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Handbook

BDL - BizDeLite Crowdfunding

How to Raise $5,000 (Or More) Online in Just 1 Week!

Handbook


How to Successfully Raise Money with BDL Crowdfunding!

Raising money can be challenging, but BDL Crowdfunding makes it easy for you to create and promote an exciting Campaign that will help you reach your goal quickly. This step-by-step guide is designed to help you make the most of your fund raising Campaign. The better you make your Campaign, the more money you will raise!

Have you already created your Campaign? No problem! You can go back and edit any part of it to make it better. The only part you can’t edit is the end date, goal amount and category but you can always relaunch your Campaign if time runs out and you haven’t reached your goal. There is no minimum amount of money that you must raise for your Campaign to become visible on BDL Crowdfunding.

 

Set Your Goal Amount

Your goal should be realistic. You’re probably not going to make a million dollars with BDL Crowdfunding, but you just might be able to raise $50,000 to cover medical expenses, $5,000 to record an album, or $500 for a flight to your grandma’s 80th birthday. Think about how much you actually need and base your goal on that.
Researching your budget

Think about how much money you need for the entire Campaign. Are you raising the full budget or just a portion of it? Have you factored in the cost of producing Rewards and delivering them to your Contributors? Do your research before you launch and be as transparent as you can. Your Contributors will appreciate it.

Create Your Campaign Title
Try to make it catchy so people will want to learn more. Follow the KISS rule (Keep it Short and Simple) on this one. You don’t have a lot of space and you want to stand out on the page as people browse for Campaigns they like.

Follow these tips for creating a great Campaign title:

  • MAKE IT INFORMATIVE. A title like Please Help doesn’t say anything about your Campaign. Your title should include something informative like: Sarah Needs a Kidney, My Business Needs New Equipment, or Ballet Shoes for Poor Kids.
  • GRAB ATTENTION. Save My Business and My Sanity and Stroke Nightmare Pipe Dream jump off the page when you browse, and they provide a little info at the same time. Create a title that’s snappy and catchy to grab the reader’s eye.
  • NO NEED TO ASK FOR HELP. Everybody on BDL Crowdfunding is asking for help, support, or funding. You don’t need to say it in the title—the fact that you’re on BDL Crowdfunding says it all!

Add an Image or YouTube Video
Adding a compelling image or YouTube video to your Campaign will help you attract even more Contributors. The image or video that you select will be displayed prominently just below the title, so take the time to create something that looks great! Videos are much better than pictures. Statistics show that Campaigns with videos raise 4 times as much money as those that don’t have a video.

If you use an image, try to select one that actually reflects your fundraiser. Depending on your Campaign, this might include:

  • Business logo
  • Album or book cover
  • Yourself or a loved one you are supporting
  • Pets who need help
  • Artwork or photography
  • Action shots of the community

The same is true for video. Here are some ideas that other BDL Crowdfunding users have used:

  • Video of yourself explaining why you are asking for funds
  • Trailer for the film you want to create
  • Performances

Not sure what to include in your video? Follow these tips:

  • Make it interesting—nobody wants to watch a boring video
  • Introduce the key selling points early in the video
  • When appropriate, be funny
  • Use words and pictures to tell your story
  • Use footage relevant to the Campaign
  • Try not to be too repetitive
  • Answer the most common questions about the Campaign
  • Close with a request for contributions and social shares
  • Go over interesting Rewards

Always use a script when you create a video. Match up the text with images or video clips to get the most from the limited time you have. Use this basic structure to help you create a great video:

  1. Tell the audience about yourself. Contributors like to know who they are contributing to.
  2. Talk about your Campaign and why you’re raising money. Include a call to action in this section in case the viewer doesn’t watch the entire video.
  3. Describe the Rewards you plan to offer in exchange for contributions.
  4. Talk about all the amazing things you can do if your Campaign is successful.
  5. Close with a final to call to action. Request contributions from those who can, and ask those who can’t to share your Campaign with their friends and family.

If you want to make a really great video, ask a friend to review the script before you post it to the Campaign. Make sure they don’t already know about your Campaign so they can view it with fresh eyes. Listen to their feedback and make changes that will make your Campaign description clearer.

Remember, the higher the quality, the better!

Select a Category
This one is pretty self-explanatory—simply select the category that makes the most sense for your Campaign. If you’re not sure, browse around to see what other types of Campaigns are in the categories you are considering.

Fill in the Details
Make sure your Campaign is not hidden

In some cases, you may want to create a private Campaign that allows you to collect donations without being visible on the Internet. If you click the Hide from Search box, you can create a Campaign and send the link to as many people as you like, but it won’t be visible to anybody else searching the Internet.

However, most people use BDL Crowdfunding to raise money from as many people as possible. If you want your Campaign promoted on the BDL Crowdfunding site and easily found on the Internet, make sure you don’t check the box that says Hide from Search.

Enter your postal code. This should be the postal code for where your funds will be sent. It will be automatically be included later when you set up your payment preferences.

Create a Detailed Description
This is one of the most important parts of creating your Campaign. After your catchy title and compelling photo or video have convinced a potential Contributor to click on your Campaign, this is your chance to convince them to make a contribution.

This is your pitch!

You can be as creative as you want to be, but if you need a place to start, this is the template we recommend:

1. Make a good first impression.

  • Describe who you are and what your background is.
  • Briefly explain your Campaign and why it’s so important to you. Be passionate!
  • Explain the wonderful outcome you’ll get from people funding your Campaign.
  • Think about who is most likely to contribute and use language that they will respond to. Who is your target audience?
  • Use bullets and short sentences so it is easy to read.

2. Tell exactly how much money you need and how it will be spent

  • Use a heading so Contributors can skip directly to this section while they skim.
  • People contribute to Campaigns they trust that have realistic goals to achieve very specific results.
  • Put your brief pitch in a bold header with color.
  • Itemize how you will use the money; ensure that each step of the way is believable.

3. Remind people that they can help in other ways

  • Ask people to share your Campaign with their Facebook and Twitter followers.
  • Ask people to email your Campaign URL to their friends to help support your cause.

More detail is better than less, but don’t let people get lost in the details as soon as they start to read. Make sure your opening paragraph gives a concise summary that gets to the point fast; if a Contributor wants to learn more they can continue to read.

Set Up Rewards
Some people make a contribution out of the goodness of their hearts, but others need a little more motivation to open their wallets. Setting up levels for different contribution amounts is a good way to encourage higher contributions. For example, use Bronze, Silver, and Gold Rewards. Having good Rewards can also mean the difference between a Contributor selecting your Campaign or another BDL Crowdfunding Campaign, so think about what you have to offer.

Rewards can be almost anything—this is a great place to get creative. Some Rewards ideas you can use:

  • Hand-written thank you notes
  • Mentions on Facebook or Twitter
  • Links to a personal or business website
  • Thank you phone calls
  • CDs or videos of Campaign when complete
  • Pictures from the destination you reached
  • Participation in your Campaign

Follow these tips when deciding what types of Rewards you want to offer:

  • When possible, make the Rewards relevant to the Campaign
  • Make sure the lowest Rewards are easy to fulfill if you have a lot of contributions
  • Keep the pricing reasonable
  • Make several different Rewards for contributions under $100
  • Make a few exclusive Rewards for high-value contributions
  • Offer limited-time Rewards to reach mini-goals throughout your Campaign
  • Include several different payment tiers with few large gaps between each
  • Set Reward limits to manage fulfillment and encourage people to contribute early in the Campaign
  • Add something personal to the Reward—sign the CD, hand-write the thank-you note, or add Contributors’ names to the product
  • Rewards can be physical or virtual—be creative!
  • Add new Rewards in the middle of your Campaign to promote repeat contributions or draw in new Contributors

Share Your Campaign
If a tree falls in the woods but if nobody sees it...You know the rest. The same is true with fundraising. You could create the most amazing BDL Crowdfunding Campaign that ever existed, but if nobody sees it.... You know the rest.

After all the effort you just spent creating an awesome BDL Crowdfunding Campaign, don’t let it go to waste. “If you build it, they will come” does not work for fundraising—you have to ask people for contributions. Luckily for you, BDL Crowdfunding makes this easy!

Keep the following factors in mind as you promote your Campaign:

QUANTITY — The more people you ask, the more contributions you are likely to get. Gather your email addresses, build up your list of Facebook friends, and boost your Twitter following to increase your audience.

QUALITY — In your appeals to friends and family, don’t just send a link, take a little time to explain what you’re doing and why. Even Twitter gives you a little space to make a compelling appeal. Send individual emails to the people most likely to make a donation. Make it personal. Make it compelling.

VARIETY — The more places you can push your BDL Crowdfunding Campaign, the more people you will reach. You may not have the same contacts in your email address book as you do in Facebook or Twitter accounts. Use all the outlets available to you to promote your Campaign. Add a link on your personal blog, put a fundraising video on YouTube, use relevant forums, etc. Don’t have a Twitter account? Get a free one, or better yet, ask a friend with a big following to promote the link for you!

FREQUENCY — Statistics show it often takes at least 6 shares for people to take action. If you don’t get a great response to your first share, don’t fret. Simply wait a few days and try again. Just don’t get too pushy—nobody likes to be spammed, even by friends or family promoting a good cause.

Other tips to follow when promoting your Campaign are:

  • Ask your closest friends and family first, before you cast a wider net, so you can build momentum before you branch out
  • Personalize the emails you send to friends and family
  • Update your Campaign often
  • Ask everyone to share, even if they can’t contribute
  • Your Contributors are like your team members, treat them that way

Update Your Campaign Often
Campaign updates are the best way to share your progress. Your Contributors want to know how their funds are being used, what you have done to help you reach your goal, and all the little successes you experience.

Every Campaign update is automatically sent to your Contributors and they can easily share the information with their networks. You never know, you may inspire them to contribute even more!

Just remember to keep it creative. Not every post should be a request for money. You can post pictures, videos, and short updates about the progress of your Campaign. Answer commonly asked questions so your Contributors can learn more about your Campaign. Create new Rewards and promote them in an update. Remember, the objective is to keep your Contributors engaged, not to bombard them with information they can’t use.

You can keep posting updates after your Campaign is over to let people know when to expect Rewards and how you are using their contributions to achieve your goals.

Fulfill Rewards
If you offered Rewards for various contribution levels, it’s important to follow through on your promise. BDL Crowdfunding provides tools to help you collect all the contact information you need to fulfill Rewards, whether you need email addresses to send a download link or mailing addresses to ship products or gifts.

If you do plan to ship anything in the mail, don’t forget to include shipping costs (both postage and materials) in your Campaign budget. You can also ask Contributors to cover shipping costs when they make a contribution in exchange for a reward.

If you get overwhelmed with fulfilling Rewards and fall behind schedule, just make sure you communicate with your Contributors so they know what to expect. Be as transparent as possible and you’ll keep your supporters happy.

Bonus Tip - Think Outside the Facebook Box

Email, Facebook, and Twitter are not the only ways to share your Campaign. Use all the tools provided to make the most of your fundraiser.

Yes, BDL Crowdfunding is great way to raise money using the Internet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do activities in the real world to promote your Campaign. Host a pledge party to educate friends about your Campaign, or create posters to encourage members of your community to participate.

Use Campaign updates to keep Contributors engaged. The people who have already donated to your Campaign are clearly interested in what you’re doing. Ask them to add your BDL Crowdfunding Campaign to their networks so you can reach even more people.

Local news outlets love a good story about community members. You can be that story! Newspapers and other print media, television, and radio are all great ways to reach a much larger audience. You can even go beyond your local community by having your Campaign mentioned in relevant blogs or other online outlets.

Just remember, don’t be a spammer. Posting your link on other people’s blogs or BDL Crowdfunding Campaigns without their permission is a no-no. You’d be surprised how many people would be willing to support you by posting your link - all you have to do is ask!

Dos and Don’ts for BDL Crowdfunding Success

Do Don't
Set a realistic funding goal Ask for way more money than you need
Create a snappy Campaign title Use generic titles that are not informative
Use compelling images or videos Use poor quality or irrelevant images
Put your Campaign in the most relevant category Select an inappropriate category because you think it’s more popular

Check the Hide from Search box if you want to keep your Campaign private

Check the Hide from Search box if you want your Campaign to be public
Create a detailed description that explains why you’re raising money and how you will spend it Make your description too general or vague
Create Rewards that will encourage people to donate to your Campaign Forget to create Rewards
Promote your Campaign to different groups several times throughout your fundraiser Be a spammer

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