Crowdfunding tips & resources

CREATING A COMPELLING PITCH

by Rob Barrs Urban Planner & Wayblaze co-founder

To be successful, a crowdfunding campaign, in fact any fundraising campaign, must convey a story that resonates with the audience and compels them to take action (donate or invest in your project). Let’s face it, most of us are bombarded with emails, social media, and other requests for money so your story has to stand out and connect strongly with potential backers to be successful.

So, how are you going to tell a compelling story? How would you explain it to a friend or colleague to convince them that you’ve done your homework, prepared carefully and, most important, that you are passionate about your cause and making it a success?

7 questions to think about when creating a compelling pitch…
  • What are you planning to do?

    What’s is the project about, what are you planning to do? Sketches, images, graphics say a lot more than just words.

  • Where did the idea come from?

    What’s the history behind the project? Where did the idea come from. Did it build on previous work or come as a response to something happening in your community or something you observed?

  • Why is the project important / urgent?

    Explain why you care so much about this project, and what impact you hope to have? Enthusiasm is contagious.

  • Who’s behind the project?

    Introduce the team and their credentials/experience to show your ability to make the project a success. If you’ve done related work before, show or quote some examples.

  • Who can vouch for you?

    Have you had good press or testimonials from respected people that can demonstrate your effectiveness and commitment? This shows that it’s not just you saying you can do this, others believe in you too.

  • How much money do you need?

    Present a rough budget for your project to show how will you spend the funds raised.This builds trust that you’ll use the funds wisely.

  • What’s the schedule?

    Show a clear project timeline for how the project will unfold once the funds are raised.

An Outline for a Great Pitch

When putting together your pitch on Wayblaze try and include the following elements…

Snappy Title

The title of your campaign is the first thing people see and decide whether to read on. Preferably the title uses an action word such as “Help”, “Build” or “Support” and quickly summarizes the purpose of the overall campaign. It can be helpful if it includes a bit of humour (perhaps a clever pun). It should briefly convey what the campaign is about and entice people to read more. The title should be relatively short, ideally less than 60 characters and certainly no more than 120.

Hero Image

A hero image is an image that encapsulates what the project is all about. This image will be used in the summary card that will help people find your project online so it needs to be attractive, well lit, and reasonably high resolution. It can be a photo or a graphic you have developed.

Short Project Summary

Following the campaign title, you need a succinct statement of what you are raising the funds for and why it is important. This is a quick summary to get people interested and oriented to your project and entice them to find out more.

Simple Video

A short (90 sec to 3 min video) is perhaps the best way to get your story across. This doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking. It can be as simple as pointing a smart phone at yourself or colleague and telling your story. The important thing is to be concise, upbeat and show your personal belief in the case. A little humour always helps too.

Your Story

Remember the seven questions we introduced above?

  1. What are you planning to do?
  2. Where did the idea come from?
  3. Why is the project important / urgent?
  4. Who’s behind the project?
  5. Who can vouch for you?
  6. How much money do you need?
  7. What’s the Schedule?

Your story should be able to answer each one of them.

Evocative Photos and Graphics

In addition to compelling text, use images to tell your story. Use a combination of photos and infographics to tell a convincing, interesting story about your project.

Be clear about how you’ll spend the money

Be clear about why you need the money and how you will spend it. Describe how the money will help you achieve your goals and provide a breakdown of the major budget items.

Rewards / Perks

People are more likely to donate (and donate more) if you offer some rewards (perks). You should consider 5 to 8 rewards of increasing value. Rewards might include swag like T’shirts, buttons, caps etc. coupons for future purchases, or exclusive tickets for an event. Try to be as creative as possible.

Press

If your project or organization has been featured in the media, list the organizations where you have been profiled. If not try and get some media interest then make sure it is shared.

The Team

Introduce your team and write short bios for them. You can also link to platforms like Linkedin to so potential backers can find out more about your team members. Highlight any special talents or qualifications.

Want to find out what other changemakers are talking about?

Case Study: NADA

NADA is Vancouver first package-free grocery store. They ran a very successful and well-executed campaign to raise $25,000 which they raised within 24 hours of launching, thanks to great pre-launch work and a great launch event in their new space. They created a stretch goal of $40,000 and then $50,000 and ended up raising $55,000 from 500 backers. Their pitch focused on a strong personal belief that the food system has to change and their commitment to reduce the amount plastic waste ending up in the ocean. They created a compelling story and a short, quirky video that really conveyed their passion of their project and their belief in their business.

NADA also used a series of well designed graphics to illustrate their impact, how the store works, and the creative rewards on offer which ranged from $15 to $1500 and included natural toothcare kits, package free grocery coupons, package free workshops and getaways.

Check out NADA’s great campaign page

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jbarrs101@gmail.com
James Barrs on 14th Jan 2019

Great article