What steps do you take IF your crowdfunding campaign fails and you don’t reach your fundraising goal? I am, by nature, an eternal optimist. So, if I had a crowdfunding campaign that failed or didn’t reach it’s goal, my first thought would be, “get back up and try again”. Was that your first thought? As much as I’d like to sprinkle my pixie dust on you and convert you to my way of thinking, I know I’ll have to convince some of you with COLD hard facts. So, let’s give it a go. Take a step back and answer these questions about your campaign.
Did you have a GREAT idea or cause? If you still think you have an amazing idea… AWESOME! Now, we’ll need to uncover the root cause of WHY you didn’t reach your fundraising goal. There could be a multitude of factors, and we’ll talk about many of them. However, if you’ve been thinking about your campaign and you’re not sure the idea was great, then STOP right there. Don’t proceed with that campaign. Go in a different direction, or wait until another brilliant idea pops into your head!
Were You With the Right Platform? All crowdfunding website sites are NOT the same. You need to compare the fees against each platform. Does your platform let you keep ALL of your donations or just the amount IF you reach your goal? Does your platform have a restricted timeline that you have to raise money within? Can you change your goal amounts during the campaign? Does your platform offer outstanding customer service and mentoring to help you along the way? You may NOT have thought about all these questions on your first campaign, but now you know to ask yourself. Make a chart. List your crowdfunding platform choices… and go from there. Which platform offers you the best rate with all the other value added services that you may need.
Did you Prep before you went live? Did you just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I think I’ll raise money for new pink boots”? Well, that isn’t going to work. There is a great deal of time and energy that goes into making a fundraising campaign successful. BEFORE you even think about writing your campaign, do the pre-work. Talk to all your family and friends. Tell them WHY you need these pink boots, WHERE you’re going to get them, WHAT is so amazing about these boots, WHEN you need to get them, and WHO’s actually getting the boots. Starting a campaign with “Help me Raise money for Pink Boots” is one thing… starting a campaign with, “My name is Kathy, and I’m raising $500 to buy the most amazingly soft pink boots for 5 children in the Children’s Hospital recovering from cancer here in Reno. Because their blood flow is slower and their body temperatures are lower, these boots will keep their toes toasty and their spirits high. I’d like to raise the money within the next 4 weeks to get them over before the holidays!” Can you see the difference? If you sent out those two different emails… what response do you think you’d get? The MORE details you can give your crowd BEFORE you start the campaign the MORE successful YOUR campaign will be! Before you start another campaign, start laying the prep work.
Did you have a crowd? We’ve been over this before, but YOU really need a crowd. You don’t HAVE to have 5200 friends on Facebook, but you DO need to have a crowd of people in mind to target to help fund your campaign. Just starting the campaign isn’t enough. Just posting it on Facebook once a week and tweeting it out IS NOT enough. You have to make people WANT to care about what you care about. Motivate them to help you Move Your Mountain. Cultivate that network BEFORE you start your campaign.
Did you have a plan? Are you like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman, a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl (or guy), OR, did you have a plan with your last campaign? Whether you’re organized and analytical by nature isn’t important, but you DO have to be organized and have a plan to achieve the highest possible amount of success with a crowdfunding campaign. You have to PLAN what your Crowdfunding Strategy will be. How often will you update your campaign? How often will you share it on social media channels? Will you send out a press release? Will you contact your local news media outlets? How often will you email your personal and professional contacts? Will you offer any rewards with your campaign? How will you thank your backers? If you received feedback from friends and family about your campaign, did you change anything about your campaign?
Was your goal attainable and relevant? Did you set your fundraising goal to what you’d LOVE to get or what you NEEDED to get to complete the project? Your backers will know if you’re asking for too much money and they’ll wonder what you’re going to do with any excess. If it’s possible, set up your goals in stages. This helps you have small successes along the way… boosting YOUR morale and then getting your backers excited when helping you reach each milestone. There’s nothing wrong with asking for $500 for those pink boots… and when you reach that goal, give an update thanking everyone and telling them that you’re going to increase your goal to $700 now and you’ll buy two more pairs with that money.
Take note of these questions. Pull out a notebook and write, scratch through ideas, and come up with a new plan of attack. If YOU know you have an AMAZING idea or an INSPIRING campaign, then you MUST start the campaign again. Use the past experience to help you know what to do and what NOT to do this time!
Go on… start Moving Your Mountain. No time like the present!