At GRIT, we're committed to bringing the Freedom Chair to as many people as possible, regardless of income. In previous blog posts, we've talked about different types of financial support available for adaptive sports equipment, and put together a list of Financial Loan Programs. Today's topic? Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign.
What exactly is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project, venture, or purchase by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people.
There are quite a few different crowdfunding platforms online. For example, when we first launched the Freedom Chair, we created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund our first round of production. Our campaign was targeted towards anyone who was interested in pre-ordering a Freedom Chair. Kickstarter is great for businesses looking to gauge interest in a new product, but if you're trying to get financial support for adaptive equipment, we recommend using GoFundMe because (unlike Kickstarter) it's geared at individuals raising money for a specific cause.
Why You Should Try It
We know that it can feel strange to share financial struggles or ask for help through a website, but remember, your friends and family want you to be happy. Creating a GoFundMe in order to purchase a piece of adaptive sports equipment provides a specific goal that they can help you achieve, and that will make them happy too. At GRIT we believe that money, or a lack thereof, shouldn't prevent anyone from getting the adaptive equipment they need to pursue a more fulfilling life - we bet your friends and family feel the same way.
Tips for a Successful Campaign
GoFundMe makes it easy to create and share campaigns in a positive way. They've also put together a handy blog post detailing the best way to create a successful crowdfunding campaign on their site. We're including the basics below, and you can check out the full article here.
Share with Friends and Family on Facebook
"Sharing your campaign on Facebook increases donations by 350%. It really is that important. If you do not have a Facebook account, consider asking a close friend or relative who does to share your campaign to their Facebook for you."
Share your link through email, text messages, and other social networks
"Building a strong sense of community and awareness around your campaign will go a long way with maintaining consistent donation volume."
Make Your Campaign Look its Best
"Use a great photo or make a video. This is your shot at a first impression and it should create a strong reaction, like 'Wow!' or 'Aw!' or 'I need to know more about this…' Try to use photos of the people involved whenever possible. They get stronger reactions than a graphic or some text. Try to avoid blurry or low quality images."
Keep Your Donors in the Loop
"Donors and followers love to know how their donations are working for you. Keep your story fresh and interesting by posting frequent ‘Update Messages’ to your campaign."
Show your Appreciation
"Thank your donors! They’re spending their hard earned money to help you do something that is special and important to you. We’ve made it simple for you to let them know just how much their support means to you."
Learning by Example
The best way to create a successful crowdfunding campaign is to take a closer look at campaigns that have been successful in the past, and learn from them. We pulled a screenshot of Jeff's successful campaign to fund his Freedom Chair so we can pull out what strategies made his campaign a success.
Include the website of the product you're hoping to purchase
It's important to get your network of friends and family just as excited about your adaptive equipment as you are! We love the way that Jeff included the GRIT website in his campaign because it allows his funders to see exactly what their contributions are going towards, and read all about the design features that make the Freedom Chair special.
Explain why this equipment will change your life for the better
In his GoFundMe campaign, Jeff shared his love of mountain biking and explains that a Freedom Chair would allow him to return to an activity he once loved. Regardless of whether you're crowdfunding to gain more day-to-day independence, return to a sport you loved, or simply try something new that will increase your fitness (oh and for the record, the Freedom Chair can help you do all three) sharing your motivation and the reason behind your desire to crowdfund will help others become just as invested in the success of your campaign as you are.
A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
Jeff's crowdfunding picture provides more emotional attachment to his campaign than a written paragraph could ever do alone. There's something undeniably sweet about the way he and his partner are looking at the camera in unison, heads touching. You immediately understand - with zero written explanation - that receiving funding for his Freedom Chair won't just change Jeff's life - but hers as well.
Let Us Help
We want to make it as easy as possible for anyone interested in crowdfunding their Freedom Chair. That's why we've pulled together some of our best pictures - and a video - for you to use in your campaign. We also promise that if you let us know about your campaign, whether it's through email, by phone, or through Facebook or Twitter, we will do our best to help by sharing your campaign to spread the word.
Sign up to receive our GRIT Crowdfunding Starter Pack!
The GRIT Freedom Chair is the most versatile chair on the market, designed from the ground up to handle any terrain. From trails to grass to snow, the Freedom Chair is built for you to push yourself. Born out of research at MIT, the Freedom Chair's patented easy-push levers put you in control of your mobility. Ready to hit the trails? Learn more about the GRIT Freedom Chair at www.gogrit.us