Focus on your theory of change i.e what is it that you wish to achieve. It must be a tangible goal. Remember, people don’t relate to what you are doing, they relate to why you are doing it. Keep the story personal and share what inspired you to take up the project. You must note that if there is an inherent urgency in a campaign, then that becomes the centre of the story.
Success of any crowdfunding campaign is primarily dependent on the campaigner’s proactiveness. So, pull your socks up and be ready to get your hands dirty. You have got a lot of talking, sharing and convincing to do. Don’t forget to get your forces together - figure out what your team is missing and get the right people to come onboard.
You need to evaluate who is most likely to fund you a.k.a the target community and how you can use them while running your campaign. Your community could include your friends, family, colleagues and people who are passionate about the kind of project you are raising funds for. Figure out ways in which you can reach out to them. Your objective should be to create a group of evangelists who can spread the word for you and make sure your campaign is a roaring success.
You need to tell your story to as many people as you can. You will have to reach out to people outside your first degree of network. Newspapers, magazine, bloggers, or even celebrities can help you reach out to a larger pool of people and increase your target audience base. Ideally, you should prepare a list of potential outreach partners and draft a press release while you are still in the phase of conceptualising your campaign.
IIncentives drive contributions - you could incentivise through rewards or by creating a conversation that everyone would like to be a part of. Plan your rewards in advance - make sure they are related to your campaign. Put yourself in the contributors’ shoes and think what would be exciting enough for you to contribute. Also, have a look at successful campaigns in your category to understand what sort of rewards/conversation would work for your campaign.
The best way to know what to expect out of your campaign and prepare for it is to check out successful campaigns from your category. Feel free to reach out to the campaigners, understand what worked or didn’t work for them.
Spend some time to finalise some good rewards with respect to your campaign - make slabs, figure out logistics and costs.
Make a list of journalists who usually cover stories like yours. It will come in handy when you are ready to pitch to the press.
Crowdfunding is a BYOC (bring your own crowd) exercise. Do the following to gear up for your campaign:
Make a list of your initial funders - start talking to them about it and make them part of your crowdfunding journey.
Get your core crowdfunding team together.
Get basic creatives in place - statistics and visuals that can explain your theory of change work best.
Start talking about your campaign through blogs and your social media channels and collect feedback.
The pitch video is your medium to introduce yourself and your project. Pitch videos are actually the most viewed item on our campaign page. So we would say that it’s the most popular way for contributors to engage with your story.
Make sure your video has a crisp narrative, a clear call to action and overall have a personal feel to it.
Your video should be engaging and should not be more than two minutes.
We advise you against using videos that are not your own.
Visual elements attract more audience. So make sure you always use a video with lots of figures, charts and maps to pitch your idea to your target audience and connect with them better.
Your rewards incentivize people to contribute to your campaign. So keep them engaging, creative and diverse. They have the ability to convert a Rs. 500 contribution into a Rs. 5,000 contribution!
There are three types of rewards - appreciation, recognition & exclusive rewards.
The first seven days of your campaign are crucial. Your goal is to ensure that you get as many contributions as possible. These initial contributions will help keep the momentum going for the rest of your campaigning period.
Your personal network is instrumental in getting you the initial traction. They will be your first batch of contributors. Go back to your initial funder's list and start reaching out to them.
Start the social media conversation - use visuals, promote your campaign video, do a launch twitter chat. Use your networks.
Different people require different motivations - Divide your contact sheet into multiple lists and use a combination of different techniques for your outreach. Observe different groups reactions to different campaigns and adjust accordingly.
Call people - don’t shy away from picking up the phone. Call people and then constantly follow up with them either via calls, emails and text messages.
Share your campaign creatives - statistics, visuals and your campaign video. Keep sharing the campaign link in different ways.
Blog about your campaign - use personal stories to reinforce what you are trying to do. Try Medium, LinkedIn Pulse or Quora to tap into existing communities.
Profile your contributors, thank them on facebook or twitter and don’t forget to tag them.
Talk about the highlights of your campaign like total money raised, number of contributors, etc by creating infographics. Try Info.gram or Canva.
A lot of contributors share their own stories while contributing, don’t forget to further share their stories on your social media/website.
Jump into existing trends and start conversations. Reach out to popular influencers, get them to retweet or get into a partnership with them.
Once your campaign starts getting traction and you have more stories to share, start reaching out to your journalist list. Send them a press release or a brief note on what you are doing. Invite them for coffee and share your story.
Download your press release template
Look for partnerships with online journals, blogs, popular magazines or a brand with a decent outreach.
There are many online platforms like Youth Ki Awaaz, The Quint or News Laundry that would be happy to be part of your conversation - pull them in.
If you are also looking for sponsors, profiling them on your online campaign is a good deliverable. You can also ask them to double the contributions on the campaign.
Reach out to radio channels (tweet to the RJs, they are really proactive) or TV channels for a wider outreach.
Your community is the most important when you are running a campaign and hence you must let them know how thankful you are for their unconditional support. Don’t forget that they are your initial supporters and are invested in what you are working towards.
Your campaign actually stays on even after your campaign is over. The community you’ve built over your campaign is here to stay and they will be where you start for your next campaign.
Keep posting things. Post about your journey in going through your project. Post about the challenges and the hardships you face. Keep them engaged.