Now that you’ve pulled your team, your budget, and your crowdfunding plan together, you’re ready to start actually fundraising for your project. But before you start shouting your asks to the rooftops—which will come soon!—you have just a bit more work to do.
It’s helpful to think about your fundraising in two phases—your “quiet” phase, or what we call your soft launch, and your “loud” phase or your public campaign.
Your soft launch helps set the stage for your public campaign. Your campaign will still be active during your soft launch—this is not the time to be building prospect charts or other planning, that should already be done—you just won’t tell the broader public yet.
That’s because, based on our decade of experience, we’ve found that most donors are more likely to give once they see that others have given to a campaign and once they see some momentum.
We’ve found that 25% is that sweet spot of a reasonable fundraising goal for your close network and enough momentum to nudge others to get on the bandwagon. It’s a natural reaction for people to want to be part of something bigger and something that others are already a part of. Having a soft launch before your public campaign helps you take advantage of that.
During your soft launch, you’ll raise the first 25% or so of your overall budget from the people you are almost certain will give to your campaign. This is your and your team’s closest network of friends, family, and colleagues—the people who love and care about you and trust you enough to feel comfortable in investing in your campaign even if you’re still at $0.
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