That brings us to the end of the Crowdfunding Crash Course. We’ve covered a lot of ground and looked at some of the big ways that this exciting industry is changing the funding game for entrepreneurs and startups.
We’ve looked at crowdfunding’s early roots, how it’s transformed into the modern industry we know today, transformative new legislation that’s charting the industry’s future, and how you can plan, launch, and close a successful campaign of your own.
There’s a lot to keep track of as you apply these principles to your business, so here’s a short recap of each chapter’s key takeaways:
Chapter 1 | What is Crowdfunding?
There are 3 basic types of crowdfunding: donations, rewards, and equity. Donation-based crowdfunding involves campaigns where there is no return to the backers, and is commonly used for things like disaster relief, charity efforts, or medical bills. Rewards-based crowdfunding offers backers a reward in exchange for their financial support. Equity-based crowdfunding allows backers to become part-owners of your company in exchange for a capital commitment.
Chapter 2 | Crowdfunding: Past & Present
The concept of crowdfunding is nothing new, and dates back to the early-1700s. Modern crowdfunding, as we know it today, started taking shape in the mid-2000s and will continue to gain momentum as new federal legislation is implemented.
Chapter 3 | The Future of Crowdfunding
The industry’s future is being charted in large part by an important piece of federal legislation—the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). This bill, signed into law on April 5, 2012 by President Obama, includes 2 key provisions that have huge implications for the crowdfunding industry. Those provisions are Title II (already implemented), removing the ban on general solicitation, and Title III, (still being implemented), removing the accredited investor restriction on equity fundraising.
Chapter 4 | The Benefits of Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding holds some big advantages over traditional business finance, including its efficiency, the traction and social proof it helps build, the crowdsourced brainstorming it offers, the early adopters and advocates it attracts, and the media attention and social reach it garners.
Chapter 5 | Rewards-Based Crowdfunding
In order to make a rewards-based campaign more successful, you need a finely tuned elevator pitch, an even more finely tuned email pitch, a well-produced company video, a thorough product overview, carefully chosen rewards, and a strong, reasonable ask.
Chapter 6 | Equity-Based Crowdfunding
For a successful equity-based campaign, you need most of the same materials as a rewards raise, but you also need some more detailed information to help potential investors become more confident in your company. You must first set your offer terms, including the raise duration, funding goal, funding type (equity or convertible debt), and current company valuation. After these terms are set, you need to gather your executive summary, terms, business plan, pitch deck, financial projections, use of funds, and closing documents.
Chapter 7 | Is Crowdfunding Right for You?
Crowdfunding is a powerful tool for many small businesses, but it may not be the right fit for everyone. Some of the most common characteristics of successful campaigns and the companies that launch them include: they have a compelling story, they’ve perfected their pitch, they’re active on social media, they have large personal networks, and they create lots of interesting, sharable content.
Chapter 8 | Lessons from Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns
Companies of all stripes have seen tremendous success raising money with Fundable. From mobile apps to fashion lines to restaurants to craft breweries, our startups come from all over the map, but their successes offers some timeless lessons for any company interested in crowdfunding. These lessons include leveraging your local community and relationships, building social proof and early traction, knowing your best-fit investors, and tapping into your existing customer base for support.
Chapter 9 | Crowdfunding Tools & Resources
There’s a lot to keep track of when planning a campaign, but you’re not alone. There are a wealth of tools, articles, guides, and resources, all designed to give you a head start with your fundraising. Whether you need help figuring out your company’s valuation, crafting a compelling pitch, or managing investor emails, we at Fundable are here for you and we’ve got a long list of friends who can help, too.
Ready to take the next step and start planning your own crowdfunding campaign?
We’d love to help make it a resounding success.