Earlier it was very difficult to raise funds for a project that you considered as your life-long dream. If you are a person with a great talent living in some remote part of India then you might find it very difficult to get someone who is willing to sponsor or patronize you.
Your dreams are dashed just because there is no one that can facilitate your idea to make it a real success. Therefore a common man with dreams has nowhere to go. However, now things have changed dramatically.
A talented person with very little or no resource could rally a huge crowd around the cause that he or she wants to promote. Today, with the help of crowdfunding you could get enough funding for the project you had liked to do. All funding comes through internet.
For example, if you’re a film maker and wants to make a documentary about the life of people living in slums and you don’t have money to make that film then you could raise enough money through crowdfunding.
What You Need to Know about Crowdfunding
I am not going to complicate things for you. I will explain crowdfunding in simple terms so that every one of you could understand it.
If you are an individual or an organization with a cause and you need funding in order to promote that cause but you do not have resources (which is primarily money) then you could use various crowdfunding platforms (various websites) to garner support from individuals or public around the world.
In other words, you could have a project or your cause placed on crowdfunding websites asking for donations and individuals from around the world could chip-in to raise the money.
If you have a project that might cost Rs 500,000/- then you could raise this amount asking for charity on a crowdfunding websites.
So there are three groups or party involved.
1. Crowdfunding Websites – Platforms that hosts various projects created by individuals or organizations that are in need of money. The important thing to know about these crowdfunding websites is that they do take 5% to 10% as commission on the money raised.
2. Organization that wants to raise money for a cause or a project – People who are in need of money to complete their project set a desired amount of money which needs to be raised. It can be Rs 100,000 to Rs 1000,000 depending upon the project.
3. People From around the world which are going to donate money – People like you, who donate money if you are interested in a cause. There is a minimum and maximum amount for the donations set by the website. Minimum could be Rs 100 and maximum Rs 500, it depends on site to site.
Kinds of Project that are Suitable for Crowdfunding
A dream project of yours that begs funding must be of certain kind. Here in India, you cannot expect to raise money for every kind of projects.
You need to know different types of projects that could be easy for raising desired amount of money.
In India, crowdfunding could be the best way to raise money for following projects
1. Short Films and Documentaries – If you want to make short films and documentaries to raise awareness then you could crowdfund your project.
You could easily raise money up to Rs 1000,000.
2. Music Videos – If you have passion for music that is different than mainstream music then you could use crowdfund platforms to raise funds.
3. Non-Profit Projects, NGO’s – Crowdfunding is the best when it comes for charity. If you want to raise money for the education of kids living in slums or helping women then crowdfunding is the way forward. People would love to donate money.
4. Books & Publishing – If you want to write and publish books and others related stuffs then use crowdfunding to make your dream come true.
5. Start-up Companies – Finally, crowdfunding would help in generating money for start-up companies. If you have an idea but have no money to start it then crowdfunding is the future.
In conclusion, I would say creative projects like film, music, arts etc are the best for raising money through crowdfunding.
How do you Get People to Fund Your Dream Project
If you want funding for your dream project then you have to create a project on a crowdfunding website.
Here, I will give you an example of most popular website in the world to raise money through crowdfunding. And that is www.kickstarter.com an American website.
You could go there and click on start a project. You have to give every possible details of the project that you want to create.
It must show things like photos, videos and sketches. You could also create demo for explaining your project to audience.
Then you have to give an amount that you would like to raise. In Indian websites (mentioned below) or any website you have to set an amount and the timeline with a date.
You need to go to the website and read every detail before you kick start a project.
Moreover, you cannot just create a project and sit idly expecting that people would start donating money and you will raise the desired amount.
You have to reach out to the people who are ready to donate for your cause. You have to use social media especially twitter for spreading a word about your project.
You need to create pitch videos and do things even offline like giving cards, distributing pamphlets, organizing seminars etc.
Just putting a video would not do, it takes more than that.
Some of the Best Crowd-funding Websites in India and USA
Now I would like to tell you some of the Indian crowdfunding websites that are famous and gaining popularity.
1. Catapooolt – This is the best crowdfunding website present in India. If you have a project then you could use this platform to raise money.
2. Ketto – This is another crowdfunding website which is still in its infancy. You could visit the website and find out more.
3. Wishberry – Like above two websites this is also present for a while now.
You are required to go to these sites and find out more.
Some of the websites that are expected to come are Fund A Peer, Pik A Venture, the Hot Start. These are coming soon.
Now let us see some websites in USA. In reality, they dominate the crowdfunding market.
1. Kickstarter.com – This is the number one website in the world and a real trend setter. All other follow this website. It has helped in raising over $900 million for various projects.
2. Indiegogo – Like Kickstarter it is also a great platform to crowdfund your project. If you want funding for your project then you have to visit these websites.
Your Responsibility towards Your Backers
Backer is nothing but donors who will be funding your project.
You have a responsibility towards your donors because you cannot ignore them. If you do then you are not going to get funding for your future projects.
You could reward your donors with tax exemption receipts. Moreover, you could do things like
1. Loyalty points for your donors.
2. Gifts and other accessories from your project
3. Discount vouchers from lifestyle brands
4. Off Tax Benefits
You need to do this if you want to retain your donors.
Future of Crowdfunding in India
What is the future of crowdfunding in India. Well, according to me it is really great, the market is expanding rapidly.
However, the best thing about India is you could get a project started because there will always be your family and friends to donate money.
It is because of our family culture. Hence, you would see many such websites starting in India.
I will conclude by saying if you have a genuine project or an idea then you could make it happen through crowdfunding. It is because you do not have to worry about funding.
But as a caution, I must tell you just creating a project on a website is not enough as you need to promote and take it to the people.