Contributing to digital inclusion can also mean working with associations that actively promote it through their projects. One such example is HelloAsso, which offers associations free online payment solutions, collection tools and crowdfunding. Astrid Bergugnat, Content Manager at HelloAsso (opens in a new window), gives us five reasons why, if you have a start-up #4Good, you should opt for crowdfunding.
Reason #1 A disruptive and complementary approach to banks
Traditional banks finance selected companies on the basis of their business plan and long-term growth prospects.
Crowdfunding, meanwhile, allows you to quickly raise funds to realise a specific project. It is an accessible collaborative financing method, requiring little or no administration process.
It can enable you to start a business and test it out on the market before fully committing. It can be a way to raise main funds or an additional amount to other funding streams.
Advice from HelloAsso : keep in mind the following,
- Your project must be thought through, correlated to a need and understandable by as many people as possible.
- Contributors must be motivated to get involved: supporting a cause, participating in a development project, or for a material or financial return (although this is very specific).
- Fundraising goals should be consistent with the scale of your project and – importantly – attainable.
- The campaign will require a lot of time and commitment on your part.
- The campaign must be run over a specific time period (not more than one year).
- A start-up cannot base its financial model on crowdfunding alone.
Reason #2 Platforms tailored to everyone’s needs
The stages of a crowdfunding campaign take place across digital channels – the crowdfunding platform, social media and email.
There are two main types of platform.
The first is around themes (charity, real estate, content creation) that target small but committed donor populations.
The second is more general (such as Ulule (opens in a new window)or KissKissBankBank (opens in a new window)) which allows access to a wider panel of contributors but offer a more expansive range of projects.
Advice from HelloAsso : before choosing a platform, it is imperative to understand the user terms and conditions.
- How does the platform select from all the projects that enter?
- How are commission fees calculated, if they exist?
- Does the platform apply an “all or nothing” rule of paying back contributors if the final amount is not raised?
Reason #3 A financing model that’s 100% in line with 4Good values
Each 4Good start-up is based on values of sharing and giving.
Crowdfunding, which is based on the individual commitment of a contributor to support a cause or project that he or she believes in, therefore really resonates with the culture of a 4Good company.
An active, collaborative and positive approach therefore makes sense! It can help strengthen your start-up’s brand image.
Advice from HelloAsso : make sure you maintain community dynamics,
- by affirming your values and informing people about the progress of your project on the subscription page and/or via newsletters (during and after the campaign),
- by creating levels with intermediate objectives because sequencing the project in different stages with multiple levels of funding creates buzz among contributors,
- by informing people about the progress of their subscription and the project itself (during and after the campaign),
- by thanking contributors and keeping them loyal as they will be your first customers and the most “qualitative” supporters.
Reason #4 An efficient way to unite a large community
The commitment is individual, but the success is collaborative.
By gathering people around the same goal, crowdfunding creates a link between people and can build a faithful community on which your start-up can build its future development.
Advice from HelloAsso : ask for help from contributors by delineating “circles”.
- 1st circle: family, collaborators and friends. They know and trust you so will be most willing to contribute. They are the first ambassadors of your brand.
- 2nd circle: through communication activities, your ambassadors and you can develop the community with a wider circle of friends of friends…
- 3rd circle: the general public is more difficult to mobilise and requires a significant time investment. The holy grail? To be picked up as a press story!
Reason #5 Direct collection that speeds up projects
Crowdfunding is fast. A campaign lasts on average between one and three months, during which you have to run multiple communication activities.
Choose the best timeline for your project’s objective.
Remember: contributors are more charitable in the run up to Christmas.
Advice from HelloAsso :
Don’t push your project on several platforms at the same time as you risk scattering your contributors and needing to do double the work to communicate with them!
Do you know the difference between crowdfunding, crowdequity and crowdlending?
It’s important to distinguish between donating to a company or crowdfunding, investing in capital or crowdequity and loaning funds to a company via crowdlending.
They are all different forms of crowdfunding, but they are not subject to the same tax rules and, depending on the route chosen, individual contributors will have different rights within the company.