Crowdfunding: Basic Guide
So you want to crowdfund your station, but you are a bit intimidated by the idea of a Kickstarter campaign?
That's okay. You can still do it. But not with Kickstarter. Read on!
Outside of Kickstarter, there are many crowdfunding platforms that are both simple and effective, especially for small projects.
Which do I choose?
Definitely check out each one. They all work in basically the same way.
However, to keep tutorial focused, we'll be using Tilt as the example.
Let's try Tilt!
I like Tilt because it's a simple crowdfunding platform that's amazingly easy to use. It's like Kickstarter, but with lower barriers to entry, and lower fees.
- You can create a campaign in 10 minutes — or rather, it just depends on how fast you can type.
- It works great for smaller projects in the $2000-$5000 range.
- There is no approval or review process — just post your campaign.
- It doesn't require a video — just an image.
- You can have both a final target goal, plus a lower amount where your campaign still "tilts" (gets funded). It's not all-or-nothing.
- Your campaign can exceed its target goal!
- Tilt's fees are only 2.5% to 5.5%.
- It's nonprofit-friendly, and gives you tax receipts for your donors, letting them claim tax deductions for their donations.
First: Crowdfunding is not automatic. You still have to do some work!
It is key to understand that the campaigns won't promote themselves. Unless you have 50,000 followers on Facebook, or strong financial angels watching over you already, you won't be able to just post this on your Facebook page and expect to reach your goal. You will almost-definitely need to directly (and politely!) ask people to put money in your campaign.
Running a successful campaign
A step-by-step guide!
It requires some work, creativity, campaigning, and hand-shaking — but if you have these departments covered, then this is a great way to get start-up money for your station.
Go to Tilt and create an account and fundraising campaign. It will need a "tilt" level, where the campaign pays out, and a final goal, that you challenge your donors to reach. In this tutorial, we'll use $3000 as the tilt level, and $5000 as the goal.
Convey these points in some way in the overall campaign message:
- Appear to your donors. For example, if you are supporting your local community: "We're building a brilliant new station in X, our local community."
- Describe where the money will go: "$1500 goes to pay for station equipment, $1500 goes towards our website."
- If you are working with us (Creek), then think of that as a selling point! Example: "We have Creek on board to build our website, and they have a really successful track record with websites like BFF.fm and KZFR.org — it's gonna be awesome!"
Then, the important part. Contact donors directly and kindly ask them to put their money into this campaign. Crowdfunding is not automatic, and takes real work after you make the campaign. You'll still need to find the donors and actively ask them to donate, or else the campaign will stay at $0. Crowdfunding can be a great way to get visibility on social media, and bring in other, unexpected donations.
You donations can be tax deductible if you are a nonprofit, or if you have an "umbrella nonprofit" that you are working under. Nonprofits that use Tilt can create tax receipts for donors. Keep this in mind when sharing your campaign and writing your marketing text.
Example Tilt campaigns for radio stations:
Now go get 'em
Thanks for reading. Go get some funding for your station! :)