As many of you probably know, crowdfunding is a relatively young industry. (Fun Fact: Kapipal was one of the first crowdfunding platforms starting way back in 2009!) But what it lacks in years, it makes up for in funding. Studies estimate that in 2015 the crowdfunding industry surpassed over $35 billion in funds generated. These numbers are expected to increase with each year, so it is no wonder why innovative start-up companies are now incorporating crowdfunding within their investment strategy.
Yet after interviewing a wide variety of start-ups, we discovered that the attractiveness of crowdfunding isn’t entirely related to money. Below, we list some of the less obvious reasons why many start-up companies are utilizing crowdfunding.
Personal Connections with Their Consumer Base
After our interviews were complete, the Kapipal team was stunned (well, sort of J) by the fact that every single start-up company loved how crowdfunding provided an intimate connection with their consumer base. While the details of these connections different for each start-up, the general consensus was that crowdfunding with Kapipal provided the unique opportunity to get direct, immediate feedback from their audience.
One example of this was that through a crowdfunding campaign, a start-up company literally made slight alterations to their product based on direct suggestions from campaign supporters. So not only did the company release a better product, but the consumer received the exact product that they would be interested in. Talk about personalization!
More Creative Freedom
In the traditional funding format, start-ups seek out investors who will provide them with large amounts of money. The investor does this with the assumption that in the long run, they will earn more money than they initially invested.
As you can imagine, this process places quite a heavy burden on the start-up company to make money. Obviously there is nothing wrong with making money, but when that is the absolute goal, then both the product and creativity must be mere secondary concerns.
Crowdfunding completely erases this burden, as start-ups no longer need to rely on the traditional investing structure. By generating funds via online crowdfunding platforms, companies now have the opportunities to be creative by testing a wide variety of products without having to worry about owing any huge investment firm money.
A phrase that we kept hearing over and over from start-ups was, “Kapipal provides us the opportunity to test, and then test again.” One marketing manager even noted that Kapipal “provides the opportunity for us to test and see not only what our audience would want to buy, but what they are passionate about, which are entirely two different things. And from a marketing perspective, the more we can understand our audience’s passions, the better products we can create for them.”
That wraps it up for now, but we will be conducting more interviews – with everyone from individuals seeking a dream vacation to more revolutionary start-up companies – so continue to check our blog and social media accounts to stay up to date on the latest news.
Also, feel free to explore our site or become one of the millions who have started their own crowdfunding campaign. Remember, if you have any questions, you are always more than welcome to drop us a note or simply give us a shout out on Twitter.
Hope you have an amazing weekend!
With it being the holiday season, this post will be relatively brief as to not keep you from spending time with your friends and family. We would just like to wish you quick happy holidays and reflect on how amazing of a year 2015 was for crowdfunding.
A Quick Thank You
Whether you created campaigns, contributed, or simply spread awareness for your family or friends, we at Kapipal want to wish you a huge thank you for all you’ve done to make the world a better place. Countless medical bills, dream vacations, and ground-breaking ideas have been funded through your support. So thank you so much for your creativity, generosity and general awesomeness.
2015: Crowdfunding’s Best Year
In its early stages, crowdfunding began as what financial pundits call a “small market” with approximately $880 million crowdfunded in 2010 (I can’t believe $880 million is considered “small!”). Four years later, the crowdfunding industry saw massive growth generating $16 billion, with the estimated regional breakdown as follows:
This growth is progressing as the industry is projected to have nearly doubled once again, generating an estimated $34 billion in 2015. If those numbers are not shocking enough, consider this: latest projections have crowdfunding surpassing venture capital industry in 2016 as the main source for generating finances.
At Kapipal, we know that there is only one responsible for crowdfunding’s massive growth: You! So again, we want to take a moment to say thank you for doing all that you do!
Have a happy holiday season and let’s work together to make 2016 even better than 2015!
One of the most rewarding aspects of Kapipal is hearing countless success stories of campaign creators turning their dreams into reality. Many of these stories are so remarkable that we decided to create a “Creator Spotlight” blog series. In this post, we will interview Giuliano Pellizzari, a father who created a crowdfunding campaign to help fund his children’s dream adventure.
What initially inspired you to create your campaign?
I had participated in a couple of crowdfunding campaigns with some friends (mainly design projects). This was the first time I planned a crowdfunding campaign on my own.
Why did you decide upon using Kapipal?
I was looking for a crowdfunding platform that would allow me complete freedom, as my project was definitely personal: raising money to make a trip with my kids!
You say you chose Kapipal because it gave you complete freedom - could you expand and explain that little bit? What did Kapipal offer that other crowdfunding sites couldn't or didn't?
Many of the crowdfunding sites that I contacted requested some kind of "social purpose" in order for them to accept my project. Since I was planning a holiday for my kids, I felt it would have been difficult to prove this as a social issue. Kapipal did not have any sort of request and accepted my project with no question. I also liked that the transparency of Kapipal.
What was your strategy for spreading awareness for your campaign?
I opened a blog through which I told the whole story of this trip (www.rovaniemiexpress.com), and I started to spread it through the classical social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc. ). I had also been contacted by a radio host who interviewed me and followed me during the campaign. Obviously I told my friends, they have been a great support!
Did you experience any surprises throughout the crowdfunding process?
The real surprise was finding out that a lot of people are more generous than you would imagine. If you share your dream with them, they will be happy to help you to make it real. I know this may sound "banal", but when you experience it you find out that it's, well, touching!
If you could go back and do anything different in the campaign process, what would it be?
I would probably start the campaign much earlier! Lots of people wrote me after my crowdfunding campaign was over asking me how they could contribute, but it was too late...
Do you have any advice for current or future campaign creators?
I think the most important thing is to make people feel they are part of the project and not just contributors. This may be achieved in different ways. I did it writing my story and sharing it on the blog and giving gifts to the main donors when I returned: watercolours made by me (I love painting). This has been a great pleasure for me, and I hope it was for them too.
How would you rate your experience with Kapipal? (1-10; 1 being not good and 10 being phenomenal)
I'd say 10 out of 10: I definitely got all I expected from it, with the additional value of a sincere friendly attitude!
To find out more about Giuliano’s trip, check out his blog. Also, look for more creator highlights in the coming months!
In our initial post, we listed three essential components for creating successful crowdfunding campaigns. Having received such positive feedback, we decided to flesh out these three components even further with a three-part series (i.e. one blog per component). Our first post covered the favorable practice of providing transparent and accurate information. Our second post provided tips regarding sharing your crowdfunding campaign over social media. This final post of the series will discuss essentials for providing a variety of appealing content.
Why is Engaging Content Necessary?
Before we discuss the essentials, it is important to understand why engaging content is necessary. Basically, engaging content is crucial due to its viral potential. The more appealing the content, the more likely a viewer is to connect and share.
In the past, the most successful campaigns have supplied a wide variety of appealing content on their campaign page. Generally, these campaign creators have utilized texts, image, and video posts to inform potential contributors about their project. The variety is particularly important as it connects with potential contributors on on a multitude of levels.
Okay, I Understand. . . But What Kind of Content is Engaging?
Great question. Considering that appropriate content largely depends upon the campaign and audience, it is generally best to put ourselves in the mind of potential contributors and ask:
Furthermore, we will also want to think about viral potential by consider factors that could inspire our audience to share with their own social network. Examples may include:
By providing appropriate, engaging content, we can be sure that we’ve increased our campaigns chances of being shared. Remember, one of the main essentials for reaching donation goals is to have campaigns seen by as many fresh eyes as possible.
If you are having trouble generating content ideas, or simply have a general concern, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our passion is assisting others in funding their dreams, so we would love to offer some assistance.
We really hope this series has offered some assistance. If you have any immediate questions, feel free to leave a comment. We would love to start a conversation – perhaps your question is also on the mind of others Also, check our site for even more helpful content in the coming weeks!
In our initial post, we listed three essential components for creating successful crowdfunding campaigns. Having received such positive feedback, we decided to flesh out these three components even further with a three-part series (i.e. one blog per component). Our first post covered the favorable practice of providing transparent and accurate information. This second post will provide you with tips regarding sharing your crowdfunding campaign over social media.
Plan a Social Media Outreach
So you are extremely excited about the campaign you just created, the next logical step is to immediately inform all your family and friends, right? Well, not exactly.
Although it is highly advised that you inform your family and friends, social media bursts can be quite inefficient from a long-term perspective. Thus, instead of immediately informing others, we recommend that you first allocate all of that excitement towards building a targeted social media campaign. (in fact, we highly advise you to plan this out prior to starting a campaign!)
Creating Your Targeted Social Outreach
Within a targeted social media campaign, you should designate this such as:
In regards to content, it is important to keep in mind that you will want to create as much social buzz as possible. For example, if your posts generate a lot of shares, retweets and likes, then your content will naturally spread beyond your own social connections. Therefore, be so creative and fun with your content that your friends will instinctively want to share your posts with their own connections.
As we discussed in our previous post, it is extremely beneficial for you to be as clear and straightforward with your motives as possible. Beyond the natural benefits, providing your audience with transparent information will help them understand why you are so passionate about your crowdfunding project. The more that your audience connects and understands your motives, the more likely they are to contribute, help, and share the cause.
General things to consider when seeking to inform your audience:
Although this certainly provides you with enough information to take your campaign to the next level, Kapipal is dedicated to turning dreams into reality. Therefore, continue to check our site as we plan on expand on this post, as well provide you with even more beneficial information in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns about starting a campaign, feel free to contact us! If not, why wait? Start a campaign and turn your dreams into reality today!
In our previous post, we listed three essential components for creating successful crowdfunding campaigns. Having received such positive feedback, we decided to flesh out these three components even further with a three-part series (i.e. one blog per component). This first post will cover the favorable practice of providing transparent and accurate information.
The Importance of Transparency
When establishing a crowdfunding campaign, it is extremely important to create trust amongst potential contributors. One of the easiest way to do this is by providing transparent, easy-to-find information. For example, if a potential contributor is exploring your campaign site yet has trouble finding answers to their questions, then they will be far less likely to contribute to your project. Therefore, it is wise to consider the type of answers potential contributors may be looking for while exploring your campaign.
Although providing easy-to-find information might seem intuitive, campaign creators can struggle with this if they don’t keep their entire audience in mind. Take, for instance, a band that is seeking to generate funds to record a new album. When creating their campaign, they might provide information targeting their current fan base (which is very smart), but fail to consider those potential contributors who are unfamiliar with their music. Having just come across this band, these visitors will seek to answer some basic questions such as: What is the story behind this band? Or, what does their music sound like?
By providing thorough, transparent information, this band can not only build trust amongst their own fans, but also new listeners as well (and maybe even gain a bunch of new fans in the process!)
But Is All of the Information Clear and Accurate?
So, now that you have filled your campaign page with easy-to-find answers, it is time to go back and double check to make sure that all the information provided is both clear and 100% accurate.
In regards to accuracy, you will certainly want to be sure that you are spelling and labeling everything correctly. Furthermore, if you are listing specifics – such as dates or locations – you will want to double check and make sure that those are accurate as well.
When it comes to clarity, it would be wise to once again consider your potential visitors. For example, whether campaigns are created to assist with medical bills or create innovative products, you will want to provide potential campaign creators with as simple of information as possible.
To help with this, we recommend walking potential contributors through the process (ex. Medical Bills: how did this emergency come about? Explain medical terms, etc.; Innovative products: explain the technology or science behind your products; walk your audience through the creation process, etc.). Granted, this doesn’t necessarily need to be long, but providing a clear, in-depth explanation of your campaign establishes a sense of connection through education. By clearly articulating your motives for your project, potential contributors will feel more involved and thus be far more likely to help you with your campaign.
If you are interested in seeking more assistance, or have a crowdfunding question that you would like answered, please do not hesitate to contact us. Otherwise, explore Kapipal and see how you can turn your dream into a reality today.
Being the first European donation and reward based crowdfunding website, we at Kapipal are extremely passionate about helping others fund their dreams. Therefore, we are now offering personal assistance for campaign creators to succeed with their projects.
But first, before linking to our personal contact page, we thought it might be helpful to offer some campaign tips. Generally, successful crowdfunding campaigns consist of the following practices:
Providing Transparent and Accurate Information
Honest, easy to find information is essential for creating trust amongst potential contributors. For example, those viewing your campaign page will want to know accurate, extensive details about your project. Furthermore, they will also want an honest representation of contribution perks. If any of this information is vague or difficult to find or understand, then you may run the risk of scaring off those who actually may be quite interested in assisting and contributing to your campaign.
Sharing Over Social Media
With Facebook recently surpassing over one billion users, it is certainly fair to say that the reach and power of social media is at an unprecedented level. With successful projects, campaign creators have been able to leverage social media to spark awareness, interest, and contribution to their campaigns.
For prime success, we highly recommend planning out a social media campaign that utilizes a variety of social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). Feel free to get creative here, for you will want to generate as much buzz (shares, retweets, likes, etc.) as possible!
Supply a Variety of Engaging Content
Campaign creators should look to supply a wide variety of engaging content on their campaign page. In the past, successful campaigns have incorporated text, photos, and videos to inform potential contributors about their project. Variety is key here, as you will want to inform and engage potential contributors on as many levels as possible.
If you are having trouble generating ideas for content, perhaps it might be helpful to put yourselves in the mind of potential contributors and ask yourself: What do they need to know about your project? Why should they contribute? What makes my project interesting and unique? What is the quickest, simplest way to provide this information?
By focusing on providing accurate information, utilizing social media, and supplying a variety of content, campaign creators can be confident that they are on the right path to succeeding with their project.
Yet if you are still unsure, or feel as though you need personal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We want to do whatever we can to assist you in successfully funding your projects and turning your dreams into reality.
So why wait? Click here to start a new project today!
This week, we're highlighting a few campaigns focused on helping people with their medical care costs. These are not by any means the only medical-cost related campaigns on Kapipal, but rather a sampling of the good our Kapipalists are working for out in the world.
Do you have a medical-treatment related Kapipal campaign you would like to share? Share your link in the comments, or @Kapipal on Twitter.
Hi, everyone! Elizabeth (Head of Operations) here.
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve no doubt seen the awesome, ongoing “Rules of (Social) Engagement” series from Morgan, our Social Media Manager, focusing on marketing your crowdfunding campaign via social media.
(And if you haven’t been following our blog, welcome!)
I’m starting a blog series of my own, expanding on the ideas we talked about in this blog post, 7 Best Practices to Run a Successful Kapipal Fundraising Campaign.
This week's tip: Create a great story.
Okay, so you need to raise money for something, and you’ve come to Kapipal to do it. Excellent first step! You click on the “Start Your Campaign” link and start filling out the form, when BAM! It hits you. The first question. Page Title. Why are you raising money?
It seems simple enough, right?
But this is a huge opportunity! This is the first thing people will see when they come to your page, and the title that will show up every time you post a link to Facebook/Google Plus/Tumblr!
Stay calm. Breathe deeply. This is important -- if you want to write a compelling crowdfunding campaign title (and I know you do!), do not do the following:
1. Be uninformative, boring, generic. While writing something like, Please help us! or Need money for my dream! will technically work, these phrases don’t do anything to make your campaign memorable. Everyone who is at Kapipal needs monetary help of some kind; what makes your story special? You are a special snowflake to us, so don’t be afraid to show everyone else exactly what makes you that way!
Clever, creative titles are always excellent, but don’t be so clever that you leave readers confused about what you’re raising money for. Mix in a little wit while still being informative. (And if all else fails, informative trumps cleverness!)
Please help us! becomes Help Sandy and Danny buy a new furnace!
And Need money for my dream! becomes New SCUBA gear for Ariel and Eric!
2. Make it too long/too much information. Of course, the overly long title is also a killer. Sometimes, in an effort to be as specific as possible, crowdfunders try to fit everything but the kitchen sink into their campaign title.
I really love my pig Wilbur and my Uncle Homer is going to send him away if we don’t do something so please help me raise money to keep him safe!
Rescue Wilbur the Pig from impending doom!
Obviously this is a silly example (+1 if you caught the reference!), but see how the first title was so long that your eyes kind of just skimmed over it, while the second was short and to the point? Rescue! Pig! Doom! Hot diggity, now I want to read more about this person’s campaign! I might even want to donate, if I like what I see!
Which brings us to the next installment of this series: Writing a compelling campaign description. Next time, I’ll discuss tips for crafting a campaign description that will draw your readers in, ensure them that you are genuine in your requests for help, and give them all the answers to questions they may have about just what you are raising money for.
What are your ideas for writing a good campaign title? Share them in the comments!
You’ve got a burning question about your Kapipal campaign, or just crowdfunding in general.
You've found an interesting article/blog post/infographic about crowdfunding and want to start a discussion about it.
You’ve put together a really spectacular campaign and want to make sure the Kapipal support staff knows about it.
Many know open source. Some heard about crowdfunding. Few has used crowdfunding. Both concepts - utilizing the crowd and community have shown effective and successful result to solve problems in the world. Lately I read some blog posts and comments comparing crowdfunding to open source. Here I want to briefly share my thoughts:
Both crowdfunding and open source have helped thousands of people, which cannot be achieved alone without the support of the community / crowd. The open source approach works great, as it is utilizing the mass community's effort to benefit potentially everyone in this world, through sharing, collaboration and openness.
Crowdfunding, on the other hand, has proven to be an alternative financing model, for creative ideas on new products/services, charity, community projects, etc, which traditional financing through banks or government public funding would not cover. Even though the beneficiary would be only the fund raiser or the person who will receive the fund in the end. People, donating the money, generally feel happy because they helped others to solve a life challenge or realize their dreams. For example: unsigned musicians raise fund to create their first album with the support of their fans and music lovers. There are also crowdfunding projects, where everyone donates will benefit from it, e.g. a small community of residents raise fund to build a swimming pool for their children.
Crowdfunding has definitely helped people to solve challenges in life and to become happier. Running a crowdfunding project might be more commercial in operation than running an open source project. I believe, like open source is a real alternative to proprietary software, crowdfunding will continue to prove to be an effective alternative financing model and co-exists with banks and government funding.
Since working at Kapipal, I have seen many crowdfunding projects -- charities, hobbies, startup ideas, music albums, community efforts, gifts, etc. It is amazing to see so many innovative fundraising campaigns.
Many people use the crowdfunding approach to realize their dreams! But the power of crowdfunding does not stop here. The crowdfunding process has helped many people in a short period of time to improve their product ideas, create branding, improve marketing, as well as generate market demand intensively.
A typical example is a band raising money for their next album before production. The audience and fans get a flavor of the new album through the campaign introduction, audio or video. It helps the band to generate market interests, get early feedback from their fans, as well as increase the fans' eagerness to get the album produced by crowdfunding contribution. In a way, the band has already tested the market and created product awareness and demand before completing and shipping out their final product.
This is a very good way to exercise the lean development method for testing out the idea with the launch, learn and adapt process. Even with every social marketing promotion round, it follows the same pattern: launch-learn-adapt to understand what works, what doesn't, and how to improve the promotion to get to the next level. It is a journey of continuous learning. When the crowdfunding campaign finishes, the fundraiser not only has more experience in running a crowdfunding campaign, but surely also much more knowledge on social media marketing and lean product development.
If you want to start a crowdfunding campaign for your dream, our Kapipal Team would be happy to support you on your journey!
This is the official blog of Kapipal. Check back often for updates on what's new at Kapipal, as well as ways to make your campaign shine! As always, we value your feedback, so please don't be shy — comments are encouraged!