How To Launch Your Crowdfunding Campaign
So you want to crowdfund?
Choosing the project you would like to raise funds for is just the first step. Next, creating a fundraising target helps to focus making the project a reality. Explaining how the project will benefit your organisation and its and even the wider community creates momentum and enthusiasm for your chosen idea. Clarifying your messages before campaign launch is crucial to reaching your target quickly.
Nominating a fundraising ‘champion’ to work closely with InvestMyCommunity spearheads the project within your organisation and to the wider community. The quality and enthusiasm of your “champion” sets and maintains the momentum of your campaign, which will ultimately bring the success that your organisation deserves.
It is always a good idea to plan an official launch day so that the appeal can be showcased to your key stakeholders. Perhaps you might consider a launch event or assembly to engage your supporters?
InvestMyCommunitywill provide help and advice during your campaign and, with our Premium Service, will partner with you to provide marketing and public relations material, support and guidance, but it is still crucial that the appeal is championed at ground level at your organisation to ensure it builds and retains momentum.
Championing your Appeal
One of the most important roles in any crowdfunding campaign is the ‘champion’. The champion’s role is to promote the project before and during the campaign. A dedicated and passionate ‘champion’ will help to ensure your campaign’s success.
You may also wish to recruit ‘appeal ambassadors’ to help you spread the message – perhaps the leader or a member of your organisation. Include them in your ‘inner circle’ so that they are onside as appeal backers and maybe more. Consider asking this ‘inner circle’ for pledges in advance of the launch so that you can announce this at launch.
HOW MUCH TIME should you allow?
The planning stage is crucial to the success of the campaign and time is well spent here.
We would recommend setting aside some time to clarify your messages, prepare your materials which will tell your story, both written and visual, decide who to target and recruit new supporters.
GET YOUR NETWORKS READY!
You need to ensure you have contact details for all your key stakeholders so you can reach them online. Preparing a database is a very effective way to keep track of who you have approached and responses.
You also need to ensure your own social networks are up and running and populated. Nurturing your crowd now will pay dividends later!
Research and follow new potential supporters such as local businesses and local influencers such as local councillors so that when you launch the appeal, you can hit the ground running.
Think about targeting businesses in the sphere your project is related to, or even your suppliers.
Engaging with local influencers like your local MP, Mayor or local councillors may enable you to recruit them as supporters and may also give you the opportunity of inviting one of these influencers to launch your appeal in person.
be social ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Consider your messaging for each social network. If you are active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you will be able to share your campaign page when it is up and running via easy share buttons.
Consider the message and call to action you will send via each network. Bullet-point your key messages to help you clarify them and consider how to promote them on different social networks. For example, Facebook is a more personal network suitable for encouraging supporters to share news of the appeal with family and friends while LinkedIn might be an ideal way for you to send a more formal message to your business network including suppliers etc.
READY TO LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN?
The optimum time for a crowdfunding appeal up to say, £10,000, to be live is 4-6 weeks so the period spent planning pre-launch is essential. Clearly, larger targets will likely be live for a longer period but pre-launch planning is still important. Factor in your time to promote your appeal and follow up with supporters. Plan, promote and nurture and you will be on the path to raising your financial target!
Remember that until you publicise the campaign to your organisation’s and the wider community, your crowdfunding campaign remains effectively unlaunched even though your completed campaign page is published on InvestMyCommunity.
Spreading the word
There are lots of ways to shout about the launch and to promote the campaign in the first few important weeks. Here are some ideas : –
Hold a special event to launch the appeal to the organisation’s community and beyond.
Distribute the campaign leaflet with a QR code. You can find this on your campaign page.
Pin up your news of your appeal around the organisation and local area e.g. noticeboards and newsagent windows.
Send out a message to your community about the launch of the appeal via whichever communication service you use. If you don’t use a message service then have a look at Groop.com and ask us about their special offer for InvestMyCommunity clients.
Post a series of teaser messages leading up to Launch Day online and on social media. On Launch Day itself use these tools to encourage others to donate and share.
Post information in the Latest News section on your website and on the home page with a direct link to your campaign page. You can even embed our donation button directly on your website.
Send out a link to your campaign video with a message to donate and share.
Send a press release to local media about your crowdfunding appeal.
Send a letter to local organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and your local MP/councillors about the appeal and enlisting their support.
Send a letter to other local businesses not targeted in your ‘inner circle’ to engage
Once you have launched you must ‘stay connected’! Keep updating your community with news of the campaign.
Marking milestones – make sure you mark relevant milestones such as 10% of target raised, 25% of campaign target, 50 donors have raised over £5000, halfway through the campaign etc – with communications to maintain momentum and boost engagement/donations.
Using interesting facts and statistics and notable calendar days as hooks to resend news of your appeal e.g. it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we are crowdfunding to improve our mental health provision etc.