Crowdfunding for Mental Health Initiatives: A Guide to Campaign Success

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Crowdfunding for Mental Health Initiatives: A Guide to Campaign Success with your guide, Dese’Rae L. Stage!

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What is crowdfunding? The practice of funding a project or venture by collecting [typically small] monetary contributions from a large number of people via the Internet, and most often via a rewards-based system. “Crowdfunding” coined in 2005 by Michael Sullivan First crowdfunded campaign in 1997: fans raised funds for British band Marillion to go on tour Fun facts:

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Crowdfunding (cont.): In 2013, the crowdfunding industry brought in over $5.1 billion worldwide 2012: Over 450 crowdfunding platforms in existence—but only a few widely trusted Can be used for: arts-based projects, programs, conference attendance, trainings, and pretty much anything you can think of (including ongoing support)!

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No eligibility criteria, just don’t violate TOS (no violence, discrimintation, or sexually explicit content) No application process Option of flexible or fixed funding: if you choose flexible, you keep the funds raised, but pay a higher fee; if you choose fixed, it’s all or nothing Fees between 3-14% 25% discount on fees for 501(c)(3) orgs Rewards-based program for funders Indiegogo Playbook: guidelines for campaigning and contributing http://go.indiegogo.com/playbook

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No eligibility criteria—mainly used for personal fundraising, including medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programs, events, funerals, memorials Can be used to raise money for nonprofits Option for All-or-Nothing (fixed funding) campaign Not time limited, like other crowdfunding platforms Fees 6.75-9.25% — charity funding has highest fee Want more information on how it works? http://gofundme.com/tour

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Eligibility criteria: Product-based projects with clear end goals— a book, a record, a prototype for a tech gadget, a game No charity fundraising Application process = quality control Rewards-based program Fees between 8-10% Time-limited—90 days max Creator Handbook: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/handbook

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Before: Research, research, research! Creator Handbook: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/handbook Look at successful projects similar to the one you’re planning on creating. See what kind of funding they shot for and what they ended up with.

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Start thinking about your campaign: What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it? Why is it important? How are you going to do it? Why is this worth funding?

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WRITE IT OUT! (Don’t forget to mention what happens if you don’t raise 100% of the funds!)

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Rewards: Make your minimum tier $1. The $25 reward tier is the most popular—make this one GOOD. You can “stack” rewards or create unique groupings to give your backers more choices. Always include a huge, over the top reward. You never know what might happen.

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Before: Research, research, research! Kickstarter School: http://kickstarter.com/help/school Look at successful projects similar to the one you’re planning on creating. See what kind of funding they shot for and what they ended up with. Start out with the minimum you’ll need to get the project off the ground, then what your utmost ideal would be. Aim for the middle.

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It’s time to talk about your budget: What do you need to make it work?

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Transparency is KEY!

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The video is very important: You have about 3 minutes to cover all the ground you cover on the Kickstarter page in a way that is compelling AND visually appealing.

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Launch: Set your launch date in advance, and do it when people are active on the web. Duration: You have up to 90 days; most successful campaigns are only 30 days long.

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You NEED social media to SUCCEED. Facebook and Twitter are MANDATORY. No exceptions. Afraid of Twitter? Start here: http://bit.ly/hollisteachestwitter

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Write a press release. Include information about your project and your launch date. Target only pertinent outlets and writers. Flattery won’t hurt anybody’s feelings.

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kicktraq.com Kicktraq is a Kickstarter campaign analytics tool that allows you to follow the progress of specific campaigns, including projections while a campaign is live, and to research finished campaigns.

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During: Launch day is a BIG DAY. Get excited. Pump people up. Thank everyone. Social media is still your friend, even if you hate it. Be seen. Plan a fundraising event. Daily goals help keep momentum. Clear your schedule. Treat it like a job.

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After: Pat yourself on the back for a job well done (yes, even if your campaign isn’t successful—you will have learned a lot). Take a nap. Thank everybody. Look at your budget again. Produce and ship rewards as quickly as humanly possible!

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Eligibility criteria—shareable content, like music videos, YouTube videos, webcomics, blogs, indie games, articles, photography, etc. No application process Ongoing funding—funders pledge on a per-piece or monthly basis Rewards-based Fees 9% FAQ: http://www.patreon.com/faq

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Dese’Rae L. Stage livethroughthis.org des@livethroughthis.org @deseraestage or @lttphoto _livethroughthis_