8 Steps to Success

1. Donate to your campaign first.

The chances of meeting your goal greatly increase when people see that others have made donations to your cause. Set the tone for success and make the first donation to your campaign.
2. Recruit 10-15 Start with a personal email.

Start strong by gathering commitments from 10-15 of your family members and friends to make a donation on the first day of the campaign. Make sure they go online and donate in the first 24 hours. It is vitally important that they publicly show their support for you. The more supporters you have when you first start your campaign, the greater your chances of success. If you can get close to your goal within the first 72 hours, your chances of reaching your goal are above 80%. On the flip side, if people visit your campaign page and see only one or two donations, most will not donate or revisit your page. (See the Crowdfunding Marketing Toolkit for email templates.)

3. Build your crowdfunding team and expand your crowd.

Everyone you know can become a member of your team. Make a list of family, friends, coworkers, and people you interact with on social media. They can give you money, social media support or both. If someone can’t give you a donation, ask them to help you by spreading the word about your campaign to their contacts via email, Facebook, Twitter or other types of social media. That will get your message to hundreds of people you don’t directly know. If someone has shared your post via Facebook or tweets about your campaign, publicly thank him/her.

4. Think offline to online.

Are there local organizations or community services that could provide you with some funding? Even if the organization won’t put the money directly in your Funded Justice account, you can do it with the funds you receive from them. Could they help you spread the word about your campaign? It just takes one well-connected group to make your campaign a success. And sometimes, all it takes is for you to ask.

5. Promote early and often.

Unfortunately, people do procrastinate. You will need to remind your contacts about your campaign multiple times before they will actually donate. Some studies have shown that it takes 5, 6 and even 7 times asking for a donation before a supporter actually goes to your page and pledges his/her support. The goal you are trying to achieve is important, so don’t be afraid to ask for support more than once. Start promoting your campaign on Facebook and on other social media right away. Then keep sending positive, friendly messages to your crowd every few days. Use email and direct Facebook messages to ask for donations.

6. Build your message.

Spend time creating a high-quality campaign write-up. Remember that many people who will see your campaign won’t know anything about you. It’s important that your write-up stands on its own and tells your story in a compelling manner. Also, make sure you don’t include anything in your campaign description that could be used against you in court or paint you in a bad light.

7. Make a video.

You do not need fancy equipment to make a high-quality video for your campaign page. You can use a cell phone, flip cam, or laptop to make a video. Just remember these rules:
A. Keep it short.
Attention spans are short, especially online. Keep your video around 2 minutes or less. It should not last more than 3 minutes.
B. Introduce yourself.
Tell everyone about you and your background (e.g., your hometown, family, what you like, groups you belong to, where you went to high school/college). People like to help people that they feel they know or have a connection with.
C. Tell your story.
Keep it simple. Answer the questions that supporters would be likely to ask. What’s the problem? Why do you need the money? Supporters especially like to know that their money is going toward a good cause and that you’ll actually “win”.
D. Ask for support.
End the video with a strong and clear request for financial support. For example, “Thank you for watching. I would greatly appreciate any amount you can donate, even if it’s $10 or $20!” Also ask them to spread the word about your campaign.

8. Be consistent and persistent.

Do something every day to raise funds. Contact new supporters, send a reminder to people you have already contacted, publicly thank those who have made donations, etc. Remember, if you have any questions, you can reach out to us here at Funded Justice by using the contact form.