We’re always on hand to help get your Crowdfunder started, but hearing some advice from project owners who’ve been there is better yet! We asked some successful project owners for their top tips for people thinking about crowdfunding.
It’s all in the planning
Spiral Freerun CIC is a community club, based in Bedford, that specialises in teaching parkour and freerunning to members of the local community. Their aims are to improve the physical and mental health of participants, make parkour more inclusive and accessible, and create a welcoming and safe environment. They set up a Crowdfunder so they could expand their services and support more people in the community. They successfully raised £30,656 from 142 supporters.
Jesse shared this piece of advice;
“The only thing we wish we had done more of before starting, is planning. We didn’t expect much back from the Crowdfunder so it was quickly set up with a big goal. However, we soon realised that there was a lot more that needed doing to make our project viable and available for the Sport England funding.”
“Crowdfunding gave us the opportunity to create a permanent residence for our growing community without the constraints of our regular venue. It has also really brought our community together as a whole and brought new communities to us!”
Get your community involved
Koala Community Hub provides opportunities for autistic and neurodivergent (ND) members of their community (including those with learning disabilities, LD) to meet their peers and access support and training in a sensory-safe environment, supported by volunteers who understand their barriers to engagement. They set up a Crowdfunder to increase their services so they could meet demand. They successfully raised £13,481 from 78 supporters.
Tori and Chloe from Koala shared this great advice;
“It is really important to have great rewards but also to have people helping to share the campaign. We have people in our community who are unable to financially contribute but they helped us by sharing and spreading the word with friends.”
“Our local businesses were also very generous and our rewards ranged from vouchers to have a manicure, tickets to go bowling and even an oven!”
Rewards are a great incentive
Light UP Youth Theatre provides a safe, supportive and inclusive setting for self expression and creative collaboration. Programmed by highly skilled teachers and theatre professionals, their performing arts programme is like none other, offering accessible opportunities and experiences that advance and develop their student’s range of skills and interests. Light UP puts the needs of the student centre stage to encourage them to be whoever they want to be so they can shine, both on stage and off. They successfully raised £15,293 from 88 supporters.
Rosanna and Courtney shed some light on using rewards;
“One tool we wish we used sooner was to add rewards. Once we did this, it unlocked a variety of options for us and those that were donating to the cause. It meant we could offer something tangible which gave some supporters more incentive to donate.”
Tell your story
Bath City Farm is a charitable organisation, providing education, training and therapeutic activities to people in the local community, as well as a free-to-access visitor attraction for families and children. Their aim is to help around 800 children, young people and adults each year with mental health issues or additional learning needs to thrive and be well. They successfully raised £33,905 from 228 supporters.
Alison had this advice to share;
“Make sure your story is compelling and describes who you are, what you do and why you need the money. If you can, give examples; e.g. our vet bills cost around £50 a week at Bath City Farm.”
“Make a compelling film to help tell your story, and when things seem tough keep going! Tell everyone what you are doing and why, and how they can help. Make good use of the update feature on Crowdfunder to keep people informed about your campaign as it progresses.”
Create a buzz
The Coexist Community Kitchen (CCK) is a not-for-profit cookery school based in Bristol that works to provide free cookery classes and community meals for those experiencing social marginalisation in our society. To continue with their ongoing projects, they set up a Crowdfunder and successfully raised £33,068 from 128 supporters.
We caught up with Ari from CCK who shared this advice;
“We would definitely recommend giving yourself a long build up. There’s a lot to think about and starting early is always a good move. It’s really important to think about your story and how you are going to get people to connect with what you do – whether that’s by sharing photos, testimonials or videos. We also dedicated time to speaking with our network of partners to let them know what we were hoping to do and help galvanise their support.”
“We found that people also liked getting regular updates about our progress. There’s something wonderfully motivating to know you’ve given to a cause that you care about, and been one of the many people who helped make it a huge success. So don’t forget to say thank you to each and every supporter along the way!”
Make +Extra funding work for you
The Gathering, based in Plymouth, plans to create a large-scale community event that celebrates the everyday heritage of The Plymouth Sound and its lost traditions. An event that encourages the community to care for this incredible space. They successfully raised £39,150 from 66 supporters.
Fiona and Karen had this advice for projects;
“Hold your nerve. It’s hard work yes, but it’s great engagement. That is something you are going to have to do when the project is up and running, so you might as well start now. Making a video is important and keep your message clear and succinct. The match funding is absolutely 100% worth going for. You might not think you will be successful but we highly recommend you give it a shot.”
“We also used our crowdfunder to apply for match Arts Council Funding and guess what… when we re-submitted we were successful. So eventually we ended up with a well funded and supported piece of work, which is a dream beginning to The Gathering project.”