Crowd Funding Bite #3: Developing your first crowd funding page
April 9, 2014
“KISS: Keep it Simple Sam”
Always make sure the message clear and never try and confuse people! There are two types of crowd funding page. Those who already have a pre-built audience who have bought into a pre-existing idea or a change in the community dynamic; and those who are starting off from a base of zero.By way of an example in the first category is Australia’s Climate Commission who was previously funded by the Australian Government.
When there was a change of Government in 2013 an announcement was made that the Commission would be defunded. Stuck between a rock and a hard place the Commission reformed itself into a new entity called the Climate Council and went to the crowd seeking the value of its annual operating budget or, $1 million. The CEO at the time, the money was raised, Amanda McKenzie said: “
Australians are concerned about climate change, they want to see something done, so getting that independent scientific information is really important,".
The campaign got underway with the first donations coming in from September 24th and by the following Tuesday it had already reached $218,000 from more than 7,000 donors. The funding target was reached with time to spare. In this case the crowd funding page was nothing more than a medium through which the funds could be collected and story told.
There was a high degree of confidence that the money would be raised because the issue of climate change was still high on the public agenda. That said, those who implemented the campaign would have known that the message they were trying to send to the general public was not for the whole general public – just the demographic that would have provided enough impetus for a percentage of them to part with their money.
These are very rare cases where a large amount of money is being raised for a specific project. The more likely scenario is for those who need to be more emphatic and communicative to get a message across by designing an effective page without the benefits and existing support Australia’s Climate Commission had.
So, where to start? Start off with the basics when it comes to your crowd funding site and think of it as if you are getting the content for your business or social website together before it goes live.
Think clearly through all of the different elements you think will be important and also make sure that the branding is consistent. Many people fail on that point and provide so much online presence validation (by adding links to your product or business website, social or professional media page) that people can sometimes get confused.
In others words make sure your messaging is correct and your brand is consistent. You will only have one chance to make the pitch and consistency is fundamental. Research is key (as indicated earlier) you need to ensure you know as much about what is driving other people to success in reaching their fundraising goals.So the things to be careful with are ensuring that:
Your message is simple
Ensure the message speaks to a broad audience or a unique demographic
Stay away from technological hyper babble
Use strong imagery
Be clear on what you are attempting to achieve
By adding a video you develop a personal interaction between you and your potential investor.
Let’s face it there are still plenty of scams out there so the more credible and believable you are the more people will buy into your story. By also setting the target at a reasonably achievable level investors can see that a number of others have already signed on which can be of huge benefit in terms of trust and credibility. As we outlined earlier, building that personal one on one connection is fundamentally important.
Most social enterprises, not for profits or non-government organisations will have an ambassador or a celebrity spokesperson. Wherever possible try and utilise that person to front the video for your campaign. It could prove to be the most powerful tool you have in establishing credibility, connection and a call to arms for potential donors.
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