Creating a project...
One of the main reasons donors prefer crowdfunding to traditional fundraising is that they get to see exactly where their money is going. A project is your idea, but with a well-defined proposal, funding target and completion date.
What title should I give my project?
Make it simple and specific. Remember - it's a title, not a description. It needs to grab attention, but should also include your your organization if applicable.
What should I include in my project?
Donors will need to be able to judge whether they think your project is feasible. In order to do this they will want to know the following:
- What are you trying to do?
- How are you going to do it?
- How will the funds be used?
- What have you achieved already with regard to this project?
- Who are you and the other members on your team?
If you are after gifts to cover the general costs of your project, think about how you could break this down for potential donors. How will you spend the funds? What will they allow you to do? Over what period will the funds be used?
When will my project go public?
Once you've created your project you can submit it to us. We also ask that you complete and submit the Project Planner. If it meets all of our guidelines we'll make it available to the public. But please note that you can't edit your project after submitting it. However, you will be able to add updates.
CoyoteFunder projects typically last 30 – 45 days.
A shorter project can convey a sense of urgency to donors. 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.
One of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving a successfully funded project is to make a video. Videos allow donors to gain more of an idea of who you are and what you're doing. It builds trust between you and the donor, and this is essential if they are going to make a donation. Donors need to have a feeling that you're genuine and you intend to deliver. Video delivers your message in a compelling way.
What makes a good video?
At its simplest, a good video can just be you speaking into a camera. It doesn’t have to be professionally done, authentic is great! The basic idea is to let people know who you are, what you're doing and why donors should care about your project. Donors want to see your passion.
Camera Cell phone cameras are great for something like this! Many computers come with integrated cameras. These are fine as well. 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. You will want your audience to clearly hear your message.
Light - Record in the day and use extra lighting.
Editing - Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac) are great.
- Timing - We recommend keeping your video under 2 minutes. Any longer than that and you will likely lose viewers.
- Make it Personal - Introduce yourself and your team, explain your project, lay out your timeline and goals, and make a connection with the viewer. Remember, don’t forget to make the ask!
Vimeo has great advice!
What types of video can I use?
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.
How can I promote my project?
Start by sending a friendly, personal email to family and friends. Include a link to your project. Once they have made a gift, your project begins to look more attractive to others. This is a good time to get posting about your project on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Bulletin boards around campus 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 donations.
Your society member's networks
If you are part of a club, team, organization or department project, you have many more networks to approach. Get your members to contact their friends and family as well!
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 crowdfunding project. University and college forums on LinkedIn are also a good place to post your projects and get a discussion going. The more people you have talking about your project, the better.
The USD Alumni Association 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 interested in potentially reaching out to a particular alumni population, please email email@example.com.
Use student newspapers or radio stations to get the word out. If you are thinking of using the local media, be sure to reach out to USD University Relations and Marketing.
The real world
Get out there! Posters, flyers, meetings, word of mouth...remember not everyone is online!
Updates are a way of interacting with donors. They keep your donors and followers aware of the progress of the project.
Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it. If they like what they see, they are more likely to tell their friends about you.
What kind of updates should I provide?
Share on social media networks the small milestones that show the project is making progress. It will encourage new donors to contribute to your project and keep current donors engaged in the process.
Share reviews, photos and videos! Donors love to see the impact of their gifts.
As You Near the End
During the last few days of your project, be sure to keep things updated. Create a sense of urgency for those who may be interested in contributing during those last few days. Be sure to show your gratitude for those have been a part of making your project successful!