Project creators who have been successful are a rich source of knowledge. Most advise being prepared to sell your idea, having a clear plan to deliver it, going the extra mile to woo big funders, and having a crowd before you crowdfund.
We went out and canvassed project creators who have run successful campaigns, asking them a simple question: what tips would you give to someone who wants to crowdfund a community project on Spacehive?
Before you begin, project creators recommend doing research, including talking with people in your community as this will give you a good steer on whether your project is likely to attract support
– Take a look at other similar projects to give yourself the best ideas on how others were successful
– Seek as much advice as early as possible from specialists in your required field. Some one has done an aspect or exactly what you are trying to achieve in one form or another before you (builders, painters, designers, camera operators, artists etc)…just ask, people like to impart knowledge
– Involve the community – test the need by consultation or practical experience
– Make sure that there is genuine support for your idea in your local community
– Read ALL the Spacehive FAQs and ensure you understand as much as possible about the process of crowdfunding
Then it’s all about your project page, and making it the best it can be.
– Choose the right project name. It needs to tell people immediately what it is that you are doing, but you only have a limited number of characters
– Have a clear and engaging project description
– Present the aims of your campaign clearly but with passion.
– Use pictures and videos to bring the project to life
– Obtain costings and challenge what you get for the money, look for good value
– Evidence all your costs – it’ll help your project get verified quicker
– Make sure your target is realistic, relative to what money you think is out there in your community and the funds available on Spacehive
Don’t just hit launch! There are a few things to do first to ensure that you – and your audience – are primed and ready.
– Prepare people for having to sign up and give their details and be clear it will not come out of their account until target is met
– Engage lots of businesses before you go live, talk with them about your ‘idea’. Don’t ask them for money until you’ve launched and you’ve demonstrated that the local community are supportive
– Make sure you have sufficient interest before launching
– Get some local big hitters to sign up as ambassadors for the project and make it their job to help promote the campaign (nb. you may need to prove your campaign has support first before someone of local repute agrees to get involved)
Now your campaign is live, it’s about working up your own network before moving onto the wider community.
– Don’t be too eager to take to social media. Concentrate on trying to get a couple of dozen small pledges in during the first week or two
– Keep on pushing the fact that small pledges from a lots of people are what matters early on
– People WILL back your project but be prepared to have to remind them to do so!
– Social media will really help and support you but it’s the people you touch in person that put their hands in their pockets the deepest
You only have one voice and you can only reach so many people by yourself. Getting your campaign amplified, where other people promote and share it on your behalf, will be critical if it is to reach the widest possible number of potential backers.
– Use social media to connect with people, communities, companies that you can’t normally reach and that can share your ideas to a wider audience
– Search for Facebook groups and on Twitter for anyone who has your area in their bio. Get in touch introducing your project and ask them to share and support your campaign
– Engage your local council and ask your MP and councillors to support to your campaign
– Share… Share… Share… your Community IS your biggest tool in the awareness toolbox
– Get your story in the local paper and network in the community to draw the public to the crowdfunding campaign
– Throw a small event for the community to raise awareness of your fundraising
Once you’re in the middle of your campaign, don’t forget the people who have backed you already. Maintaining a relationship with your backers will make them feel like you really value their pledge. This in turn is more likely to make them want you to succeed, offer more support, introduce you to a funder, etc.
– Update your backers and potential backers on your progress, people like to see what difference they are or could be making
– Share your media coverage on Spacehive, it will encourage those who have backed you and also people visiting your page for the first time
– Respond quickly to questions and comments you may receive on your Spacehive page and on social media
– Photos and videos can speak louder than any written words. Take a lot of photos, make several (short) videos, interviews etc and share them through your updates on Spacehive and your social media channels
Pledges are slowing up? Don’t be passive, you can reignite your campaign through your own actions.
– Be creative – e.g. we ran an online auction with lots obtained from local businesses, friends, colleagues, celebrities
– Get the team, friends and family to pledge, share on social media etc each time the campaign slows
-Don’t give up – there’s usually a ‘bump’ towards the end. Even if it feels like you’re a million miles away, you can make huge progress in the last week