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4 Common Misconceptions About Crowdfunding

by Stacey Williams

Crowdfunding is a very popular and powerful way to raise funds. It is a $34.4 billion dollar industry that launches products, makes dreams come true and provides funding for people with life and medical emergencies.

With the holiday season rapidly approaching and people fundraising for different causes, it's a good time to dispel four common fundraising misconceptions.

1. It's Free

If you're using a fee-based platform such as GoFundMe, there are fundraising fees that range from 5% to 10% of funds raised plus processing fees per transaction. On free, donation-based platforms such as FreeFunder, you can give your backers a big “thank you” by avoiding platform fees. The payment processor still charges a small fee regardless of platform fees.

Promotional and video costs should also be factored in, if you plan to use external resources.

It is important to remember these fees and potential expenses when you set your funding goals. 

2. It's Easy

Crowdfunding is equal parts science and art. Sometimes you can follow best-practice tips and have success. But everything doesn't work for everybody. Success will likely require some effort.

To differentiate your campaign, you should have a plan. From social media promotion to getting press, know where to go and who to tell before, during and after you launch. A solid plan helps you keep the momentum going.

Work the plan. The extra effort can make a big difference.

3. The Crowd Is Waiting (Or Coming)

Crowdfunding usually starts with family and friends but rarely ends with them. Most people hear about campaigns via the press, social media or word of mouth. So unless you've had a highly-publicized event or emergency, or the platform features your campaign, you'll have to bring the crowd (aka your family and friends).

4. It's Quick

This one is tricky. Successful fundraising may take a day, month or longer. Some fundraisers actually reach their goals within hours. No two campaigns are the same. It is about reaching the funding goal, not how fast you get there. Set a goal. Make a plan and be patient. It is the quickest way to success.

Overall, crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds. To be successful make sure you don't get caught up in any of these myths.


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Matt and Heather Sweetman needed help getting a part-time caregiver for their daughter, Finley, who has Quadriplegia Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Their friend Abby Peachey created a FreeFunder fundraiser to help raise enough money to cover a full year, estimated at $15,600.

With the help of friends, family, and the community, the fundraiser has raised more than $28,000 so far.

"We want to express our deepest gratitude. We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have received and the encouragements and kind words from so many. Thank you for bearing our burden with us. You have strengthened our faith and given us hope. Many, many blessings to you." - Matt and Heather Sweetman

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