For those in the UK, Crowdfunder.co.uk is a fantastic alternative to more popular platforms like Kickstarter. It offers more flexible funding options, and can be used to raise money for a wider range of projects. Plus, they’re unique in that they offer extra funding in the form of grants from local authorities and brands. This means you could boost the money raised by up to £10,000!
Sound good? Then read this step by step guide on setting up a campaign on Crowdfunder.
What is Crowdfunder?
Crowdfunder is a UK based crowdfunding platform that can be used to raise funds for a variety of different causes. Their main focus is projects that benefit the community, with a clear end goal:
You could be a community group, a start-up, a great cause, a charity or an organisation in need of some funding.
Like Kickstarter, Crowdfunder is rewards-based, meaning backers receive a product, benefit or service in exchange for their pledges. Normal backers are called ‘The Crowd‘.
As well as offering this standard crowdfunding system, they offer additional funding from outside sources like local authorities, grant-makers and brands. This is called extra funding and these bodies are called Funders. Eligibility depends on what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. These extra pledges can be as high as £10,000.
Crowdfunder Campaign Preparation
There’s a lot to think about when running a Crowdfunder campaign. This simple checklist will help you get everything sorted:
Set your target
Crowdfunder offers two different options in terms of setting a financial target. The first is all or nothing funding, where you only get the funds if you get 100% of your goal. This can make backers feel more secure, as there’s no chance you won’t raise enough and be unable to keep your promises to the Crowd.
The second is keep what you raise. This means you get to keep all the money, even if you don’t hit your target. On the whole, we wouldn’t recommend this for startups as you probably have set costs that you need to cover. Not raising enough money could put you in dire straits. This option is better suited to charitable causes, where any amount of money will make a difference.
As for setting your goal, don’t just pluck a figure out of the air. Don’t ask for more money than you need, but equally don’t undershoot. Plan your budget. Research things like manufacturing, labour and shipping costs before you select an amount. And remember to take into account the 5% the platform fee. You need to be certain you can deliver your project and its rewards.
If you hit 100% of your campaign goal before the deadline, you can set a stretch target to raise more funds. If you’ve gone for all or nothing funding, don’t fear – if you don’t hit this new stretch amount, you’ll still receive all the money you’ve raised before. It’s just a bonus for projects that do really well.
Decide how long your campaign will last
Crowdfunder let you run campaigns between 1-8 weeks in length, but say that four or five weeks is the sweet spot. Longer campaigns can lose momentum, because as a rule campaigns generate the most buzz at the start and at the end. Plus, it’s a long time to be running a crowdfunding campaign – it’s a lot of work!
Set campaign rewards
Rewards are offered to the Crowd in exchange for their pledges. Crowdfunder recommends you offer products and services, experiences and events, sponsorship or even a simple thank you as a reward. They say rewards should also be good value for money and exclusive in some way – for example, a behind the scenes experience. Limited rewards can also help you raise money fast, as people will be keen to get their hands on the rewards before they’re all gone.
In terms of pledge amount, Crowdfunder projects get a lot of pledges around the £20 mark. Try to have plenty of rewards around this price point. Beyond this, you should spread rewards evenly across different price points from £10 – £100. Crowdfunder recommend you have some sponsorship packages at the top end of your rewards to attract support from businesses and large organisations.
Write your campaign copy
You’ve got to get your story across well. This means your project description has to be compelling and well-written. It should also tell a story – where did your idea come from? Why are you the person who can make it happen?
Most importantly, be transparent. Explain the project scope, how you’ll achieve your goal and what exactly you plan to do with their money.
Crowdfunder recommend following this template:
Create campaign graphics
You should also get some professional graphics to include in the body of the text and catch a potential backer’s eye. These will help to bring your story to life way more than just massive blocks of text, and keep your audience interested. Here are some ideas for graphics you might want to have made:
- Infographics about your project’s impact.
- Logo and branding materials
- Product photography
- Graphical headers
- GIFs or short video clips
- Data visualisations – graphs, pie charts etc
- Call-to-action buttons encouraging donations
- Photos of your team
- Custom illustrations of your product and rewards
Make your Crowdfunder video
A polished campaign video will massively increase your chances of success. Crowdfunder recommend you keep it short, sticking to around the 2 minute mark. And if you’re the founder? Well, don’t get camera-shy – Crowdfunder think you need to take the starring role to give your video a personalised touch and build rapport.
Remember that creating an awesome video takes time. Stay on top of things, and get yours ready with plenty of time to spare.
Set payment options
Crowdfunder offers both Stripe and Paypal as payment options. You can choose to offer just one of these, but it’s recommended to offer both so that backers have a choice in the matter. Here are the main differences between the two:
- Paypal: Paypal provides a safe and secure way to pay online, and is widely available in over 200 countries. If you choose to use Paypal, Crowdfunder recommend that you upgrade your account to a Business or Premier account, as individual accounts have limitations on them. The last thing you want is for your hard-earned funds to be frozen!
- Stripe: Stripe lets you accept debit and credit card payments on your project. However, it’s currently only available in 20 countries so more limited than Paypal in this sense. Stripe charges 1.4% + 20p per pledge for any European cards and 2.9% + 20p per pledge for any non-European cards.
After you’ve done all this, you’ll be ready to launch your campaign on Crowdfunder. But don’t hit that button just yet. Before you do, make sure your marketing is all planned out by reading our guides on email outreach and social media for crowdfunding campaigns.
Want to learn more about crowdfunding? Read our guide which contains all the resources you need to run a successful campaign.
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