Guest blog by Arthur van de Graaf:


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

What can you do with crowdfunding?

In a jolly mood I have sometimes joked on stage that everything is too be crowdfunded. An older gentleman in the audience then asked jokingly whether that also applied to a beautiful, red sports car. To be honest, it would be a great surprise if that has never been tried. During my career, I have seen the strangest items come along to be crowdfunded. However, this did raise the following question: what can you actually successfully crowdfund?

Starting with a crowdfunding campaign is no longer as difficult as in the past thanks to the multiplicity of platforms. But the fact that you can connect a project more easily does not mean that it will be successful.

A common interest

An important characteristic of a successful crowdfunding campaign is that there is a common interest in the initiative that is going to be realized. Take the example of the red sports car; if you are the only one who is allowed to drive in it, maybe only your best friends and family will want to invest (and only if they have a very warm heart for you). If we can all drive the car once, the chance of success will increase. The common interest becomes greater.

What is in it for me?

Supporters of a crowdfunding campaign will always ask the question “what is in it for me”. They may want to do you a favor, like your friends and family, but most of the time they want your product or service to come on the market. Maybe they want to achieve the same special impact as you do, or get a chance on financial return. In any case, initiatives that can give a clear answer to the question “what is in it for me” will be more successful than initiatives that do not.

The message

In addition, it is important that the project is concrete. The easier your message is to share and spread, the greater the accessibility of the initiative becomes. This degree of shareability plays a major role in the ultimate success of the crowdfunding campaign. I myself have browsed a wide range of projects; from local to international projects, from a few thousand euros to more than 2 million. From sheepherder, church, and pastor, to artists, filmmakers and The Ocean Cleanup. Ultimately, a lot of initiatives can be crowdfunded, provided the project is concrete and a common interest is shared.

Eager to learn more?

Do you want to know what you can do for an optimal start of your crowdfunding campaign? Then visit us during our Coffee and Crowdfunding morning. This is organized every Tuesday between 9 am and 10 am in Apollo 14 on Saturnusstraat. Here, you will also find ImpactCity The Hague, where startups working on innovative projects are supported. Send an e-mail to if you want to know more.

A cup of coffee will get you started!