For the very first time, I allowed myself to be vulnerable and shared my personal story, why I believed in the cause, and why others should believe in it too.
Last year, I crowdfunded more than $10,000 to help establish Amazing Grace, a social enterprise based in the Philippines. It was founded to help local farmers and micro-entrepreneurs in the town of Balangiga, Samar start again after super-typhoon Haiyan destroyed their town as well as their livelihood.
The crowdfunding campaign ran for 54 days with 75 contributors averaging a contribution of $133. In comparison, the overall average contribution is around $75 worldwide, which means my campaign smashed the average.
This is what I learned.
The platform you choose will depend on the kind of campaign you run and what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re crowdfunding to pre-sell a product, launch a book or test a business idea, you should consider platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or Pozible.
StartSomeGood is a great platform for causes, social enterprises and change-makers, and have a community that is passionate about social change.
If you want to crowdfund a European holiday or university tuition fees, GoFundMe is a great starting point.
I chose Indiegogo for its flexible funding option which allows campaign owners to keep whatever money raised, even if he or she do not hit their funding goal. The fees are higher, but reverts to the standard rate if the campaign succeeds. Indiegogo’s open platform means that users can run any project including donations for charities or awareness campaigns making Indiegogo the perfect platform for my project.
Crowdfunding is all about engaging with a community who connect with you and your message.
Simon Sinek offers an insightful perspective on this:
The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
Find your tribe and focus on them because they are the people with whom you share the same values, and that is where you will get traction. Community takes time to build which means this is the kind of work you should already be developing as part of your business venture or project.
I was fortunate to have already built a community at woman.com.au prior to the launch of my crowdfunding project. Though the project was separate to my business, I reached out to my readers and leveraged existing relationships.
Nothing beats one-on-one communication. I met with people over coffee, formed alliances with organisations that believed in what I believed and made sure I followed up. Support came from incredible people and organisations like CBA’s Women in Focus, She Will Shine, and Jane McKay Communications who helped spread the word within their networks.
If I were to run another campaign, I would create a team purely focused on community outreach and engagement. It’s one thing to have a community, it’s another to do all the outreach work.
I would also start lining up strategic partnerships much sooner, at least three months into the campaign planning.