By: 
Robert Jones
Published: 29 Nov 2015

Crowdfunding for charities - 10 essential points to consider BEFORE you launch your campaign

Crowdfunding for charities can be a fast and productive way to turn your projects into reality. Here is our short guide to making the most out of crowdfunding for a documentary or your charity project. Don’t forget it doesn’t have to be a documentary, the same principles apply to any project.

1. Prime your main funders in advance and start the tease process by talking about “projects coming soon” or be straight up and let your audience know that you are going to be getting in touch with them regarding your project. Explain to them about what crowd funding is if you have never used the method before as you should recognise that not everyone knows what crowd funding is and it may well need explaining before you launch.

"If you have a strong reward offering for supporters you can let them know what these will be in advance and create desire and demand ahead of the big launch day."

2. Prepare your offering carefully. There is often a tendency to rush into crowdfunding and launch your campaign before the foundations are all in place. If you do this you are likely to end up with egg on your face. It is essential to have every element of the campaign ready. Most crowdfunding missions last around 30 days. This does not allow time for many changes of direction so understand at the beginning you will need contingencies and you may need to react fast.

3. Make a stella campaign video.

"Without a brilliant campaign video you may as well pack up and go home now. This should be a 3 to 4 minute piece of dynamite."

If you are seeking funding for a documentary this could be a trailer made from initial filming. It should explain your project and give people a reason to back you but importantly it can provide trust that you will manage their donation well and that they will see the project come to fruition. The video will be shared and so you will need it to be housed on youtube or vimeo to make this easy and reduce pressure on the page if you are hosting on your own website.

4. Have a plan. Make sure you have a plan for at least the first few days of your launch. Stick to your plan and trust it. This will keep your message coherent and prevent you frustrating people with emails when or if get desperate or frustrated with initial indifference.

5. Don’t annoy people. It is sometimes hard to accept but if you have shown your whole audience your offering and you have failed miserably in reaching your target then it might be time to accept that others don’t believe so strongly in your project.

"You may have just got it wrong but don’t blow your relationships just back off and look again at what you are trying to do."

6. Be 100% accurate and realistic with your target. If you over exaggerate you are likely to get found out and you will look advantageous and if you set yourself under budget just to get the project accepted you will end up short of funds to actually complete it.

7. Get everybody involved. In a large charity every member of staff has something to offer.They know people, they have personal Twitter and Facebook feeds.

"If you can get all staff to buy into your project you will find you can reach places and people you didn’t event know existed."

8. Rewards are part and parcel of crowdfunding these days. Choose your rewards very carefully so they don’t cost too much but remain a valuable enticement for a donor. I have seen many people get very creative offering Skype calls with celebrity patrons through to being listed as the executive producer or being a VIP guest at a launch night. Get your thinking cap on and you may make the difference between success and failure.

9. Choose your crowd funding platform to suit your project and charity. Some are more likely to do well for films, some for technology etc. There are many sites out there at the moment, some aimed specifically at charities some open to all. Choose the site that appears to relate best to your project or avoid the fees and build your own.

10. Succession planning. What if you have a run away success on your hands and you beat your target by several hundred pounds? If you are seeking £10,000 and raise £30,000 what will you do with all the money. You need to have a plan before you start and tell people so they know in advance. This saves any potential difficulty afterwards.

Get in Touch

If you would like further information or have any questions about producing a crowd funding video then please get in touch today. Either call 01641 913525 or email crowd@noovo-creative.co.uk