Crowdfunding in India has gained prominence in the last few years. In the USA, it has been popular for quite some time, especially after the recession and more so after the passing of the JOBS Act. However, crowdfunding is only now becoming mainstream and because of that various people have a lot of questions about it. I am trying to answer three frequently asked questions about crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding and why should I do it online?
Crowdfunding is the process by which a lot of people get together and raise a large sum of money by contributing small sums of money each. In principle, the process has been around for a long time but in practice it has gained immense currency (pun intended) only recently. Crowdfunding as we approach it here, is done online through crowdfunding platforms like Impact Guru.
Crowdsourcing funds can be done through social media too but crowdfunding platforms are your best option if you choose to do it online. When people look at a goal of some lakhs of rupees, they want to be sure that this money will not be laundered. For this reason, they look for some verification. A crowdfunding platform with its thorough checks and verifications can help you achieve that credibility. When you are found credible, you can reach your target easily. People who are not personally known to you will contribute to your cause too if you have that credibility.
Is the platform the only thing that will make my fundraiser credible?
No, the platform is not the only thing that you can use to make your fundraiser credible. There are other ways to boost the credibility of your fundraiser. However, these things depend on whether you choose a crowdfunding platform to raise your money or not. When you start a fundraiser, you are expected to put across your fundraising idea through text, image and video. Text may not suffice all the time but writing down your idea lucidly can help you gain some credibility.
To make things more believable, upload a picture of what you want to do. If it is a medical campaign, upload a picture of the person who is ill. If it is an educational campaign, upload pictures of your previous work, or something that is relevant. All of these things make the reader identify more with your campaign. Use the video option as much as possible. Your video should encapsulate what your entire campaign will be like. The video should be short and catch the viewer’s attention in the first thirty seconds. Putting up a video also sends the message that you have bothered to invest some energy into the campaign.
Do I publicize my campaign or does the platform publicize it for me?
Publicizing your campaign is one of the trickiest parts of your campaign. It is also the part on which your success is dependent the most. Unfortunately, you will have to do your publicity drive yourself and through your friends. You crowdfunding platform will provide you with a campaign manager who will help you run the campaign. Your platform will also advice you on how to run your campaign best. However, they can only publicize in a very limited manner, for example, on their social media page.
Much of the publicity work has to be done by you and this is why we suggest you form a team with whom you can raise funds. You can send links of funds to all your contacts. When a lot of people engage in this kind of activity, the impact is greater. Moreover, the day to day work of the campaign is also divided between a numbers of people. You should also not leave out any one platform from this. Use social media, email and text.
There are plenty of other questions asked about crowdfunding but here we have tried to address the most basic questions. The internet has plenty of information on the process and you can research as much as you want to on the process.