Identify and categorize your supporters
The best practice for crowdfunding is that you make all your contacts aware of your offering. This may feel uncomfortable, especially if you do not have experience with sales or fundraising. You will need to put any personal feelings aside and make the “ask.” Practice makes perfect. Remember, you are giving supporters a chance to participate in a project that has the potential to be profitable. It is not begging – it’s a good business practice!
To be successful you will need to ask a lot of people if they will participate. Most campaign companies are surprised by the mix of supporters that actually fund their campaign. Many people you think are an “easy yes” will never show up. Similarly, seemingly random supporters that you barely know may “come out of the wood work” with money. Therefore, it is important to socialize your offering very broadly and often.
Note, there are limits on how much different types of investors can invest in Investment Crowdfunding. Regular people are considered “non-accredited” investors and depending your exemption may be limited to as little as $2,000. Wealthy individuals may qualify as “accredited investors” (a.k.a. sophisticated investors) and have no limit on your campaign up to the maximum of the raise total. These limits may apply to the individual investor for one particular campaign or may be stricter and apply to a household.* See examples in the grid below:
p48 Investor qualifications chart – may be ID native table
* This is not legal advice. Consult your securities attorney.
Complete a Network Estimate in order to calculate your total addressable market of investors. After completion, you will need to analyze and refine until you have identified a plausible combination to hit your goal. These numbers will also help you set your individual
minimum pledge amount.
If your numbers are still short of your goal,
consider adding some aspirational targets to your contact list.
p49 Network Estimate Table – *** make into embedded editable sheet if possible. Determine if work can be saved and if can determine if this actually happened
Use the supplied Network Estimate table in the Find the Money sheet. ***Link to resource
The supplemental files for this section of the Campaign Gold Book include the The Find the Money sheet. This has additional sheets or tabs containing:
- List Sources table
- Network Estimate table
- Network Contact list
- Investor Contact list
- Sorting and Tagging examples
***Find the Money Sheet Icon***
Steps to Finding the Money on Paper
Begin with quick
You’ll be revising
and updating the worksheet a few times to get to realistic goals.
1 Each Type: list the different types of
2 Numerate: Estimate the number of people, of each type, that you know
3 Dollars Each: Guess the dollar amount this type of investor would hypothetically invest
4 Subtotal: Multiple each type of supporters, by the number available, by the dollar amount
5 Page Total: add the estimated type amount from each line
6 Analyze: Compare to your campaign goal
Build your contact list from:
- Personal Contacts
- Professional Contacts (Past and Present)
- Club Memberships
- Civic Groups
- Religious Organizations
- Hobby groups
- Industry Contacts
- New or Existing Suppliers
Much of the data you need has already been entered. The table below shows you some of the places to look.
Consider the ways you connect with existing contacts as Sales Channels. You’ll leverage these channels to make your “ask”
You will also need to research individuals who have run or supported a similar campaign in the past, and individuals with social influence who could drive support to your campaign. We refer to contacts that might not invest in your campaign, but would encourage others to invest, influencers or boosters. They belong on the Network Estimate table as well.
p51 Sales Channels + Conversion Rate table
Next you will create an explicit list of potential support types. The goal is to “find” the money on paper first.
For example, if your maximum goal is $100K and your namable potential investors might invest $5,000 each, then you will need to get twenty people to reach your campaign goal.
Otherwise, you could have ten people at $10,000 each, or fifty people at $2,000 each.
It’s most likely you will have a combination of dollar amounts.
p52 Ways to Assemble $100K
The Investor Worksheet will help you set concrete targets and weekly action items. The activity below may be helpful if you are having difficulty with finding the money on paper.
Begin by stating your high-level approach to investor acquisition. To get you thinking in terms of targets and goals, compare these two statements to see which one is more likely to generate results:
“I just need to get the message out to as many people as possible!”
“After I have obtained my
exemption, during week three & four of my planning phase, I will: call fifteen college buddies (targeting $5,000 each) and/or
six suppliers (targeting $10,000 each) to see how many would invest. My goal: get verbal
commitments for about $30K in preparation for my campaign go-live.”
The second statement is MUCH CLEARER because we’ve used the S.M.A.R.T. goal format: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. Below is the breakdown of an example campaign.
My target investors are Family members at $1,000 each, oldCollege Buddies at $5,000, Future Suppliers at $10,000, and Angel Investors that have participated in similar projects at $25,000.
My Campaign Max Goal is $100,000. The best practice is to have thirty percent of that amount “ready to go” right away when the campaign goes live. Therefore, my first goal is to get verbal commitments for $30,000.
To achieve my first $30,000 goal, I need to get a verbal
commitment from six of my old college friends at $5,000 each, or three of my future suppliers at $10,000 each.
I’d be lucky if half of these calls convert into sales, therefore, this week I need to call fifteen college buddies and/or six potential suppliers to see if they want to invest.
My campaign schedule is to spend 4 weeks planning, plus 10 weeks of active campaigning. I need the verbal commitments for the first week of go-live, so I will plan to start calling my first push after the exemption is granted, probably in week 3 of the planning phase.
Complete a Network Estimate in order to
Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal method to state your high-level approach to acquire investors. Enter your Investor Approach Summary into the SMART Goal Example in the Readiness
***Jot down your notes here or proceed directly to the Readiness Validation sheet and find SMART Goal Example tab.
***Embed sheet Readiness Validation if possible