In the first of our Step-by-Step series, Student Fundraising Ambassador Kelly explains how to start planning a campaign
So you want to start a crowdfunding campaign? There are a few things you’ll need to think about to maximise your potential and reach your fundraising goal. A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to establish a community of supporters for your project. The process should be fun and exciting and it’ll even look great on your CV.
Let’s get straight into it. There are a couple of things you’ll need for your Launchpad page. For the webpage there are multiple headings that you’ll need to get together, these include: ‘A summary’, ‘Who we are’, ‘Your story’, ‘Where will the money go?’, ‘Rewards’ and links to accompanying social media. It’s best to keep these sections concise so that the reader doesn’t lose interest while still representing your team’s personality and passion for your campaign. If you’re feeling a bit stuck with this, have a browse through past successful campaigns.
As you scroll through social media or browse online content your eye is drawn to the visuals - think pictures and videos. A video tells a story for the viewer whilst also being visually engaging, which us why it’s the perfect tool for a crowdfunding page. Campaigns that have a video tend to do better than those that don't, because they show potential sponsors who you are and what you stand for. Try getting some friends to help you with filming and editing. If you’re camera-shy, you don’t need to feature in the video itself, a voice-over or captions work too.
Social media is an excellent tool for crowdfunding in so many different ways, in fact, we think that it’s so important for your campaign that we’ve written a separate blog post all about it. By using dedicated social media pages for your campaign, you can reach more people and keep those that have donated already updated too.
"A video tells a story for the viewer whilst also being visually engaging which us why it’s the perfect tool for a crowdfunding page."
Planning for success
It’s a good idea to plan who you’re going to reach out to when promoting your campaign. A great place to start is friends and family, but you can go beyond that by reaching out to the student and local press, local community groups and organisations/business that may be related to your cause.
How are you going to spread the word? There are many different ways to do this. You could send personal messages or emails, use social media or make physical posters to put up on notice boards.
What are you going to say? You could include testimonials from people who already support your project or group, engaging facts, behind the scenes photos or videos and milestone updates (e.g. when you reach 25% or 50% of your fundraising goal).
What to expect
Usually, a crowdfunding campaign will go in three different phases, which tend to pan out a bit like this:
- You’ll get a rush of donations from friends, family and university contacts who are looking to help start you off on your fundraising. Aiming to achieve 30% of your target during this phase is a great place to be at this stage.
- The middle portion is the quietest, with fewer donations coming in. It’s a great idea to maximise your outreach and promotion to engage people who might not have heard of your campaign.
- As your campaign draws to a close, you’ll have another rush of donations as people respond to the urgency of the deadline. You may even get a second donation from the people who helped at the start of the campaign.
Phew! We’ve covered all bases on the setting up and planning of your crowdfunding campaign on Launchpad. It’s been a lot to take in, so don’t be afraid to refer back to this article if you need to for reference. Putting yourself and your ideas out there can seem daunting, but crowdfunding gives you a place to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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