Crowdfunding has proven to be a popular way for content creators, individuals, or charities to raise money to either completely fund or contribute to a project or cause.

Although many crowdfunding websites make it easy for you to post your project, actually achieving your goal can be more difficult.

Before you get started, take a look at some of the most popular questions about crowdfunding to help you build a successful campaign.

How Does Crowdfunding Work?

Crowdfunding is when an idea or project – whether it be a product, invention, or business – is posted online to a crowdfunding website to gauge public interest. If someone is interested in seeing the idea come to fruition, the crowdfunding website provides a platform where that person (usually called a backer) can donate or pledge money to help the creator (the person or people running the project) realize their idea.

The creator generally provides the backer with some kind of incentive for their support, depending on what type of project they are crowdfunding for.

As an example, if the creator is showcasing a business, they might give backers special rates or discounts based on how much they donate or pledge to the project.

Is Crowdfunding a Good Idea?

Some content creators have found massive success from utilizing crowdfunding to make their idea a reality. In 2015 the comedy group Broken Lizard successfully funded a sequel to their hit movie Super Troopers through crowdfunding.

That being said, there is always a chance that your crowdfunding campaign will not be successful.

Thankfully, there’s little risk in trying since most websites allow you to try again after your campaign is over.

You can increase your chances of success by making sure that you have a solid foundation for your idea and you have clear identifiable outcomes so potential backers have confidence in your project.

Top crowdfunding websites, such as Kickstarter, gofundme, and indiegogo generally all have the same recommendations for what to include in your campaign:

  • An eye-catching title and headline. This will help to capture your target audience’s attention by being concise, direct, and including relevant keywords (keywords are certain words that appear often in a search engine like Google, and help your website show up when people search those keywords)
  • Quality images. High-quality images help showcase your product or explain your idea. Avoid using images that are blurry or hidden in too much text.
  • Campaign updates. Providing updates (such as when a milestone is reached) to your backers keeps them engaged and included in the creative process, providing an opportunity for them to see how their donations are helping the progress of the project.
  • Incentives. Giving rewards that your backers will receive once the project is complete provide an inventive to donate.

Which Crowdfunding Site Is the Best?

Choosing the best crowdfunding website depends on the nature of your project.

For example, Indiegogo’s website title states that they are “for entrepreneurs”, so they might be the better choice for business-related endeavors, while Kickstarter showcases more creative-focused projects, such as film, publishing, games, and even food.

If you are looking to promote something more personal or charitable, then gofundme may be a good choice.

How Long Should You Run a Crowdfunding Campaign?

Before you run your crowdfunding campaign, you should have a clear idea of when you will be able to provide your backers with updates or milestones for your project.

Of course, unexpected issues can happen during the course of a campaign, but it’s important that your audience and backers remain informed throughout the process, even if things don’t go as planned.

Kickstarter suggests that campaigns that last less than 60 days are generally the most successful, and recommends setting your campaign date at 30 days or less. However, it is important to note that at least with Kickstarter, once you’ve set the start and end date of your campaign, the dates cannot be changed and if your project is not successful, you do not receive any money from your backers.

Just like when you are choosing which crowdfunding website suits your project the best, it’s important to do research on what similar projects are doing, your target audience, etc. so you have the best chance of executing a successful campaign of your own.

Should I Make a Crowdfunding Campaign?

With little risk involved, it’s easy to see why crowdfunding is a popular choice for budding entrepreneurs, content creators, and charities. Crowdfunding provides an easy, accessible way for anyone to raise funds for countless types of projects, and also gives people the opportunity to contribute to projects that may have otherwise never had the chance to come to fruition.

For more details on crowdfunding including the different types, check out our other post on 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Crowdfunding.

Have you ever run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by Lisa Hoffart

Lisa is a writer in Edmonton that is passionate about video games, and technology in general. She has also written articles for xdadevelopers.com.

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