The 3 C's of successful crowd-funding
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Since I announced last Friday that we reached the 10% of the €10 000 target we have been inundated with requests for information on how to do this seemingly easy task.
Before the 3 C's of successful crowd-funding I would like to start with thanking those who donated and shared and give an update on Xoli's condition. Every amount is appreciated - every cent moves us forward. This is not a race - it is not a matter of trying to beat those who donated €100 or Maureen Koswal who donated €150.
Xoli is grateful for all the love, prayers, good wishes, donations and helping to spread the word. https://bit.ly/2Mj0OS8.
Your caring offers a lot of emotional support to her, her family and the Abafazi bengoma group and they really need it. Thank you.
Update on her condition: I wish I had some good news to report but I don't. She is still in a serious condition and the bullet still not removed.
Update on the crowd-funding:
At least there is something very postive to report. We are blown away by the response. This is the state of afairs as at now, 12 June 13h00: We have reached 15,58% of the target in 14 days. I have no doubt by the time you click on the link the amount will be higher. We got this far because of every contribution big or small and because some people cared enough to help to spread the word. Thank you.
To the answer the question that we have faced since last Friday, "How can I run a successful crowd-funding campaign?".
If you told me 15 days ago that I would write a blog on crowd-funding I would have said, don't be ridiculous! All I knew about crowd-funding was that I had donated to a few good causes and I thought that initiang a campaign was Rocket Science. This sums up what I have learnt in the past two weeks: It's not Rocket Science, it's very simple but not easy. I hope you know the big difference between simple and easy.
Crowd-funding simply means raising funds online. There are different categories of crowd-funding and these are the main ones: donation based, rewards based, debt based and equity based. Anyone who knows me knows that I only speak on or write on what I know from personal experience and not what I have read so I will limit this to the kind I have just had experience on - donation based crowd-funding. Donation-based crowd-funding is not only used for helping others in need. You can use it to raise funds for different reasons such as covering your study costs if you want to study a course you cannot afford. The bottom-line is that the donors are not investing to benefit anything - it's just like any other offline donation.
The good news is that the technical part is straightforward so I will not even go into it. If you can click a mouse you can set up a campaign in minutes. That's the simple part.
1. Find a good platform. I have heard of bogus campaigns but thus far I have not yet heard of bogus crowd-funding sites. However, as with everything else there will always be scams so make sure you choose a reputable site. We had no experience and did not know which site to trust when Koen decided to start this campaign. He checked out the campaigns we had supported before, campaigns that we supported because we trusted the people. He found that they had used GoFundMe. What we like about this site is that it is user-friendly and very transparent. They take 2,9% commission but we believe it's worth it for the service they offer.
2. A means to an end
Crowd-funding should be a means to an end and not an end in itself. This means the starting point should not be 'I want to raise funds, what good cause can I choose?'. Unless you are a professional fund-raiser, the starting point should be the good cause. As I have said, the technical part is simple you may ask which is the part that is not easy? That takes us to the 3 C's.
3. The 3 C's
The 3 C's of successful crowd-funding are the 3 C's of succeeding at any venture - Commitment, Commitment and Commitment. Although setting up the campaign is simple, that is only the beginning. You have to make people aware of the campaign. This is hard work because people are busy. People are wrapped up in their own worlds. People are desensitised to the plight of others because there is so much sufffering out there and they may even experience compassion fatigue. People do not realise that their small contributions make a big difference. People think someone else will do it. People say, 'There are so many good causes out there why should I choose this one?' This means not everyone is going to immediately be galvanised into action the first time you say hey let's help this person. You have to keep asking them to donate and asking them to help to spread the word. If it's a cause you are passionate about you will be committed to investing one of your precious resources - time.
With all the scams that do the rounds, you cannot blame people for being sceptical. Even well known people's names get abused online, what more a name of a person you have never heard of? I know from experience that I donate to good causes not only because it is a cause I find important but mainly because I trust the person who shared the link. Thus, your campaign will succeed if people trust you.
5. ASK for help
Dont try to be Atlas man and carry the whole load on your shoulders. As for help. Ask people to help to spread the word. Ask people to join your team. The reason you see my picture and 'Support Makheni Zonneveld's campaign' is that I joined as team member. For instance, Tiny Modise, the leader os Abafazi bengoma is a team member so when she invites people who know and trust her with her link they see her picture and 'Support Tiny Modise's campaign'. Do anything within your means to get more people to help you to reach more people. If you know people in the mass media, take the campaign offline, report it to newspapers, talk about it on radio talk shows etc. By the way if you are a radio talk show person please find an excuse to call in and talk about the Help Xoli Mjali campaign. If the listeners google 'Help Xoli Mjali' they will get to the link. Do not depend on mass communication like Facebook postings, take the trouble to contact individuals directly.
Keep people informed. This was not obvious to us until more and more people asked how Xoli was doing. We thought that it we had no update since she was not yet operated on. We did not realise that 'She is still in a serious condition and not yet operated on' is an update. The fact that people ask for an update means they are concerned, they are engaged so we should also engage them. Engaged people take action - in this case the desired action is continuing to share. Keep people engaged.
You can't go wrong with raising funds online if you have a good motive, are passionate about the cause, are trustworthy and are committed committed committed to working hard to reach and involve more people.
Our appeal to you is: Please donate if you can. Any amount is welcome. Please help to spread the word by word of mouth and by word of mouse.
GoFundMe only works with credit card. We have figured out a solution for those who do not have credit cards. If you do not have a credit card please email me on email@example.com and state which country you are in.
We hope that you will help this course and many other good causes out there. This is the link for donating and sharing: https://bit.ly/2Mj0OS8. We hope you wil share it via sms, email, WhatsApp and social media.
Thank you in advance
Till next week when I continue with the marketing plan series
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