Crowdfunding Change – An ROI workshop with Indiegogo’s Amy Lesnick at JHub

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By David Brown, the coordinator of Jewish Social Action Forum.

As an ROI member and professional at JHub, I was thrilled to participate in a workshop that highlighted the shared goal ROI and JHub have of empowering people to innovate Jewish Life. Indiegogo are the world largest crowdfunding platform. Amy Lesnick was a fantastic facilitator, taking the time to get to know everyone in the room, their current project and broader interests – and then weaving this in to the training and advice she delivered. Amy also provided lots of great examples of crowdfunding campaigns that have worked.

Two stand out campaigns cited were Who Gives a Crap – recycled toilet paper that uses 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world and LuminAID – an inflatable solar light that by purchasing people get one for themselves but also send one to someone in the global south. Obviously, given my social action role here at JHub, these projects excited and inspired me, but they also highlighted some useful tips for anyone running a crowdfunding campaign;

  • Be creative – find the hook to get people sharing your idea or product. Use a film but don’t overproduce it –  a homemade film that is short, funny and inspiring is likely to generate more interest than a slick professionally made film.
  • Be social – crowdfunding works by mobilising your online and offline networks and getting them and others excited about your project or product. Share widely, be engaged and responsive when people support your campaign, and keep coming back to people who’ve participated –surprisingly many people give more than once, unsurprisingly most only share with their network when asked to do so.
  • Be prepared – make sure you’ve soft launched your campaign with your initial network to ensure early support so that those with weaker ties to you see the campaign has support early on. Have a plan for launching and maintaining interest in your campaign, don’t just think about the launch video/email abut about follow up, thanking supporters, a fun progress report and asks other than money you can make of people to support you in maintaining momentum.
  • Pick playful or purposeful perks – have a range of perks for people based on what they give, for US market $25 is the sweet spot, we suggested £15-20 was likely to work here, have a good perk for this level. Hold back some perks to release as you build momentum. Try to find fun ways to connect your perk with the project or product. Alternatively think about what skills/services you/your team can offer or what opportunities to get involved might appeal. For products, people often appreciate opportunity to participate in development focus groups.

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MESSAGE FROM ROI COMMUNITY:
Many thanks to David Brown for coordinating this London-based workshop and to Amy Lesnick for facilitating! The event attracted 15 participants, including ROIers and members from JHub.

Check out ROI Community's Indiegogo Partner Page and click here to find out how to feature your campaign on it.