Setting goals are highly important, especially to a small business owner. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about crowdfunding, setting attainable and reasonable goals will help your fundraising efforts go off without a hitch. By doing so, you can make sure your team is all up to date on your efforts.
Having specific goals in mind are especially helpful if you’re planning a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for something specific for your business or if it’s a fundraising incentive. Keeping your goals in mind will help you achieve the success you’re hoping for.
What is the Difference Between Crowdfunding and Fundraising?
Perhaps you do not understand the difference between crowdfunding and fundraising, no worries you aren’t the only small business owner that doesn’t know the difference. It’s much simpler than you might think.
Crowdfunding – Is a method of funding your project by seeking and accumulating money from a variety of individuals who believe in your cause. Crowdfunding is done online, where most traditional fundraising is not. One of the main advantages of crowdfunding is that it is often less time consuming and inexpensive compared to fundraising.
Fundraising – Is a method of seeking financial support from various causes or charities. The marketing, branding, and the actual campaign are all done offline. Though, it is possible to have a fundraiser online. A downfall to traditional fundraising, as opposed to crowdfunding, is that it can be very time consuming and much more expensive to start and keep running. But as will learn a little later in this guide, oftentimes, crowdfunding campaigns and fundraising goals can be aligned together for more successful results. When running a fundraiser and a crowdfunding campaign, you want to make sure they will not cancel each other out, and that they will work together to successfully fulfill your need for the funding you seek.
Now that you know the differences between crowdfunding and fundraising, we’ll introduce you to five ways you can improve your crowdfunding goals, and they are not that difficult. With this information, you can be assured that you will have a solid base in order to begin your crowdfunding strategies and efforts.
1. Create Your Primary Goals for Fundraising
In the beginning, before you launch your crowdfunding campaign, be sure to have at least 1-2 main primary goals or immediate goals you want to reach with your efforts. These goals need to be the first ones you want to accomplish, and your immediate goals should be ones that you can keep track of easily that can help you measure your success.
As you would expect, your primary or immediate goals need to include the amount of funding you hope to raise. In this case, you should choose a specific dollar amount, then consider your budget before deciding on a final amount. Think about other project factors in addition to the money you want to raise such as platform fees, to decide on an attainable amount you can easily raise during your campaign. While your fundraising goal should take precedence, there are other goals you need to consider as well. For instance, you need to consider other immediate goals that will help you gain first-time supporters to your cause, try to raise awareness, and other specific goals. Your other goals need to be more specific and measurable although they may be less important than your primary goals.
Keep in mind that by the end of your campaign, your main goals should have results you can see. Try to be as specific as you possibly can when setting these goals and outlining what you hope to achieve.
2. Identify Your Secondary Goals
The second step in improving your crowdfunding campaign is to identify your secondary goals. Now that you have your primary goal, raising money, all set you need to set your secondary goals, they are just as important as your primary goals and should not be overlooked or skipped.
Secondary goals will often have the longevity to last through more than one campaign. They also take a little more time and efforts before you see any visible results, but by having them ready, you’re a step ahead. Secondary goals can include the following and more.
Create strong relationships
Create more contacts
Grow your email list
After you’ve decided on your secondary goals and objectives, it’s time to put all of your goals through the SMART test, leading us to our next tip.
3. Use the SMART Test on Your Goals
As mentioned previously, setting goals is important for any small business or business owner, but you also need to make sure your objectives are strong. You can do this by putting your goals, primary and secondary, through the SMART test.
Specific – Be specific with your goals and what you want to achieve with them. Goals that are straightforward, clear, and easy to understand will help keep everyone on your team in the know and up-to-date on what is expected for each goal.
Measurable – your goals must be measurable. By having measurable goals, you’ll be able to see exactly what you campaign accomplished and how successful it was.
Attainable – Setting challenging goals is great, you just need to make sure they are attainable. Your goals will vary with every campaign, but you still need to set challenging goals that are possible to reach. If you set goals that can’t be reached, your campaign will be useless and do nothing for the success of your business.
Relevant – you need to make sure that your goals are relevant to what you are trying to accomplish. If you set a goal with less relevance, it can distract you from the campaign’s real purpose.
Timely – crowdfunding campaigns almost always have a begin date and an end date. Before setting a time frame for your campaign, consider how the time frame could affect the other four points on the SMART test. As long as your goals follow the five points, you’ll be more prepared for maintaining and sticking to your goals in order to obtain the success you’re hoping for.
No matter the size of your goals, they should coincide with the five points in the SMART test. Although it could take more time, it will help you determine if your goals are strong enough to withstand any changes that come up, as well as ensure that they are useful. A quick tip to remember is that your fundraising plan goes hand-in-hand with your crowdfunding goals.
4. Align Your Fundraising Plan with Your Crowdfunding Goals
At this point you have a solid foundation to build upon, and now you need to make sure that your fundraising plan coincides with your crowdfunding goals. When making any decisions about your campaign, your goals should be the factor that drives them forward.
It is important to keep your goals in mind at all times during your fundraising campaign, but there are a few instances when doing so is highly important:
When you are building your crowdfunding page.
When promoting your campaign.
During the follow-up and acknowledgment after the campaign.
When making critical decisions based on your goals.
Make sure you follow your goals and do not let your fundraising plan cause you to become distracted from what you need and want to achieve. Keep track of your crowdfunding efforts and make changes or improvement if needed.
5. Keep Track of Your Fundraising Progress
Providing that you followed the SMART test and rules, all of your goals should have a measurable result that can be tracked. Even though at the end of your campaign you’ll know most of your results, it’s still a good idea to keep track as your campaign moves along.
If you’re wondering why tracking your campaign is so important, it’s because by diligently keep track will help you immediately see if your efforts are falling behind. Should you notice your campaign not performing as you wanted, by tracking it frequently, you’ll be able to improve on or change what is causing it to fall behind.
On a positive note, perhaps you notice that your efforts are working or possibly exceeding what you expected, and you can make notes on what worked and what didn’t for when you plan your next fundraiser and you can include what worked.
An excellent strategy to use when tracking your progress is to create milestones for your campaign. you’ll also need to record pertinent information before your campaign, and by creating milestones you can be certain that your efforts are helping to move your campaign in the right direction.
Fundraising and crowdfunding does not need to be difficult in order to be successful. By simply using this guide and tips, you can create strong and effective goals for your fundraiser. A little creativity doesn’t hurt either, and before you know it, you’ll be ready for your next fundraiser and crowdfunding adventure, success can be yours!