HAVING helped start and fund 100s of campaigns on PledgeSports, founder and CEO Richard Pearson knows what it takes to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Now he’s letting the cat out of the bag by giving you his 10 tips for successful crowdfunding in this handy Q&A.
10 Tips For Successful Crowdfunding
What’s the first of your tips for successful crowdfunding?
Good content is the foundations for every successful crowdfunding campaign. Make sure you have good quality pictures and videos, along with a clear, concise story that shows off your passion for what you do.
And get clued up Social Media marketing as you will need to maximise the exposure you can get through all your Social Media channels. This is key.
Do you need to use social media to create a successful campaign?
Absolutely! Campaigns work on momentum; The more people that see your campaign, the more successful it will be. Social Media is king in this area.
When your campaign is really well-publicised on Social Media it can even attract mainstream media attention and commercial sponsors. It allows scale that word of mouth cannot. It can spread to all corners of the world so utilise every platform you use, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Always ensure you include a link to your campaign with every social media post, tagging PledgeSports to get the message out to our followers too.
How many people need to be involved in a campaign?
To create a great crowdfunding campaign, you need the help of all your supporters, friends, and family. The more links to your campaign that you can share, the more coverage you will get. Ask your friends and family to share your campaign on social media as often as possible, while tagging you and PledgeSports.
What factors help me choose the right target?
Choosing the right target is one of the most important aspects in making a crowdfunding campaign successful. Most people choose a target that is too high and this can work heavily against them.
With crowdfunding – people like to back successes. If you choose a target that is way too big and you are a long way below that target, it makes your campaign less appealing to potential supporters.
Should my target be the full amount I am looking to obtain?
It’s always better to choose a smaller target and hit 100%. If it looks like your campaign is really popular, further support will come – campaigns very rarely stop at 100%. Take British hurdler Lucy Hatton’s campaign from last year for example, she hit 364% of her target! That was nearly £4,000 towards her career.
Should I let potential supporters know how I will use my target?
Definitely. If people are donating they want to know how the money will be used. Your funding goal should be clear and it should explain why you need the money. You don’t need to outline the exact details – like the brand of the new equipment you want to buy for example – but you do need to be more specific than simply ‘I need this money to train’.
What’s the best way to attract potential supporters?
One of the best tips for successful crowdfunding is to personalise your online messages to potential supporters. This can be time-consuming, but it is worth making it a priority as receivers will appreciate the effort. Access as many groups of people as possible, using social media to your advantage and making the most of tagging and hash-tagging.
How can rewards help to gain supporters?
Rewards add value and incentive to your campaign. Keep them simple and as unique as possible – like money-can’t-buy experiences. Why not hold an open day where people can meet you and try your sport? Personal training sessions, merchandise, pictures from events, and personal thank you notes are also popular to use.
What successful campaigns on PledgeSports should I take inspiration from?
There have been so many successes on PledgeSports, it’s difficult to pick one. Boxer Christina McMahon’s campaign raised €11,600 in one week because she was able to not only reach her fanbase at home in Ireland, but also in America.
Scottish tennis player Nicola Slater was another that used her network incredibly effectively. Her mantra appeared to be ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’. She built a really good support network and reached 106.86% of her PledgeSports target, raising well over $5,000.
Tennis players James Cluskey and Amy Bowtell cleaned up, raising over €13,000 and €15,000 towards their careers, while skeleton racer Kim Murray, British hurdler Lucy Hatton and para-equestrian Emma Cahill ran great 100%+ campaigns with outstanding content and a clever use of social media.
The best use of rewards we’ve seen was the Scottish Women’s Touch Rugby Team. They put together a sensational raffle with loads of different levels for supporters to get involved it. It meant they landed 128% of their target, gaining more than £5,000 towards their Touch Rugby World Cup costs.
Since then we’ve seen lots of sports team and club successes for campaigns from Hockey, Water Polo, Curling, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Dragon Boat Racing, and Swimming. It’s clear that when the combined forces of a team or club get involved, crowdfunding can be a really successful fundraising tool, and this has been a massive growth area for us over the past year
Finally, what is your number one tip for successful crowdfunding?
The best advice I can give is to use your assets to reach the most amount of people. This can be done by using all the content you have including images and videos.
Videos of yourself thanking supporters can prove to be a great driver for support – in fact video works really well at all times and people who make good video content will have the greatest reach on social media. So dust off your phone’s record button and get videoing!