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Crowdfunding is a relatively new online method of raising funding.

Two overarching pieces of advice:

  • There isn't a magic pot of crowdfunding money that you can just tap into. We've all seen viral crowdfunding campaigns, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Most campaigns will only work if you personally have a big enough social reach - or you have a committed supporter who has.
  • Crowdfunding works best if it is for something that a lot of people understand, and already know they need. Crowdfunding for something which aims to change people's behaviour is less successful.

Local Freegle Communities

  • Before you embark on launching your crowdfunder, please let the Freegle Board know your intentions, to avoid potential conflicts with other community or national fundraising.
  • Join the Freegle Funding Group to let them know of your ideas and to use them to bounce off ideas and ask for support.
  • Make sure you have payment/bank account arrangements in place before starting. If you need advice on this, please ask the Board.

Choose your project

  • The project that you are crowdfunding for needs to be specific and time-limited.
  • A specific, easy to describe project will increase your connection with donors, making them more willing to share it with their networks.
  • Be realistic with what you want to achieve and how much it will cost.
  • Be transparent about what the money you raise will be used for.
  • Decide what rewards you are going to offer in return for contributions.

Decide on your budget

  • How much money are you asking for and what will you do with it?
  • Remember to factor in the cost of using the crowdfunding platform and the cost of honouring your rewards.
  • Decide on different size contributions for different pockets, with a different reward for each.
  • Check whether or not you are able to claim gift aid from contributions.

Prepare your pitch

  • Make a short video (three minutes max) to 'pitch' your project to potential supporters.
  • Use your video to give a compelling story about your project. Talk about what your project is and what difference it will make.

Pick your platform

  • Use the website to decide which crowdfunding site you will use. Pay attention to the commission charges you will be expected to play.
  • Submit your pitch to the platform, which will be checked before it goes live. Sites don't automatically approve campaigns so make sure you've submitted something compelling and achievable.

Plan your social media campaign

  • Successful crowdfunding relies on making the most of online networks. If you're using a crowdfunding platform then the ability to share will be built in but it will take work by you to make people want to share it.
  • The wording you use in your social media needs to talk from the heart, not like something that's come through a PR team or been written by committee. Focus on the difference your project will make.
  • Make it easy for people to find your campaign. Put a link in all of your newsletters, in your emails, on your website. Tell your local paper, CVS, anyone that can tell others.
  • View resources to help you get to grips with social media on KnowHow NonProfit (]

Engage your strong supporters

  • Get the people that are most likely to give to your campaign to make their contribution right at the start, others are then more likely to give. Engage these key people before the campaign goes live.
  • Having momentum in your project right from the moment it goes live will help people to see there is demand for it. Remember that it is time-limited after all.

Commit resources

  • It takes skill and effort to make a successful crowdfunding campaign.
  • Get everyone involved in talking about the campaign, sharing information with their networks and spotting opportunities to fit it in with existing work.
  • Factor in time to be responsive, you never know what's going to come up.

Keep in touch

  • Be sure to thank the people that have contributed to your campaign. If you are using rewards then remember to honour them when you reach your target.
  • Keep your contributors updated about where the project is and what it has achieved.
  • Even though a contributor has already given money, they are perfectly placed to continue sharing the campaign with their networks. Introduce new elements to keep them interested and give them something new to share.

(with thanks to for information)