There are five basic types of crowdfunding —donation-based, rewards-based, lending, equity and royalty. The Local Crowd platform fits into two categories —rewards and donations—because our contributors can receive rewards in exchange for contributing to a business project, or they can make a simple donation to a cause they support.

The “rewards” space offers tons of opportunities for creativity and fun! So much fun, in fact, that I want to dedicate my next few blogs to digging into some different campaigns and the amazing rewards the creators have dreamed up and offered.

I’ll be covering four types of rewards. First, Pre-Sale rewards are a great way for businesses to get people to try out their products and services. Next, “Experience” rewards include activities like tours, receptions, classes, special events and parties. Naming rewards give contributors the opportunity to have their name or picture on something (like a menu item, or brick in a wall) and Sponsored Rewards are donated by other businesses or individuals who support the project. Stay tuned — these real-life stories will inspire you and stimulate your creative juices!

 

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

One important strategy for crowdfunding success is building a good team—as crowdfunding studies have shown us that teams of four or more people raise more money. Yet, this also seems to be a huge stumbling block—capsulized in the frequent refrain, “But, Katelyn, I don’t have anyone to be on my team!”

As a success coach, I always want to respond with a big hug and reassurance, “Just look around you and it will be easier than you think!”

The first person on your team is, of course, you! (One down, three to go!)  Now take a look around you at the people in your life—your Mom, Dad, siblings, extended family, friends, coworkers, contacts from school, church, clubs and social media. Do you have a cousin who enjoys creating videos, or a best friend who knows all the ins and outs of every social media platform?

The members of your expert team may be hidden in plain sight—right there amidst the things you participate in every day. All you need to do is recognize this and ask!

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

Part of The Local Crowd’s foundational purpose is to facilitate an economic system that is in harmony with environmental sustainability. This has inspired me to examine my own life, my impact on the environment, and ways I can make a difference. In the process, I have discovered some amazing products and companies, and I want to share this information will all of you!

 

Reducing waste: I recently started purchasing cleaning products from Grove Collaborative which has allowed me to reduce the amount of waste that I was previously producing.

 

Reusing: There are some incredible reusable items on the market that extend far beyond water bottles and shopping tote bags. Some of the items I often rave about are reusable sandwich bags from Stasher, as well as reusable q-tips, cotton rounds, and tissues from LastObject.

 

Recycling: Most of us throw cardboard boxes, newspapers, and plastics into those blue-lidded recycling bins; but did you know you can recycle clothing?! The brand For Days has a unique recycling program for used clothes! Communitywide composting provides a solution to food waste that is gaining traction in many areas—including White River Junction, VT, that conducted a TLC campaign to help make it happen—“Closing the Food Waste Loop.”

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

The title of my blog today is a quote from TLC CEO Diane Sontum. She believes that the practice of gratitude can change the world—and I want to share a personal story of how it changed mine.

Every day during TLC team meetings, Diane asks us to share something we are grateful for. At first, I thought this was a little strange and I didn’t have much to say. But, I didn’t like coming up short, so I started to think about gratitude more, paying particular attention to the things I appreciate. Now, the practice has become part of my life and I scan my world every day through the lens of gratitude. I look for things that make me smile–and even when things challenge or upset me, I find something in the situation that I can appreciate.

One of the things I am grateful for about my job at TLC, and how it encourages gratitude to spill out in communities on so many levels. Campaign creators appreciate contributions, contributors appreciate the opportunity to support something they believe in, and residents appreciate being part of a caring community!

http://365thankyounotes.info

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

Reaching your campaign goal is a reason to celebrate, because you’ve done all the right things, and, yay!, it worked! Yet, what happens when you reach your goal and you still have days or weeks left on your campaign? Use this as an opportunity to raise even more money by creating a stretch goal.

 

A stretch goal is a goal you activate once your campaign surpasses its initial funding goal. Plan for it well in advance. Just like a musician must be ready with an encore set before stepping on stage; you must be ready with your stretch goal long before you hit the launch button. Plan out how much you believe you can realistically raise above your initial goal — and how the new funds will be used. Announce the new goal with fanfare and tell everyone how the additional funds will amplify and improve your original project.

 

That’s what Relative Theatrics did— stretching their initial $9, 000 goal to $12,000, and ultimately raising $12,335!

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

When looking at a crowdfunding campaign from the outside, we often view the funding goal as a random number that someone pulled out of a hat. But setting a funding goal is actually a very strategic decision that takes several steps to make.

Start by visualizing your project needs in three stages—what you need to make the project happen, what you want to make it better or more complete, and what you wish for to make it rocking awesome! Your actual campaign goal will probably be somewhere along the spectrum of all those dollar amounts, based on the size of your network.

How do you figure out the size of your network? Begin by taking an inventory of your contacts. Use a spreadsheet to jot down everyone you know—your friends, family, social media contacts, people on your mailing list—everyone. Once your network list is complete, check out our Mini Magic Campaign Calculator to determine the amount of money you can raise, and set your goal accordingly. Knowing that your goal is achievable will inspire you, motivate you, and build your confidence throughout your campaign.


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

In our last blog we talked about how important it is for you to uncover the “Why” behind your crowdfunding campaign—why are you launching the campaign and why will people want to support you? Knowing your why means getting clear about the greater purpose of your business what makes you come alive, and how that connects to making the world a better place.

That’s good advice, and yet as a Success Coach here at The Local Crowd, I often see clients struggle with the process. I hear them say things like, “I don’t know what my why is, I just want to make cheesecake—or open a yoga studio, or set up a pet sitting business. It’s easy to get hung up on the idea of “purpose” as something grandiose and to overlook the fact that the act of baking cheesecake can be part of making the world a better place.

Take, for example the TLC campaign for Major Humphrey’s Brew Co. At first, you might think that this is simply about serving locally crafted beer. But, look closer and you’ll see that the owners Shaun, Brittney, David, and Lily, articulated their “why” as a way to bring their microbrews to an outdoor garden for everyone in Monroe, GA—to gather, listen to live music, play games, and connect with other members of their community.

Here are a few more examples of campaign “whys” to inspire you: Dirtbags (helping families enjoy the outdoors); Orchard Mill Breadworks (providing the community with delicious and nourishing bread and pastry), and Whaleback Mountain, (an affordable, healthy, and sustainable ski resort).


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

It’s from here, your concrete foundation— your why —that you’ll make plans for your business or organization’s work ahead. 

In his texts and record-breaking presentations, author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek introduces an approach to leadership built on a clear vision and purposeful action that, as his best-selling book states in its title, Starts with Why.

He explains a Golden Rule, drawn in three concentric circles marked and centered around why, followed by How, and lastly What. The concept, rooted in neuroscience, asks us to lead with heart, even before wordsa practice The Local Crowd has adopted with Tender Loving arms.

In a podcast with a research professor, best-selling author, and inspiring leader, Dr. Brené Brown digs into why-centered work alongside Sinek. Here Sinek compares the importance of knowing the true origin story of your work—why am I doing the work I’m doing in the world?to the structure and process of constructing a home. 

Your why is the foundation—poured concrete marking the permanent shape of what will become a house—built up with choices in how to move forward and with what tools and fixtures. Your vision for what’s built on top or placed inside may change with time, much like the shutter’s paint or the fixture’s finish is altered over the years, but the foundation won’t change. It’s from here, your concrete foundationyour unique whythat you’ll make plans for your business or organization’s work ahead. 

We believe, as Sinek tells, each launch, project, pivot, or move within the walls of your business is no different; at The Local Crowd we start every campaign with you at your unique why.

Your Why is the Foundation

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Use this time to rally around the next circle of supporters and continue implementing your marketing plan.

 

Mid-campaign is the time to rally around the next supporters referred by previous funders, or to methodically continue implementing your marketing plan. Most crowdfunding campaigns follow a predictable trajectory of initial success followed by a Valley of Death–the period of time immediately following the initial surge of interest that can feel a lot like a lull. Here are some ideas to keep your mid-campaign marketing moving forward:

  • Now is the time to reach out to a wider audience. Brainstorm with your team on where you can go next for support and the media channels to use to reach them.
  • Launch new rewards to build excitement around a different offering that your growing audience will be delighted to share.  
  • Update your early contributors about your campaign progress, new rewards and other news and ask them to share the campaign with their friends, workplace and connections on social media
  • Emphasize sharing on social media and direct emails with incentives like giveaways, discounts, or even unveiling a new reward
  • Create updated press releases and digital content for social media and newsletter lists featuring campaign updates, celebrating wins, and sharing what’s needed to move forward to reach your goals. 
  • Think about the affinity groups that may be interested in your work or who your team is connected with and reach out with information about your campaign.
Mid-Campaign Marketing: Keep Reaching!

We know that most crowdfunding campaigns experience a Valley of Death after the first week, and that continued focus on marketing and outreach allows for a steady climb up from that lull, making for an overall trajectory of crowdfunded success that looks a lot like a familiar zoo favorite!

 

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Did you know a successful crowdfunding campaign can reap many benefits beyond capital for your business, professional networks, and community?

 

Did you know that a successful crowdfunding campaign can reap benefits for your business, professional networks, and community?

While a need for capital is what brings many to the innovative tool, the power of crowdfunding extends far beyond raising funds.

As you begin to set your campaign goals, collect resources, and make a plan, consider these ways your successful crowdfunding campaign can make an impact. 

  • It builds a community of supportive followers who rally around your project thanks to shared interest and investment in their neighborhood.
  • It attracts new collaborative partnerships and opens doors for conversation around your mission with individuals and organizations who are intrigued by the work you’re doing. 
  • It allows you to crowdsource ideas and feedback on your project or offering and creates a space to market test an idea or product with presales. 
  • It creates a centralized platform for you to formulate and tell your unique and compelling story with the use of multimedia like video, social media, and email campaigns.
  • It broadens your audience and potential customer base with shareable content, cultivating a more robust brand awareness within your community.
  • Last but not least, it allows you to reach toward your network of cheerleaders within your community and exchange your irresistible rewards for funds in support of your future success!

The Possibilities of Crowdfunding

 

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