The Local Crowd Newton platform provides funding options for expanding businesses, recruiting new businesses, creating infrastructure, supporting art, and funding projects that have an impact in Downtown Newton. This tool can be the catalyst for the development of future funding resources for Downtown Newton, NC. The TLC Newton platform is managed by the Downtown Newton Development Association.
Campaign Criteria: The following criteria must be met in order for a project to be posted on the Downtown Newton crowdfunding platform:
The project is located in the Downtown Newton, NC area.
The project proposes a measurable benefit to the local economy and/or improvement to the quality of life in Newton, NC.
The project does not propose any illegal activities and would not be considered malicious or hateful toward any individual or group.
The Business must be in compliance with applicable City of Newton regulations and zoning ordinances.
Crowdfunding goal is under $10,000.00
Projects that complement the mission of the Downtown Newton Development Association, including cultivating entrepreneurship and mixed used development embracing cultural, visual, and performing arts along with preserving the history of downtown Newton thus creating a safe and active family lifestyle will receive special consideration.
The following uses are not eligible for funding:
Religious organizations for sectarian purposes;
Individual K-12 schools (public or private);
Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, culture, gender sexual orientation, age, or religion;
Local, State, and Federal Government agencies or programming
Here is how it works once you are approved!
This is typically a two-month process from start to launch of the campaign on the platform (see timeline below). It is strongly suggested that you have a team of between three and five people to work on and provide marketing for your project.
CREATING CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
A crowdfunding campaign consists of the Project Description – a written narrative and typically an accompanying short video that describes your project, along with your Fundraising Goal, Campaign Timeframe, optional Rewards that are available to those who support your campaign, and your Marketing Campaign.
Under the Campaign Resources tab, you will find two very useful workbooks for getting started:
Campaign Planning Accelerator
Campaign Marketing Accelerator
It is recommended that you utilize these workbooks; they include in depth review of the following campaign elements some of which you will have submitted with the Comprehensive Project Application.
The project description is the place to tell your story. Why should donors support your project? This is the place to be compelling, passionate and really sell your campaign! Craft a narrative that others can understand and relate to. This should be detailed, yet concise.
Adherence to recommended content and structure will ensure a successful review process. Campaigns with a word count of 300-500 words raise the most money (according to GoGetFunding.com). Campaigns with descriptions over 500 words will be returned to draft mode for editing.
Campaigns are found to be much more successful if they have a 2-3 minute video to aide in the storytelling process. Videos must have high-quality production. Campaign creators are encouraged to review the Video Creation Guide page under the Campaign Resources tab. All videos will be posted to YouTube and should adhere to any standards required by YouTube.
All campaign content must represent Downtown Newton in the best possible light. Please be sure that both your video and your copy talk about how this campaign will benefit the community.
You should be considerate of people, businesses or organizations that you mention in your description and/or video. Make sure they know you are mentioning them.
Your goal should be realistic and accounted for—a list that describes where funds will go if your goal is met, and a plan for any funds raised that exceed the project goal. If your goal is NOT met, you are to apply the funds raised to offset costs for your project. We will only approve campaigns under $10,000.00
Crowdfunding campaigns should set goals that may be a stretch, but ultimately are attainable with a solid marketing plan. Asking for too much or too little can affect your campaign’s chance of success. A typical goal for this type of platform is $5,000, but depending on your project’s needs and the amount of effort put into your campaign planning and execution, that goal might be significantly higher or lower.
The average gift through this platform in other communities has been $50 (industry standard gift size is about $78). Therefore, a $5,000 goal would require 100 supporters. Different target populations may have different levels of spending. So take that into account when calculating goals and the number of supporters you think you will need. Remember it is always better to exceed your goal than to fall short.
The Platform Host and Campaign Curators (TLC Newton Team) may suggest revising goals that do not seem attainable or do not have a solid marketing plan to back them up.
The recommended timeframe for live fundraising is 20-45 days. This gives time to advertise your campaign, but keeps the sense of urgency, which is a useful tool in fundraising. Posting updates to communicate with your supporters and potential campaign supporters is essential during this timeframe.
Private fundraising prior to launching live fundraising is a useful strategy and discussed in the Campaign Marketing Accelerator on the Campaign Resources page.
Rewards are incentives you can offer your supporters in exchange for a financial donation to your campaign.
Rewards can be anything (they don’t even need to be tangible items). They can be experiences, services, items, shout outs, event tickets and so on.
The TLC Newton platform also offers Sponsored Rewards (rewards donated by another person or business). These Sponsored Rewards show up in the Marketplace on a campaign’s page. A business offering a sponsored reward can benefit from the exposure on the campaign’s marketplace or it might be a discount that brings in customers.
Offer a wide range of price options. Offer at least one option under $20 ($10 minimum.)
Strike a reasonable balance between collecting enough profit from your reward to make it worthwhile and not setting the price so high that it will turn people away.
Offer rewards in tiers, but also package items to entice supporters to give more. For example, a $30 reward could include a hat, while a $60 reward could include a hat and a t-shirt.
Provide a variety of rewards
A marketing plan is integral to a successful crowdfunding project. Utilize the Campaign Marketing Accelerator located on the Campaign Resources Page.
Crowdfunding isn’t magic—it takes work! It is best to be prepared with a well-crafted marketing plan. Before your project launches, stakeholders who will be interested should be identified and ideas of how you will communicate with donors and promote your project should be generated. This is to be carried out by the project leaders and their team. Team members are encouraged to utilize social media and other outlets to reach stakeholders within your field.
Campaigns are more likely to succeed once 40% of your goal is raised, especially if the first 20-30% comes in the first week. Identify people who will promise to give before you launch, and get their gifts in within the first few days after the campaign has launched. According to GoGetFunding.com, campaigns with a day-to-day marketing plan raise 180% more than those without. Day-to-day marketing can include asks, campaign updates, thank you messages, and social media posts. Your marketing plan should include personal contacts, phone calls, email, and social media.
All campaigns will be subject to a review process before going live. This review process will look closely at the following:
The Campaign Description will be reviewed to ensure that the project described fits with the mission and campaign criteria for the TLC Newton platform.
Reviews will ensure that the description:
Flows well and clearly describes how the funds benefit the organization or business overall and
Includes high quality images
Video and copy will be reviewed for graphic standards, as well as spelling and grammar.
Social media links will be reviewed to make sure they work.
Rewards will be reviewed to ensure they are reasonably priced and have clear descriptions.
SUPPORT & TECHNICAL ISSUES
If campaign creators experience technical difficulties or other challenges, they can contact the Platform Host: Shannon Johnson, Main Street Coordinator, Downtown Newton Development Association – firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 409 0854.
Click on the SBUMIT IDEA button and submit a project/idea that will be reviewed by a team of Advisors at TLC Newton. Upon approval of the first phase, you will be contacted to submit a Comprehensive Project Application (guidelines for the application provided by the TLC Newton Team.) Of the Comprehensive Project Applications, the TLC Newton Team will select 1 project at a time for the platform and then the Advisors will guide you through the process to create, launch, and manage a campaign.