A successful crowdfunding campaign grabs attention. It might be because the project is jaw-droppingly exciting, or because the rewards are unique, or because the video is viral genius.
Or it might be like Elke Barber's project, and be successful because the story touches hearts.
Elke's son Alex was just 3 when his dad died, and the heartbreaking task of telling him his daddy wasn't coming back prompted the duo to write a book, specially for very young children, to help them understand the death of a parent.
That in itself is touching, it resonates with many parents in a similar position and with those who can't imagine ever having to tell their child a parent has died. But Elke was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, she had to stop work and the money she had saved to publish the book is being spent on day to day living expenses.
Turning to the crowd for help, she told her story with heartbreaking honesty and the response has been staggering. She has had more than 21,000 views of her project, 295 people from all over the world have backed her, she has raised more than the target £8k and still has 35 days left to continue raising money. She has 600 supporters on Facebook and many more on Twitter. She's been on STV and in the Edinburgh Evening News. Despite her illness, she has reached out her network and asked for their help.
In short, she is running the perfect crowdfunding campaign.
You don't have to have a tragic story to be successful at crowdfunding, but you do have to tell a compelling story and work every day to reach out to your audience of supporters.
It can be time consuming, but it's not difficult, and it is absolutely essential.