understand. Try to engage on a personal level, as sometimes backers will promise money simply because they are interested in that particular area, or are impressed by the project owner themselves.

2. Unique and value-added rewards

When planning your rewards, you should aim for 5-7 levels ranging from very low (£1, £5) to high (perhaps 30-40% of your target). The reward should reflect the amount of money being promised, and therefore the higher tier rewards should be more exclusive, and at least one should be unique to your crowdfunding campaign.

You can add value to any reward by offering exclusive discounts, early access, public recognition as a backer etc, which enhance the attractiveness of the rewards, without increasing costs. Please consider costs of making/delivering rewards, and how many of each you can realistically offer.

3. Social media engagement

Prior to, during and after launch, it is vital to keep your community engaged with updates about your project. You should plan for at least an hour a day to be spent on social media alone to effectively promote your project, and build your community.

Try to plan content as well, and think about what else you could do to increase activity e.g. sharing pictures, a regular newsletter, blogs, a press release etc. For more tips on how to use social media, click here.

4. Commitment post-launch

This overlaps with the previous point, but we’ve highlighted it again as it’s perhaps the main one that lets most projects down. When planning a crowdfunding campaign, many people think only of the work involved to launch the project, but the real hard work is post-launch. You need to be pro-active about sharing your project, and commit to working on it both online and offline, until your project closes.

We don’t expect your project to take over your life, but you need to work at it steadily so plan the time and effort you can spend throughout the project lifetime, not just at the start. If you plan your campaign well, you will be much more likely to close successfully and reap other benefits such as an engaged community, proof of market demand, customer feedback and improved skills.

(Image courtesy of developmentcrossroads.com)