Crowdfunding is slowly creeping into the mainstream. Building on the blocks of our nascent super-connected society, people have begun to take asking for money to the masses. And why not? Your birthday comes but once a year – you know Grandma Edith is not taking inflation into consideration and $5 doesn’t get you too far these days. In fact, $34 billion was the estimated amount of money crowdfunded in 2015. Try fitting that into an envelope with a birthday card.
Finding investors can be hard. Money is an awkward subject to bring up, especially face to face. If your business is in need of some financial fortitude, read on.
There are three pieces that make up the triangle that is crowdfunding. The first is the person who wants the money – this would be you. The second point of the crowdfunding triangle are the people or groups that support the idea – the ones with the cold, hard cash and the warm, generous spirit. Finally, you’ve got the matchmaker that brings them together, the crowdfunding platform, which is almost always a website.
So where should you be looking to launch your first crowdfunding campaign?
First up, you need to know what you’ll be using the money for, so you can create a great campaign that will have investors queueing up out the door. Secondly, you need to pick a crowdfunding website. According to crowdfunding.com, the second highest grossing crowdfunding website is kickstarter.com. Hold your horses, though. While Kickstarter is the biggest, it cannot be used for personal fundraisers now – like the guy that raised over $50,000 to make a potato salad. If you’re in the market for number one, you need to consider a different option. Kickstarter also restrict their fund-seekers to creative endeavors, so if you’re looking to launch a corporate multinational business you will be in the wrong place with Kickstarter.
According to crowdfunding.com, the highest grossing crowdfunding platform is GoFundMe.com. Beware though, GoFundMe charges a fee of 5%, so you must be willing to part with some of your capital if you hope to succeed on this platform.
To create a winning crowdfunding campaign you first need a killer idea. You need to be meeting a need of the populace, because everyday people aren’t going to part with their hard-earned cash to support something they’re not personally interested in. Next up, you need an incentive for people to donate, such as a free postcard for a $10 donation and a signed shirt for a $1,000 donation. This way your investors feel they are getting something in return for their investment. Finally, you need to spread the word: enlist the help of family, friends, associates and anyone else you can find to get the message out about your campaign. If your investors can’t find you they won’t be able to invest!
The truth is, there are a lot of crowdfunding sites out there nowadays, and you just have the find the one that fits who you are and what you’re trying to bring to the world. Crowdfunding.com is a great place to start, as they list the big players in online crowdfunding platforms. Amazon also recently launched their own crowdfunding platform – a big sign that crowdfunding is becoming a really mainstream method of finding funding – so take a look at their site too.
You’re a genius. You’ve got the next big idea. You’re not independently wealthy. And that’s okay. Get crowdfunding and share your intellectual wealth with the world!
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