We believe what makes us great is our good hearing. We keep our ears clean and exposed - exposed to what our clients say, exposed to what our partners say, exposed to what experts in our field say and exposed to everything else we might find useful and applicable in giving a first-range service. So when we heard of the last EVPA’s webinar on crowdfunding happening - we just had to plug in those headphones and find out what do top European crowdfunders have to say on the topic of Crowdfunding for Impact.
For a while now we’ve been actively working in this field throughout the Crowdfunding Academy project. We mentored several crowdfunding campaigns with diverse social impacts - ranging from refugee-run kitchen in Croatia to education in STEM fields. We also made our own crowdfunding campaign through which we’ve produced and delivered more than 1000 baby slings for refugee families travelling the Balkan route.
Crowdfunding in Croatia is still a new form of financing. In 2014 only 1% of Croatians, mostly young-aged, knew what crowdfunding is. That’s why the questions we often get about it don’t surprise us. But what can get difficult is explaining the concept and complexity of crowdfunding - meaning, people often don’t understand that they can’t just put their project on a platform and expect money to start flowing in.
A simple explanation given at EVPA’s webinar sounded like a perfect solution to our trouble. Silvia Steisel, one of the founders of the Belgian community platform for collaborative philanthropy Gingo.Community, made a perfect sum-up. Silvia pointed out 5 simple theses understandable to all those new in the field.
First of all, project holder is the key! If the person starting a campaign isn’t ready to jump off a cliff for his project - nobody will. No - I’m just kidding - don’t jump off a cliff. But, don’t also start a campaign if you aren’t ready to be very loud and hard-working about it.
Second place belongs to this one: you are campaigning to solve a problem. So, forget about calling for the money. Call for backers in solving a real-world problem that will make a positive social impact. Moreover, make your backers feel they are the ones making the impact.
Everybody needs a hero - and so does your campaign. In order to make it visible to a wider public, find ambassadors with a wide social network and use them as your allies in promotion.
Fourth - you don’t never ever start a campaign from zero. Though crowdfunding might seem like a perfect financing solution, it’s good to have a starting budget for the case of getting professional design or video services, just as it is good because you seem more trustworthy if you show people you’re into this project so much that you’re getting money with or without them.
Last, everything starts in your network. Yes, crowdfunding can get people from opposite sides of the world to finance you. But, if the community whose problem you’re trying to solve isn’t the first one to recognize this cause as something that matters, then very few will.
We’ll keep on listening and coming back to you with more useful info about #crowdfunding, #campaigns, #design and #media.