Campaign Eligibility Requirements
Platform Mission: Goshen Funded seeks to help our community creatively invest in the common good by connecting residents, organizations, and businesses to great initiatives with common values. The intent is to provide a tool for groups to pitch their great ideas to the community and receive feedback… both verbal and monetary. Goshen Funded aspires to be a catalyst for expanding philanthropy and investment in support of dynamic campaigns that help build Goshen’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Campaign Criteria: The following criteria must be met in order for a project to be posted on the Goshen Funded crowdfunding platform:
- The project is located in Goshen, Indiana.
- The project proposes a measurable benefit to the local economy and/or improvement to the quality of life in Goshen.
- The project does not propose any illegal activities and would not be considered malicious or hateful toward any individual or group.
If your project meets these criteria, you are ready to submit a campaign idea to the platform!
Campaign Process Overview
Once you have submitted a campaign idea and have been approved by a campaign curator, you will be given a login to begin building your project’s campaign through CommunityFunded. The campaign curators and advisors will guide you through the process to create, launch and manage a campaign and offer assistance along the way.
This is typically a two-month process from start to launch of the campaign on the platform (see timeline below). It is strongly suggested that you have a team of between three and five people committed to help with marketing and outreach for your project.
A crowdfunding campaign consists of the Project Description – a written narrative and typically an accompanying short video that describes your project – along with your Fundraising Goal, Campaign Time-frame, optional Rewards that are available to those who support your campaign, and your Marketing Plan.
Two very useful workbooks for getting started are:
We highly recommend that you utilize these workbooks; they include in depth review of the following campaign elements.
The project description is the place to tell your story. Why should donors support your project? This is the place to be compelling, passionate and really sell your campaign! Craft a narrative that others can understand and relate to. This should be detailed, yet concise.
Adherence to recommended content and structure will ensure a successful review process. Campaigns with a word count of 300-500 words raise the most money (according to GoGetFunding.com). Campaigns with descriptions over 500 words may be returned to draft mode for editing.
Campaigns are found to be much more successful if they have a 2-3 minute video to aid in the storytelling process. Videos should have high-quality production. Campaign creators are encouraged to review the Video Creation Guide. All videos will be posted to YouTube and should adhere to any standards required by YouTube.
All campaign content must represent Goshen in the best possible light. Please be sure that both your video and your copy talk about how this campaign will benefit the community.
You should be considerate of people, businesses or organizations that you mention in your description and/or video; make sure they know you are mentioning them.
Your goal should be realistic and accounted for—a list that describes where funds will go if your goal is met, and a plan for any funds raised that exceed the project goal. If your goal is NOT met, you are to apply the funds raised to offset costs for your project.
Crowdfunding campaigns should set goals that may be a stretch, but ultimately are attainable with a solid marketing plan. Asking for too much or too little can affect your campaign’s chance of success. A typical goal for this type of platform would be $5,000, but depending on your project’s needs and the amount of effort put into your campaign planning and execution, that goal might be significantly higher or lower.
The average gift through this platform in other communities has been $50 (industry standard gift size averages about $80). Therefore, a $5,000 goal would require 100 supporters. Different target populations may have different levels of spending. So take that into account when calculating goals and the number of supporters you think you will need. Remember it is always better to exceed your goal than to fall short.
The Platform Host and Campaign Curators may suggest revising goals that do not seem attainable or do not have a solid marketing plan to back them up.
The recommended time-frame for live fundraising is 20-45 days. This gives time to advertise your campaign, but keeps the sense of urgency, which is a useful tool in fundraising. Posting updates to communicate with your supporters and potential campaign supporters is essential during this timeframe.
Private fundraising prior to launching your campaign publicly is a useful strategy discussed in the Campaign Marketing Accelerator.
We are also able to accommodate longer running fundraising campaigns on a case by case basis.
Rewards are incentives you can offer your supporters in exchange for a financial donation to your campaign.
Rewards can be anything (they don’t even need to be tangible items). They can be experiences, services, items, shout outs, event tickets and so on.
The Goshen Funded platform also offers Sponsored Rewards (rewards donated by another person, organization, or business). A business offering a sponsored reward can benefit from the exposure on the campaign’s marketplace and by bringing in new customers.
- Offer a wide range of price options. Offer at least one option under $20.
- Strike a reasonable balance between collecting enough profit from your reward to make it worthwhile and not setting the price so high that it will turn people away.
- Offer rewards in tiers, but also package items to entice supporters to give more. For example, a $30 reward could include a hat, while a $60 reward could include a hat and a t-shirt.
- Provide a variety of rewards
A marketing plan is integral to a successful crowdfunding project. Utilize the Campaign Marketing Accelerator.
Crowdfunding isn’t magic—it takes work! It is best to be prepared with a well-crafted marketing plan. Before your project launches, identify interested stakeholders and generate ideas of how you will communicate with donors and promote your project. This is to be carried out by the project leaders and their team. Team members are encouraged to utilize social media and other outlets to reach stakeholders within your field.
Campaigns are more likely to succeed once 40% of your goal is raised, especially if the first 20-30% comes in the first week. Identify people who will promise to give before you launch, and get their gifts in within the first few days after the campaign has launched. According to GoGetFunding.com, campaigns with a day-to-day marketing plan raise 180% more than those without. Day-to-day marketing can include asks, campaign updates, thank you messages, and social media posts. Your marketing plan should include personal contacts, phone calls, email, and social media.
Crowdfunding offers strong tools for stewarding contributors (thanks and updates). Campaign managers will commit to updating their campaigns a minimum of once per week while the campaign is live. Additionally, upon completion of the campaign (whether it meets its goal or not), they will also agree to post a thank you message to all of their contributors. Ideally, when a campaign is completed and the funds have been utilized for their intended purpose, campaign managers will post one last update.
All campaigns will be subject to a review process before going live. This review process will look closely at the following:
- The Campaign Description will be reviewed to ensure that the project described fits with the mission and campaign criteria for Goshen Funded.
- Reviews will ensure that the description:
- Flows well and clearly describes how the funds benefit the organization or business overall and
- Includes high quality images
- Video and copy will be reviewed for graphic standards, as well as spelling and grammar.
- Social media links will be reviewed to make sure they work.
- Rewards will be reviewed to ensure they are reasonably priced and have clear descriptions.
Support & Technical Issues
If campaign creators experience technical difficulties or other challenges, they can contact their assigned Campaign Curator or the Platform Host at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get direct support for technical issues using the “support” button on your campaign creation page.
We won’t suggest that Goshen Funded is the best platform for every campaign (if you’re contemplating a project not based in Goshen or a start-up focused on a broader market, you may want a national platform like Kickstarter). But since 80 to 90 percent of contributions tend to come from direct asks and people within your sphere of influence, we believe focusing the target audience for the platform as close to home as possible makes sense.