Who needs fancy bank loans and lines of credit when you can receive a helping hand from your fellow people?
Crowdfunding has become one of the fastest growing forms of financing for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Even large companies are tapping into this goldmine. One, in particular, is GE, which crowdfunded 10 of its products between 2013 and 2015.
And what’s even more impressive is how some startups used crowdfunding to become one of the most successful entities today. For example, Bragi, which sells wireless headphones, raised over $3 million dollars using Kickstarter.
So if there’s anything we can take from this it’s that crowdfunding actually works. But understanding how to crowdfund is key.
Plus, the trends of this industry are shifting, so it’s important to stay abreast of the changes. Let’s take a look at the key takeaways of the latest crowdfunding trends.
Using a Diverse Set of Crowdfunding Platforms
Back in the day, the number one crowdfunding platform was Kickstarter. And as always, with success comes copycats. So it’s no surprise we now have a variety of legit crowdfunding platforms to choose from today.
If anything, this gives us more sources for raising capital. And some business-minded individuals use different platforms for different campaigns.
For instance, someone who’s a tech innovator or designer may find Indiegogo to be the best platform for their new product. This platform is widely known for its creative marketplace.
However, a nonprofit trying to raise money for charity would find Fundly to be a better option. This one comes with a comprehensive set of features and a suite of services as well.
We can expect to see more and more platforms popping up in the coming years, making it easier for entrepreneurs to find the most suitable to crowdfund their projects.
The Rise of Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns
Crowdfunding isn’t just for individuals looking to raise capital for their business ventures. We now see more and more nonprofit organizations joining the crowdfunding scene.
This includes schools, teams, businesses and various other groups. And many of them are generating tons of money in doing so.
These nonprofits are maximizing their fundraising campaigns like never before. If you’re a nonprofit wondering how to crowdfund, then here’s a quick checklist:
- Find one of the many crowdfunding platforms geared towards nonprofits
- Expand your social reach to help build awareness
- Prepare for a quick 60-day campaign
- Ask for small donations (nonprofits see the best outcome by asking for small gifts)
Customize Your Fundraising Journey
The tools now available on new crowdfunding platforms allow people and organizations to fully customize their fundraising experience. So rather than the typical one-size-fits-all experience, we’re now seeing one that’s completely custom-made.
This means you can uniquely design and promote your campaign the way you see fit. For instance, you can create brandable campaign pages. So no more generic campaign pages.
With this, you can better create the tone of your campaign and potentially gain more supporters. Branding is everything, even when you’re doing a fundraiser.
It’s also important to note that platforms are now becoming more flexible with their fundraising models. What this means is you don’t have to succumb to the dreadful all-or-nothing model. This is when the fundraiser loses all that they’ve raised if their end goal isn’t met.
Now, there’s the keep-it-all fundraising model, which allows you to keep all the money raised even if you don’t reach your goal. You also have the option of choosing a blend of the two.
Then there’s the variety of sharing options these platforms now offer. This makes it easier to promote your campaign across various channels. And this doesn’t just include social media platforms – email promotions can also be created.
What’s even better is you can set up your Facebook page to collect donations for your campaigns. It’ll be interesting to see how this will evolve in the future.
Pairing Crowdfunding Campaign with Events
The beauty of marketing is that it can extend from the internet into the real world. Even with all the connectivity we have on social media, there’s nothing like human interaction.
So anyone who’s learning about how to crowdfund should keep this in mind. Because in-person fundraising methods can definitely work hand-in-hand with your crowdfunding campaigns.
For instance, you can begin an online fundraiser on the platform of your choice. Then hold a local event for your online fundraiser.
This allows gifters to meet you in person, ask questions and really see the passion you have for your project. So by having in-person connections, you can increase your fundraising potential.
Take the time to thank your supporters in person. Who knows, your supporters may turn out to be lifelong supporters who gift to all your future projects.
If hosting an event sounds like a good idea for your campaign, here are some quick tips:
- Choose the right theme (it should suit your campaign well)
- Think of various fundraising activities to engage guests
- Make it easy to register for the event
Creating Campaigns That Are Visually Compelling
If you look at many of the campaigns online today, you’ll see that they’re highly visual. This is due to the typical internet user who doesn’t really like to read and skims through most of the content.
So it makes sense for your campaign to be visually engaging. This includes putting up relevant and informational images, as well as video content.
In fact, it seems more and more campaigns are focusing on producing videos beyond the initial intro video. The videos can be testimonials from clients and partners, behind the scenes clips and product reviews.
Just make sure the photos you choose add to the goal of your campaign. Also, you don’t want to completely eliminate copy – this should be written in a way that’s impactful.
And don’t forget to put up a personal video sharing your mission, goals and future plans.
Learn How to Crowdfund with the Pros
There’s a lot happening in the crowdfunding scene and with all the planning, designing and content creation needed, it can be overwhelming. This is especially true for newbies to crowdfunding.
At Idea Plotting, we offer tips and advice to folks who are interested in learning how to crowdfund. We like to think of our blog as a resource that can help you along on your fundraising journey.
So stop by today to learn more about this growing craft and how it can be used to start or grow your business!