5 Signs You're Ready To Crowdfund

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Julie Le Carrer is a Belgian artist who practices Intuitive Drawing: a drawing made entirely by following intuition and sensations and usually inspired by a specific intention. Julie wants to launch her dream business, but needs money to finance her participation in a business coaching program.

The six month program with business coach Rachel Archelaus will help her launch a business centered on her creativity. Julie decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to reach out to to her friends and family for financial support. I spoke with Julie about her FundRazr campaign, and how she has included Perks and social sharing to reach her funding goal.

Watch Julie’s video pitch below:

1. Why did you decide to start crowdfunding?

“I really had no idea how I would get the 2000€ and just out of no where I thought of crowdfunding. At first I thought it wouldn’t be possible for such a personal project but I followed my intuition, and found your platform!”

2. How did you initially share your campaign and create a community of support?

“At first I sent it to all closest friends and family by email and Facebook. Then once I had some substantial amount of money raised I started sending it to a wider circle of friends and acquaintances still via email and Facebook. I also created my own Newsletter to send out twice a week.”

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In March this year, Quest Atkinson volunteered in the Dominican Republic to help with various community outreach activities. Knowing this trip would be costly she decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to reach her family, friends and other like minded people to help fund her expenses. We decided to go behind the scenes to break down her crowdfunding success. Use Quest’s detailed advise to effectively raise money online for a cause you love.

Do your research

“Over the course of a week I extensively researched other fundraising platforms, comparing costs and features. I realized that FundRazr had comparable fees to other platforms but seemed to offer more features. With a leap of faith I decided to start my fundraising project on FundRazr and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

Spread the word

“Once my project had been set up on Fundrazr, I used the vast number of tools available to me to get the word out. The tools available to those who use FundRazr are phenomenal. Me and my community of supporters are able to spread the word about my project in various ways, including major social media outlets, on websites, in emails, and even text messages! We can share the whole campaign or specific messages and updates.”

Get those first donations

“The first steps I took were posting to the Facebook group and LinkedIn group I created. I then prepared a list of people that I knew might have an interest in what I’d be doing. I wrote each of them a personalized email explaining what I’d be doing, asking for their support, and outlining the ways that they could help.”

Build a team

“I love the ability to spread the word about my project not only by using Facebook, LinkedIn, and G+ tools, but also by assigning manager and promoter roles to friends and family.”

Share instantly

“Integration with social media platforms also makes things easy peasy. My Facebook page gets updated automatically whenever a donation comes in or an update is made. Also, people can subscribe to your page to automatically receive updates and so far I’ve had a few followers. Additionally, I’ve used the text message feature that allows me to text my FundRazr link to anyone and I’ve tried the email campaign option that enabled me to create and send personalized emails with a link to my FundRazr page.”

Tell a visual story

“You’re allowed and even encouraged to upload several pictures and even videos! You can also send direct, personal messages to those who have donated. Though I haven’t yet used it, I love the option to add an array of pictures and videos and I hope to post some more media soon.”

Thank contributors

“Being able to send direct and personal messages to my donors has been a really sweet touch”

FundRazr tools

“FundRazr has a very comprehensive arsenal of tools available which I’ve quite enjoyed using. I’ve found the offline contribution tool tremendously helpful. FundRazr understands that we don’t always receive funds online and they try to make it as easy as possible to receive funds in multiple ways and have your funding progress updated.”

Personal Coaching

“Best of all, having, my very own FundRazr coach assigned to me personally has been amazing. I frequently receive tips about how to make my campaign better and the team has always been very responsive and quick to help when I ask a question. You won’t find another fundraising platform as robust and value driven as this!”

Words of advice

1. Believe in yourself

“Firstly, only crowdfund for a project that you truly believe in. If you’re not 100% invested in the work you’re doing, it’ll be hard for others to be invested too. “

2. Make it personal

“Make things as personal as possible. Whether it’s writing a personal letter to someone or you being transparent about your goals for the project and how the costs are broken down. People always appreciate truthfulness and can relate to you if you share what’s really on your heart.”

3. Build a team of support

“Also, start with people you know you can count on and build a team of advocates to help you spread the word. Fundrazr has a useful tool to help you with this under ‘Team’.”

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The Sunshine House project titled ‘Like That’ began this past December in an effort to provide a space where people can explore their gender and/or sexual identity while engaging in fun, recreational, and skill-building activities. Their initial government grant of $5000 was intended to carry the program from December until April, with the program running only twice per month.

‘Like That’ was an immediate hit and they were able to increase the program to once a week, in order to better support participants. The team at the Sunshine House needs help to keep the program running. They started a crowdfunding campaign to raise another $5000 which will allow them to make ‘Like That’ a weekly program, and extend it through June, so participants can build and enter their own float in the Pride parade.

I spoke with Sunshine House team member Benjamin Simcoe on how they promote their campaign, and the value of creative perks and media content on their fundraiser.

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?

“The idea originally came about because the initial grant we were offered to start the program was in danger of not coming through. We began taking steps to start our FundRazr in the event we needed it as a solution to save the program.

Ultimately we did receive that funding, which was a pilot grant of $5000, but this money would only allow us to run the program twice a month for four months. The program was an immediate hit when it began in December—participants loved it, and we quickly realized a four-month pilot wasn’t enough. We needed a way to continue it for a longer period of time, so we decided to use crowdfunding as a way to ask our supporters for help. ”

2. How did you initially promote your campaign?

“We initially promoted our campaign on Facebook, and through some of our existing community partners and supporters. We expanded to advertising a bit on YouTube and Twitter, but Facebook and external community support have been the biggest promotional tools.”

3. Was it important for you to have an already established online community of support?

“Having an established online community was critical; we couldn’t have promoted it nearly as effectively without it. We had about 250 very committed followers on Facebook who really came through for us. Interestingly, the campaign has garnered us a number of new Facebook followers since it began!”

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For the past eight years, Erin Thornton has studied and cooked 12th to 16th-century historical recipes and menus for a local Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) group. Erin has cooked feasts for over 100 people with only period recipes, and her dream has been to cook a full 16th-century Tudor feast at Hampton Court (King Henry VIII’s palace).

In November 2014 Erin Thornton was selected as a finalist for the CBC ‘All in a Day’s Food Fantasy’ contest for their Project Give campaign in support of the Ottawa Food Bank. In return for coming third in the contest Erin was invited to cook at England’s historic Hampton Court Palace this summer. Erin started a crowdfunding campaign to pool together the funds to get to England. I spoke with Erin on how she gathered support before launching her campaign, and CBC Radio promotion.

1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?

“I have had many family and friends say that they would give me some money towards this lifetime experience So I figured that maybe others would be interested in my dream to cook at Hampton Court Palace.”

2. How did you initially promote your campaign and create a community of support?

“I had been talking to many friends and family about my opportunity, so that when my campaign launched it wasn’t out of the blue. I made sure that my Facebook connections were good and that I used email and Twitter as well. I have also set up a blog which will help me post all about my experiences. I am also lucky that in the next few months, CBC Radio will also help promote my campaign. I try to remind family and friends that if they can share my story it will help my campaign.”

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Knowing when your supporters are active on social media can give you a serious advantage when it comes to getting maximum exposure for your campaign’s updates. Below is a great infographic based on studies carried out by social media experts over the past 5 years.

Did you know that you should aim for 2 posts per day on Facebook between 1 pm and 4 pm? Update your supporters with news, progress, images and videos and don’t forget to include a link to your campaign’s page.

Don’t ignore Twitter! The optimum number of tweets to send per day is three. You should aim to post between 9am and 3pm Monday through Thursday for maximum engagement. It makes sense as people are more likely to check their social media channels earlier in the day and particularly lunchtime.

You might even consider using Pinterest and Instagram for your campaign’s promotion.

Graphic By SetUpABlogToday.com

The Science Of Posting On Social Media

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