The Crowdfunding Handbook

Timescale

Projects on Kubacker can last from 2 weeks to 3 months. However a longer project isn't necessarily better. A project on Kubacker takes a lot of work so you might not want it to go on for an entire term!

What do I need to consider?

Funding target

The larger your funding target or your minimum needed the longer you are likely to need to raise it.

Receiving the funds

You only receive payments IF you have hit your minimum target and AFTER your project's completion date.

Stripe payments (credit/debit cards) take up to 7 days to arrive in your account. Don't forget that Stripe take transaction charges of 2.4% + 20p of each donation.

Urgency

A shorter project can convey a sense of urgency to Sponsors. That's why we've found that projects up to a month in length tend to be more successful. A shorter project focuses your promotional efforts and shows confidence in your project.

Video

One of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving a successfully funded project is to make a video. Videos allow Sponsors to gain more of an idea of who you are and what you're doing. It builds trust between you and the Sponsors, and this is essential if they are going to make a donation. Sponsors need to have a feeling that you're genuine and you intend to deliver.

What makes a good video?

A good video is you! At its simplest, a good video can just be you speaking into a camera. The basic idea is to give people an idea of who you are, what you're doing and why Sponsors should care about your project. Oh, and be yourself!

A good example: Django Pi

A great example: FOURH4ND Does Freshers' Week

Key tips

  • Camera Many computers come with integrated cameras. These are fine. You may also consider using an external digital camera. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras give awesome results.
  • Sound Reduce background noise as much as possible!
  • Light Lots! Record in the day and use extra lighting.
  • Editing Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac) are great.

Vimeo has great advice!

Video 101: Choosing a Camera from Vimeo's Video School

Video 101: Shooting Basics from Vimeo's Video School

Video 101: Editing Basics from Vimeo's Video School

What types of video can I use?

KUBacker accepts Vimeo and YouTube videos.

How large can my video's file size be?

Vimeo's basic account has a limit of 500MB per file and 5GB for premium accounts. YouTube has a limit of 2GB.

Can I use music on my video?

Yes, but only if you have permission to do so from its owner! Alternatively you can use any music from http://freemusicarchive.org/ with artist permission.

Rewards

Rewards are what you give Sponsors in return for their donations. Rewards give an added incentive for people to sponsor your project. Rewards need to be well priced (matched to the appropriate donation level) and creative. The better your rewards, the more likely you are to achieve your funding target. Sometimes rewards are so desired that projects achieve many times their funding target.

What makes a good reward?

A good reward is something which you yourself would want. Put yourself in the shoes of a Sponsor. What would be the most unique and appealing thing you or your group could provide? A Sponsor of a sports team would probably want your team's jersey. A Sponsor of a band would probably want a CD. A Sponsor of a drama group would probably want tickets to a play. If you'd want whatever's on offer then it's likely to be a good reward.

Rewards should always have connection to your project. The most common rewards we've found fall into four categories:

  • Products does your project or idea lead to the production of anything? CDs, DVDs, prints, T-shirts or badges? Place these at a donation level that matches their street value.
  • Mementos signed photos of your project, thanks in the credits, anything meaningful!
  • Experiences tickets to the concert or match, dinner at your college. Sponsors want to connect with you!
  • Collaborations your Sponsor gets to sing on your album or play at a training session.
Download Rewards Guide

How can I promote my project?

Your networks

Start by sending a friendly, personal, email to family and friends. Include a link to your project! Once they have pledged your project begins to look more attractive to others. This is a good time to get posting about your project on Facebook, Twitter, other social networking sites, and your blog. College, halls or department newsletters are also a great place to raise awareness.

You shouldn't overwhelm your networks with group messages, but gentle reminders throughout the course of your project will be beneficial. Remind them of your deadline. However, nothing beats a personal touch when asking for sponsorship!

Your society's members networks

If you are creating a society, club, team or department project you have many more networks to approach. Get your members to contact their friends and family as well!

Alumni networks

Look on Facebook or LinkedIn for former students and staff of your school, department, course, club or society. Often alumni will lie dormant on these pages until reactivated by something like a sponsorship proposal. University and college forums on Linkedin are also a good place to post up your projects and get a discussion going. The more people you have talking about your project, the better.

Alumni Office

Your Alumni Office keeps contact information on alumni, and in some cases, may even know what societies they were members of and what their interests are. If you are friendly and gracious, and make it clear to your Alumni Office Director that you will use the contacts responsibly, they may be kind enough to reach out to some alumni who would be interested in your project!

The press

Use student or local newspapers and radio stations to get the word out. Media attention will help you reach out to people outside your immediate networks.

The real world

Get out there! Posters, flyers, meetings, parties... not everyone lives in cyber-world!

Don't spam!

Don't overdo it. This won't reflect well on your project, or your university, college or school. Also, please don't use other Creators' projects to promote yours. That's not cool!

Download Promotion Guide

Updates

Updates are a way of interacting with Sponsors. They breathe life into both your project and are essential to the sponsorship process.

Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it and that there is someone with a personality behind it. Your sponsors will be notified of each of your updates by email. If they like what they see they are more likely to tell their friends about you.

What kind of updates should I provide?

Tweets

Is your project going well? Short messages let Sponsors know that your project is progressing well and their contribution is being used productively!

Developments

Small milestones show that the project is making progress and will encourage new Sponsors that you deserve their cash!

Achievements

Share reviews, press releases, photos and videos! Sponsors love to see how their donations contributed to the success of your project.

Delivering Rewards

Your project was successful!

Now you have to deliver the rewards you promised. This may seem daunting at first, but we'll provide you with plenty of information to make it easier for you. Get your friends, colleagues, or fellow society members to help.

Sponsors' Info

Kingston University will provide you with all the information you need regarding your Sponsors. Names, rewards, delivery addresses. In case you need any more info, we'll also give you their email addresses so that you can contact your Sponsors directly.

Updates

Let your Sponsors know that their rewards are on the way! Ask them to let you know that it has arrived safely. And please, don't forget to celebrate!

The Crowdfunding Handbook ‚Äč