Launching a crowdfunding campaign is an exciting time for your project to fundraise for targeted areas of your work for a specified period of time with one goal amount. Crowdfunding campaigns can boost your project’s momentum and be a fun way to incentivize new and current donors. It’s important to understand that crowdfunding campaigns are special, mainly because their purpose is different from your regular General Support donation page. Once you have narrowed down your needs or have a specific event you’re fundraising for, launching a campaign can be an awesome tool to receive those much needed funds! Here are some tips to consider before you click “Begin New Campaign”.
What’s the immediate need?
Since our crowdfunding campaign’s can only run up to 90 days max, it’s important to consider when the best time to launch would actually be. If you’re just fundraising in general or don’t have an upcoming project, this may not be the best way to use this platform. For example, a theatre company may launch a Summer campaign to fundraise for the Fall Season. Or, a musician may need to launch a quick 30 day campaign to raise funds that will cover their travel expenses for a festival they’ve just been invited to. These are specific and timely needs that warrant a more urgent call for support to your donors.
Additionally, we generally recommend that campaigns launch on Monday or Tuesday in order to gain momentum through the week. On average, campaigns launched on a Monday or Tuesday raise 14% more in the first week than campaigns launched on all other days of the week. Finally, if possible, we recommend avoiding launching a campaign in August or January.
Know your immediate expenses
If time is the first factor of a crowdfunding campaign, setting your goal amount is its partner! But, in order or to set your goal amount, you must first know your expenses in and out. Having a clear idea of what immediate expenses you need covered and how much you already have covered is paramount. A crowdfunding campaign should not generally be used to cover 100% of your budget. For example, if you’re a filmmaker with a $80,000 budget, you may want to fundraise for a portion of this for the campaign. Perhaps this could be the post-production costs or promotion of the film. Successful projects with large budgets have benefitted from carving out their most desperate needs and setting those totals as the goal amount. This practice still ignited their base, incentivized donors of all scales, and they were able to get the main areas of their work done.
Yes, you may very well raise more than your goal amount! But, you want to make sure that your goal amount does not intimidate your supporters or appear unrealistic. Every project’s donor base is different and some may have a strong group of high-level donors that make a large goal amount an easy one to accomplish. If this is your case, GO FOR IT!
You can learn more about how to set an achievable goal here.
Do you have a strategy to promote the campaign?
After you have figured out the timing of the campaign and set a reasonable goal amount, you should look into all of the ways that you plan on driving people to your campaign page! Just like your General Support page, no one will visit unless you promote it. Launching a campaign without a thought out strategy is a waste of this time sensitive platform. You will want to plan out your social media posts, e-blasts to your different donor bases, or generate promo videos PRIOR to your campaign launch.
Create the build-up before the launch and continuously stay engaged with all of the buzz, so new supporters can spread the word about your campaign throughout its run. Depending on how long you plan on running your campaign, keeping the momentum can be a challenge. You and your team will want to make sure that your project has thought of several fun ways to solicit your audience before and during its run so you won’t lose steam mid-way through!
When was your last campaign?
This may sound like an irrelevant question, but it's a crucial factor to consider when starting a new campaign. If you have just ended a campaign on fundraising.fracturedatlas.org or any other crowdfunding platform, then launching another one may not be the next best step. The unique element of a crowdfunding campaign is urgency. If you just rallied your supporters for a campaign less than 3-4 months ago, you’re more likely to be less successful this time around. This does not mean that your friends, family, and patrons don’t want to support you! It’s just knowing when to tap your base without draining them. Launching back to back crowdfunding campaigns takes away its fundraising power and should be used when absolutely needed. However, instead of using this tool right away, we strongly encourage you to continue sharing your General Support page link and exploring other fundraising options.