Guest blog by Arthur de Graaf:

FIRST AID FOR CROWDFUNDING II

In this series of columns Arthur van de Graaf, partner of ImpactCity The Hague, will answer the most frequently asked questions about crowdfunding.

What do you get with crowdfunding?

When asked what you collect with crowdfunding, the first answer that comes to mind is probably: with crowdfunding you raise money. That is of course true, but the great thing about crowdfunding is that you raise more than just funding.

Crowdfunding is a special way of financing. You do not have one investor supporting you, but a large group of committed people. All these people have a particular interest in seeing you succeed. This not only creates a whole new dynamic between you and your investors, but also between you and your initiative. So what exactly do you collect when you go crowdfunding?

Involvement

Firstly, with crowdfunding you create a certain level of involvement. The crowd is a composition of different groups of people. These groups each have their own motive to support you. By understanding these motives and connecting them to your initiative, you create involvement. This will make your supporters ambassadors of your initiative and they will help with the promotion. After all, they want to see you succeed. As sush you increase the chance of success not only in the short term. Also in the long term, there is a group of people who support your initiative.

Feedback and validation

Naast een bijdrage aan de promotie kan een betrokken groep mensen ook feedback en input geven. Dankzij crowdfunding creëer je in de eerste fase van je onderneming al een klantenpanel. Deze zal je ideeën toetsen en valideren. Zo kan je door middel van de crowd in een vroege fase er al achter komen of er voldoende animo is voor je initiatief, of dat je tijd en geld verdoet aan iets waar mensen niet op zit te wachten. Tegelijkertijd kan een positieve validatie ontzettend motiverend werken en je nieuwe energie geven.

In addition to contributing to the promotion, an involved group of people can also provide feedback and input. Thanks to crowdfunding, you already create a customer panel in the first phase of your business, who will test and validate your ideas. As a result you can find out at an early stage whether there is enough enthusiasm for your initiative, or whether you are wasting time and money on something people are not waiting for. At the same time, positive validation can be incredibly motivating and give you new energy.

Expectations

Finally, a crowdfunding campaign develops expectations. The crowd expects that you will deliver promises and that you will continue to communicate about the progress. You will experience that you do not want to disappoint your supporters. After all, they believe in you. This  leads to focus during the development of your initiative. If you don’t do it for yourself, you do it for your crowd.

Passion, perseverance and fun!

Crowdfunding provides much more than just money. The crowd ensures optimal involvement, the validation of your initiative, feedback and the necessary criticism. I often see with promoters that their commitment not to disappoint the crowd is huge. This provides an enormous drive and perseverance. But don’t forget the fun in crowdfunding! Together with your crowd you create something special, and that is a lot of fun!

More info?

Wil jij weten wat je allemaal kan doen voor een optimale start van jouw crowdfunding-campagne, kom dan langs tijdens onze Coffee and Crowdfunding ochtend. Deze wordt elke dinsdag tussen 9.00 en 10.00 georganiseerd in Apollo 14 aan de Saturnusstraat. Daar vind je ook ImpactCity The Hague, waar startende ondernemingen die werken aan innovaties voor een betere wereld worden ondersteund.

Do you want to know what you can do for an optimal start of your crowdfunding campaign? Visit us during our Coffee and Crowdfunding morning. Every Tuesday between 9 am and 10 am in Apollo 14 (Saturnusstraat 14, The Hague). Here you will also find ImpactCity The Hague, where startups that work on innovations for a better world are supported.

If you want to know more, send an email to arthur@startleanfunding.com

A cup of coffee will get you started!