Crowdfunding can be a great way to get a business off the ground. It's easier to convince thousands of people to donate a few dollars than a few people to donate thousands. However, there is a line to walk whenever you aim to raise money via crowdfunding. That line exists between campaigns that seem noble and worthy of donation and those that do not. How do you make sure your campaign falls into the prior camp and is actually a cause people feel drawn to support? Start by following these guidelines.
Be Clear in Your Objectives
People will want to know exactly what they are donating to. Do not just write a story about how you're developing a new kind of chair. Be specific about the type of chair you're designing, what work is going into the design, and how that chair will benefit certain people. Also, lay out the specific costs involved in the project so people know exactly how their money will be spent. For instance, you can list how much it will cost you to have a prototype made, what you will pay for web hosting, what the patent will cost, and so on.
Include Pictures and Videos
Readers will feel more drawn to donating to your campaign if the content you provide is actually interesting and intriguing. While you will need to describe what you do and why you need the money in words, you should include plenty of images and maybe even a few videos in your campaign description, too. These are the elements that will really get people to click and pay attention to what you have to offer. Consider hiring a professional to take a few photos or edit a short video clip. These photos and videos can serve double-duty later when you need to make marketing materials, so they're a good investment.
Ask for Specific Amounts
People are more likely to donate if they know exactly how much you are asking them for. If they have to enter the actual dollar amount into a box themselves, they may go back and forth too many times and ultimately decide not to donate. If, on the other hand, you have boxes they can click to donate $10, $20, or $50 dollars, the action is simpler and they can act more impulsively. Do give them the option of donating a different amount, too, as some will want to donate more or less.
Throughout the campaign, make sure you post updates so that people who have already donated will know how and where you are spending their money. This update could be in the form of a short paragraph and a picture or two posted every Friday, or you could post short video updates if you have some filming experience. Future donors will also see the updates, which will reassure them that you have put money to good use so far and will do the same with theirs.
Thank Your Donors
Make sure you reach out with a personal "thank you" message to each person who donates to your cause. Word that you do this may spread to the friends and family members of people who have donated, inspiring them to donate, too. Your donors may also decide to come back and donate more once they realize how thankful you are for their help.
Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for a business venture as long as you're able to attract an audience of willing donors. The tips above should help you do just that.
For more information on best practices for crowdfunding, contact a crowdfunding platform.