Crowdfunding Series Part 4: Post-funding Strategy
So you have been successfully funded. Now what?
The genius behind our favorite mid-morning caffeine fix, Rachael Burchett, offers us some great advice on how to maintain momentum after your crowdfunding campaign has been successfully funded. And it boils down to one very important thing.
Like our other experts, Rachael recognizes great value in making people feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves. “Make sure people realize they are part of something important.” Rachael’s unique experience running a nonprofit offers us a fresh perspective. She says, “Try to approach backers like donors,” because for a nonprofit “donors are the key.” She believes that this way of thinking carries over to for-profit businesses and is especially effective with crowdfunding. As we have established, backers are interested in the narrative that surrounds a campaign; they want to know that they are contributing to something meaningful. Now if you have funded, you have likely done well with backer engagement thus far. But the key to maintaining your momentum is to also maintain backer engagement.
According to Rachael, backer engagement is attained through the impact reporting of two key components:
This is the part when you get to say “We have done this.” This component keeps you accountable to the backers that contributed to your cause by telling them what you did with their money. Sharing qualitative information with backers to show them what they were a part of is not only a great way to keep backers excited and engaged in the process but also an opportunity to celebrate in your collective success.
“This is how we did it.” It is important to maintain this throughout your campaign and continuing to maintain transparency after you have been funded will create trust between you and backers as well as potential customers. This is where you can share a breakdown of raw data aka quantitative information. Although not the sexiest part of business, people want to know where their money is going and being open about it will only serve to benefit you.
John’s take on post-funding strategy only further supports the importance of backer engagement, including regular and consistent updates, responding to backers in a timely manner, and transparency- as Rachael already explained. John also has a few other post-funding tips to share:
Keep accepting preorders. This maintains a flow of funds, but more pre-orders coming in requires a means to collect them. He recomends trycelery.com.
“You want to keep really good tabs of your schedule. It’s easy to let the schedule run away because you want to start thinking about the next thing.” As the entrepreneurial minded people we are it’s easy to get excited about a new project but keeping up with the projects that have already been funded is the only way to ensure success. And “always plan more time than you think you will need for everything. It always take longer.”
If you haven’t already, this is the time to reach out to wholesalers and retailers.
John also cautions people when it comes to spending. “Don’t look at the total amount of money and think that it’s okay to be more liberal with spending it. Things happen and you will wish you had saved yourself. Pinch your pennies all the way down.”
This wraps up our discussion of Crowdfunding. Along the way we have explored an Overview from our own Crowdfunding expert, the story behind effective Storytelling, the keys to kickass Visual Graphics, and a unique perspective on Post-funding Strategy. We couldn’t cover everything that goes into a successful Crowdfunding campaign but we certainly gave you a place to start.
She had always wanted to be a doctor. That is until she traveled to panama where she encountered real poverty. “I couldn’t know about this and not do anything about it.” At the tender age of sixteen, Rachael started fundraising through her church. Without hesitation she committed herself to the cause saying, “That first trip sealed the deal,” and Solea Water was born. Solea Water is a non profit that has funded clean water projects in Panama, Guatemala, Belize, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Her work with Solea Water motivated her to then start a partner company, Silo coffee and Goods. This coffee company is designed to support direct and fair trade with these impoverished communities. Her bootstrapping attitude led her to Kickstarter for the funds to buy the equipment she needed to start this partner coffee shop. And after seven years on this mission to help those impoverished communities in Latin America she has never been more committed to the cause.
To learn more about Rachael and her mission you can message her on slack or shoot her an email directly. firstname.lastname@example.org