Creating a project
Supporters like to donate via crowdfunding as they can see the exact impact their gift will have on your project. 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 and encourage the potential supporter to find out more.
What should I include in my project pitch?
Supporters will need to be able to judge whether they think your project is feasible. 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 Project Creators on your team?
You should give a breakdown as to how you propose to spend funds given to the project. Consider what they will allow you to do and over what time period they will be used.
Please refer to the Bristol Crowdfunding Guide when creating your project.
When will my project go live?
Once you've created your project you can submit it to us. If it meets all of our guidelines and you can show us that you've made a plan to promote your project we'll make it available to the public. Please note that you can't edit your project after submitting it. However, you will be able to add updates.The Crowdfunding Handbook
Funding a project
Bristol Crowdfunding doesn't use an all-or-nothing funding model, so you need to make sure that regardless of how much money you raise, you are able to carry out your project in some way. There is no limit to the amount you can raise and projects often raise more than their funding target.
What should I consider when creating my project target?
The rewards you offer are usually generated as part of your project, although you should consider any materials you might need to purchase to help you create your rewards when creating your project's budget. But remember, you only need to deliver your rewards if your project reaches its minimum and after you have received your funding.
For more information on rewards, please see the Bristol Crowdfunding Rewards Guide.
Bristol Crowdfunding will cover the cost of processing donations, meaning you will receive 100% of all funds made towards your project.
Projects on Bristol Crowdfunding can last from 2 weeks to 3 months. However, a longer project isn't necessarily better. A project on Bristol Crowdfunding takes a lot of work so you might not want it to go on for an entire term. Unless your project has an especially large fundraising target, we would recommend it running for three-four weeks.
What do I need to consider?
The larger your funding target or your minimum needed the longer you are likely to need to raise it.
Receiving the funds
You must coordinate the creation and delivery of your rewards first.
A shorter project can convey a sense of urgency to supporters. 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 sponsors to gain more of an idea of who you are and what you're doing. It builds trust between you and the Sponsors, and this is essential if they are going to make a donation. Sponsors need to have a feeling that you're genuine and you intend to deliver.
What makes a good video?
A good video is you! At its simplest, a good video can just be you speaking into a camera. The basic idea is to give people an idea of who you are, what you're doing and why Sponsors should care about your project. Oh, and be yourself!
- Camera Many computers come with integrated cameras. These are fine. 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!
- Light Lots! Record in the day and use extra lighting.
- Editing Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac) are great. You can also use Adobe Premiere Rush for free.
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. On YouTube you are able to upload videos up to 15 minutes long by default.
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.
Rewards are what you give supporters in return for their donations. Rewards give an added incentive for people to support your project. Rewards need to be exclusive (matched to the appropriate donation level) and creative. The better your rewards, the more likely you are to achieve your funding target. Sometimes rewards are so desired that projects achieve many times their funding target.
What makes a good reward?
A good reward is something which you yourself would want. Put yourself in the shoes of a supporter. What would be the most unique and appealing thing you or your group could provide? A supporter for a research project will probably want a virtual tour of the lab and work in action. A supporter of a sports team would probably want your team's jersey. A supporter of a band would probably want a CD. A supporter of a drama group would probably want tickets to a play. If you'd want whatever's on offer then it's likely to be a good reward.
Rewards should always have a connection to your project. The most common rewards we've found fall into four categories:
- Products - Does your project or idea lead to the production of anything? CDs, DVDs, prints, T-shirts or badges? Place these at a donation level that matches their street value.
- Mementos - Signed photos of your project, thanks in the credits, anything meaningful!
- Experiences - Tickets to the concert or match, a tour of your workspace at the university. Supporters want to connect with you!
- Collaborations - Your supporters get to sing on your album or play at a training session.
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 pledged your project begins to look more attractive to others. This is a good time to get posting about your project on Facebook, Twitter, other social networking sites, and your blog. Society, halls 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's members networks
If you are creating a society, club, team 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. University groups on Facebook and 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 Global Engagement Division
Use student or local newspapers and radio stations to get the word out. Media attention will help you reach out to people outside your immediate networks.
The real world
Get out there! Posters, flyers, meetings, parties... not everyone lives in the cyber-world!Download Promotion Guide
Posting updates are the best way of keeping in touch with your project supporters during the course of your Bristol Crowdfunding project. An update is a bit like posting on social media, just for your supporters. It shows the progression and development of your project.
Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it and that there is someone with a personality behind it. Your supporters will be notified of each of your updates by email. If they like what they see they are more likely to tell their friends about you.
What kind of updates should I provide?
Small milestones show that the project is making progress and will encourage new supporters that you deserve their cash!
Share reviews, press releases, photos and videos! Supporters love to see how their donations contributed to the success of your project.
Is your project going well? Short messages let supporters know that your project is progressing well and their contribution is being used productively!
Your project was successful!
Now you have to deliver the rewards you promised. This may seem daunting at first, but we'll provide you with plenty of information to make it easier for you. Get your friends, colleagues, or fellow society members to help.
You will have access to all the information you need regarding your supporters' names, chosen rewards and delivery addresses through Bristol Crowdfunding.
Let your supporters know that their rewards are on the way! Ask them to let you know that it has arrived safely. And please, don't forget to celebrate your successful project!The Crowdfunding Handbook