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How To Ask For Money To Fund Your Business

There's an art to soliciting money from friends, family, and strangers through crowdfunding. Here are a few tips.

Originally Published March 21, 2014.

Kimberley McLeod is the founder of LGBTQ digital platform Elixher. While operating the magazine from 2011 to 2017, McLeod was successful in multiple crowdfunding campaigns.  To cover the cost of the inaugural digital issue of ELIXHER, McLeod mounted fundraisers on IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, raising over $10,000 dollars.

McLeod gave BLACK ENTERPRISE a few tips to get funding for your small business.

Be creative

You want to solicit lots of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn connections, and e-mail list subscribers for donations. But don’t rely on social media alone to meet your goal. “Some friends of mine formed a giving circle and I modeled that concept by creating multiple giving circles with our staff, my family, and even people I had featured on the site,” explains McLeod. Give each group a smaller target goal.

Offer incentives

Provide a variety of incentives or perks that are worth something to your audience. Offer products, rewards, and opportunities and different price points–from $5 to $1,000. “Reach out to local vendors and ask them to donate goodies like concert tickets. Then conduct giveaways during weeks where donations slow down. It will help build back the buzz,” McLeod suggests.

Ask for help

“I relied heavily on community members and groups to help spread the word,” says McLeod. “I asked people and organizations to post on their Facebook pages and write blog posts. Folks went above and beyond–they created videos, added the campaigns to their e-mail signature, and more.” Say I Do! LGBT Wedding Expo dedicated a week of sales to the campaign.

Host an event

Build excitement and rally people around your crowdfunding campaign by hosting an event or launch party. “I conducted raffles at happy hour events and had donation buckets. Near the end of the campaign, we hosted a big bash and raised an additional $3,000,” recalls McLeod. “We even got the venue to donate a portion of the bar proceeds.”

Keep In Touch

Keep connected to your audience and potential supporters. McLeod says to interact through frequent updates, thank-you e-mails, and social media responses to questions or comments from existing or potential donors. “We regularly posted updates when we met certain milestones (like hitting our first $1,000). Posting screenshots of the progress we were making also helped keep our followers engaged on social media. When the campaign was over, we released a thank you video and sent out updates about how the funds were being used.”