Think About the Big Picture

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1 TITAN CROWDFUNDING Titan Crowdfunding is a Cal State Fullerton program that gives students, faculty and staff the ability to showcase and raise funds for projects that allow them to remain at the top of their fields. The following manual will give you an idea of what is involved when you begin your crowdfunding project. Please read over each element carefully and consider how you can bring together a team that will help you run a successful campaign. 1

2 Think About the Big Picture Project When considering crowdfunding, ask yourself a few crucial questions: Why are you raising money? What is compelling about your project? Is there a story behind your project that will motivate people to donate? Goal Your goal is the key aspect of your project. Consider: What is your goal? Have you already raised some money? Make sure your goal is a good balance between what you can realistically raise and what you hope you will be able to raise. A realistic goal is from $5,000 - $10,000. Campaign Life The timeline for your campaign will help you determine the most basic organizational factors: Do you have a rough timeline? How long will your Titan Crowdfunding campaign last? Does it include the preparation aspects of your campaign? Your timeline will cover the span of four to six weeks. Organizing Your Titan Team Every Titan Team needs key players who will help your project come to life. You will need to fill the following roles to make your campaign a success. Coordinator - CSUF faculty member that oversees the project Tusk Leader - Two lead team members that oversee project tasks and delegate to Team Tuffy Team Tuffy - A minimum of 10 committed students responsible for spreading the word about your project on a regular basis through , social media, events and word-of-mouth 2

3 Think About the Big Picture Campaign Web Page You will create a corresponding Web page for your campaign that people can visit often to get updates on your project, and how much you ve raised. Your Web page will include the following important elements: Titan Funding Summary Start your summary with a Call to Action! The project summary on your website should be organized with breaks in your description for images or video content. Your page should be as engaging as possible. Images and Video Images are a great way to visually represent your project and give donors a more personal idea of the people and cause they will be supporting You may create a video, but it s important that the video is not too long; it should be under three minutes and it must have a clear message behind it. Get right to the point. Describe your project and why people should commit to supporting it. 3

4 Perks Perks serve the double purpose of incentivizing supporters and providing them with recognition or a keepsake that will keep them invested in your campaign. First, you need to decide what your capacity for perks is are there things you can give away, or ways you can publicly recognize donors that will draw people to your project? Aside from their ability to draw support, perks should also be feel-good reminders to your supporters of why they chose your project. Example: University Advancement will provide a CSUF travel mug for any $60 donation to your cause. Ideas for Perks Donor honor roll Social media thanks and recognition Stickers or key chains highlighting your project Membership to a newsletter updating your supporters on your project Invitation to an event you have already planned Once you have identified the perks you would like donors to receive, you will need to develop a system for fulfilling those perks. Perk Pricing Determine how much perks will cost and decide what level of donation will be required for your supporters to receive various perks Decide which perk is the most exclusive and price it the highest REMEMBER: Donors need to receive their perks in a timely manner Depending on your stock, you will need to limit your perks to a specific number of people (Example: We only have 50 bumper stickers, so we need to be mindful of how many people have donated at the bumper sticker level and remove that perk as an option once we have distributed all 50 bumper stickers) 4

5 and Social Media Outreach outreach is a key aspect of crowdfunding. Designate one of your Tusk Leaders to be in charge of outreach. As you are working on your outreach campaign, there are four important elements that will determine your success: your schedule, your distribution lists, your content, and the structure of every you send. Schedule Plan on sending weekly s. What kind of information will these s present? It s best to keep your audience engaged with your campaign s progress. How Many s? You will want to send as many s as possible to spread the word about your project and its fundraising goal. Each of your team members should be able to 25 people about the project. Content You will need to prepare engaging and professionally written content for a number of different purposes. You should prepare a pre-campaign for Team Tuffy to send to guaranteed donors that you already have in place. You should write the text for s ahead of time so that each team member can copy/paste and send according to your schedule. This will streamline the process and guarantee that your message is consistent. Once your campaign is launched, you will likely want to send the following types of s: Mass campaign launch Mass weekly update s Thank you to donors s Team Tuffy can copy and send Encouragement s to send to Team Tuffy Countdown s Final Week, 48 Hours, 24 Hours Structure A great campaign is focused and concise. Plan on your s being no more than six sentences. s should include progress updates that motivate your audience to support your project Never underestimate the power of a strong call to action Remind your supporters why your project is so crucial and the reasons why their support is so necessary 5

6 and Social Media Outreach Social Media Social media will be your campaign s connection to its committed supporters, as well as new donors and fans. Create a social media environment that will keep your fans and supporters connected to your project. A Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page can give the audience brief, constant updates on the state of your project. Social Media Guru Name one or two Tuffys as your Social Media Gurus. It will be these team members responsibility to help write and manage the content you post. One important way to generate interest on your social media page is to build up anticipation and excitement with posts that suggest a limited time offer or a special announcement that is coming. These types of posts will generate interest and shares or likes. Decide on how often you will post and whether or not you will interact with the people who like, comment or share your posts. You will also want to be able to tag or highlight supporters who have contributed to your campaign in social media posts. Your campaign preparation is nearly completed! You have a solid team ready to work hard in support of your amazing project. You only have a few more things to do before your campaign launches. 6

7 Campaign Launch! Soft Launch A week before you send your first mass s, open the campaign specifically to Team Tuffy supporters and guaranteed donors. Your guaranteed donors can help start the momentum during your pre-launch by donating. This way, when your campaign opens to the public, potential supporters will see that someone has already believed in your cause enough to donate. Hard Launch This is the real deal! Your campaign is ready to go live. Your guaranteed donors have set the stage for supporters to take action. If possible, host an on-campus event that will bring attention to your campaign during the first week it s live to the public. The more people on campus that know about your project, the more likely it is that you can generate buzz around your campaign that will translate into dollars. Ending Your Campaign Well When your campaign comes to a close, you will want to send an to all of your donors celebrating the final total your project received. You should also describe tangible ways in which your donors support contributed to your success. Be sure to send out any final perks that were promised to your donors or team members in a timely manner. Ending your campaign well by keeping your supporters updated is crucial to maintaining donor support for future student projects. 7

8 Titan Crowdfunding Checklist Organize Your Titan Team Designate people for the following roles: r Coordinator CSUF faculty who will oversee the project and provide guidance to students r Tusk Leaders Two lead students who will oversee project tasks and delegate to Team Tuffy r Team Tuffy A minimum of 10 students responsible for spreading the word about the project on a regular basis through , social media and word-of-mouth Project Details r Define clear parameters for your campaign. What are you raising money for? r Goal What is your fundraising goal? r Timeline At what point will you need the money you are raising? Determine your timeline working from that point backward. r How long will your campaign run? If possible, end your campaign on a Friday or at the end of the month. Campaign Web Page r Titan Funding Summary Includes a summary of your project and a call-to- action for your supporters r Images Creative, engaging images of students and the project itself will inspire people to get involved r Perks Create a sidebar detailing the perks available to those who donate as well as an honor roll and Social Media Outreach r Create templates ahead of time that your team can use to spread the word about your project r Make sure everyone participating in coordinating the campaign has at least 25 contacts and is willing to participate in outreach efforts r Develop a social media plan r Post exciting project updates and motivating posts regularly 8

9 Titan Crowdfunding Checklist Campaign Launch r Have you contacted potential local media outlets or blogs who might be interested in your campaign? r Soft Launch A week before you send your mass s, share your campaign Web page with Team Tuffy and your guaranteed donors r Hard Launch If possible, generate some buzz around your campaign by hosting an on-campus event that will get the community excited about your project r As your campaign grows, keep the momentum going with regular progress updates via your Web page, s and social media efforts Ending Your Campaign r Ending Communication Once your campaign has ended, you should ensure that your donors receive a progress update celebrating your ultimate campaign total and describing how their support helped your success. You can do this through s and social media posts. r Ending Perks Be sure your donors and team members receive any final perks they were promised during the campaign. Ending your campaign well is crucial to keeping your supporters engaged in future projects you or other students may run. 9

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