All The Business Bits podcast

Huge thanks to Ingrid Fernandez at All The Business Bits podcast, with whom I chatted about all things crowdfunding – why your audiences are so crucial, what creators get out of running a crowdfunding campaign (other than money!), and why it’s really about community and connection.

Listen/download All The Business Bits at the podcast page – plus it’s also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Monthly incomes on Patreon

young diverse positive students surfing internet on laptop

I’ve had a couple of conversations recently about what counts as ‘success’ on Patreon, and something that’s maybe not obvious from the outside is that creators who earn over $1k a month there are pretty rare.

From February 2020, a paper from Tobias Regner in the Journal of Cultural Economics says:

Our data show that the income distribution at Patreon is very skewed. Hundreds of creators crowdfund a sizable income via Patreon—the top 1% of campaigns make at least $2500 monthly—while the majority of all campaigns attract only negligible amounts. […] Only 25% of the active campaigns get more than $120, 5% make more than $750 monthly and 1% more than $2500.

Regner, T. Crowdfunding a monthly income: an analysis of the membership platform Patreon.

Similarly, as of February 2019:

By the estimates of Graphtreon creator Tom Boruta, there are currently more than 4,300 creators making at least $1,000 per month (and more than 9,200 creators making $500+ per month). That small subset — 4,300 out of 132,500 active creators or about 3.2 percent of its customers — is Patreon’s core focus nowadays.

TechCrunch

If you want to see more up to date data, Graphtreon maintains a Patreon dashboard, which at the time of writing shows that active creators (those with at least one patron) have gone up from 132,500 in Feb 2019 to just under 196,000 in June 2021.

The mean average monthly payout, according to Graphtreon’s data today, is about $126 – but as we know that there will be plenty of creators earning one or two dollars, and a fair few earning significantly upwards of $50k per month, gives a bit more context to that figure. Even those headline high-earning creators aren’t enough to drag the average monthly payout any higher – so, Patreon is not necessarily going to replace your day job any time soon.

What’s the difference between creators with one or two backers, and creators earning 5- or 6-figure monthly Patreon incomes?

Creator churn tightly correlates to creator income on the platform. People don’t walk away from a meaningful source of income, but they will walk away if they have been trying to gain patrons for weeks and only have $10 to show for it. A large number of creators join Patreon before they have a fan base — they see successful creators on Patreon and mistakenly attribute that success to joining Patreon rather than bringing a pre-existing fan base to it. They churn after a few months of gaining little to no financial backing.

TechCrunch

In other words: Patreon works brilliantly for established creators who already have an existing fan base. You bring your fans to Patreon, you don’t find them there.

And, as with all crowdfunding, the effort you put in to make a connection with your supporters makes a huge difference.

Indicators of communication quality, like an image upload, the length of texts that describe the campaign, its creator or their goals, or a thank you video, are correlated with funding success.

Regner, T. Crowdfunding a monthly income: an analysis of the membership platform Patreon.

Another note: just as Patreon’s own business model, like many subscription models, pays close attention to churn rate (the rate at which customers stop using it), you should be paying close attention to yours.

It takes you a certain amount of effort, energy, work, and perhaps even money to attract each supporter to your Patreon. When they decide to join in, do you want them to pick the $50 tier, or the $2 tier? Surprisingly, you might realise you want them to pick the $2 tier. Backers at those smaller levels tend to churn (cancel their support) at much lower rates, so might remain part of your Patreon for a long time – but the initially-exciting $50 backers may cancel after only a month or two.

Knowing more about your backers, how they find you, why they join your Patreon, and why they leave; this is all information you can use to make sure you’re helping your fans help you as effectively as possible.

Want to make sure you’re keeping your Patreon in good order? Let’s talk about how I can help.

Whose needs will your campaign fulfil?

group of people standing inside room

Most crowdfunding campaigns start with a person or team who’ve got three things: 1) a brilliant idea, 2) no money to make it happen, and 3) willingness to put in the time and hard work. Sounds great – what else do you need?

For crowdfunding, you need a crowd – you need backers. You can’t just put your great crowdfunding campaign online and hope the money will roll in. You can’t even do it by throwing the link at Facebook a few times a week and hoping that’ll catch someone’s attention.

The ideal scenario is to be running a crowdfunding campaign in direct response to a community’s stated needs – a group of local residents fundraising to create a community garden, a cafe responding to its customers’ requests for extra facilities, a dance school raising funds to set up its own premises. This means you have a clearly-defined audience straight away, but it also means you already know that audience want to see this happen, and why. With this kind of campaign, you probably know ahead of time almost all the people who’ll back it – anyone else is just a bonus.

The next best thing is running a campaign that meets the needs of your existing audiences or customers, even if they haven’t directly said they want it (yet!). That might be as practical as improving signage at a venue, or it might be pivoting a business to offer a much-loved service by post as well as in person. As a creator, you already have ways to contact these people (because they’ve signed up for your mailing list or connected on social media), they already know who you are, and they already trust you (because they like your work).

Don’t have many existing contacts – or not many specific to this business/project type? You can still make things a little easier for yourself if you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign for a project that really meets the needs of a clearly-defined community, big or small – whether that’s an RPG with truly diverse character choices and designed by a team of BIPOC creators, a new theatre piece devised and performed by D/deaf practitioners aimed at young D/deaf audiences, or a short film sharing the voices of a community who never get to speak for themselves on screen.

If you’ve got to this point and you’re still shaking your head, it sounds like you’re planning a campaign when 1) you don’t have m/any of your own audiences or customers, and 2) your project may meet your own needs (a play you’ve always wanted to write/an app you’ve sketched out/an idea for a local business) but it isn’t meeting the needs of a community that’s already out there. Perhaps it’s a brilliant idea, but you haven’t quite dug down into who would benefit from it or who would get excited about it. But when it comes to running a crowdfunding campaign, you need to know ahead of time who’s going to back it, why they’re going to back it, and how you’re going to tell them about it. Without that clarity, you’re going to struggle to get people excited enough to trust you and to back it. If you’re new to the idea of target audiences, Hootsuite have a great overview on how to find and target your social media audience – and, clue, “your target audience is not ‘everyone’ (unless you’re Google)”.

If you’re still struggling to think of who your audiences are, I’d be happy to talk you through it – book a free 30-minute discovery call with me and we can talk through what your project is, who your audiences might be, and how feasible it is (now and in future!).

Product vs project crowdfunding

person in white long sleeve shirt using macbook pro

What’s the difference between product and project crowdfunding – and which type is your campaign? It’s worth thinking about ahead of time, as it can really help you pin down who you’re talking to and why they’ll care about your work.

When you’re running a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign, both product and project campaigns share a few characteristics:

  • Backers usually get something – whether a physical or digitally-delivered item – in return for supporting.
  • Your campaign could either be all-or-nothing or flexible funding.
  • You’ll need to tell the story about what you’re doing and why – using words, pictures, and video.
  • You’ll need to get the word out about what you’re doing!

But what distinguishes them?

Project crowdfunding

  • Rewards are secondary to the main aim of the campaign (‘back our campaign to build a community centre and we’ll send you a postcard to say thanks’).
  • Backers get involved because they want to see your project happen – whether or not they personally benefit (backers for ‘create a teaching kit to support LGBTQ youth’ may not be parents or teachers themselves).
  • Most backers already know and trust your work/your track record (paid advertising to new audiences, for example, may not gather much interest).
  • Fundamentally, you want to walk away with a lump sum that’s enough to make your project happen.

Product crowdfunding

  • Rewards are the central aim of the campaign (‘back our campaign and get your very own custom-built junk-bot’).
  • Backers get involved because they love and want the product you’re producing (and may want to buy more than one).
  • With good marketing and advertising, you may reach a lot of new audiences (but you’ll still need to have a core base of your own fans to get the ball rolling!).
  • Fundamentally, you want to (pre)sell enough units to cover the costs of the campaign, or reach enough new audiences, or fund the initial production run (product campaigns may not necessarily have much money left over after fulfilling rewards, and that’s okay).

The way you approach a product vs a project crowdfunding campaign could be really different – but no matter what you’re doing, you’ll need to tell a compelling story, and show backers how they can be part of your journey.

Deciding not to run a crowdfunding campaign

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

There are plenty of good reasons to decide against running a crowdfunding campaign – but a few that might not be so great. If you’re having second thoughts about your campaign, and you’ve done your research, it might be a great business decision to delay it.

But how do you know if you’re being realistic, optimistic, or pessimistic? The quick answer is: planning. A successful crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of planning, and the side benefit of doing all that work is that you’ll find out long before launch if your plans are realistic – and if they’re not.

“Maybe I could run a… oh no wait”

The first stage of running a crowdfunding campaign is quietly and privately thinking ‘hey, maybe I could run a crowdfunding campaign’. We’ll never know how many of those ideas get squashed when the next thought is ‘no, that would never work.’. Sometimes people have good reason to write the idea off straight away – but if your wobbles are due to a lack of confidence, it could be worth looking into crowdfunding a bit further. I’ve worked with people worried about putting themselves in the spotlight, but when done right, crowdfunding is about collaboration and community.

“I didn’t expect there to be fees!”

Yes, most crowdfunding platforms charge a percentage fee on the money you raise. There are a handful of no-fee crowdfunding options, but most of them are aimed at fairly specific circumstances. This can be off-putting if you’d expected to be able to keep every penny you raise, but remember, if you thought you could raise the same amount of money by simply asking for bank transfers, you’d already be doing that. Crowdfunding platforms offer you levels of reach, visibility, excitement, and urgency that are otherwise difficult if not impossible to achieve. They’re providing you with a real service, and it’s one of the costs of running your campaign.

And don’t forget, you can be completely transparent about how you’ll pay for the fees. If you look at other crowdfunding campaigns, you’ll see that most include the platform fees in their budget breakdown, and aim to raise (say) 10% more than they need in order to cover those costs.

“What do you mean, it’s hard work?”

The next hurdle is realising that a crowdfunding campaign doesn’t just magically happen around you. No matter how brilliant your idea, the vast majority of people who see – and back – your crowdfunding project will hear about it directly from you. That means you’ve got to plan it like a marketing campaign: work out who you’re telling about it, how you’re going to reach them, and what you’re going to say that will grab their attention. If you’re trying to raise £500 that may not seem too daunting – but if you’re aiming at £50,000, think hard about whether you can reach enough interested and engaged people.

There are no crowdfunding police who’ll come round and tell you you’re not allowed to run a crowdfunding campaign – but if you’re hoping to raise tens of thousands of pounds for a project with no social media presence, no mailing lists, no press cuttings, and no track record, this might not be the right time. What happens if you spend six months building your presence, building your brand, building your audiences, and then see if they’d be interested in helping you to get your idea off the ground?

“I’m panicking – but it’s too late to cancel it now”

If you’ve already started telling people about your crowdfunding campaign, but something has come to light that’s meant you want to pull the whole thing, it can feel terrifying. Walking back on something you’ve announced – in public, semi-public, or even just to a few trusted friends and colleagues – never feels great. But even so, it’s better to cancel your campaign before launch than go through with it knowing it’ll flop.

If you look at the time commitment or the amount of work involved and your heart sinks, you’re allowed to put it off! Crowdfunding campaigns can be hard work, yes, but they can also be a hell of a lot of fun. If you’re stressed and worried and stretched too thin, you won’t see any of the fun side – and if you’re not having fun with it, your audiences will pick up on that. To bring people on the journey with you, you need to be enthusiastic about your own journey.

I would far rather see creators delay a crowdfunding campaign until the right time – when they’ve got the headspace, the time, and the enthusiasm to get it right – than run one too soon. Not sure which way to go? Get in touch; I’ve talked people out of running crowdfunding campaigns when it wasn’t the right business choice for them, so I’d be happy to help you decide one way or the other.

Crowdfund London: the impact of community crowdfunding

Over the last five years, 130 community-led crowdfunding projects in London have received crucial support from the Mayor of London, raising in total £4.85 million – and now Nesta have released a report looking at the impact this has had.

Crowdfund London has offered local groups the opportunity to receive up to £50,000 from the Mayor to improve their neighbourhood. Alongside help in gaining visibility for their campaign, the programme offers guidance on how to design, develop and deliver projects and gives introductions to other important stakeholders.

Five years of empowering communities through civic crowdfunding

Some of the headline results are:

  • 77% of those involved feel more empowered as a result of crowdfunding for their project
  • 72% of projects said the experience increased community cohesion
  • 86% of projects said that this process significantly improved the skills of members of the team
  • 65% of projects funded things that could not be funded elsewhere
  • 73% of project leaders had plans to start another community project in future.

Nesta’s findings are a great example of why crowdfunding isn’t just about the money. At its best, it’s about connecting people and building community. Financial and practical support from the Mayor of London didn’t just get projects past their funding target (90% of projects backed by Crowdfund London hit their target, as opposed to 52% of non-supported projects). It also helped make connections (72% of fundraisers have found new partners or collaborators, 65% of projects brought people together from different parts of the community) and build skills (7000 volunteers participated in projects, 51% of campaigns received professional feedback on their project design, and project teams improved their skills in pitching (63%), fundraising (52%) and community engagement (52%)).

Pages from the full report


City Hall’s aim was to explore “how crowdfunding can empower citizens and change the relationship between communities and City Hall”, with a particular focus on campaigns to improve the local neighbourhood. I’m delighted the value of community crowdfunding is so clear in the report’s findings, and to see their conclusions include ways to increase the impact of initiatives like this.

Crowdfund London has shown that there is value in embedding crowdfunding as a complementary tool alongside traditional grantmaking to support grassroots innovation and local participation.

Five years of empowering communities through civic crowdfunding

People and communities already have the drive to make these projects happen. Given a confidence boost from the extra support and guidance as part of this scheme, it’s clear they’ve been able to fly – 81% of projects wouldn’t have set up a crowdfunding campaign had it not been for Crowdfund London.

Next up, Make London – the initiative that builds on what’s been learned here, providing funding and support for “community-led projects to help your local area recover from the COVID-19 crisis.”

If you have a project you think could fit Make London’s criteria, find out more about what they’re funding and how to get involved.

Read the full report

Read the report summary

More from NESTA about crowdfunding

Launch day for your crowdfunding campaign

group of people preparing bright air balloons to fly

Your launch day is a big deal, but why does everyone keep talking about the importance of the first 24 hours of your crowdfunding campaign?

Show your potential backers they can trust you

Crowdfunding relies, at its heart, on the idea of the wisdom of the crowd. If enough people agree that a project is a good idea, then they’re probably onto something. Many potential backers (deliberately or not) look for reassurance and support by seeing whether anyone else thinks this project is a good bet. A campaign that already looks successful, and already has plenty of support, is more likely to attract even more support.

As a creator, that means that the sooner you get your project looking successful, the sooner you’ll be able to attract those uncertain or wavering backers.

Get your crowdfunding platform to pay attention

Whichever crowdfunding platform you’re using, there’s a team of people behind the scenes making it work – but they don’t have time to sit and examine every single live campaign, daily. They rely to some extent on algorithms and milestones to draw their attention to particular projects. So if you can make your campaign tick as many of their ‘looks successful’ boxes as possible, you’ll get their attention.

Why does this matter? Because most crowdfunding platforms charge a percentage fee on your final funding – which means the more money you make, the more money they make. So if your campaign’s going to do well, it’s in their interest for it to do really well.

Make the most of your time

Once you launch your crowdfunding campaign, the clock is ticking – as a general rule, you don’t want to run a campaign for longer than a month or so. You need to make each one of those four weeks count. If you’re spending your first week or two on making contact with your own networks, you’ve already lost time.

But when you’ve done your preparation well, then by the time launch day rolls around your existing audiences are waiting for their chance to support your crowdfunding campaign. If you’ve done all your work on messaging them already, that means after launch day you can shift your focus to spreading the message further and reaching new audiences.

Not sure if you’re ready for launch day? I’m a crowdfunding consultant and I’d be happy to help, whether that’s looking over your final campaign before you go live, or walking you through making the most of your preparation weeks – get in touch here.

One-shot vs recurring funding

Platforms like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Crowdfunder have been around for a while now. Their model is reasonably simple to understand: set a target and a deadline, launch the crowdfunding campaign, and try to hit the target in time.

But some creators are now considering longer-term options that offer recurring funding, or something closer to a subscription model – like Patreon, Ko-Fi, or Buy Me A Coffee.

What is recurring funding?

Backers pledge to support you with a small amount of money, repeatedly – either a certain amount per month (a bit like a charity direct debit) or a certain amount per ‘thing’ (backers could be charged every time you release a new song, podcast, long read, newsletter, artwork, etc). Often, creators can offer backers rewards at varying levels, not unlike the rewards in a one-shot crowdfunding campaign. The important difference if you go this route is that you need to be committed to producing those rewards regularly, and over an indefinite period of time.

Should you try recurring funding?

When you run a one-shot campaign, you spend the pre-launch as well as the campaign time doing some pretty heavy promotion. You contact a lot of people, and part of the story you tell is the urgency of it – we have one chance to raise this money.

But for a recurring funding campaign, that level of promotion would be both exhausting (for you) and off-putting (for others), because unlike a one-shot campaign there’s no end in sight: there’s usually no specific goal which means you’d stop promoting it. This shift in promotion styles is why I tell clients that for recurring funding, you bring your fans to the platform.

Patreon works brilliantly for established creators who already have an existing fan base. And it’s a good alternative to trying to monetise your existing content via ad revenue share. But if you don’t already have an audience asking you how they can see more of what you’re doing, or how they can support you in new ways, setting up a Patreon could be a lot of work for not much return.

Platforms like Ko-Fi or Buy Me A Coffee offer a few more options to suit creators who are a little less established or who work in different ways. You can set up a tip jar for one-off micropayments as well as taking monthly/recurring payments, you can offer extras and commissions, and includes a low-fee option (transaction fees only).

Are you overcommitting?

One risk with recurring funding is overcommitting to rewards: offering (say) $10 monthly supporters exclusive access to a brand new monthly podcast. Sounds great if you’ve got the numbers – but if you only have two people subscribing at that level for the first six months, you still need to make that podcast for them, every month.

How can you give it the best start?

Just like a one-shot crowdfunding campaign, make sure you’ve prepared thoroughly! Here are a few questions to start you off.

  • Do you already have an audience online who are interested in your new work?
  • How are they going to find out about your new funding option?
  • Have you thought about what you could offer as small-scale rewards or incentives?
  • Are you reliant on earning a lot of money from this route, or are you happy with letting it build slowly and more organically over time?
  • Can you scale up slowly? Start with one or two low-level reward options that don’t overcommit to creating new unique content, then if you get a great response think about offering something higher-level for your most enthusiastic and supportive fans.

There are no ‘right’ answers to these, but there are certainly answers that will make your life easier.

Recurring funding can be a fantastic way for enthusiastic fans to support the work they love, and it can feel like a subscription to something they value. If you’re a musician with fans who are big users of Spotify, it gives you the chance to talk about the difference between £2 a month straight to you vs your fractional share of their £10 a month to Spotify. And the tip jar model requires very little set up or promotion, as there’s very little to lose (no rewards to commit to – just set up a tip jar option on your site and see what happens).

With a bit of research and planning, you can make sure you’re choosing a model that suits the way you work – and, importantly, works well for your audiences and supporters.

If you want to make sure you’re choosing the right kind of campaign, let’s talk about how I can help – I specialise in working with creative people on arts and cultural projects, and I’d be happy to set you on the right path.

No-fee crowdfunding

crowd of people walking on street near shop showcase

Lots of people start out looking for no-fee crowdfunding, wanting to keep as much as possible of the funds they raise. But most commercial crowdfunding sites charge a fee. Is there any way around this? The short answer is: not really. Almost all platforms charge a fee of some kind, but there are a handful of cheaper or (occasionally!) no-fee options.

But remember, those charges are what make the enormous reach of these crowdfunding platforms possible. So do your research and decide what trade-offs you want to make. If you’re fundraising for a known group (like a PTA) then you probably already have contact details for all your donors, and you just want somewhere to centralise their donations – so you don’t need to worry about bringing in new audiences. But if you’re crowdfunding for something bigger and you can’t personally contact everyone, it may matter more to have a crowdfunding platform with national or global reach. It’s also likely to matter to your donors when it comes to handing over their card details that it’s a site – and brand – they already trust.

Types of fees

One thing to cover first: there are three types of fees we can talk about here. First of all, there are platform fees – these are usually charged as an overall percentage of the total you raise. So if there’s a platform fee of 5% and you raise £1000, you’ll be charged £50 as the platform fee. Next, there are transaction or payment processing fees. These apply to each transaction, and often reflect the charges passed on to crowdfunding platforms by the bank or card issuer – sometimes they’re a percentage, sometimes a flat fee (like 50p per transaction) and sometimes a combination of both. Finally, there are one-off fees – occasionally some platforms also charge a sign-up fee.

If you’re a charity

If you’re a registered charity with the Charity Commission, then there are some options for free or low-fee crowdfunding campaigns. You can look at platforms dedicated to charities like JustGiving (5% service fee plus payment processing fees, and monthly fees), Virgin Money Giving (2% service fee plus payment processing fees, and one-off sign-up fee), Givey (5% fee – but charged directly to donors, not charities). Most offer donors the option to cover those fees at the point of donation.

There are also a couple of non-charity-specific platforms that offer a no-fee crowdfunding option for charities – GoFundMe (transaction fees still apply), and Crowdfunder. In the case of Crowdfunder, they have a standard charity model of 3% fees plus payment processing fees, but right now they’re also helping charities who are fundraising in response to Coronavirus, by offering 100% free crowdfunding and support as part of their Pay It Forward campaign.

If you’re a private individual

If you’re a private individual raising money for your own personal costs (education, medical care, other emergencies) then you’ve still got choices. The big name is GoFundMe again, with only transaction fees. But as a private individual you might not want to be as public as that about how much you’ve raised – you could also look into taking PayPal donations (no fee when sent as Friends and Family, in the same currency) or setting up a Ko-Fi (no platform fees; transactions go via PayPal so there’s a transaction fee).

If you’re another kind of organisation

If you’re not a charity, and not a private individual, you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to no-fee crowdfunding – with the exception of Crowdfunder’s Pay It Forward campaign, aimed at supporting all kinds of organisations (small businesses, community groups, campaign groups).

But, if you could get the same reach, visibility, excitement, and urgency as a crowdfunding campaign just by asking for payments direct to your bank account… you’d already be doing that. Crowdfunding platforms generally charge a fee, but they’re also providing you with a service. As long as you research what the fees are ahead of time, you can make an informed choice.

Want a bit of guidance on choosing a platform? I’m a crowdfunding consultant and I’d be happy to help – get in touch here.

“But what should I say?”: 20 social media ideas for crowdfunding campaigns

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop

Once your crowdfunding campaign is live, you need to be sending out messages about it daily – if not more often. But if you’re putting together social media ideas for crowdfunding campaigns, it can be hard to know where to begin.

You may already be wondering what on earth to say, and you’re right to think about it ahead of time. Part of your pre-launch planning should include social media ideas that you can draw on once the campaign is live.

Still not sure where to start? Here are twenty ideas to get you going, whether you prefer creating text, image, or video.

And of course, every single communication you send out while your campaign is live should link directly to your campaign. Don’t make your prospective backers work too hard to help you out!

‘Rewards’ ideas

  • ‘New reward just added!’ – keep a few rewards back so you can launch them mid-campaign.
  • ‘Last few remaining’ – when you see your limited-number rewards getting low, let people know so they don’t miss out.
  • ‘Personalised version available’ – can your backers choose a colour or a design? Can they get their name engraved, or their book signed and dedicated?
  • ‘Have you spotted our hidden gems?’ – if you have a couple of rewards that haven’t had the interest you’d expected, highlight them.
  • ‘Don’t miss the Early Bird option’ – maybe you’re offering a significant discount to the first 50 backers, or backers in the first two days. Make sure you tell everyone!
  • ‘Here’s something very special’ – your high-value rewards may be an excellent source of funds, but you should also think of them as major attention-grabbers. Are you offering a one-to-one with a famous name? A private VIP event? A piece of money-can’t-buy memorabilia? Tell the story.

‘How it works’ ideas

Your audiences will come to you for help when they can’t figure out how to log back in to their account or how to change their pledge. Make that support public.

  • ‘You’ll be charged when…’ – different platforms charge backers’ cards at different times. Find out whether it’s at the moment of backing, or when your campaign is successful.
  • ‘You can change your pledge by…’ – again, different platforms handle this in different ways. Find out if and how your backers can change or add to their pledge.
  • ‘How crowdfunding works’ – just because you’ve been immersed in this for a while, don’t forget this may be totally new to some of your backers. Walk them through it.

‘Stats and data’ ideas

  • ‘We’re just £27 away from £1000!’ – it may not be a formal goal, but everyone loves a nice round number.
  • ‘If everyone referred one friend…’ – do the maths for your supporters. If everyone brought in one new backer at £5, would you hit your target?
  • ‘Wow – after 48 hours we’re at…’ – share your progress and your milestones.

‘Our project’ ideas

These posts are where you can get into the real detail about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Remember, you’re making the case for the impact of your project – it doesn’t have to be world-changing, but it has to make a difference to somebody.

  • ‘What we’re doing’ – what will this funding campaign make possible?
  • ‘Why we’re doing it’ – what difference will it make, and to whom? Why does it matter to us?
  • ‘Why we’ve chosen crowdfunding’ – are other sources of funding unavailable, or exhausted? Does crowdfunding give you more freedom to create, or a better connection with your audiences?
  • ‘Who we are’ – who’s the team behind the campaign? Are you particularly well-placed to be doing this? Do you have knowledge or experience that others don’t?
  • ‘What will happen next’ – talk through the details of your project timeline, bring people on the journey with you.

‘Support’ ideas

Help your prospective backers feel part of a wider community who all see the value in this project. Share the support you’ve received.

  • ‘We’ve had 97 backers so far!’ – share some publicly-appropriate data about your backers.
  • ‘One backer commented…’ – if your supporters leave positive comments on your campaign or on your social media, share them.
  • ‘Taylor Swift recently told us…’ – if you’re fortunate enough to have big-name endorsements (they don’t have to be as big as Taylor Swift!) or influential supporters, put them out there.

There are, of course, plenty of other things you can talk about in a busy campaign – and the most powerful social media ideas for crowdfunding campaigns are always about the project itself, how you’re going to make it happen, and the impact you want it to have.

Hopefully these ideas should give you a starting point, and help you realise how much you have to say! And if you’re still wondering about how to structure your campaign planning, I’d be happy to work with you on a personalised strategy.