Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a term that you may have heard a lot lately in the news, online, and from friends.  Maybe you’re unsure exactly what it is that people are talking about.  The concept of crowdfunding is quite simple, and in this piece, we’ll take a look at each step in the process.

I’ve got an Idea!

It happens every single day.  An inventor or developer has an idea for a product or service.  That product could be something new and revolutionary, something artistic, or something that improves on an existing product or service.  The problem that you face is simple and very common: you do not have the necessary funds to develop your great idea. 

The enterprising inventor then tries traditional means of raising venture capital.  This often means presenting his idea to large investors or companies.  These meetings are stressful and usually unsuccessful.  Even in the unlikely event that the concept is well liked, it can often come with strings attached including:

·         Providing a majority of the profit that may come from the development of the product to the investors.
·         Outside, often uninformed, input, changing the core concepts of your idea.

This is where many great concepts die.  Not anymore.

Turning to the Public

Now you have options when traditional means of raising the capital for your idea fail, or don’t suit your personality or vision for your project.  Throughout history, people have turned to friends or family to help fund new business ventures or concepts.  Crowdfunding takes that one step further, by turning to the public, asking them to invest in your idea.

Using a medium, such as DonatePages.com, you can present your idea to the public.  You’ll be provided with robust tools to talk about your concept, vision, and how it makes people’s lives better.  People will evaluate their idea, get excited, and make small contributions to your project.  Instead of asking one or two investors for thousands of dollars, instead you’re asking thousands of investors for just a few dollars.

In return, the developer often offers special benefits and perks to those who’ve donated to their project, usually increasing in value by the level of donation.  Perhaps a filmmaker will give an early DVD copy to someone who donates $10.  For a person who donates $1,000, they may offer a producer credit.  For someone kind enough to donate $10,000, that person may get a cameo appearance in the movie.

Crowdfunding is a wonderful way to increase your opportunity to properly fund your invention, service idea, or artistic project without the stress, embarrassment, and loss of control that traditional means of raising investment capital works.  More so, you have the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with large groups of people who may be interested in future projects.  If you have an idea, what’s stopping you from starting a campaign today?  You may turn your dream into a reality!

Top Ten Fundraising Ideas

For many groups, raising funds to accomplish your mission can be challenging.  Many nonprofits focus on antiquated methods, such as telephone fundraising or direct mail.  Some charities get involved in co-branding agreements with popular products.  No matter what you’re raising money for, you’ll need to be creative.  These ten ideas may be a great starting point for your fundraising efforts.

10.  Go extreme!  Shave your head!

This has been very successful for cancer charities, and accomplishes two goals.  Volunteers agree to shave their heads if a certain dollar amount has been raised by a deadline.  This not only raises money for your cause, but it shows solidarity with cancer patients; chemotherapy can cause hair loss.  This is an all around win-win.

9.  Host a Summer Car Wash

Gather your volunteers somewhere convenient, and have them offer to wash people’s cars for a donation.  People like this because they get something in return for their generosity.  Plus, a hand wash is way better on their cars than a drive through.

8.  Eating Contest

Based on the popularity of television shows like Man vs. Food, you could host a hot dog, pie, or taco eating contest.  Participants could raise money for their entry, and you could ask local restaurants or caterers to donate the food and venue.  Who doesn’t like to see someone eat massive amounts of food?

7.  Cookbook!

Ask each member of your group to submit a recipe, then compile a cookbook to sell to raise funds.  This is a fun way for people to share recipes for a good cause.

6.  Rubber Bracelets

Popularized in the early 2000’s, brightly colored rubber bracelets can draw attention to your cause, and raise funds in the process.  When bought in bulk, these bracelets can cost a few pennies a piece, and can be sold for a couple of dollars.

5.  Twitter Fundraising

Ask businesses and individuals to donate a certain amount based on the number of times a Twitter hash tag is used.  This can add up extremely quickly.

4.  Hold an Auction

Ask local businesses and artists to donate prizes from their inventory.  Then hold an auction where the public bids on these items, with the proceeds going to the cause. 

3.  Fifty-Fifty Raffle

You see these everywhere, with good reason – they work.  Members sell tickets at a busy event.  At a predetermined time, the winning ticket is drawn, with half of the money going to the charity, the other half going to the winning ticket holder. 

2.  Walkathon

Made popular by Clark Cobb of the Christian Businessman Association, the walkathon is a popular fundraising tool.  Members raise money by asking friends and family for donations, based on the distance that they’re willing to walk.  These small amounts can add up!  

1.  Get out of Jail

These can be quite fun.  Contact your local prison and ask if they’d be willing to “lock up” members until they were able to post “bail.”  Your members will spend the evening in a jail cell (in a safe part of the prison, of course), and their friends, family, and the public can donate until a goal is reached, releasing them.


Welcome to the New Donate Pages Blog!

Welcome to the new Donate Pages Blog!

We will be adding content soon!