I’ve had a few conversations with people who’ve said that they don’t think crowdfunding would suit their business because they’re not trying to get a product launched. Not the case! Crowdfunding can work for many kinds of projects and businesses.
It’s suitable for any kind of project which requires a financial outlay; money you don’t have immediately to hand. It might be that you know you’ll make that profit over a certain period of time, or it might be that you’re a non-profit and just need the funds to make something happen.
Perhaps you would once have approached a grant funding body, or tried for a bank loan. Perhaps your business hasn’t been running for long enough to qualify, or you don’t meet the specific criteria, or the banks you’ve spoken to don’t understand your audiences. Whatever the reason, a great crowdfunding campaign brings you and your audiences closer together, making it easier for you to take their needs and interests directly into account; here are a few ideas for projects that could be well suited:
- Physical premises: if you’ve been operating out of hired spaces or from your kitchen table, you may want to work with your community to raise funds to get your own permanent place where you get to set your own rules.
- Recording a live event: if you’re already making it happen (a concert, a performance, a festival) but you want to make sure there’s a permanent high-quality record of it, or you want to live-stream it for people who can’t be there, you could think about raising money for the expertise and tech needed.
- Expanding your service: if you’re a service-based business with clients who love and trust you, you might reach a point where you need to improve what you can offer them – perhaps it’s about changing your online offering, automating a manual process so you can speed it up, or providing extra content.
- Funding unpaid work: crowdfunding can be a way for your community and your audiences to directly pay for your work if it’s a cause that matters to them – if your activism is campaigning, organising, or otherwise providing voluntary work, but it’s hard for you to find the time alongside paid work, your community may want to help.
There are lots more ways you can use crowdfunding as a way to connect with your community and represent their interests. If you’d like to have a chat about whether it would work for what you’ve got in mind, get in touch.