6 things I learnt when crowdfunding… that you probably won’t expect

We’re proud to have one of the best crowdfunding coaching teams in the business, and were really excited to find out that Sami Mauger, Head of Coaching & Project Innovation here at Crowdfunder, was planning her own project for the very first time to launch her jewellery brand, Catch The Sunrise.

Born out of early morning musings, road trips and fresh air, the signature style behind Catch The Sunrise is centred on simplicity; designed with wild women and adventure seekers in mind. Through her Crowdfunder project, Sami offered the chance for people to pledge and pre-order exclusive pieces of jewellery, leading her to success with £3,414 raised from 72 supporters.

You can read more about the crowdfunding journey behind Catch The Sunrise journey here.

Sami was really excited to raise the funds to launch her collection, but aside from the money, some other curious things happened along the way… She has put pen to paper to reveal the things that you might not expect to happen when crowdfunding.

1. I reconnected with people from my past

It’s very common to receive pledges from close friends and family, but what about people who you haven’t spoken to in years? Imagine my surprise when my favourite high school teacher pledged on my project! It was a totally unexpected blast from the past and really showed me that support and encouragement doesn’t have an expiration date.

2. I realised I’d been flying under the radar

Before I launched my project, I had been working on my jewellery startup for months. I had completed a silversmith training course and begun renting a studio space… but probably hadn’t specifically mentioned it to many people along the way. Because of this, I found that most friends were really surprised when I told them about my project, which in turn really surprised me! It’s easy to assume that everyone knows what you’re up to, but in reality, they don’t know until you tell them.

3. Gift giving was key

After putting on their first pledge, some people came back and pledged again multiple times. One person even pledged eight times in total! The simple reason for this? I discovered that the multi-pledgers were planning to give the extra rewards away as gifts. These pledges accounted for over a third of the total amount I raised, so being able to offer rewards that would work as gifts worked really well for me.

4. Appreciation not annoyance

This was the biggest surprise of all. When you’re crowdfunding, you can start to feel self-conscious about messages that you’re sending to your friends and family. You think, “What if they don’t want to know about my project?” and can start to worry that you’re spamming them. What I found was actually quite the opposite.

When I sent an individual message, I was met with appreciation rather than annoyance, and I would say on the whole, people were really happy that I had taken the time to speak to them one-on-one. This shone through on the pledges that followed.

5. Not everyone wanted a reward

As I was running a business project, I didn’t expect to receive any donations – but I did! Admittedly the donations were from family and close friends, but I still expected them to want something in return. In reality, they contributed towards my project because they saw an opportunity to get involved with something that I’m passionate about and to help with my startup business. Seeing me succeed was reward enough.

6. My project hit target in less than 24 hours

In hindsight, I might have been a little cautious when setting my target. £1,000 was the minimum I needed to buy some essential equipment, so I started with that on an ‘All Or Nothing’ basis. I’d done so much preparation that when I put my project live, it hit target quickly… almost too quickly. It actually took the wind out of my sails a little, as the big motivating factor of needing to hit my target evaporated.

Next time, I’ll definitely aim higher.

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