Social proof is relevant in marketing and an element that is critical to launching a successful crowdfunding campaign with a bang.


Digital platforms plug into our human desire to fall into pockets of like-minded people and benefit from the extensive perks of our specific community and building a successful crowdfunding campaign looks directly to this.  We look to our neighbors for trends, emotional responses, opinions, and guidance, mainly when we are unsure of what direction we want to fall. This assurance that our friends, family, and peers are making similar choices for a product, an opinion, a color for their new sweater, is called social proof

No different from any other facet of life, social proof is relevant in marketing and an element that is critical to launching a successful crowdfunding campaign with a bang. 

Imagine scrolling through campaigns and finding a product with zero raised funds, and then imagine finding a similar campaign with an active list of backers, local organization collaborations, and proof that the campaign host has put some skin in the game. 

Which campaign are you more likely to pull your wallet out for?

Crowdfunding data tells us that the most successful campaigns launch with 30% of their goal already funded, confirming for new faces that your project is well received.

You can establish these pre-launch funds by sending personal asks for early financial pledges from your peers, making your contribution, or perhaps looking to funds received in grants for the campaign project at hand.  

As you navigate the remainder of your campaign, keep the concept of social proof at the top of mind, and publish updates in your emails and social media posts that highlight the traction your project is making. Testimonials, behind the scenes content, and photos of loyal customers engaging with the product or service are great ways to create proof that you’re offering an opportunity that’s not only beneficial to you but to the greater, like-minded community you reside within as well. 

The Secret to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign: Social Proof

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Building a crowdfunding marketing plan that is consistent and compelling is crucial to campaign success. Here are some tips to build yours.


Implementing communication efforts for your campaign may fall low on your priority list as you prepare and build out all the steps necessary to press launch, however building a crowdfunding marketing plan is crucial to your success. When it comes to the time requirement for crunching numbers, managing a team, and creating a compelling and informative campaign video, making plans for daily Facebook posts and weekly email check-ins can seem like the farthest thing out of reach. However, a routine and thoughtful marketing plan can work for your campaign, building your audience, carrying you through slumps, and celebrating big wins along the way. 

Content is often unseen by your followers because of social media algorithms, so it’s important to plan daily posts on the platforms you’re opting to use to ensure that a stream of information is flowing and stands its best chance to be seen.

Also, you can make a calendar for publishing press releases, schedule email campaigns, and book any radio, newspaper, or digital advertising you budgeted for with the ad representative in your area.

In addition to routine updates on the status of your campaign, content topics can include behind the scenes looks at what your team is up to and announcements for new rewards or incentives. Be sure to carve out time to respond to comments and messages from your community to demonstrate that you care about them and are grateful for their interest.  

Last but not least, it is important to remember that this is no time for modesty, but rather a time to celebrate your efforts enthusiastically; lead your messaging with confidence and certainty that your project is gifting your community as much as they’re gifting to you!

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A library of fun and useful rewards with offerings that intrigue a variety of lifestyles within your audience is an essential element of a crowdfunding campaign’s success. If you’re feeling stuck on where to look next for offerings that will delight your potential backers, here are six creative ideas for irresistible crowdfunding campaign rewards!

  1. Offer presales of your product to create hype around the launch and ensure you have the funds to move forward with production like DirtBags did for their custom bike packs. 
  2. Create a collection of rewards based on a theme like The New Hampshire Bee Initiative did with honey and ecology themed products in support of a community mural raising pollinator awareness. 
  3. Offer an experience–an art class, tour, sports tickets, or a farm to table dinner and drinks like Monroe Downtown–and create an opportunity to reach those who aren’t looking for extra swag. 
  4. Look to the calendar and create themed rewards or baskets that appeal to gift-givers for the holidays on the horizon, whether Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Valentine’s.
  5. Much like Butte’s high-five offering for five dollars, you can create a low-dollar option for those with tight budgets and provide an opportunity to contribute without a burdensome commitment and reward them with something as simple as a heartfelt note or sticker for their good deed.
  6. Orchard Hill Breadworks created a reward for a custom catering event, appealing to locals with plans to host a wedding, reunion, or large gathering in the near future. Preselling your company’s services to those looking to book their upcoming projects is a great way to create higher dollar rewards!

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How to build your crowdfunding contact list with a diverse pool of contacts to reach out to throughout your campaign and ask for support.


After you’ve cleverly crafted your story and made strategic plans for making the ask to bring your project to life, launch day is just around the corner and it’s time to build your crowdfunding contact list! At this point, it will be vital that you have a lengthy and diverse pool of contacts to reach out to throughout your campaign, whether via email, telephone, or in-person visits. Begin by creating a spreadsheet to organize names, contact information, and record correspondence as you start to send personalized notes requesting support. Below you’ll find five ways to begin building that spreadsheet into a rich and powerful tool that will help you push toward your campaign’s success. 

  1. Dig into your pre-existing contact lists on your smartphone, email accounts, and any professional networks and begin organizing groups of friends, family, close peers, and community connections. 
  2. Just as you have combed your resources for contacts, ask the members of your team to do the same, allowing your campaign to reach into different affinity groups beyond your own. 
  3. As you attend networking events, meetings, and conferences, and share your upcoming projects with peers, collect names and contact information with a notebook or tablet to keep them up-to-date as you move forward.
  4. People are more prone to sharing their contact information when they feel it is a mutually beneficial exchange; offer a freebie download or swag item to incentivize your community to sign up and stay informed.
  5. Use your personal and business social media channels to gather email subscriptions from people interested in what you have in store, and double down by asking your close contacts to share the same call to action on their pages as well.

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Making the crowdfunding ask, especially in support of purpose-driven goals, is a process rich in opportunity for you and your supporters.


Standing in front of our peers and sincerely asking for support is a necessity of crowdfunding that can leave even the most confident feeling vulnerable. However, the exchange of money, especially in support of purpose-driven goals, making the crowdfunding ask is a process rich in opportunity for both you and your supporters.

First and foremost, reaching out to your network builds community through the exploration of shared values and a mutual love for a product, place or lifestyle. Once that connection is established, a foundation for change-making is laid — opening up an opportunity for collaboration, support and, with time, the successful completion of your campaign.

“Asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other,” expert in asking and performer Amanda Palmer writes in her book, The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. Casting aside the insecurities that come from reaching outward for help, perhaps made more sensitive with an ask for cash, Palmer defends the immense value in confidently asking, knowing connection comes tenfold. 

While the power of asking is undeniable, it requires a repetitive approach from a variety of angles — in person, via email, across your social media — all steadily providing the information needed to lead to that final offering of support.  As a society, we are prepared to make moves with our wallets, but we have to navigate a world of constant calls to action and pleas for cash in deals and promotions on a local and national scale.

Ensuring your ask stands out in a world of thousands of others asks can be achieved, first, with a commitment to making the clearest ask for what you need, asking for it often and asking for it many ways.

Standing in front of our peers and sincerely asking for support is a necessity of crowdfunding that can leave even the most confident feeling vulnerable. However, the exchange of money, especially in support of purpose-driven goals, is a process rich in opportunity for both you and your supporters.

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A crowdfunding video that coverts, informs, entertains, and persuades potential backers and increases conversion rates by up to 80%.


Your video is the workhorse of your crowdfunding campaign, holding power to inform, entertain and persuade potential backers of your project. 

Strategic videography can intrigue and capture an audience in a short amount of time, quickly grasping their emotions with sight and sound, raising campaign conversation rates by up to eighty percent, making a crowdfunding video that converts.

When it comes to the physical creation of your content, quality over quantity is critical. 

Campaigns with videos under five minutes long are 25% more likely to be successful according to a crowdfunding study; however, others believe one to two minutes is ideal.

Whether recording with high-end equipment or your smartphone, prioritize a clear sound recording and crisp imagery, avoiding distracting background visuals or noise. Commonly, people believe that quality is synonymous with a steep expense, but rather, we can find excellence in extra attention to detail, without spending a dime.

Additionally, no different than relationship building offline within our lives, personality is key

Use your video’s script, graphics, and visual elements to show the emotional backbone of your campaign, whether that is free-spirited and fun or weighty and focused on problem-solving. 

As you begin to build your video content, focus careful attention toward crafting clear and concise crowdfunding video that holds your viewers’ attention and uses your unique story to compel them to pull the trigger on investing in your campaign!

Making a Crowdfunding Video That Converts

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We learn, connect and make choices every day through narrative structure, making your crowdfunding story a powerful part of your campaign.


From fantastical storybooks to nail-biting films, compelling novels to interesting podcasts, we engage with stories throughout our lives, which is why your unique crowdfunding story is impactful to your campaign’s success. 

It’s here, through the power of narrative, that we learn, connect and make choices every day, making it no coincidence that we can find the classic structure of our favorite stories in the marketing of the most powerful crowdfunding campaigns.

Think back to a favorite childhood tale and break it down into its simplest form through the lens of your project at hand. 

Once upon a time, there was a unique cast of characters living their lives in a setting somewhere–the physical, economic and emotional landscape of wherever your audience resides [their place].

Oh no! A problem exists among these people, a conflict that brings them frustration or grief of some kind, but as any fairy tale tells us, a hero is on the horizon [that’s you!] to bring a fantastic solution to the crowd. 

Much like a choose-your-own-adventure experience, now your audience has the power to pick what happens next. 

In a clear and concise call-to-action, they can support your valiant efforts in bringing peace to the crowd by backing financially, sharing and spreading the word. Now, with your dedicated group harnessing energies and their generous support, the credits can roll, leaving happily ever after as the natural next scene.

Writing Your Crowdfunding Story: Once Upon a Campaign

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Resilient communities are rich in social capital–shared values made more robust by lending a hand to a neighbor to lift a whole neighborhood up.


When we think of business, we often think of a simple exchange: a product, service, or experience in exchange for cash. We swipe our debit cards as a means to fulfill our needs and often move about our day unfazed by the impact that this simple exchange has made, without pondering why we chose to walk into the store we did. 

Beneath the daily buzz of checking our to-dos and filling our shopping carts are dozens of silent, often subconscious, exchanges made between us, as customers, and the companies we support. We reach for sustainable eggs or cruelty-free cosmetics because our values align. We buy coffee from the roaster who sponsored our child’s soccer team or toss bills into the tip jar for the musician whose performance makes us feel fired up in just the same way. We are exchanging capital in cash, as well as equity in social value, supporting business endeavors because something said blatantly or subconsciously assures us that our visions for our community’s future align. We are on the same team

In times of crisis, this social wealth we’ve exchanged holds immense value, rallying us together to face times of great challenge knowing, despite the circumstances at hand, we are not alone. 

Resilience, of people and their places, is a survival muscle built stronger through the wealth of social capital–shared values made more robust by support, showing up and lending a hand to a neighbor to lift the entire neighborhood up. 

Now, as we face the world-wide economic, health, and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 virus, we are invited to get curious and creative, knowing that despite the state of our wallets, we are rich with social capital; we are not alone. 

Resilient Communities Are Rich in Social Capital

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Social capital is a currency that allows consumers and producers to rally around a mission and efficiently create change.


Historically, three sectors of our economies have been most prevalent: the public sector, or government, the private sector, or business, and the nonprofit sector. Today we see a forceful emergence and growing power of a fourth sector made up of for-benefit organizations with mission-driven companies and eyes set on creating impactful change.

These businesses, often called social enterprises, still focus on creating a profit, while also looking beyond their capital gains and identifying the assets they’re providing socially, culturally, or environmentally. The shared values of these companies and their supporters are defined as social capital–a currency that allows consumers and producers to rally around a mission and efficiently create change.

A local theater company providing thought-provoking art, a sustainable farm offering nutrition to their community while monitoring their impact on the environment, a coffee shop serving as a gathering space for marginalized populations to share stories and connect–these are all social enterprises, exchanging capital via sales as well as beliefs.

Many businesses within your community serve as representatives of this fourth-sector whether they’re aware of it or not. Regardless of industry, size, or notoriety, what each of these businesses share is care–care for community, whether that’s defined by a downtown district or a wider net cast over those with similar lifestyles, hobbies, or passions.

At its core, the caring economy holds profound power, because that core is fabricated from a simple yet efficacious desire to be of service to people, their places, and this planet. 

The Local Crowd’s origins are rooted in supporting these enterprises, fueled by passion and care, harnessing the power of their neighborhoods and lifting our communities one purchase, pledge, or act of kindness at a time.

The Caring Economy: Exchanging Social Capital for Change

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As we find a semblance of normalcy in our new-for-now lifestyles self-distanced from the comforts of home, it can feel as if our power to connect and support our community has been diminished entirely. However, we can find inspiration in looking to the symbology of rural history’s barn-raisings–the gathering of many hands, shared materials, and strength built by numbers to create a structure to feed the community collaboratively. 

Today’s circumstances insist that we reach for our digital tools instead of hammers, and we gather with our peers from a distance instead of around a wooden frame, but the formula for success is no different.

Here are a few ways you can provide impactful support for the structures in need of bolstering in your community amid the economic effects of COVID-19

  • Browse your local economic development agencies’ press to find where they’re specifically directing the community to rally support. Many agencies are coordinating contests and campaigns to drive traffic to businesses most affected by the mandated closures and stay-at-home orders.
  • Consider how you can support the organizations you’re missing most. Is your life in quarantine leaving you desperate for live music, your local library’s book club, or a favorite yoga class? Check-in with the hosting organizations and see how they’re asking the community for support.
  • What many of the businesses need now is cash flow, however as jobs are eliminated and hours cut, budgets are tightening for individuals across the globe regardless of industry. Remember that impact does not always have to be made with our wallets, and great influence can be made by sharing promotions, leaving kind reviews, or simply sending a message of support to the businesses you love.

How to Support Your Community from Home

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