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Crowdfunding case study

Posted on: August 13, 2015 | Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Crowdfunding is a unique and exciting way to help businesses get the cash they need to grow, make changes, or even get off the ground in the first place. ATB’s rewards-based crowdfunding platform, Alberta BoostR, is designed to do just that for Alberta based businesses.

Recently BoostR had it first successfully “boosted” campaign with Escape Capers YYC. It’s an escape room facility opening in Calgary. (Never heard of an escape room? Check out escapecapers.ca to see what the fuss is all about).

Eric Boudreau, the owner of Escape Capers YYC, turned to crowdfunding to supplement his traditional sources of funding for his business. What he discovered was that launching a successful crowdfunding campaign does take a lot of work.

Here are some of his thoughts:

First off, why crowdfund?

“For me it was a great way to do the pre-sale, and kind of get some early excitement building.”

Launching a crowdfunding campaign can be a great way to start generating some early excitement about your business. People who see the campaign and get invested early in your idea might even go as far as to pre-order new items or tickets.

You also get the benefit of potentially reaching their personal networks as well. Whatever the product or service is, getting the word out early never hurts!

How important are the rewards you offer the crowd?

“I wanted to give people a deal so they feel like they’re getting special treatment for supporting me, and then a better deal the more tickets they buy or the more they donate.”

Potential donors should see the value in your rewards. First decide what type of reward you want to offer. Will it be tickets, events, swag? Consider what your target donor would value.

Second, remember not all levels of donation will have the same target donor. Really pay attention to your big sponsorship level donation goals. Create a reward that a potential big sponsor, such as a corporate donor, would see value in. This will most often be different than what individual donors will value most.

What advice would you give about setting an achievable campaign goal?

“Leave yourself a little breathing room. If you think you can raise $10,000 maybe just aim for $8,000 because you don’t want to come up short.”

With fixed crowdfunding platforms such as Alberta BoostR or Kickstarter you only get your funds if the goal is met or surpassed. Just because you set your goal for $8,000 doesn’t mean you won’t reach $10,000. When the crowd gets excited, projects can really take off. Eric’s campaign met its target, and then exceeded it by ten per cent.

How do you get the word out about your campaign?

“Ask your closest friends and family to donate and to share.”

Ask anyone and everyone you think might be interested. Encourage them to check out your campaign and share it with their own networks. The more people that you can ensure will see it, the more likely you are to reach your funding goal. And don’t be afraid to approach someone multiple times. If they showed some interest, follow up with them.

It’s a lot of work to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. But for people like Eric—the doers, the thinkers, the makers, and believers—it can be done! Just do your homework, step up to the plate, and knock it out of the park.

Check out the other businesses showcasing their ideas right now, or launch a campaign of your own at albertaboostr.ca.

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