Geri Stengel, author, contributor to Forbes and Inc., and founder of Ventureneer, raised 145% of her goal during her wildly successful Plum Alley crowdfunding campaign. Her campaign, The Venture Crowd: Everything Ventured, Everything Gained, will fund actionable tools, insights, and training in equity crowdfunding for investors and entrepreneurs. Stengel sought to raise $7,500, and blew past this goal to raise a total of $10,915. We caught up with Stengel to hear her five tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- “Start early and be organized.” Everything from your contact lists to your outreach plan to marketing materials should be prepped before launch. Stengel recommends starting three months prior to your Plum Alley campaign.
- Sending personalized emails is a must. The more personal the email, the better.
- If you have contacts who are familiar with crowdfunding or fundraising, make sure to reach out to them. Those individuals will understand what the process of raising money is like, and will likely be more compelled to contribute to your campaign.
- Set up a Customer Relationship Management System before your campaign goes live. To run a successful crowdfunding campaign, aggregating and managing all of your contacts in a single location is critical. Keep track of who you contact, method of communication, contributions, and next steps.
- Social media is great for keeping people informed about the progress of your campaign and providing additional details about your campaign. However, do not plan on social media bringing in financial contributions. Contributions to your campaign will come from personal modes of outreach, such as emails.
We urge all of our project creators to pay close attention to Stengel’s advice.