NF: -Step-by-Step Crowdfunding

Shaping a Successful Crowdfunding
Idea Putting your crowdfunding idea together is a lot like traditional business planning, but there are some key points you need to build into your plans. While crowdfunding was seen as an alternative form of finance just a few years ago, it’s quickly becoming a viable means of launching your new product or business. While equity crowdfunding generally raises higher sums, even rewards-based crowdfunding has hit amounts in the tens of millions of dollars.

Product, Service or Social Cause
Few campaigns start for the sole purpose to crowdfund something. You’ve most likely got an idea for a product or service and want to explore ways to raise money.
The process of developing your product and business plan is going to be fairly general, but there are some points you’ll want to consider when it comes to crowdfunding.

Kickstarter or Indiegogo are generally the go-to decisions for most campaigns, but your product decision will affect which crowdfunding platform will best suit your needs. If you plan on selling your product internationally, you may want to go with Indiegogo or another platform other than Kickstarter.

While Kickstarter claims to make international crowdfunding just as easy,
I have heard from several campaigns that they ran into problems with shipping and collecting pledges. Kickstarter may not accept your campaign if it is a social cause, though Indiegogo is more flexible with types of projects.

Other platforms like GoFundMe are more focused to social causes and
may provide a better environment where backers are looking for projects like yours.
Know your product and your customer
As with any product development or business plan, one of your key questions is going to be the product’s unique selling point.
What needs does the product satisfy and why does it do it better than existing products?

Establishing these needs is even more important ahead of your crowdfunding campaign because understanding those needs will help you reach backers on an emotional level. Think about your product not in terms of what it does but what it means for customers.

A fine ballpoint pen is not just something with which to write but an expression of your thoughts. Buying a quality pen is a symbol of your success and respect for an art form that has died out. Understanding these needs will help you understand what type of people are most likely to buy your product and support the campaign.

Once you have an understanding of this customer segment, you can start to build a picture of their interests and what kinds of things they do online. You won’t do much with this yet but will go into more detail to build your crowdfunding outreach list of people to contact before your launch. Having thought through needs fulfilled by your product and its target customers, you can start developing your sales pitch.

There are different thoughts on this but I like having two pitches ready, a very brief
30-second pitch and a longer two-minute proposal.

Developing your pitch is important for two reasons. Not only will it give you a
well-rehearsed lead to grab people’s attention but it will also force you to think critically about your product’s most interesting aspects.

The 30-second pitch will be used most often and should hit on no more than two key points. The power isn’t really in the details here but in creating enough interest that the person wants to know more. You don’t even need to mention the product’s name or even what it is in this pitch. Lead with the problem or need with which your market suffers and explain in one sentence how your product will solve it.
For times when you are asked to explain the product to a group or if your

30-second pitch gets a follow-up question, use your two-minute pitch to fill in the details. Even this pitch isn’t meant to answer all questions and should leave enough unanswered questions to have people interested in finding out more.

Your two-minute pitch will likely double as much of the script for your primary crowdfunding video. Vetting your Crowdfunding Idea with Friends and Family Unless you are already developing your crowdfunding idea with a team, your first interaction with others will be to bounce the idea off of friends and family.

They might not have the business savvy or know-how to critique your plans but they will be able to look at it from a customer-perspective. Your closest personal network will be the most upfront with criticism and you should be able to get some valuable feedback on your product and pitch. While you might have to build a relationship with others on your outreach list before you can get a phone conversation to talk about the crowdfunding idea, your friends and family represent a quick opportunity to get instant feedback.

There are two primary hurdles in crowdfunding, establishing trust and sharing your passion. While friends and family may not share your passion for the product, as might others from affinity groups, you will not have to spend the time to develop a level of trust. If you can find a way to share your passion for the product, you might just find your first crowdfunding supporters in these initial conversations.

Building a Team around Your Crowdfunding Idea While your crowdfunding idea or product might be your baby, an effective campaign is too much for one person to handle.

A crowdfunding campaign
can easily require 20 hours per week and much more if you plan on raising more than a few thousand dollars. Not only are other people going to help take some of the workload off your shoulders, but they will also bring ideas and experience to complement your own.

From your conversations with friends and family, you should be able to get at least one or two people that are interested enough to commit a little extra time to be involved.

This doesn’t have to mean a big commitment but can be as little as spending an hour or two each week to answer emails or perform outreach tasks. Have a few easy tasks in mind to suggest, or talk with them about what they would be best able to do and when. The idea of recruiting from friends and family first is two-fold.

You’ll be starting from the level of trust and friendship which will help in securing some kind of commitment. You’ll also get the opportunity to practice bringing people closer into the community of your crowdfunding campaign. This practice is going to be important as you start asking for higher levels of commitment from people that may not know you as well.

How Much Will Your Crowdfunding Idea Cost?
Developing a budget for your crowdfunding idea is one of the most important and overlooked steps in crowdfunding. Most crowdfunders include a fairly simple budget in their campaign planning but never go beyond this back-of-the-envelope calculation. Even if their campaign is successfully funded, disappointment sets in when they figure out that they grossly underestimated the costs and the campaign actually ends up costing them money.

Creating a detailed budget for your crowdfunding idea may seem counter-intuitive, especially if your campaign is for a creative project, but it will go a long way to establishing trust and credibility with crowdfunding supporters.

The fact that you have taken the time to detail each expense in your project will help show funders that you know the reality of seeing the project through to completion.

If you have never worked with spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel, then now is your chance. Spreadsheets make budgeting much easier than listing everything out on a sheet of paper and you’ll be able to detail your budget out further as you get more information. If you need help with basic spreadsheet use,
YouTube is a good source for quick tutorials.

Within your budget spreadsheet, you will start with the basic expenses:
Marketing expenses—Will you need to advertise what your project or business offers? Campaign marketing—Most campaigns don’t even think about the cost of their time and the money they spend marketing their campaign.

Crowdfunding campaigns are a ton of work, require hundreds of hours and can cost
a significant amount in marketing. These costs are all part of your project idea and should be included in your budget. Project marketing—Post-campaign marketing expenses usually get a little more attention in the budget but still not enough. Separate these costs into online and offline expenses.

Then these two categories should be further separated into estimated spending on different websites, programs, catering dinner parties, invitations, offline advertising and any other media you need to get your message across.
Administrative expenses—Office support including supplies, rent, utilities and staffing are all important to show that you will have the resources to make your crowdfunding idea work. A lot of these will depend on how big your project is going to get.

No one expects you to run your business out of the garage forever.
Even Mark Zuckerberg had to move Facebook out of his dorm room eventually. Insurance—Property, health, workman’s compensation.
Supporters have backed your product and have an interest in seeing it through to the end. You need to protect that interest by protecting yourself against problems that could mean an immediate end to your project.

Professional fees The crowdfunding idea and campaign might have been your brainchild, but no one expects you to be all things, all the time. If the project is going to grow and really make an impact, it is going to need professional help like graphic designers, technical developers, outreach organizers and a myriad of other staff positions. Beyond these basic expenses, you will need to add others specific to your product.

Will you need manufacturing facilities or other commercial property ?
Expenses for utilities like phone, water and heat may vary depending on usage.
Will your product require any licenses, permits or legal filings?
How much will raw materials cost to produce a sample or first batch of the product ? Rewards and the cost of delivering those rewards are an integral part of your budget. This is where the budgeting can get a little tricky though because you might not know exactly how many of each reward-level will be chosen.

Figure out how much it will cost to produce each reward, remembering that you might be able to get volume discounts if you produce in large quantities. Don’t forget to add in an approximate cost for shipping each within the United States.
Once you know how much it will cost to produce and ship each reward, you can go one of two routes for a basic idea of rewards fulfillment.

You can assume that an equal amount of your funding is spread across each reward-level. If you are raising $10,000 and have five reward levels, then each one will bring $2,000 in pledges. From here, you divide the $2,000 into the reward size to find how many of that reward you would need to produce and deliver.

Do this across all reward levels and you will get an idea of how much everything will cost. A safer method is to assume that all your funding comes at the most expensive reward level. You will take the expenses from producing and delivering the necessary amount of rewards at that level against your funding goal.

I like this method because it gives you a worst-case estimate for cost of rewards fulfillment. Understand that most crowdfunding campaigns for a product or service are considered a business by the Internal Revenue Service and you’ll own income taxes on the project.

The accounting is similar to basic business bookkeeping, with the expenses you pay for the campaign offsetting any money you raise. I won’t go into every detail of small business accounting but there are a few points you will want to remember.

If you run your crowdfunding campaign from home, you can write off a portion of your property taxes and utilities as expenses for the campaign as well as any equipment you use.
To do this, you calculate the amount of square footage around the space you use. This is the size of the room where you do the work. You then take that square footage divided by the total square footage for your house to get the percentage used for business purposes.

This percentage applied to utilities and other household costs can be taken as a business expense against any money raised crowdfunding. Keep receipts for all rewards and fulfillment. These will be your primary expenses against the money you raise crowdfunding.

One stumbling block that gets many crowdfunders at tax time is the fact that money comes in quickly but expenses can take several months or years to build up.
The money you raise crowdfunding is considered taxable in the year you received it.

Under accounting rules, you can choose to delay the recognition of that money to match it with expenses but you need to know how to show this on financial statements. After you have selected the crowdfunding platform most appropriate for your campaign, you will have an idea of fees charged to raise the money.

Most platforms charge around 5% of the money raised and around 3% for processing the funds.
This means dividing the money you need by 0.92 to find how much your goal should be to meet your budget after fees.
For example, if you need to raise $1,000 to cover expenses, then you will need
to set your goal at $1,087 ($1,000 divided by 0.92) to have $1,000 left over after the 8% fees. With a detailed budget that includes taxes and fees, you should consider reaching out to other crowdfunding campaigns to check your numbers.

Reaching out to other campaigns about costs that you might have missed can save
a huge headache later in the process.
Once you have a rough idea for how much your product will cost to launch, you need to make one of the most important decisions in crowdfunding.

Too many crowdfunding campaigns reach for tens of thousands of dollars or more
to fund years’ worth of expenses or the whole production process.
The business owner puts in countless hours towards the campaign only to miss the funding goal and receive nothing in the all-or-nothing Kickstarter model.

Instead of trying to fund everything with just one campaign, consider setting
your funding goal high enough to reach a milestone like a test product or a draft copy. Nearly three-fourths of Kickstarter campaigns raise less than $10,000 and less than 3% raise more than $100,000 successfully.

My advice would be to set the bar low for your initial crowdfunding campaign, only trying to raise enough that you can provide a working model or something as a reward to backers. With a successful campaign under your belt, it will be much easier to fund successive campaigns since you will already have a base of backers and the experience as a guide.

Setting a Timeline for your Crowdfunding Idea
The final step in putting together your crowdfunding idea is to develop a basic timeline for the project. Some of this will depend on your own deadlines and circumstances but there are a few rules you should remember.

The most important stage of crowdfunding is before your campaign even goes live on the internet. The minimum amount of time you should plan for pre-launch activities is three months. Within three months, you should start seeing visitor traffic coming to your blog from Google search and you will have built a decent mailing list from your outreach efforts.

If you have the time, developing your pre-launch following over a longer period like six months can help to raise more awareness and more money.
Studies have shown that shorter campaigns are relatively more effective than longer ones.
This is because visitors to your crowdfunding page get a sense of urgency
if they see that the campaign is coming to a close within a few weeks.
If your campaign has more than 30 days left, some of that urgency is lost and there is no guarantee that visitors will come back later and support your project.

With most of your outreach work done in pre-launch, your biggest days will be the first few after the campaign goes live. In fact, most campaigns start strong before going into a lull until the last week.

Besides the sense of urgency created from a shorter campaign, you risk burning out on the continuous work involved in a crowdfunding campaign if you try to raise money over an extended period.

Generally, between 30 days and 45 days will give you enough time to drive people to the campaign while not being too long to risk burnout or sap that sense of urgency. Another often overlooked part in the planning process is building your timeline around production and fulfillment of rewards.

There is a growing chorus online from crowdfunding backers that have been disappointed by campaigns that failed to live up to promises made during the campaign.

Do not assume that you will never need to come back to the crowd for funding.
Even if you never crowdfund another product, crowdfunding backers are some of the most engaged and loyal customers you could hope for.
Do not alienate them by grossly underestimating the amount of time it will take to deliver rewards. Budgeting rewards and fulfillment should give you an idea of how long it will take to deliver them as well.

Talk to your suppliers about contingencies for higher quantities of production if you end up blowing away your funding goal. In business, you would plan out three different scenarios for production costs and fulfillment times. You then take the average of the three as a good estimate for worst-, base-, and best-case scenarios. Once you have an estimate for how long it will take to produce and deliver awards, a good rule of thumb is to increase this amount of time by 20 percent.

There is nothing wrong with delivering rewards ahead of schedule but you really do not want to fall behind. If you do start to fall behind in your schedule, be open and upfront with backers.

Most will understand and appreciate the regular communication update,
especially if fulfillment delays were caused by a much higher funding reached.
Knowing about how long your crowdfunding campaign will take from pre-launch through rewards fulfillment can help to build in a really important idea into the schedule.

Try planning your crowdfunding campaign to coincide with a conference or other industry event.

Getting a booth or just having a demonstration product on-hand is a great way to showcase your idea and get people to visit your crowdfunding page.

Conferences represent a major source of potential backers that you know will be interested in your product. I’ve included an example graphic for a crowdfunding timeline below. I assumed general times I’ve seen in successful campaigns including: Shaping an idea
(3 weeks) Campaign research
(2 weeks) Campaign outreach
(3 weeks) Community building
(9 weeks) Revising the campaign and write-up
(1 week) Running the campaign
(6 weeks) Post-campaign fulfillment
(5 weeks) Post-campaign requirements will probably vary the most depending on how much manufacturing you need to do.

Understand that you will want to detail out the timeline you post on the campaign page with specific tasks to show supporters that you have built in everything you’ll need to do in post-campaign fulfillment.

Crowdfunding Idea Wrap-Up Putting a crowdfunding idea together isn’t something you will be able to do in a short afternoon.
Like any good business idea, it will take time to develop, and you will likely be revising the idea well after the early stages of the project.

Start off with a quick sketch of each step and then continue to fill in details as more information becomes available.
As with any steps in the crowdfunding process, don’t rush this planning stage or generalize any of the details.

Planning everything out here will help avoid a lot of hassles and will drive the success of your crowdfunding campaign when it goes live. Backers will appreciate the fact that you took the time to detail your budget and your rehearsed pitch will pay off through interest from the people you meet.

Choosing a Crowdfunding Platform
Kickstarter gets more than 13 million visitors to its site every month, followed by Indiegogo with about nine million monthly visitors.

These two platforms are usually the number one or two choices for most campaigns but you really should spend a little time on the decision.
There are literally hundreds of crowdfunding platforms.
While many of them are probably not worth your time, spend an hour or two researching your options. Smaller platforms may be able to offer one-on-one service and a feature on their homepage, in addition to more targeted traffic.

Included is a list of 18 crowdfunding and fundraising websites that can help you
raise money online. Besides fees and the types of projects allowed on the sites, pay attention to which categories seem to do the best. If the site has a forum or some
type of community, spend some time to see if it leans toward any particular category or demographic.

This will give you an idea of the kind of audience you can expect from the site and how appropriate it is for your campaign.
1) Kickstarter The largest crowdfunding site with more than 13 million visitors every month, Kickstarter hosts crowdfunding campaigns from comics and crafts to technology and theater.

The site does not allow campaigns for social causes so you’ll need a product or event to promote. The platform has helped nearly 80,000 projects get funded with a strong community of repeat backers. Nearly 300,000 people on Kickstarter have backed 10 projects or more.

About the biggest drawback for Kickstarter is that it only offers the all-or-nothing funding model which means that if you do not reach your funding target, you get none of the funds pledged.
Fees: Kickstarter collects a 5% fee for successfully funded projects. Payments are processed by Stripe, which charges between 3% and 5% of the amount.

2) Indiegogo Similar to Kickstarter, except that here, you can raise funds for any project (so long as it’s legal), including donations for charity.
This opens the crowdfunding site up to campaigns for personal finances, medical needs and just about anything. Kickstarter has gotten better about supporting international campaigns but I still hear from some campaigns that they prefer Indiegogo for raising money from international sources.

The flexibility and ease of international crowdfunding on Indiegogo has helped its popularity and campaign success is slightly higher at 44% compared to Kickstarter. The site receives upwards of nine million visitors per month.

Fees: Under the flexible funding model, Indiegogo charges a 9% fee on the
funds raised. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4%.
Fees for the all-or-nothing model are a flat 4% of contributions.

PayPal or credit card processing is available with fees ranging between 3% and 5% of the amount. Indiegogo offers a 25% discount on their platform fees for any campaign raising funds for a nonprofit institution with a 501(c)(3) registration in the United States. Contributions for these campaigns are tax-deductible.

Image courtesy of Simran Khosla at PandoDaily
3) AngelList AngelList is a platform for startups to meet investors, candidates
and incubators. In the past, angel investing was one of the best forms of funding for startup companies, similar to venture capital, and was typically the first round of funding after friends and family.

AngelList is an equity crowdfunding site where companies offer an ownership stake in exchange for funding. Syndicates—An angel or fund forms a syndicate, picking which investments it likes and wants to support.
Private investors then support the syndicate to invest indirectly or directly in the separate projects. Cost: For Startups—No fees to receive an investment from a syndicate

For Backers—5–20% carried interest per deal to the syndicated lead and 5% carried interest to AngelList Self-syndication—Allows accredited investors the opportunity to make direct investment in individual campaigns. Cost: Investors pay a 10% carried interest to AngelList and a fixed setup cost.

4) Appbackr Appbackr aims to index the world’s apps, helping developers raise funding and to build attention around their apps and app ideas. Developers can sign up and post their apps, whether they are still in development or currently for sale in a mobile app store.

Backrs purchase wholesale copies on appbackr and makes a 26% profit when he backs an app. If the app is already available, funds are immediately transferred to the developer’s PayPal account. If the app is pre-launch, the funds will be available when the app is ready to be released. As the app sells, appbackr counts the number of sales and pays the developer and the backrs when the mobile app store distributes the money.

Products AppBakr has three main products:
Appscore, which provides incentives and rewards to developers based on a ratio between the appscore and its current market performance;
Xchange, which provides a platform to developers to receive offers from stores and platforms to port their apps; and Marketplace, which has helped developers to crowdfund $1 Million to develop and market their new apps.

5) RocketHub RocketHub is one of the more popular sites after Kickstarter and Indiegogo and has a great support system with the crowdfunding site’s Success School series.

The platform offers the flexible funding model where you keep any pledges made whether you meet the funding goal or not.
RocketHub has partnered with A&E Project Startup for a huge potential boost to campaigns.

Campaign owners have the chance to be featured on television and on the A&E website, as well as featured in the channel’s bi-annual magazine.
Fees: If you reach your goal, 4% commission fee + 4% credit card handling fee.
Fees for flexible funding if you don’t reach your goal are higher at 8% plus the 4% processing fee.

6) Crowdrise CrowdRise allows you to create a fundraiser online for your favorite cause. The site runs on the flexible funding model where you keep all pledged donations. The site is one of the largest for social cause crowdfunding and used by some of the largest non-profits including the Red Cross, UNICEF and the Boston Marathon.

Crowdrise offers a unique point system that helps track the impact charities are making through their reporting numbers. CrowdRise offers three pricing plans for crowdfunding: The Basic Plan has no annual fee but charges 5% plus credit card fees of 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction.
The Featured Plan includes a $49 per month fee but reduces the donation fee to 4% plus credit card fees. The Royale Plan charges $199 per month but lowers the donation fee to 3% plus credit card fees.

7) Fundable Fundable is one of the few crowdfunding platforms to offer both equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding. One of the most interesting features on Fundable is that it charges no fee associated with how much your campaign raises (i.e., the 5% fee on Kickstarter).

This means you keep any money pledged and makes the site more attractive to those looking to raise a large amount.
Pricing and Fees: Fundable charges $179 per month plus a merchant processing fee of 3.5% + $0.30 per transaction for rewards-based crowdfunding.

The site charges $179 per month for equity crowdfunding campaigns. 8) SeedInvest SeedInvest is a platform that enables equity-based crowdfunding by accredited investors in startups.

Crowdfunding campaigns must reach their funding goal to receive any funds. Companies should expect to take a minimum of 60–90 days to complete equity crowdfunding. The crowdfunding site charges no investor fees and allows you to invest alongside with institutional investors.

Costs: —7.5% placement fee, to be charged on the value of the fundraising upon successful completion. —Between $3,000 and $5,000 in due diligence, escrow, marketing and legal expense reimbursements. 9) WeFunder WeFunder is another equity crowdfunding site but offers lower minimums for investment.

You still have to be an accredited investor but can invest as little as $100 for an individual company. Startups receive most of the funds committed, minus an admin fee. Investors also pay a $10–$75 admin fee on top of their investment.

Fees: WeFunder charges 10% carried interest, and a nominal admin fee between $2,000 and $4,000 upon the successful close of the funding. 10)

CrowdCube CrowdCube is a U.K. company backed by Balderton Capital and more than 400 private investors who have collectively invested more than £1.8M across multiple rounds of funding. You can find investment opportunities in a variety of industries or raise funds for your business. Currently, they only support British businesses.

Fees: Success fee—5% (VAT Exempt) of total funds processed Administration—£1,250 (ex. VAT) Corporate services—£1,250 (ex. VAT)
Payment Processing Fees: 2.4% of the funds processed + £0.20 per transaction

11) GoFundMe GoFundMe
is one of the most popular sites for personal fundraising causes.
The platform offers a little more personalization in campaigns and three models for fundraising: personal campaigns, charity fundraising and all-or-nothing campaigns. Under the personal campaign model, you set up your campaign and request donations.

This is a good option for those looking to fund medical expenses, memorials, and travel because you don’t have to offer rewards.
For personal campaigns, you do not have to set a deadline or funding goal.
The charity model allows you to choose one of the non-profit organizations listed on the site and promote it through your social network.

The all-or-nothing campaign model is similar to Kickstarter where you create a crowdfunding campaign and offer rewards for backer contributions. In the United States, GoFundMe deducts a 5% fee plus a processing fee of about 3% and $0.30 from each donation you receive.
International fees range from 6.9% to 7.9% depending on the country.
pay a 5% platform fee and a 4.25% fee to FirstGiving.

12) YouCaring YouCaring offers crowdfunding for personal and charitable causes and charges no fee to fundraising organizations.
The site specifically offers categories of medical and healthcare costs, memorial and funeral costs, education and tuition fundraising, family and adoption costs, faith-based service projects, pet and animal expenses, and community or cause.

YouCaring does not permit fundraising for legal defense, litigation, bail bonds or other legal matters.

Fees: YouCaring does not charge admin or service fees though donors are given the option to donate to the website to support operations.
PayPal and WePay offer third-party payment processing and charge 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

13) GiveForward GiveForward is an online fundraising and donation website that claims to be the number 1 crowdfunding platform to start a medical fundraiser and the only site with fundraising coaches providing guidance.

Specific categories include medical bills, veterinarian bills and funeral expenses.
Each fundraiser is assigned a personal coach that is available to answer questions and provide advice via phone or email. Besides the personal coach, an attractive feature is that the fundraising campaign can distribute funds to the recipient any time and in chunks or all at once.

Fees: Giveforward charges 5% for the platform plus 2.9% + $0.50 goes to their
online payment service provider.

14) Patreon Patreon was launched to enable fans to support their favorite creators and is geared towards ongoing projects of music, video and other creative projects.

The site offers a really unique model in that backers pledge to support creators
on an ongoing basis, usually for each project, until the backer cancels the promise.

Pledges are generally for smaller amounts than the one-time donations on other crowdfunding sites but can grow over time with multiple projects.
Patreon can be a great way for those in the creative space to fund their ongoing projects without having to constantly worry about raising money for each individual campaign. Rewards are offered but are usually only deliverable one time.

Fees: Patreon charges 5% on pledges with credit card processing adding another
4% off the donation. Beyond these fees, creators also pay billing partners for payment processing between 2% and 5% of the amount.

15) AlumniFinder AlumniFunder aims to help build deeper relationships between students and alumni by providing a platform to fund creative and innovative projects within the university community.
People who register on AlumniFunder are divided into two groups:

Students and alumni looking to create a project (“Doers”) and Alumni and the general public who are looking to browse and fund these projects (“Alumni”).
Crowdfunding campaigns run for a limited time (30–60 days) and operate on the all-or-nothing model. As of this writing, there were no active projects listed on the site.

The idea of an alumni networking crowdfunding platform makes a lot of sense as alumni have been strong supporters of campaigns on other sites.

16) AppStori AppStori is a crowdfunding and fundraising platform connecting
mobile app consumers and developers before an app becomes available on an app store. Developers can raise funds, find beta testers, build an audience, advertise their needs and wants and create a “Stori”, essentially allowing friends, family and consumers to be part of the team that brings the app to the market.

When consumers find a team or an app they would like to support, they can make a contribution. Depending on the amount, each team offers different rewards to supporters/backers. Payments are facilitated with Amazon Payments. Fees: —AppStori deducts 7% of total collected funds. —Amazon Payments deduct 2–3% for credit card processing.

17) CircleUp CircleUp is an equity crowdfunding platform that connects accredited investors with innovative consumer and retail companies.
Companies must typically have substantial revenue (> $500,000 annually) or other indicators of potential success and are evaluated by private equity investors before being allowed on the site.

Average funding time is between two and three months and funds can be raised through convertible debt or equity. Companies pay a commission to FundMe Securities LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of CircleUp.

Minimum investment size is $1,000 and up, depending on the offering.
There are no fees for investors and your investment is returned if the company
fails to meet their target funding. An interesting feature of CircleUp is the ability to follow “circles” based on an affiliate company, usually a private equity analyst or an investment firm.
The affiliate publishes their opinion on deals and investors are allowed to co-invest through a fund managed by the affiliate. Investors pay carried interest to be a part of the fund.

18) CauseVox CauseVox is another fundraising platform developer with tools to create your own website for online fundraising. The fundraising site tool works similar to WordPress with custom themes and templates available.

At the time of this writing, Causevox was offering development with no monthly fees until you raise $5,000 online.

At that point, the site offers three pricing plans:
Starter plans carry no monthly fee but charge 5% on each transaction and limited features. Impact plans charge $49 per month but charge only 4.25% per transaction. Users can develop an unlimited number of fundraising sites and have access to more features. Pro plans charge $129 per month and a 4% transaction fee with unlimited sites and full access to features.
Payment processing is available through Stripe or PayPal and will amount to another 3% fee per transaction.

Continue reading the full book here: Step by Step Gowdfunding

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