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    Elizabeth Bulley

    A participant at our 13th Workshop in Hastings asked if community groups who have previously or are currently engaging in a crowdfunding venture would be willing to share their success stories and potentially several lessons learned.


    Jeri Smith-Cronin


    Regarding crowdfunding, the most important lesson I have learnt for the future is not to underestimate the time required to create a successful campaign. Although the content, visuals and the project itself must all be appealing, a crowdfunding campaign will only work with a large network of contacts and a sensible strategy. Putting in a good couple of months towards building a network is paramount. Get a person/organisation with relevant contacts to disseminate for you, saving you the hard work (getting celebrities with large Twitter followings to re-tweet proved very successful, for instance)!

    Make your page appealing. Keep text to a minimum and include key points and stats only; include a video (a home-made video is more than fine, if not better!) and try and place people at the centre of the project. Perhaps obvious, but think from the funder’s perspective: why do I need to give my £10 to this project? What difference will it make to me any my community? If there is any incentive/reward you can offer, you will be more successful (e.g. donations over £30 receive a free visit to heritage project). The more unique these are, the better.


    Depending on how long you run your campaign for, be prepared to ride the highs and the lows and manage expectations. If 3 months long, do not expect every day to be a success and anticipate frequent dips in giving (there will equally be surges). Release targeted appeals around the campaign to select groups from your network – it would be careless to approach everyone on your list on Day 1 as your campaign will then run out of steam at the later stages. Be sensible about this – for instance, don’t do a massive academic appeal during the summer months. It just won’t work.

    Keep the campaign appealing. Keep your supporters and audience updated through social media updates and continue a sense of buzz and urgency through the campaign.

    Hold events centred around the campaign. This will engage people with the project more directly and help you network (and you can shake a bucket to get you that bit closer to your target!).

    Continue to build your network. Opportunities will arise and certain people will bring you into contact with other relevant prospects for the campaign.


    I think the essential thing is stewardship – thanking everyone who gave and continuing to keep them updated with the project’s progress. Although you’ve got their donation, the project has only begun. Try and monitor and evaluate your campaign so that you will be best prepared for the next one!


    Karen Houghton

    Hi everyone,

    At Ancoats Dispensary Trust we ran a successful campaign which is still available to view on Spacehive if anyone is interested (search for Restore the Beating Heart of Ancoats)

    My lessons from this are:
    remember the power of narrative, personal stories are what attracts people to support something
    Try to create a hook or link for people to be interested in, so for us these were Manchester, politics, working class people, radical communities, medical history , the sense of community, Lowry and more
    Work your social media channels, over and over
    Solicit support from local media. Manchester Evening News adopted us and we had a guaranteed story every week
    Be prepared to work hard maintaining momentum throughout the campaign
    Stories, stories, stories

    Hope this helps!



    Hi everyone,

    I’m one of the co-founders from Fundsurfer, we help projects raise alternative funding.

    Below is the basic outline of the workshop I have been delivering to different audiences over the past 12 months and am looking forward to running the
    workshop for Princes Trust Regeneration Trust in Ireland and Scotland over the next two months.

    Fundsurfer will be launching a number of heritage projects soon, do contact us with any questions about your funding requirements and our team will be happy to help.

    Fundsurfer workshop.

    How to create a successful campaign

    1. Project name

    2. Funding Goal

    ~ how much do you need to complete your project?

    ~ make sure you work out the cost to make + fulfill your rewards.

    ~ how big is your existing network or community? Do you need to build it up
    before launch?

    3. Campaign duration

    ~ 30­- 45 days is recommended

    4. Choose a platform:

    ~ Fundsurfer offers both Fixed or Flexible crowdfunding options.

    5. Building your fan base

    ~ how can you build a following and interest through rewards?

    ~ create a Facebook page and Twitter account as a minimum but
    add other social media accounts as required e.g snapchat, Instagram etc

    6. Choosing rewards

    ~ List at least 4-8 potential rewards you could offer

    ~ Digital + Tangible rewards

    ~ Offer unique experiences and products that can only be achieved from you.

    ~ Study other campaigns and their most popular rewards, look at what works.

    7. Media Database

    ~ Find existing blogs/magazines/journalists that could cover your campaign

    ~ Build a spreadsheet with their contact info, name, email, web-site.

    ~ Write a press release

    8. Define your narrative

    This is the story of your campaign broken down into three.


    ~ What is broken with the world today? What is the problem or solution?

    What is the meaning?

    ~ Why does your project help “fix” what is broken?

    ~ Why does your project matter? If it’s a heritage project, what are you saving?
    What is the historical or cultural context and what is that important?

    ~ How will the world be different with your project in it?

    Whats the Story?

    ~ Who is the team behind the project? What are your credentials?

    ~ How will the project unfold once you get the money? Lay out a timeline.

    ~ Where will the money be spent?
    What will you do if you don’t raise all of the money?

    9. Pitch video ideas

    ~ Short and sweet, 1- 3 minutes.

    ~ who, why, what, where, when?

    ~ Show yourself in your video. Speak from the heart, direct to camera and be passionate.

    General crowdfunding tips

    Successful projects need hard work, if you can’t do the work it will fail.
    Spend at least 4-8 weeks preparing for campaign.
    Have fun!
    Tell the story as the projects reaches milestones e.g first £500 raised, 100 pledges received.
    Keep your supporters informed. They will want to know how the project is going as it unfolds.
    Add 2-3 updates a week.
    Don’t rely too heavily on social media, it may generate views but less donations than direct email marketing to your
    community and network.

    (Unless a hollywood movie star retweets your project to 4.5M followers. That is different and for 20th Century Flicks it turned into donationsfrom as far away as Japan, Lebanon and California!)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Fundsurfer.
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