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6 Tips Gleaned from Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

by Stacey Williams

Crowdfunding may seem like an easy way to raise money but successful crowdfunding takes time and work. Even before you start, there are things to consider, such as who's in your network and how much money you need to raise.

common traits of successful projects are a great network and consistent promotion. However, most projects also share additional commonalities. For example, storytelling is very important. You need to be able to tell your story in a way that resonates with potential donors. Every detail counts. The more information you share, the better. In other words, don't just ask for donations for your pet's surgery. Instead, share information about his life, personality and why he needs surgery. This helps people get a better insight into your situation. 

Below are six tips gleaned from successful campaigns.  

Create a great video 

Video is the most popular form of communication today. Data shows that crowdfunding projects using videos are more likely to be funded than those without the component Create a video (and content) that tells your story and connects with potential donors. It should be approximately 60 seconds but no more than 70 for greatest impact. We provide tools to help you do that.

Update your supporters
No one likes to be kept in the dark. Communicate with your donors throughout the project. If you are raising funds for someone who has been in an auto accident, keep your donors informed of the person's progress. Regular updates give your supporters new info to share, which can lead to more donations. The updates also help keep momentum going throughout the campaign. 

Explain exactly what the money will be used for 
Medical fundraisers and filmmaking projects are very popular. The most successful projects include a description of what will be purchased with the funds. For instance, a medical fundraiser might list the surgery fees and costs to cover her bills while she recovers. A filmmaker may list talent, PR, legal advice, advertising and film gear as things he'll buy. Sharing these details makes a good campaign pitch better.
Take a look at this filmmaker's campaign for an example.   

Set a deadline
How long does it take to raise funds? It depends. Some projects are 100% funded within a few hours. Others take several months. However, most campaigns are funded within 30 days so unless it's an emergency, it's ideal to set your deadline for 30 to 45 days. 
You can always extend the deadline but setting one tells your potential donors that it's important to donate now. 

Use your network
Without a network it will be difficult to reach your funding goals. In crowdfunding, your family and friends should be your initial network. Everything starts with them. Ask them to donate and share info about your campaign to their networks. 
Successful projects harness the crowd so if you don't have an initial network, use social media to tell your followers about your project.

Promote your project 
This advice is constantly shared because it works. Use a launch party, social media and crowdfunding forums to spread the word about your campaign. If you have a news angle, contact your local media. Other ways to promote your project include hosting events and email outreach to your network.
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When Erica and Andrew's neighbor verbally threatened them and then vandalized their home, they realized they needed to take steps to secure their home. Their friend Kelly Alice Robinson set up a FreeFunder campaign with a goal of $2,000 to cover the costs of the security system.

This was the fastest fundraiser to reach its goal so far on FreeFunder - in less than 15 hours they reached the $2,000 goal. Within 2 days they had more than doubled it, and ended the campaign after only 2 days because they did not need more money! In those 2 days they raised $4,090.

"It is hard to find the right words to express the gratitude we're feeling right now. As much hatred as we felt coming from our neighbor, the love we've gotten back in return, from other neighbors, friends, family, and even complete strangers is a zillion times that. We don't even know how to let it all in. We are completely stunned." - Erica and Andrew

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