Think of crowdfunding as having a donation box. This is your box.
Imagine if you wanted to get donations for your favourite charity. You’re really excited. You have your box, and you know you have 30 days to raise RM10,000.
But then you go home, and you’re chilling and… you don’t do anything. You don’t tell anybody about your box. You threw it into a messy corner of your room and never took it out. You definitely didn’t bother to decorate it.
At the end of 30 days, you suddenly panic and remember about the box you have to return. You dig it out of that corner, shake it around but there’s nothing but a few coins your mum put in while she was cleaning your room.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, crowdfunding works because it can be so much more than a plain old box. For example, it could be this:
In just 30 days, Chien Yee raised almost RM2,400 more than her original target of RM10,000. 285 people were inspired enough to put their own money into her online box. That’s amazing.
You can make it happen for yourself too.
Crowdfunding is not magic, but it is something magical to see the community come together because they believe in you. In this series, we’re going to give you ultimate lists of ideas, suggestions and tips on how to make your crowdfunding campaign a successful one.
No matter what you’re raising funds for, crowdfunding won’t work if the crowd doesn’t see, know or get that box in their hands – let’s make sure they do.
It’s All About The People: Who Is Going To See Your Box?
Crowdfunding is nothing without people – that’s why it’s called crowdfunding. Generally, there are 3 things you want these people to do:
- Share your campaign with as many people as possible
- Donate to your campaign
- Create more publicity around your campaign
The beauty of crowdfunding is that sharing is super easy – all it takes is usually a few clicks of a button. When you approach these people, make sure that you tell them exactly which ways they can help! Let’s see how many of these you never thought of.
Family comes first and this is also true for crowdfunding! Why? Because with family, you don’t have to introduce yourself – they know you, and they know your achievements, your passion, and your struggles. This means that they’re 100000x more likely to donate and share your box with their friends but only IF you tell them exactly how to.
Reach out to even the furthest pakcik from your kampung, tell them all about what you’re doing and how they can help and they might be the biggest and most passionate supporters you could ever find.
For the same reasons above, you don’t have to do too much to convince a friend to help out with your campaign. True friends will even give testimonials for you when they share your campaign, adding credibility and increasing chances of donors.
Bonus: if you have a best friend who is 100% a PRO at poster design, video editing or social media, treat him/her to lunch and get their help to create publicity for your campaign!
If you’ve ever taught, you know that the joy of teaching is in seeing your student grow as a person. (Did anyone else watch Adiwiraku? Sobs.) Your teachers would LOVE to learn about your efforts in crowdfunding, so take the opportunity to reconnect with your Form 5, Form 3, Tahun 4… all the way to Cikgu Preschool also can!
Our teachers played a role in who we are today – help them see the man and woman you’ve grown into.
In fact, don’t limit it to teachers. Why not approach your school principal? A successful crowdfunding campaign gives the school good publicity while allowing you to reach out to both current students and their parents.
In return, you could volunteer some time tutoring, or give a sharing session to the little kids. Who knows, you could inspire the next Tony Fernandes or Syed Azmi, while helping boost your own campaign.
Maybe you’re scared of that professor. You know which one, the one everyone hides under the table from when she asks a question in class. But maybe, just maybe, that same professor will share your campaign with his entire network of fellow academics.
This works especially if you’re crowdfunding on Skolafund.com and you have specific research interests (for example: cancer treatment or agriculture). Our dear professors love students who are passionate about their field and will definitely try their best to help!
Generally, universities want you to graduate. They want to help you do well, and they definitely don’t want you to be forced to stop studying due to financial reasons. That’s why a lot of universities have their own financial assistance schemes – sadly, not everyone will be able to get it.
Inform your rector, dean or other university staff and they might just be able to send out an e-mail on your behalf to everyone else!
This is actually a great way to get your campaign noticed, especially if you’re crowdfunding on Skolafund! Alumni have a strong attachment to their university, and if your story is powerful enough, they also have the spare income as working adults to put into your box.
Never undersestimate the power of school spirit!
8. Religious Groups
We’re talking your neighbourhood imams, ustaz and ustazahs, pastors, priests, monks, mosques, churches, temples – get yourself down and spread the word of your crowdfunding efforts!
Religions from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism all promote virtues like generosity, kindness and generally doing good, so if you tell these communities how they can help you, you probably won’t go away empty-handed.
9. Bosses and Ex-Bosses
Had a part-time job? Or did you do an internship at a company? Either way, if you left a good impression, going back to your supervisors at these places and getting their help to spread the word could be a brilliant idea.
Potential Gamechanger Alert: borrow a few minutes of their time and record them telling the world why they find you awesome, with examples from your time at the job or internship. This could be be a huge boost for your campaign.
When you’re working, your friends in the cubicle opposite you become your lunch buddies, sources of entertainment and sometimes, a shoulder to cry on. Drop them a text and update them on how you’ve been, while making sure to mention the crowdfunding campaign you’re working on and how it would be an enormous help if they could share it to their friends.
You could probably get updates on what your boss is doing too (see number 9).
There are a million clubs in universities across Malaysia spanning every interest you could think of: from uniformed groups like SUKSIS to humanitarian work, theatre, debate, the environment, online gaming, car-lovers, cat-lovers… the list is literally endless. Chances are, you’re probably already in a few clubs of your own.
Organise an event, explain the crowdfunding process, forward them your links and off they go!
There are also friends who you somehow just know because you play futsal with them every week at the court. On your next water break, try telling them something about your crowdfunding journey to pique their interest!
Next thing you know, you might have just found yourself a committed promoter of your campaign on your team.
Maybe you’re crowdfunding for better classrooms across Malaysia, in which case we’d recommend our friends at 100% Project. Or perhaps you have plans to be a lawyer for the poor and disadvantaged, once you’ve graduated law school. A great place to look for support would be NGOs that are aligned with your own personal passions and causes!
If they share your story to their followers, it’s very likely that these people share the exact same passions and causes as you too – which means they will be excited to help you along in your campaign.
Does your friend of a friend of a friend know the CEO of Telekom Malaysia? Or do you have a regular neighbourhood Nasi Kandar place where the staff all know your name? Don’t be shy to approach them – they might allow you to place posters around the place, or better still, contribute a large amount to your mission.
Many companies are looking for ways to contribute back to the society, so offer them a way to do so via your own crowdfunding campaign!
In the age of social media like Twitter or Instagram, it’s really never been so easy to talk to a famous person – just @ them! Imagine Dato’ @CTNurhaliza11 retweeting your campaign video to her 2.24 MILLION followers on Twitter, or 3.8 Million on Instagram.
Do your research, and you’ll find awesome celebrities like Dato’ Fazley Yaakob who share your passions and do interact with their followers on social media. Make sure you’re polite though!
Another group of influential people both offline and online are of course politicians. While not everyone would want to get involved in politics, it cannot be denied that support from a popular figure from any party gives you a great opportunity to reach their many, many supporters.
HELP MY FRIEND GUYS FOR HIS STUDY. Thank you @englishjer @Khairykj @NajibRazak https://t.co/Z2E9miTeXq
— ra ???? (@rawrillipe) April 9, 2017
Sometimes, you have to aim for the stars.
For The Adventurous: contact all MPs regardless of political background, because chances are, they too would appreciate the positive image of helping a student in need.
Bloggers have a huge and dedicated following in Malaysia. Just one post or video from one of these Top 5 Beauty Bloggers in Malaysia, 9 Malaysian Travel Bloggers or (our favourite) 10 Food Bloggers in Malaysia will bring the attention towards your campaign to greater heights.
Bloggers are often incredibly passionate about the things they write about, and if you happen to be too, then highlighting your crowdfunding efforts will be a win-win for both of you!
18. Traditional Journalists
Here’s a secret: journalists need stories. And a great, inspiring, well-told crowdfunding story presented to a journalist would be something you both could be thankful for. If you’re featured on traditional media like TV1, The Star or even non-English outlets like what Elvarasi managed to do, then you’ve struck gold!
Bonus Pro Tip: if this happens to you, go all out in making sure everyone knows about it to maximise the effect of the added publicity.
19. Online Journalists
These days, however, journalists are online too. These range from English news portals like SAYS.com to Malay websites like SOSCILI.my or Facebook giant Siakap Keli. Drop them an e-mail or DM their Facebook and they might just be looking for a story like yours.
Extra Genius Tip: Be ambitious. Share your story on an international platform like The Huffington Post and your campaign will be heard by millions. Skolafund supports donations through Paypal so these people can donate to you too!
You might think that you need millions of followers to be considered an influencer on social media. But research from Makerly.com suggests that “influencers in the 10k-100k follower range offer the best combination of engagement and broad reach.” We’ve only got 9.2k on Twitter right now, which really isn’t that much.
Mega Extra Bonus Tip: You might just have a friend (see number 2) who is also an influencer! Work with him/her on how you can best publicise your campaign through their followers and crowdfunding success is sure to be at your doorstep.
We like this quote: A Stranger Is Just A Friend You Haven’t Made Yet. Bring some of your publicity materials, walk around the neighbourhood and tell your friends-to-be all about your crowdfunding campaign.
It’s a really good icebreaker, we think. But is it? You won’t know if you don’t try!
22. Fellow Crowdfunders
Who would be better to help you crowdfund than your fellow students trying to do the exact same thing? When you work together and share each other’s campaign or posts to your network, everyone gains.
Crowdfunding is extremely powerful.
It works because it doesn’t ask much from donors: RM10, a like or share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Whatsapp, all of these are valid and incredibly valuable ways to help a campaign.
However, it’s your job to make sure they know about your campaign, and the story behind it. In future articles, we’ll be telling you more about how to make sure your box goes viral.
Did this help you? Comment below for ideas on how we can make this better!