More and more businesses are turning to online fundraising sites as a means to find capital necessary to fund an idea or start their business. The proliferation of these “crowdfunding” sources, aided in part by social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, have reintroduced a business funding concept known as microlensing that has been used successfully in other parts of the world for decades.
Many of the online websites devoted to microlensing or crowdfunding rely on the social networks that a business has developed as a way to attract potential funders for the business or project. There are at least four things that you should consider doing when deciding to engage in online fundraising for your business in order to increase the probability of success and get the funds that you need.
Create an Attention-Grabbing Headline One thing that is almost universal among the many crowdfunding websites is a campaign-type approach that requires you to come up with some type of catchy headline or other attention grabbers. Think of this as both your way to say hello and to immediately capture the attention of your audience. In sales training, this is typically referred to as your 30-second commercial or elevator speech.
If you were trapped in an elevator with a millionaire investor and only had 30 seconds to make an impression and receive support from that person, what would you say? Think in those terms and you will go a long way attracting people who will be willing to open up their wallets to you. Incorporate the “Ask” Upfront it is one of the simplest things conceptually and most difficult things to do in reality–making the request, or the “ask”, for money.
Making the ask means letting people, in this case, those individuals who are part of your social network and other potential funders, know what you need from them. The ask is something you need to incorporate into your presentation as close to the top as possible. The reason for this is that you want people to remember above all else the amount of money that you are looking to raise. Leave that impression in the mind of your potential funders as close to the top as possible.
Make Sure Your Story Reaches Your Audience if you tell a story that is compelling and succinct, you stand a better chance of both connecting with potential funders and receiving financial support from them. Stay within the parameters of whatever crowdfunding site you use, and keep your story to the point.
Let people know how much you need, why you need it, and what their support means, in terms that are personal and motivating. Keep the Posting Updated and Say Thank You Once you launch your crowdfunding appeal, you need to monitor the results and provide, where applicable, updates about your progress and thank those who support you (and those who are considering support).
As simple a thing as a “thank you” can show your appreciation for the support given, and it lets funders and potential funders know that you do not take these contributions lightly. This may also help increase the support you receive and the number of supporters willing to fund your business or project. The author, Nancy Nicholas, has years of fundraising experience working for non-profit organizations, and blogs in her free time. She hopes to give readers insightful information that will help their businesses and organizations. She is currently writing a review on ‘popcorn fundraising.’