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Crowdfunding Tips for Determining What to Pledge

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How to Maximize Your Crowdfunding Donations

One of the many traps crowdfunders fall into is pledging items that cost almost as much as the amount being donated leaving them with almost nothing left to fund their projects. 

With that in mind, choosing what you pledge for your donations is a vital aspect of a successful campaign.   For example, pledging t-shirts with the company logo on them to receive $25 could result in very little being received from the donation.  

Luckily when looking at the statistics of successful campaigns, donors aren’t necessarily looking to receive expensive items (or anything at all) in return for their donations.  Often a creative or heartfelt gift is just as valuable if not more valuable than an item of monetary value to many donors.  A handwritten thank you letter by the team of crowdfunders, or allowing the individuals that donate to name something related to the campaign will often be enough. 

Also of extreme importance are the amount of donations being requested.  Repeat studies have found that pledges from $5 to $150 receive the most donations and support campaigns the most.  So, perform your own study of the top 20 campaigns and determine where you feel they received the most donations and be sure to glean as much as possible from the type of pledges being offered to see where they over pledged for the amount of the donations received and where they pledge the right amounts for the donations they received.  

Every type of crowdfunding campaign has specific techniques to boost donations.

A very successful method for launching new products is to offer bulk purchases of the product for cheaper than will be available in stores but still priced to receive enough of a mark-up to develop the products.  This technique was used successfully by the Pebble crowdfunding campaign on www.kickstarter.com, which brought in close to $10,000,000.00.  Unfortunately, some sites have banned this technique for their own reasons.  With that in mind, finding a site that does allow this technique of pre-selling products would be a good reason to choose it over another that does not offer this technique especially given how successful the technique has been in funding successful campaigns.  

A very successful method for launching a film or music has been to presell tickets to concerts or premier viewings at different times during the year.  The more people and groups you are able to corroborate with the more momentum your campaign will have. 

So, overall, be mindful of the costs that go into purchasing or producing the pledges that you intend to give away in return for the donations.  Receiving only a limited markup on any products that you are pledging for your donations will considerably limit your ability to fund your campaign.  Use crowdfunding sites that allow pre-selling of products or pre-selling tickets.  Consider the amount of money the crowdfunding site will be deducting from your campaign to get an overall sense of how much you'll have to fund your project once the campaign is complete.  Finally, be mindful of the type of crowdfunding campaign that you're running and find similar successful campaigns that have run in the past and emulate their technique!

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