Setting up your campaign page
To set up a crowdfunding campaign page, just head to chuffed.org/start. We've stepped through everything that you'll need to submit below, and created this handy Google Doc template that you can use to collaborate with your team.
For all campaigns on Chuffed.org, you need to set a campaign funding target. You'll receive your funds even if you don't hit your target, but it's important to set your target at an achievable level to build credibility with your supporters.
You should set your target based on three factors:
- Cost: what does it cost to do your project?
- Audience size: how many people do you have already in your database or email list?
- Available time: how much time do you have to prepare in the 4 weeks prior to the campaign and promote during your campaign?
As a rough rule of thumb, we find that the following is a reasonable way to set your target:
|Audience size||Available time||Achievable target|
|Your personal networks||1 day per week||<$5,000|
|1,000-5,000 email contacts||2-5 days per week||$5,000-$25,000|
|5,000+ email contacts||5+ days per week||$25,000+|
Email contacts are the most valuable, followed by Facebook friends and then Twitter\/LinkedIn contacts.
On Chuffed.org, you can choose to either run your campaign for a fixed length of time (less than 90 days) or ongoing with no end date - in what we call Infinity Mode. If it's your first campaign, we generally find that you'll raise the most when you run a 30-40 day campaign. The reason for this is that the time pressure forces your team to act, which drives momentum, which brings more people to your campaign. Campaigns that stretch on for a long period of time struggle to gain interest because supporters get distracted by other things in their life.
How to write up your campaign
This is where you tell your supporters about your project.
The pitch is short blurb where you get 200 characters to describe what you're doing. The pitch is what potential supporters first see and helps them understand quickly what your project is about. They're busy, and they'll be skim reading, so the pitch is your chance to grab their attention and tell them why they should read your campaign description.
Here's some examples of good and bad pitches:
|Great pitches||Not so great pitches|
|Did you scream “noooo” when you heard that the Sawtell Cinema had closed? Well, sing “hallelujah!” because Sawtell Cinema is on the way back. See you at the movies in December!||We are raising funds to support vulnerable children, young people and families in the community|
|We are reading Peppa pig with prison inmates, recording it and sending the books and recordings to their kids on the outside||We are a registered charity and our mission is to create a world where all kids can connect with their parents regardless of their circumstances|
|When Saacid was 8, he was separated from his family when they fled Somalia. Now, we’re reuniting a mother with her son after 23 years.||11,000 refugees are trapped in limbo. Only 10% of them will be processed this year. Help us do something about it.|
This is the main body of your campaign and it's where you can go into detail about what you're doing. The best campaigns use about 300-500 words and pictures. You can even embed additional videos that you might have.
This is a simple structure you can use for your campaign description. The example we've used is a summarised version of the excellent Hope for Health campaign here. We recommend you read the full campaign description.
|Background: Introduce your story. Tell supporters briefly about the issue you're addressing, how you came to it, and why you wanted to do something about it. Use first person stories over facts and numbers||"We used to live long time. We didn't get sick" - Daisy. Since time began we, the Yolngu Aboriginals (East Arnhem Land, N.T, Australia) used to be strong, healthy, strong leaders. We were hunters in balance with nature, trading with Papa New Guinea and Indonesia, eating fresh seafood, native fruits and plants. In just 60 years since we have had western foods we have become disempowered and severely sick|
|What we're doing: Describe your project in practical detail. If you're building something, show drawings of what it's going to look like||A new chapter of health: A traditional health retreat, here in Arnhem Land. Last year we raised $60K and sent 12 of women, and leaders, from our home on Elcho Island, East Arnhem Land, N.T., Australia to Queensland to participate in a health retreat at Living Valley Springs. It was an eye-opening experience for us.The same group of us local Yolngu Elders who did the trial retreat last year are now driving the Hope For Health program and we have a new and exciting idea: A health retreat, using our ways, in our land, to help our people.To bring widespread health to our community our goal now is to fund the first traditionally-based health retreat right here on Elcho Island, Arnhem Land. In 2016 we plan to take 30 of our most in-need Yolngu community members on a 2-week retreatng our ways, in our land, to help our people.|
|What we'll do with the funds: Break down your target and talk about what exactly the money will be spent on.||Why we have to hit $80K and what we will do with your contribution. It costs a lot getting anything to our Island. We have already raised $20K this year in other donations, but we need at least another $80k in order to make this project happen with the 30 participants we need to help. Here's the breakdown of expenses:
|Who we are: People give to people. They want to supporter a person, not a faceless project. Add a bio of yourself and your team. Add quotes from well known people to build credibility.||About Why Warriors? Hope for Health is a community driven project of Why Warriors. Why Warriors supports indigenous projects and has been refining cross cultural communication between white and black Australia in Arnhem Land for over 40 years. Founder Richard Trugen wrote “Why Warriors Lie Down and Die” in 2000 describing Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in Arnhem Land - now a benchmark resource for community development and education programs providing best-practice methodology for supporting and empowering Aboriginal independence|
You may also want to include sections on:
- Perks: Describe the perks that donors get back for donations at different levels. You can insert pictures that show the perks into the main campaign description.
- Media: Tell supporters about any media articles you get about your campaign. You can use the logos of the media outlets to build credibility.
As your campaign progresses, you can keep editing your campaign description. It's a great place to put in progress updates so that supporters who are checking your page regularly to see what the total is up to, have fresh content to enjo - like Edgar's Mission did in this award winning campaign.
Your banner image is the main visual element of your campaign. It's the first thing potential supporters see and it gets shared on Facebook and Twitter. You want your image to:
- Make your supporters feel inspired, entertained, or curious not guilty or shocked.
- Be formatted to 684 x 385 pixels for optimal compatibility on our site
- Be in a normal image format - JPG, PNG or BMP
For clarity, Chuffed.org is a guilt-free site. We reject campaigns that use guilt-imagery like dehumanizing photos of starving children to get donations, or graphic, disturbing images of animals.
The best crowdfunding campaigns include a campaign video. This is a specific 2-5 minute video created for the campaign. Don't use a generic promotion video designed for something else.
Videos don't need to be expensive or have high production values. It's far more important that the video tell a compelling story than look pretty.
Here's some tips:
- People love seeing faces. Make sure the video includes you talking at the camera at some point.
- Keep it short. People get bored easily, so unless you've got an incredible storyline, don't have a video longer than 3 minutes.
- Be ridiculously enthusiastic. Not only do viewers feed off your enthusiasm, video has a weird way of taking normal speech and making it look like you're bored senseless. If you act ridiculously enthusiastic, it looks completely normal on video.
- Use narrative storytelling over facts. People share stories, not facts. An easy way of doing this is to follow one person's story - which could be your own or a beneficiary.
- Later model phone cameras and DSLR cameras take excellent quality videos. If you can pair that with a free movie editing package like iMovie on Mac, you can create fairly professional looking video for free.
- If you do end up paying a production company for your video, budget at least $2,500/£1,500 for a 2 minute video.
All videos on Chuffed.org need to be uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo. You can then just enter the URL from either service into the relevant field in the campaign editor.
Perks are things that you offer supporters who donate above a specific amount.
We get asked a lot about perks, especially about how important they are for crowdfunding success? Do I really need to offer perks? Won't it stop people being philanthropic?
Our answer? Perks help. A LOT.
The reason for this is that perks give people a way of participating in your campaign. They tap into selfish motivations as well as benevolent motivations. And they let you access your supporters' spending purse, not just their philanthropic purse -- you can guess which of these is bigger.
So what perks should you offer?
Perks tend to fall into three categories:
Pre-release products or services: 'Selling' products and services via crowdfunding is probably the most common type of perk. Whether it's tickets to your event, memberships, CDs, bee-hives or even crepes, forward selling products and services is a great way to get people involved in your project.
Unique experiences: Most social cause organisations don't realise it, but they are nearly always an amazing repository of wonderfully special, unique experiences. It could be dinners on a rooftop garden, workshops on a farm, tickets to an opening party, or even locating a tattoo on a founder.
Special recognition: A non-profit classic. Getting their name on or sponsoring a part of a project is still popular among many crowds. The key here is being creative on what can be sponsored. Edgar's Mission had barns, rocks, rakes, posts, shelters and even a mountain.
So, how do I come up with perks for my campaign?
This might sound obvious, but the easiest way to come up with perks is to co-design them with potential donors. Edgar's Mission ran a workshop with some of its key volunteers prior to its campaign to come up with their perks. Spacecubed did the same with their members. It's best to have a hypothesis on your perks as a starting point, as well as the levels you need perks at (normally $25, $50, $100, $250, $1000, $2500, $5000)
Some other considerations
Perks which are directly connected to your campaign, which let people participate in your campaign/project are far better than unconnected perks, e.g. Amazon gift cards
Having an early bird offer on your perks is a great way to build momentum. Spacecubed - a co-working space in Perth - released a very limited number of highly discounted memberships in the first 24 hours of their campaign
Some perks (drugs, anything illegal, raffles) are not allowed. Make sure you check our terms to stay on the right side of the rules
When you're setting up your campaign, you'll have to choose what payment options you give to your donors. Your two options are:
- Credit/debit cards: Donors can use any domestic or international Visa, Mastercard or American Express card to pay directly on our site (recommended). To use this payment option, you'll need to create a Stripe account for the funds to be transferred to. If you're running an Australian campaign then you'll just need to give us your bank details so we can transfer credit/debit card donations to you there.
- PayPal: Donors can pay using their PayPal accounts.
Donors find the credit/debit card payment system much easier to use than PayPal. The donation process happens entirely on the Chuffed.org site - they just enter their card details and it works. PayPal unfortunately is confusing for a lot of donors and regularly rejects valid cards and accounts. They may also unexpectedly restrict your PayPal account if your campaign is very successful. We recommend only using PayPal as a secondary option with the credit/debit card system.
The way that you receive the funds from the two systems depends on which country you choose for your campaign - this should be a country where you have a bank account:
|All countries||Funds are transferred to a nominated bank account on a rolling 7-day cycle (1)||Each donation is transferred directly to your PayPal account immediately after it is made (2)|
(1) During the campaign creation process, you will need to create an account with our payment processing provider, Stripe.com. This is a very simple, one form process, which will take less than 5 minutes.
(2) To accept PayPal payments, you will need to create a Premier or Business PayPal account at www.paypal.com, prior to launching your campaign. The campaign will need to be confirmed and connected to a bank account. This can take up to 3 months.
On Chuffed.org, there's a number of optional customizations for your campaign page, including:
- Collecting addresses from your donors: we'll add an address collection form on the payment page if you select this. We only recommend collecting addresses when you absolutely need to, like if you need to post out a perk, as people feel weird giving about you their address.
- Custom Thanks Message: you can customize the message that donors see immediately following their donation.
- Impact Levels: instead of giving out perks, you can choose to show donors what impact different levels of donations make - think the classic £50 buys a goat for a farmer in Africa. It's a bit old-school, but still works.
- Custom URL Link: your can change the default URL link assigned to your campaign.
- Custom default donation amounts: you can customize the default donation amounts that are shown on the donation box on your campaign page.
- Offline donations: when supporters send you donations in cash or via cheque/check, you can add these to your campaign total by using our 'offline donations' function. You should limit the amount of offline donations to 50% of your total donations.
- Tax-deductible receipting (Australia-only): following every donation, we send donors a receipt. For Australian Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) organisations, we can tailor this receipt to meet the requirements for donors who want to claim tax deductions. Unfortunately this feature is not available for campaigns based outside of Australia or non-DGR organisations.
Submitting for approval
All campaigns on Chuffed.org have to be submitted to us for approval before they can go live. We check that they satisfy our eligibility requirements and that they have a decent chance of reaching their target.
The approval process usually takes less than 24 hours. You will get an email from us that either approves your campaign for launch, asks you to modify your campaign and resubmit, or rejects your campaign outright.
About 60% of campaigns are approved on first submission. Once you've had one successfully funded campaign on Chuffed.org, we auto-approve all future campaigns.