How to plan a good crowdfunding campaign
Map out your resources
Crowdfunding platform is not a money machine. Social networks are important. Funding can come from many different sources - your audience, your project’s fans, your family and friends, from people who share your interests, and from people who are touched by your project and want to see it come alive.
Maybe you can inspire some of these people to help you out with your campaign with other ways than just funding it; with marketing, for example.
Engage the audience
Tell the public in advance of your campaign. Create your project a Facebook page and try to build its audience already before starting the campaign.
Define your project
In Mesenaatti.me only projects can be funded.
Be precise about what your project is. You recognize a project from a concrete start and end. For example, writing, publishing and printing a book is a project, but selling books that are already published is not a project, nor is a will to become a writer.
Define the project goals clearly for yourself and present them just as clearly to the public.
Make a budget
Calculate how much you need to succeed in the project. Also your funders want you to succeed. Include also your own salary in the budget.
When counting the budget, remember to include the costs of the crowdfunding campaign itself, such as your own campaign work, Mesenaatti.me commission, Holvi’s service fees, rewards, and any packaging and shipping costs.
When your budget is ready you know what you campaign's minimum goal needs to be.
Set your goal
Minimum goal refers to the amount which is at least needed for you to be able to carry out your project, and thus fulfill the promises and deliver the rewards to the funders.
The minimum goal must be at least € 1,000.
If your campaign does not reach the minimum target, the financial commitments will expire and the funds will be returned to the funders.
When the minimum target is reached, you know that you can raise you received funding once the project ends, and start your project.
The minimum goal can also be your actual goal.
If you can implement your project even with 3000 euros, but actually you would need 6,000 euros to execute it really well, your goal can be higher than your minimum goal.
Tell funders how the project will be different if only the minimum is reached, compared to a bigger sums.
Parties with a fundraising permit may collect funds without the minimum goal. However, if the project cannot be implemented without a certain sum, a minimum goal is still needed.
Decide on the duration
You get to decide the duration of the campaign. The recommended time is 3-6 weeks.
Crowdfunding is hard. Too long a campaign may make you tired, and there is a risk that your audiences get tired of the continuous campaigning too. Think about what kind of time you need to reach your audience and execute all marketing activities.
Design your campaign and marketing in advance, and then make a quick and dynamic campaign.
Plan the rewards
Reward is what your funders receive according to their funding sum. Its value should be in a reasonable relation to the funding sum.
Rewards can be anything, and often they are things that fit the project naturally. They could be products, services, experiences, memberships etc:
book, album, video recording, application, or any other product or its first edition.
Or use your fundraising permit or "small collection number" and ask for donations
- ticket to the premiere, invitation to the opening etc.
- permission to use a space, a service or a product
- share of a cooperative, a company or an association, a club membership, etc.
- share of the project's financial returns
Parties with a fundraising permit can apply for funding in Mesenaatti.me without offering rewards. Also there is now a possibility to make a pienkeräys,
"small money collection". While fundraising permits are only available for nonprofits, and the application process can take a long while, pienkeräys is available also to groups of individuals, and one only needs to fill in simple information and the pienkeräys number for making the collection comes quickly. One can collect up to 10 000 euros via the pienkeräys. For more info, check the Police's website
However, it should also be considered whether the rewards would actually make the campaign more attractive to the funders. Sometimes the rewards can connect funders to the organization in a new way.
What is a good reward?
If your project’s aim is to produce a show or a product, it is natural to offer the final product as a reward. Rewards can also be intangible, such as an experience or an invitation to the opening night. At best, the reward leads to new encounters and contents, such as a meeting with the artist, a studio visit, or even an opportunity to participate in the final product design or implementation. The most important thing is that the rewards is attractive to the funders and reasonably easy to make or implement, and not too expensive to produce.
Funders have different wallet sizes. Thus, consideration should be applied in the price range. According to some experiences abroad, most popular funding sums are around 20, 30 and 50 euros. On the other hand there are always those who want to fund with a larger amount, so it is good to include a few 500 and 1000 euro rewards.
It is necessary that the reward prices will leave you with a good margin. Margin is what is left of the price after the taxes, production and delivery of the reward. If a T-shirt will cost you 10 euros, it is not worth it to give it as a reward for a 15 euro funding. As funders are mostly funding for your project to take place, the T-shirt can be clearly more pricey than in a regular shop. However, do not overprice.
Calculate to the costs of production also the commission for Mesenaatti.me, Holvi’s service charge, and any packaging and shipping costs.
If the applicant of crowdfunding is subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), they should include VAT in the prices of the rewards - and include it in the descriptions of the rewards. You should also mention if you are not subject to VAT, for example, by just noting “no VAT”.
Keep in mind that the funding that is received is income of either you or your team or organization, and it must be treated in accordance with the tax system. Non-profit organizations are generally tax-free, but this also depends on the kind of activity in question.
Set delivery deadlines
Determine when can each reward be delivered. This might vary among the reward types. In principle, you can start delivering just as soon as the campaign ends. But of course if the reward is an invitation to your film premiere, this might take something like two years. In any case, the delivery time needs to be stated in the reward description.