Supporting Community-Led Crowdfunders

Crowdfunding is understood as sponsorship or donation-based crowdfunding; there are many available such as GoFundMe.

Where Crowdfunder is different is focusing on what they call rewards-based funding, which is all about giving something back, to create more opportunities, wider reach and a prompt for people to support businesses.

At its simplest, crowdfunding is understood as sponsorship, or, as Crowdfunder like to refer it to, donation-based crowdfunding; there are many available such as GoFundMe. Where Crowdfunder is different is focusing on what they call rewards-based funding, which is all about giving something back, to create more opportunities, wider reach and a prompt for people to support businesses.

The community aspect is crucial to Crowdfunder. So with that said, let's see how this all comes together. 'Stanfords Maps and Travel Bookshop in London is a bookshop with a century of legacy with 1,800+ supporters who are getting behind them to make them survive.

Many might ask, with so much effort in making crowdfunding work, why should anyone bother? One reason to consider crowdfunding is that by putting your idea out there, you're also testing it in the market. By succeeding with crowdfunding, you can be sure that there's a demand for your product or service and this is a good way to take a concept to market with minimal risks taken.

The awareness-building process is key, both for shouting about what you're doing but also to pick up advocates along the way. Ultimately, crowdfunding is not about reaching huge numbers of strangers, but reaching out through your extended networks and making the word of mouth really work for business innovation. Add into that the opportunity for match funding through partners, whether it is public funding or banking sponsors and you can really make your ideas lift off.

So how do businesses fund with crowdfunding? They can go for 'all or nothing' or 'flexible funding'. In the current climate, flexible funding is proving more popular than ever, so if a business only raises 80%, it remains committed to carrying out the idea no matter what.

To be successful as a business growing through crowdfunding, it is important to understand the drivers for pledgers and tap into their emotional triggers. Why do people support you via Crowdfunder?

  1. They believe in the idea
  2. They want the reward
  3. They want you to survive

In terms of steps to success, businesses must consider the following and avoid taking shortcuts. Securing funding through pledges requires businesses to do and think about:

  1. Planning the project
  2. Creating the project
  3. Running the project

It's so important to hit people in the fact with the key message:

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. Why is this important?
  3. How will you use the funds raised?

Beyond these key principles, as a business, you need to map out your network - through social, friends and family, customers, team, local businesses and so on. Ultimately, this is a cultural idea - asking people to back your idea is quite different to just asking people for cash. When you go around your network map, don't ever forget to answer the question people will be asking, which is what's in it for me?.

A great motivator for making sure your funding works is to be sure to get the first 10% in advance so that when you launch there's the motivation for others to follow. Ultimately, no matter how good your cause, nobody likes to be the first.

Let's look at some success stories.

What's key to really championing crowdfunding initiatives with purpose at the heart is building partnerships with other organisations. It's a great opportunity to reach out to corporates who can support their CSR initiatives, whilst motivating businesses to do good.


Key Takeaways

1. By putting your idea out there, you are also testing it in the market. By succeeding with crowdfunding, you can be sure that there is a demand for your product or service and this is a good way to take a concept to market with minimal risks taken.

2. To be successful as a business in growing through crowdfunding, it is important to understand the drivers for pledgers and tap into their emotional triggers.

3. As a business, you need to map out your network - through social, friends and family, customers, team, local businesses and so on.

Published on:
November 2020
About the contributor

Su Johnson


Su Johnston is a relationship-builder. At work, that means a new business developer and marketer focussed on customer-centric pipeline building - and the tech required to deliver that.