Been There, Done That & Given Away the T-Shirt:
At PleaseFund.Us, we try to provide as much support and advice to our community as possible. We’ve looked at the importance of getting your campaign off to a good start; having a range pledge rewards; making a good video; and the need for continuous promoting. We’ve even looked at some of the PleaseFund.Us success statistics. Sadly though, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to crowdfunding. There are no rules. We also realise that there’s only so much we say that people will listen to.
This is why we thought we’d try and get some answers from the people who have had first hand experience with crowdfunding success. We thought you’d be more re-assured hearing it from the project owners themselves, and it was about time we hear some hints and tips from the horses mouth.
And so, my crowdfunding friends, this will be the first of a 3 part blog which will explore the how’s, the why’s, and the ‘if only’s’ of various PleaseFund.Us success stories. This week though, we hear what makes a good pledge reward.
Creating Your Pledge Rewards
We asked some of our successful project owners what they thought makes a good pledge reward. Some of their views are contradictory, but this is because every project is different, so take from it what you will. What makes a good pledge reward then eh?
"A good pledge reward is unique, modestly priced for the donor, and cost effective for you. The chances are, if you're crowdfunding you don't have buckets of money on hand. So, there is no point in committing to spend huge amounts of money to fulfil your pledge rewards. The thing that has struck me since finishing the project is that one of the main things that people want is to see the money being spent responsibly and passionately. Thanking donors in the festival programme has meant more to a lot of our donors than the pledge rewards we originally flagged up as being real incentives." Laughter Lines Leeds Comedy Festival 2012
“Either an early release of the product itself or if that’s impossible then something creative and unique… the more ridiculous the better!” Alakazam
"Our rule was that people who contribute now should always get a better deal or something more than those who buy the book in the future. We spoke for some time about having a £1 starting option. We decided that we would start at £20 because we wanted to encourage those who wanted to support us to actually get the book." Mission: Explore Food
"Something a little more interesting than just "a mug" or "a signed drum stick" f*ck that! Give them something they wouldn't be able to get in *any* other way. If you do that, provided you have the fans, people will want to pledge money not just because they want to see a project succeed but also because they get something cool out of it!" Blue Origin
"A good pledge reward has to be something tangible - people love freebies" HATASTIC
“I think handmade gifts are thoughts that make the best rewards - this illustrates to the donators that their money is really appreciated, through you giving up your time to produce a quality gift to show your gratitude. The fact that the pledge gifts could also be passed on as gifts to others (for a birthday present, etc) also makes them better received.” Help Us Grow Into New Designers
"Something specific to your project (i.e not a generic item), something inexpensive and unusual if possible. Your donors don’t want to see you spending their money on expensive prizes. It’s the project and not the prizes, which encourage people to donate. People were totally delighted also with just having their name on our funding wall (on our website), which was free to us." The Arts Barge Project
A Final Thought
So there you have it. Not our words, the words of people who have been there, done that, and (literally) given away the t-shirt. Remember though that with nearly every project on the PleaseFund.Us platform, the motives will vary, the budgets wil vary, the nature of the projects will vary, but the one thing that remains constant is the creativity behind them. The same goes for pledge rewards. Just remeber to be creative, use whatever resources you have available to you, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. And if you're still strggling for ideas, you can always resort to re-reading our words of wisdom in our Project Incubator pages
Next week, and the week after, we’ll be asking our PleaseFund.Us success stories about their video pitches and how they promoted their project, so watch this space…
About the author:
Ben Hamilton is a Community Manager for PleaseFund.Us. If you need any help or advice about crowdfunding (or perhaps you'd just like a chat), drop him a line at: email@example.com