How to make your crowdfunding project successful!
- Defining your project proposition
- Writing a text for the website
- Making a video
- How to collect your own crowd for funding
Defining your project proposition
Before you start making your video and text for the website, you need to define your project proposition. What is the key message you want to get across to your target audience? Three tips that will help you define an appealing message.
Clear definition of the project
Your target audience is not as familiar with the subject matter as you. Try to describe the project as simple as you can. Avoid medical terms and jargon. A useful tip is to imagine explaining your project to an intelligent 11-year old. This will help you to use concrete words instead of abstract terms, without reverting to childish language.
What’s in it for me?
When you describe your project, keep in mind that you are asking people to part with their money. For that to happen, there needs to be some kind of reward for the funder. Not a financial reward like a Return on Investment, but an emotional reward.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD, the ultimate reward is new or improved treatment that will help your overcome the negative aspects of ADHD.
So, when describing your project, ask yourself this question:
“How is this project going to help people with ADHD? How will it improve their daily lives?”
The answer to that question is the ultimate reward and motive for people to make a donation. You thus want to invoke the feeling that they, their children or friends, will miss a big chance when your research will not be funded!
Keep your eye on your why
What is your reason and drive to start this project? What is the ultimate goal you would like to achieve? Try to capture the essence of your project in one or two sentences.
These three sections form the basis of your text and video. They will be used in different order, depending on the medium.
Writing a text for the website
Once you have your defined your proposition, you have the basis for your text.
- Grab the attention of your reader by starting with the reply to ‘what’s in it for me’. In other words, start by telling your audience how your research may make their lives easier.
- Describe the project, as mentioned above.
- Close with your personal motivation, the ‘why’, to make it personal and authentic.
Making a video
Statistics show that most people will not watch a video for more than two minutes. In fact, a lot of viewers will not watch a video for more than 30 seconds before turning their attention elsewhere. The graph underneath shows the results for one of our own videos.
Start with what’s in it for me
This means you need to catch your viewer’s interest in the first 30 seconds, so it is essential to start with 1. the ‘what’s in it for me’ part. Formulating it in the form of a question may help: if you ask someone a question they are more likely to stick around for the answer.
Then, proceed with your ‘why’; your drive and your passion for the project. This is the part where you make a connection with your viewer.
Conclude by elaborating on the project itself.
By triggering your viewer’s curiosity and establishing a connection, you have conveyed the most important part first, and a larger part of your viewers will watch the entire video.
How to make your video
The video should be no longer than two minutes. It should contain:
- A part in which the researcher explains the project in person. Very important: look into the camera and make contact with your viewer! Speak clearly and use simple words. It is important to show yourself, in order to make it an open and authentic invitation to support your project.
- Images and animations to support your message.
There are various ways to make a video.
If you are used to making presentations in Powerpoint, you can easily make a presentation that includes video and animations, then save it as MP4.
How to collect your own crowd for funding
Key success factor: start with your own network and approach them personally!
One of the most important aspects of a crowdfunding campaign is connecting in the right way and at the right time with your potential funders. Who do you approach first? And what effects will that have on the success of your campaign?
An essential starting point is to begin with the people who are close to you: your friends and family. And only after that, to approach people who are less close to you. Because people who are less close to you are also less inclined to be the first to fund your project.
Recent outcomes of a study done in collaboration with VU University and Dutch creative sector crowdfunding platform voordekunst, verify these experiences with scientific analysis, and also offer additional insights.
Who is first to join?
The study shows that your family, friends, and colleagues, are by far the most likely to contribute first to your crowdfunding campaign. On average, they contribute 8 days sooner than funders with whom you have a weak, or no connection. An interesting outcome however is that funders with whom you have a weak connection will contribute, on average, later than funders with whom you have no connection at all. This is remarkable! A reason for this could be the strong interest in your project and/or the rewards you are offering.
Who contributes the most?
The existing relationship between the funder and the project owner also has an effect on the amount the funder contributes. Funders with whom no relationship is established, contribute, on average, the least to a crowdfunding campaign. A surprising outcome is that the contributions from funders with whom you have a strong or weak connection barely differ from each other. One could expect that funders with whom you have a stronger relationship would also contribute more, but this is not the case. A reason for this could be that the social pressure for funders with whom you have a strong connection is weakened because the crowdfunding campaign is facilitated through a crowdfunding platform, which makes it slightly indirect.
Seven tips for your campaign
What do these insights mean for the execution of your successful crowdfunding campaign? Seven practical steps for your campaign:
- Define your networks
It is important to define and map your existing network before you launch your campaign. Who are your potential funders and how strong is your relationship with them? Divide your network in the following groups: close ties, your complete network, and crowd. In other words: in groups with whom you have a strong, weak, or no relationship. By defining your network, and dividing it into these groups you will be able to approach people in the right manner and lay-out an effective campaign planning.
- Approach everyone in your network personally
The absence of a personal approach can have a negative effect on the speed and size of contributions of funders. Approach potential funders wherever you can on a personal level (meetings, telephone call) and make it clear that you, as a project owner, invoke them personally.
An example of a common mistake is sending a group email to your network with a general salutation like ‘Dear friends’. A better approach would be to send them all a personalized email wherein you greet them personally and refer to a recent mutual event.
- Look for companies and organizations that fit your project
It can have a great positive impact to approach companies and organizations that you do not know yet, but that do fit well with your project. Companies and organizations are primarily interested in the content of your project and like to associate themselves with crowdfunding campaigns that go well with their own strategic goals and image. Think of schools, professors, universities, hospitals, institutes, enterprises.
- Use the media to reach people outside your network (ADHDFund)
Once your campaign has kicked off, it is time to use the media to reach people outside your network. These people will only join and contribute if they see that the campaign is going to be a success.
ADHDFund will help you of course; that is what we are here for! We will regularly promote your project on our Website and Social Media. We will also promote your project in our newsletter, which goes out to approx. 4,500 addresses.
- Periodical updates
After the funding campaign has succeeded and you have raised the budget, you can start your research project. Be sure to send ADHDFund an update periodically. Your funders will be interested to know what is happening with the project and if it is yielding the expected results. Your update will help build trust in the achievements of ADHDfund for future research projects.
- Mention ADHDFund in every talk and publication on your funded research project.
The people you reach through your talks and publications, belong to your target audience so make sure they are aware of your project and help them spread the word.
- Become an ambassador for ADHDFund
Tell your colleagues and patients about it, share our e-newsletters and social media updates.