5 things you need to know before crowdfunding

Top tips from the Crowdfunder team

If you want to make an incredible impact in your community, sometimes you don’t just need a great idea – you need the backing to make it happen. For a lot of projects, the answer is crowdfunding – a tried and tested way to get the funding your community deserves.

It’s an excellent way of raising the funds you need to bring your idea to life, that’s accessible to everyone. And beyond the money, it delivers many other benefits such as raising awareness of your organisation or group and building a crowd of supporters around your idea.

We spoke to funding website Crowdfunder on what it takes to get the support you need. :

The most common question that Crowdfunder gets asked is "Will my project successfully crowdfund?"

While anyone can get funded, success requires planning and preparation upfront. The team think the keys to success come down to these 5 things:

1) Can you reach enough people?

It’s really important to have your own crowd to get the ball rolling. What we mean by this is an engaged audience – which you can get in a variety of ways:

  • Social media:
    Having a thriving Facebook page or group is a big step in the right direction for anyone looking to crowdfund. If you’re looking to raise over £2,000, we would really expect to see a Facebook page with a following of 500+ who are really engaging with your posts.
  •  Email:
    Having a group of people that you regularly email is a fantastic way to reach lots of people and spread the word. To raise over £2,000, 500 people is a good starting point.
  • Word-of-mouth:
    Although crowdfunding is managed online, one of the best ways to ask someone to pledge is off the internet. Holding events, like a launch party for example, will get people engaged and excited about your project, as well as being an opportunity to answer any questions.

2) Is your idea good enough?

Ideas have the unique potential to change the world, but it’s a good idea to test it out first and find out if they would support your project. If so, how much would they be willing to pledge?

The answers that you get back from people can really help you to sculpt your project description and video, as well as give you an idea about whether your target is realistic.

3) Do you need to add rewards?

There are lots of types of crowdfunding, but Crowdfunder is a rewards and donations based platform. Rewards add value for your supporters, generate excitement around your project, and are a great way to increase the amount of money a supporter will pledge. 

More often than not, a potential supporter will have an amount they want to give in their head before they even land on your page. Good rewards (exclusive and good value for money) can convince them to pledge a bit more.

When planning your rewards, make sure that you cover all types of budget by starting from as little as £5 – so that everyone has the chance to get involved.

4) How much can you raise?

There’s no limit to the amount you can raise, but it’s important that you set a realistic target. The amount that you can raise will come down to the size of your crowd and how your idea resonates with new supporters.

The average pledge made on a crowdfunder project is £50 (on all-or-nothing). Therefore, a project looking to raise £2,000 will need around 40 people to make a pledge. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who sees your project will make a pledge (on average 1 in 20 people make a pledge), so in this case you should be looking to get over 800 page visitors to reach your target.

5) Will you get off to a good start?

No-one wants to be the first to a party, and crowdfunding’s no different – early pledgers are hard to get! Make sure that you line up the first 10 supporters (friends and family) to pledge as soon as you go live.

It’s a good idea to hold back on promoting your project until you have 10% already pledged on your project page. This makes your project much more appealing for potential supporters if they can already see others getting behind your great idea.

Meet the winners

Check out the previous Aviva Community Fund winners to see if a local project close to your heart received funding.

Promoting your project

Find hints, tips and advice on how to make your community cause stand out all year round