CREATOR’S MANUAL FOR DONATION-BASED PROJECTS
Welcome to MOVE !
This manual will accompany you throughout your crowdfunding journey as you campaign for donations.
This manual is divided into three sections:
- •Before you launch your fundraising campaign: preparing your project, anticipating costs, calculating your fundraising goals etc.
- • During your campaign organizing your project, increasing your web visibility, public relations etc
- • At the end of your campaign: Project rewards, taxes, fees etc.
BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
Each fundraising project requires 1 to 3 months of preparation.
Preparing your portfolio is important and will significantly influence the campaign and its success. Crowdfunding projects aren’t easy.
It’s important to know that funds won’t just appear, you’ll have to work for them!
And so it is imperative that you carefully prepare your project portfolio before starting:
- Thoroughly read the Creator’s manual
Don’t hesitate to read this manual multiple times, print it out and read it over. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions.
- Understand the principles of Crowdfunding
A funding campaign is an intense and complex project that will, in addition to funding your project, increase your community and develop your network.
That being said, it is important to note that, in order to get funding, your campaign must successfully reach its initial fundraising goal. If it is not reached, all donors will be 100 % reimbursed and you will not receive any funds. If your goal is exceeded, we can help you allocate supplementary funds.
Aside from funding your project, community gatherings will help you actively communicate with your public, and learn what they expect from you. The community developed through crowdfunding is an invaluable data set that can help you get the most out of the crowdfunding experience.
- Support other projects
If you’ve not yet done so, go and support other projects so that you can see what the journey is like for donors seeking projects to fund. In doing so, you will better understand the decision process and understand what it’s like to be a donor and what you yourself expect from project starters.
- Talk about it
The first investors in your project will most likely be your immediate circle of friends and family, they will support you and give you what we call “love money.
You should recruit as many donors as you can from your inner circle.
The general public won’t invest in a project that is only at 5% of its goal. It’s the empty restaurant effect: when people see a crowded restaurant they’ll want to go in, but if the restaurant is nearly empty, they won’t want to try it . Instead, the general public should discover a project that has reached at least 20% of its goal, and “Love Money” can help quite a bit. Explain crowdfunding to your peers, don’t hesitate to show them our website, and do a demonstration (profile creation, looking through the project catalogue) to help them understand your project.
- Create a communications strategy
Think about how you can actively promote your project.
If possible, put together a team of friends and family dedicated to promoting your project.
Look at successful projects that are similar to yours for inspiration
Think about how you want to tell your story on your project page:
Who are you ? What do you do? What’s your project ? What’s your visionBreak down your story:
- • How long has your project existed?
- • What is your life story/business story/organization’s story?
- • How did you come up with the idea for this project ?
- • What do you hope to accomplish ?
- • Why this project ?
- • What problem does it solve?
- • What is your plan ? How are you going to organize it?
- • What is your timeline ?
- • Where will it take place ?
- • What’s your budget?
- • Who is on your team?
- • What will you use the funds for?
Be clear and precise.
The general public should understand what your project is about at first glance.
- Look at successful projects that are similar to yours
This will inspire you and you can discover what worked in the past.
- Don’t just make demands
Don’t just use phrases like “help-us”, or “support,” use positive vocabulary like “creativity” and “progress”
- Make a video presenting the project and the team.
Making a simple video is a real asset (even one made with a smartphone would suffice) It brings your project to life, and inspires confidence in you and your team, and shows who you are.
If it's possible, try to have a professional video made, the higher quality will be noticed.
- Identify the media you wish to contact
Find media that has to do with your project and its audience ( local press, websites, facebook groups, influential bloggers etc.)
Start approaching them and be ready to give them content. Follow the influencers in your sector.
- Create a Press kit that can be sent by e-mail
Explain the project in one page, and link the project page in the document and in the email.
- Use Social Media the right way
Choose wisely, use the networks in which you already have a large following.
Each Social Media touches a different audience, use them to target your audience correctly.
Be reactive.If someone asks a question on Facebook, reply as quickly as possible and always in good faith. Master your communications skills.
- Take care not to Spam
Speak about your project regularly, but don’t saturate your audience with promotional messages. This could bring about resentment from your audience and could very well compromise your success.
Find a good rhythm that easy to remember, without exaggerating the number of posts.
(Ex : Facebook : 1 post per day, Twitter : 4 posts per day)
- Organize parties/gatherings around your project
Organizing an evening around the launch of your campaign is recommended but not mandatory. You can decide what moment is best to bring together your friends and donors for an event like a party, cocktail or concert.
Don’t forget to have computer or tablet on hand so that people can donate at the event.
- Pick the right moments
It's best to start a campaign in the beginning of the week and end it at the end of the week (Thursday or Friday).
The best times to communicate are 10am, 2pm, 5pm and 9pm
The two peak donation periods are often the first 5 days and the last 5 days.
Even if a campaign is falling behind on its fundraising goal, it is possible to get things going and meet and even surpass the goal in the last few hours of a campaign.
It is also important to dedicate all of your time to your project during those peak donation periods.
- Calculate the initial cost of your project
Crowdfunding is based on an “all or nothing” philosophy. If you don’t reach your fundraising goal, all donors will be reimbursed and you won’t receive any funds. And so, it is important to calculate the cost of your project and then translate it into a reachable goal. Don’t forget that an initial fundraising goal can be surpassed, you just have to forsee a solution for the extra funds (for example, higher quality binding for your book, or better technical supplies).
- Calculate all charges and fees
Create a list of all of the purchases you’ll be making including fees and charges: primary materials, import/export fees, packaging fees, necessary materials, any workers you’d need to pay, ads you may wish to purchase, videos etc.
Once the project is complete, you will have to pay for the creation and shipping of your project rewards so remember to calculate the TVA, exporting fees and of course, MOVE’s commission.
You should calculate these costs before you start your project so that your fundraising goal integrates these extra costs.
Estimate the number of donors you already have to help you establish a realistic fundraising goal
Count your inner circle as well as your online community(Facebook/Twitter) to estimate your fundraising goal.
*Add a security cushion to your estimated goal *
This is to cover unexpected costs, or miscalculated fees.
- To sum things up:
Overall Project Cost + Extra fees + Security Cushion = Your initial fundraising goal.
- Determine your funding levels
If your initial fundraising goal is passed it is important to determine new parameters in order to keep your donors motivated and upgrade your project.
These extra donations should extend and ameliorate your project and ought to add a real value to a project. Supplementary funds can mean higher quality printing for a book or more functionality on an program or more technical materials.
- Anticipate going over your initial fundraising goal
When the initial goal is passed, this can cause a number of issues for project starters who are soon overwhelmed by the amount of work and project rewards required when there are more donors than expected. Anticipate this possibility as quickly as possible and communicate it to your donors immediately.
This way, if you find yourself with twice as many project rewards to send. Say it, and explain why there may be a delay for more recent donors.
Crowdfunding audiences are generally benevolent when they’re well-informed.
Information should be your number one priority! !
- Determine the duration of your project
Your campaign can last up to 90 days, but a campaign that runs too long, risks losing donors who will see that they have a lot of time and choose not to donate until much later.
This drags out the process for project starters. Instead, it is important to know that Donors prefer short intense campaigns because they are more immediate and exciting.
- Picking the right project reward
In order to choose the right project reward, put yourself in the shoes of your audience: what would you like to receive? Think about creating, if possible, limited edition items, personalized works and add goodies (like stickers etc.), also organize meetups (community dinners, tours on-location etc.)
You can create the same project reward in different colors, in which case questionnaire (to pick a color) will be sent to the donors concerned at the end of the campaign.
Project rewards should be correctly tiered according to donations; your donors should feel like they have received something worth their investment. Most project rewards are in the 20€ range, so keep this in mind.
- Make sure you can deliver your project rewards
When the campaign is over, donors will be waiting impatiently for their project rewards. Anticipate the delays necessary for the creation and shipping of project rewards.
- If possible, organize meetups with your audience
Meeting project starters brings a project to life. As mentioned above, you can organize a campaign launch party or an special evening during the campaign.
- Start thinking about news you’d like to share during the campaign
During the campaign phase, it is important to stay in touch with your audience, give them interesting news and explain who you are...
- In short, make a great profile page !
This page will be like your shop window, and it has to draw people in! Integrate attractive images, write in a clear and simple way (avoid technical jargon). If you know how to draw or design, don’t hesitate to add illustrations to your page.
And of course, try to integrate a professional quality video.
Communicate your passion for your project, make people happy, and inspire them to participate and talk about your project!
DURING THE CAMPAIGN
The campaign period varies depending on the the project and the fundraising goal. It’s a time period that requires a lot of reactive work, responding to the public whether that’s on the site itself or on social media.
- Communicate with the general public and your donors
It is absolutely imperative to publish news during your campaign.
Being as interesting and as positive as you can be. Talk about your project’s progress. For example, highlight key steps in your journey, talk about how the creative process, add photos and share videos of your work environment to show how your project comes to life.
Make your audience want to share your news !
- Answer every message
and always in a positive way, even when the message isn’t exactly nice.A conversation that starts badly can become very productive later on.
The last few weeks of your campaign
The last few days are the most important. A lot of contributions come in at the last minute.
Publish news on your page and on your social channels indicating how many days are left (ex: Do a countdown: T- 3 days, T-2 days etc.) Share news daily during the last 3-4 days of your campaign. You can even publish news on the last day.
Motivate your audience, make them understand that your campaign is almost over.
When your initial fundraising goal is reached:
Publish the news,congratulate and thank your community.
Integrate a new fundraising goal with new options enhancing your project (ex: better special effects, a higher quality binding for your book, more meals distributed etc.
Eventually create new project rewards and update your page (with a new profile image, teaser etc.).
WHEN THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER
You have completed your first crowdfunding campaign, and you can successfully realize your project!
- Thank your donors
On the platform and on Social Media. Send a warm, positive message and spread the happiness that comes from successfully leading a campaign and being able to realize your project with their help.
Don’t forget to let them know what your next steps are
- Take care of Project rewards
Verify your donors addresses. Are they complete/correct?
- Send them out as soon as possible.
In the case of delay, clearly explain the reasons and talk about the next steps.
and then… ?
Keep in touch with your community, send them news by email regularly, organize a meetup to celebrate depending on the amount raised. Crowdfunders are forward thinkers and they will be excited to hear from you and eventually meet you. They will be your best ambassadors in the future (Especially for your next fundraising campaign ;))