Creating a project
One of the main reasons people prefer crowdfunding to traditional fundraising is that they get to see exactly where their money is going. A project is your idea, but with a well defined proposal, funding target and completion date.
What title should I give my project?
Make it simple, specific and informative. Remember - it's a title, not a description. It needs to grab attention. If you are fundraising on behalf of a club or society you should also include your club or society name/initials.
What should I include in my project?
Potential donors will need to be able to judge whether they think your project is realistic. In order to do this they will want to know the following:
- What are you trying to do?
- How are you going to do it?
- How will the funds be used?
- What have you achieved already with regard to this project?
- Who are you and the other people in your team?
If you are after funding to cover the general costs of your project, think about how you could break this down for potential donors. How will you spend the funds? What will they allow you to do? Over what period will the funds be used?
When will my project go public?
Once you've created your project you can submit it to us. If it meets all of our guidelines we'll make it available to the public.
Please note, you can't edit your project after submitting it so make sure you are completely happy with it. However, you will be able to add updates once the project is live.The Crowdfunding Handbook
Funding a project
Hallam Give uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If you don't reach your minimum needed by your completion date, no money changes hands.
This way, you're not expected to carry out your project or deliver rewards with insufficient funds. We suggest choosing the minimum funding target that allows you to carry out your project and deliver rewards. There is no limit to the amount you can raise and projects often raise more than their funding target. You need to raise enough money to complete your project as promised.
What do I need to consider?
When calculating how much you need to raise think about how much your rewards might set you back. You will need to prepare for the maximum costs you could possibly accrue and adjust your target accordingly. But remember, you only need to deliver your rewards if your project reaches its minimum and after you have received your funding. This means that the funds you receive will cover the cost of rewards.
Postage and Packaging
If you are offering physical rewards and your project is successful, don't forget that it will cost you to send these out.
Projects on Hallam Give can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. A longer project isn't necessarily better as they can lose momentum, whereas a shorter project can convey a sense of urgency. That's why we've found that projects up to a month in length tend to be more successful. A shorter project focuses your promotional efforts and shows confidence in your project.
The larger your funding target or your minimum needed the longer you are likely to need to raise it.
Receiving the funds
You only receive payments if you have hit your minimum target and after your project's completion date.
Providing the project reaches its minimum target, we will aim to make sure that all payments reach your account within 14 working days of the project closing - this is to take into account Stripe's processing time as well as our own.
All projects on Hallam Give should have a video.
This is because one of the best ways to increase your chances of hitting your target is to make a video. It allows donors to gain more of an idea of who you are and what you're doing. It builds trust between you and the donor, and this is essential if they are going to make a donation. Donors need to have a feeling that you're genuine and you will deliver on what you promise.
What makes a good video?
A good video can just be you speaking into a camera. The basic idea is to give people an idea of who you are, what you're doing and why donors should care about your project. Oh, and be yourself!
- Camera Many computers come with integrated cameras. These are fine. You may also consider using an external digital camera. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras give awesome results.
- Sound Reduce background noise as much as possible!
- Light Lots! Record in the day and use extra lighting.
- Editing Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac) are great.
Vimeo has great advice!
What types of video can I use?
How large can my video's file size be?
Vimeo's basic account has a limit of 500MB per file and 5GB for premium accounts. YouTube has a limit of 2GB.
Can I use music on my video?
Yes, but only if you have permission to do so from its owner! Alternatively, you can use any music from http://freemusicarchive.org/ with artist permission.
Rewards are what you give donors in return for their support. Rewards give an added incentive for people to support your project. Rewards need to be well priced (matched to the appropriate donation level) and creative. The better your rewards, the more likely you are to achieve your funding target. Sometimes rewards are so desired that projects achieve many times their funding target.
What makes a good reward?
A good reward is something which you yourself would want. Put yourself in the shoes of a donor. What would be the most unique and appealing thing you or your group could provide?
A donor to a sports team might want your team's jersey. A donor to a band might want a free download of their music. A donor to a drama group would probably want tickets to a play. If you'd want whatever's on offer then it's likely to be a good reward.
Rewards should always have connection to your project. The most common rewards we've found fall into four categories:
- Products does your project or idea lead to the production of anything? CDs, DVDs, prints, T-shirts or badges? Place these at a donation level that matches their street value.
- Mementos signed photos of your project, thanks in the credits, anything meaningful!
- Experiences tickets to the concert, show or match. Donors want to connect with you!
- Collaborations your donor gets to sing on your album or play at a training session.
How can I promote my project?
Start by sending a friendly and personal email to family and friends. Include a link to your project! Once they have pledged your project begins to look more attractive to others. This is a good time to get posting about your project on Facebook, Twitter, other social networking sites, and your blog. Faculty, halls or department newsletters are also a great place to raise awareness.
You shouldn't overwhelm your networks with group messages, but gentle reminders throughout the course of your project will be beneficial. Remind them of your deadline. However, nothing beats a personal touch when asking for donations!
Your society's members networks
If you are creating a society, club, team or department project you have many more networks to approach. Get your members to contact their friends and family as well!
The Development and Alumni Relations Office
The Development and Alumni Relations Office has a database on alumni and, in some cases, we may know what societies they were members of and what their interests are. If we think your project will appeal to an alumni audience, we may be able to help you promote it, just get in touch with the Hallam Give team.
Use student or local newspapers and radio stations to get the word out. Media attention will help you reach out to people outside your immediate networks.
The real world
Get out there! Posters, flyers, meetings, parties...
Don't overdo it. This won't reflect well on your project, or Sheffield Hallam. Also, please don't use other creators' projects to promote yours. That's not cool!Download Promotion Guide
Updates are a way of interacting with donors. They breathe life into both your project and are essential to the process.
Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it. Donors will be notified of each of your updates by email. If they like what they see they are more likely to tell their friends about you.
What kind of updates should I provide?
Is your project going well? Short messages let people know that your project is progressing well and their contribution is being used productively!
Small milestones show that the project is making progress and will show new donors that you deserve their cash!
Share reviews, press releases, photos and videos! Donors love to see how their donations contributed to the success of your project.
Your project was successful!
Now you have to deliver the rewards you promised. This may seem daunting at first, but we'll provide you with plenty of information to make it easier for you. Get your friends, colleagues, or fellow society members to help.
Sheffield Hallam University will provide you with all the information you need regarding your donors. Names, rewards, delivery addresses. In case you need any more info, we'll also give you their email addresses so that you can contact your donors directly.
Let your donor know that their rewards are on the way! Ask them to let you know that it has arrived safely. And please, don't forget to celebrate!The Crowdfunding Handbook