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The Biggest Factor In Achieving Crowdfunding Success

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

This is a guest post by GoGetFunding, an online fundraising website for any plan, project, event, cause, charity or nonprofit.

gogetfunding3Many people think that to successfully crowdfund, you simply need to know a lot of people. The logic often goes something like this:

“I have 500 Facebook Friends… if just 20% of them donate $50 I’ll raise $5k from them alone!”

They then hurriedly create a campaign and blast it to everyone they know, fingers crossed that they’ll hit their goal.

However, in our experience, crowdfunding success is primarily influenced by one key factor: planning.

At GoGetFunding, we’ve helped people from all over the world raise millions for the causes & projects that matter to them most. And the key trait that often differentiates the successful campaigns from the ones that miss their goal is the level of planning.

gogetfunding

Two Precisely Planned Crowdfunding Campaigns:

Recent Minecraft (gaming community) meetups on GoGetFunding have raised over $55,000 and attracted more than two thousand donors (example). Sure, they have a large following but what was key was their planned outreach and promotion schedule.

By building buzz a week before the campaign, releasing new rewards mid-campaign, posting update videos on YouTube and crafting a beautifully written campaign page, they raised significantly more than expected.

Another great example is a campaign that helped a beautiful young lady purchase a much-needed handicap accessible vehicle. The cause raised 33% more than needed in just a few days. And as the campaign owner agreed, that was because of a masterfully planned outreach.

They planned regular social network updates, milestones announcements, had different people responsible for different aspects of the campaign, and more.

Some of our fundraisers even create detailed schedules for their campaigns and this is a great way to stay on top of things. Here’s one that was actually used by one of our successfully funded campaign owners.

A Proven Crowdfunding Schedule

5-day countdown: Speak to closest contacts again & update on progress. Continue building buzz on Facebook & Twitter

4-day countdown: Confirm final version of campaign page – proofed by John, Mike & Tina.

3-day countdown: Shortlist blogs & news outlets to be contacted once campaign reaches 50% funded

2-day countdown: Finalize templates for campaign updates at 10%, 25% and 50% funded

1-day countdown: Make sure the campaign team knows exactly what they’re doing. Speak to closest network again.

Day 1: Launch! Expect donations from Rob, Andy, Tim + six others. Should bring us to 20% funded & then post to Facebook & Twitter

Day 2: Campaign updates on GoGetFunding + social networks. Thank initial donors.

Day 3: Ensure all comments are responded to across all channels.

Day 4: Tag those people who have claimed specific rewards to increase buzz. Add additional campaign pictures.

Day 5: Post milestone update with supporting video.

This was done for all 30 days of the campaign.

How To Plan YOUR Campaign

Of course, your campaign schedule will vary depending on its specific nature. For example, a campaign with just a 10-day window will be a lot more active than that with a 30-day timeframe.

Your planning schedule will need to be balanced in terms of frequency and promotional methods. Don’t send out 50 Tweets a day and don’t just focus on Facebook if  you have the personal email address of all your family members. Consider all the ways to build buzz and keep momentum going while paying attention to if you might be forcing your message too much.

My number one key tip is to ask yourself, who is going to fund you on the first day? You should know with almost certainty who your initial donors are going to be and these people should fund at least 10-30% of your campaign. These are the people that you’d be keeping regularly updated pre-launch and that would back you no matter what campaign you started.

It’s also important that you don’t share your campaign on social networks if it hasn’t raised anything. Not many people want to attend a party where they’re the only one person present. However, once people see that others have already joined in, it significantly increases the chances that they’ll get involved too.

Furthermore, if your initial donors are fairly generous, others are likely to be too. Through donor tracking, we see that more often than not, potential donors will review the backers and comments list before donating themselves. This helps them to get an idea of what’s being donated and said before they make their commitment.

So, if you want to maximize the chance of having a successful crowdfunding campaign, plan. Just like the old adage, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

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  • ish k

    This is all good stuff. Wish I had read this prior to my launch! My project is Translation! The 60 second Language game, and you can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thebetabox/translation-the-60-second-language-game
    @thebetabox

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad the article is helpful!

  • Evan O

    I agree with the note about ensuring one has a primed audience and content schedule, but another important piece of the puzzle is ensuring you have interesting, game changing updates planned for the inevitable mid-project slump. One’s network will inevitably tire of hearing the same canned “back us because this is worth your while” message ad nauseum, so interesting updates or things to entice are key. I’ve read about projects doing weekly videos of lip syncing pop songs with that week’s highest backer given the rights to choose the song. Cute and engaging seems key.

    Our campaign just ended a promotion so that the week’s highest backer could dare one of the creators to do something wild on camera. Sort of “truth or dare” for crowdfunding. It drove some interest and gave us another angle to talk about: http://kck.st/1hgH9ML

    • CrowdCrux

      Very good point. The loss of momentum in the middle is experienced by a lot of creators and more entrepreneurs need to begin planning for this difficult period. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Erin

    Oh yes, this is so right. The first day for our campaign was good, but now it became very slow. We put updates, but it doesn’t really help. Also 100 sites wrote about us – but still not much help. And what to do, if you had no time for preparation? Any suggestions?

    • CrowdCrux

      Well, I’d say you have to decide on now that you are launched, what are the actions that will be most likely to have an impact with your remaining time. You will also likely see a small uptake in pledges towards the end of the campaign.

  • Umdlalo

    We are getting ready to launch July 1st, and although there are a number of “how to’s” and help articles (like this one), it never hurts to read as many as you can soak up – you may hear of a pitfall you’ve never experienced or words of warning from mistakes others have made. I’ve been doing this for years and it’s honestly just luck sometimes as well.

    We do hope you’ll check us out! We’re launching July 1st on Kickstarter. This is a game that’s been 10+ years in the making, and we’re finally hoping to make it a reality 🙂

    Thanks for your article & the great info you have on your site!

    Cheers
    Krista

    (Not live until the 1st, kickstarter link): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wicked/494832098

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Umdlalo

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/UmdlaloJourney

    • CrowdCrux

      Agreed – Luck plays a sizable role in any product launch or business endeavor. I clicked the link, but it gave me a 404.