After Grimsby Town FC missed out on promotion to the Football League in May, their fans and the Mariners Trust decided to set up a Crowdfunder campaign to help their manager buy new players. 50 days, 2000+ pledges and £110,000 later, we can safely say that Grimsby Town FC has scored big. They gave us their top tips for other Football Clubs fundraising on Crowdfunder.
If you feel inspired to raise funds for your club – get started now and add your project.
Setting a great Football Club crowdfunding target
We set a target of £20,000 which we believed was achievable with a good push. We were fortunate this was eclipsed on our first day so we set an overfunding target of £100,000 (which we also achieved). The obvious advice is to work out exactly what you need – taking into account all costs too, such as making rewards, money for marketing etc – and ensure everything is factored in. Don’t be too ambitious, but set a target that needs work to achieve to ensure you give it the maximum work and focus.
Creating great rewards for Football Club fundraising
We opted for rewards with high and low values – starting at £1 with the highest at £2,500. We wanted to ensure the whole community could be involved, even if they didn’t have lots of money. One 7-year-old boy donated his £4 pocket money to the campaign, while one business owner pledged the £2,500. Not excluding anyone is really, really important.
Creating a video for crowdfunding
We didn’t actually create a video for our campaign – however we used the media significantly and the BBC ran several stories which we then used their footage to promote what we did. We found using graphics and images used just as well in the time we had.
Three Football Club fundraising top tips – Pre, During and Post Crowdfunding…
- Before you launch: Have a detailed plan – what do you want to achieve and how do you intend to achieve it. We did this on a day by day basis for eight weeks, although due to our success we had to rip it up after three days and do it again!
- While live crowdfunding: Be creative – create images and social media posts that can be shared. Viral marketing is cheap and if customers can become your brand ambassadors your campaign will be far more successful.
- Once you’ve funded: Celebrate – Running a crowdfunder campaign is a lot of hard work but for us was great fun. Regardless of the end result celebrate your achievements.
Reaching out to Football Club supporters with email
As a Trust we have approximately 1,300 members and so we have a good email mailing list. Use existing customers to drive your messages and to keep people updated. The key is to be transparent and keep people informed – and to remember that everyone who donates can receive updates through the Crowdfunder control panel.
Gaining press coverage for your crowdfunding campaign
Give the press as much information as possible as far enough in advance as possible. If you can, give media outlets exclusives as this will likely generate better coverage. Bear in mind journalists are busy so when you pitch do so in as concise a manner as possible. Make things as easy as possible for them! Here is a clip featuring us on BBC Radio 2.
Crowdfunding a Football Club has many benefits – not just the money. What else can be achieved with a sports crowdfunding campaign?
Community spirit – our #OperationPromotion campaign was more than just about the money. It turned a dejected group of supporters who had watched their team lose at Wembley into a collective group of positive fans desperate to see their team succeed. It’s brought the club and community closer together than ever before. The fact it was set up and run by supporters and not created by a PR or marketing agency has added to the authenticity of the project. There’s no ‘us and them’ anymore – just a club and it’s fans looking to take on the 2015/16 season together, desperate for a positive end to a (so far!) happy story.
If you are inspired to raise funds for your football Club, get started and add your project today.
Looking for more tips on how to crowdfund? Want to get started? Download 95 Tips For Crowdfunders From Crowdfunders – direct from the creative masterminds of some of the UK’s most successful projects and start raising the funds you need to make your idea a reality.