The Do Good Bus on their epic road trip.
“How much money can I raise on StartSomeGood?”
We get this question a lot. People naturally wonder how much money they can raise on our site, or on any crowdfunding platform. This is an important question but we are the wrong people to ask, as you know better than us what the answer might be.
You know better than us the parameters and interests of your community, what they might fund and how much they have to potentially give. We can help you set up your campaign and think through the stories you have to tell, and we can help you get that story out there, but ultimately you know best what your goal should be - both what you need for your project and what is realistic for your community.
It’s like buying stamps at the post office for a direct-mail fundraising campaign. Who will know best how much money can be raised from those letters, you and your team or the guy working at the Post Office?
StartSomeGood, like all fundraising platforms, is a toolkit for you to use to raise funds from your community. So when you consider how much you can realistically raise (and it’s important to be ambitious but realistic, because you need to reach your tipping point to receive any funds [read more about Tipping Point strategy]) you need to take into account the unique attributes of your project and your community.
So how can you think this through?
There are three factors which determine how much you can raise:
• How many people will you reach with your story?
Reach is a crucial element in any campaign. If people don’t know you need their help they won’t get involved. Successful crowdfundraiser Kylie Gusset believes you need to reach one person for each dollar you want to raise. So if you’re aiming for $20,000 you need to reach 20,000 people with your story. This will require either a large existing community or doing the work to push your story out there – approaching bloggers and media, encouraging your supporters, holding events, forming partnerships and working hard.
• How excited are they likely to be about your story, your impact, your rewards?
Once people hear your story, what is their propensity to support you? Is your issue a prominent one? Is there a large community of people passionate about creating change in this area? Will many people personally benefit from your innovation? Do your rewards have intrinsic value to people? Will they want them? Your family and friends have a high propensity to support you irrespective of the above because they want to see you succeed. Include them in your calculations.
• How much money do they have to contribute?
Once people are excited about your story, what’s their capacity to support you? If you have a passionate supporter base amongst high school students who are excited about your project, you would score well on the previous metric but poorly on this one, as high school students don’t generally have a lot of money to contribute.
So the formula for how much money you can raise is Reach x Propensity (of the people you reach) x Capacity (of the people you reach).
The output of this formula will be completely unique to each project, and best-known by the entrepreneur and team behind it.
A wonderful example of this was the team behind the Do Good Bus, who were determined to raise at least $100,000 to support their 22-city national tour. At the time, our largest fundraiser had raised $9,000, so we were worried it wasn’t possible and encouraged them to consider a lower tipping point of, say, $50,000. But they were adamant that $100,000 was what they needed and what they could get - and they were right. With great marketing, very attractive rewards and a lot of hard work, they reached and exceeded their goal and remain our record fundraisers.
This doesn’t mean we don’t help our campaigns. We are true partners in you securing the funding you need. We’ll help you design your campaign to best tell your story and increase the propensity of visitors to support you, and we’ll share your story with our networks to increase your reach. But ultimately you are best at telling your story and you know best what your likely reach is (this is where hard work makes the biggest difference) and who your most likely supporters are, so you are also best-placed to judge how much you can raise.And that’s exciting! Because it’s not really about us, it’s about you, and you can create the future you want for yourself, your project and your community.
So tell us, what good can you start today?