By Barry Rubin
img src: valuewalk.com
If you want to lead an effective fundraising campaign, it’s important to have a crowdfunding platform that can keep up with your needs. Good platforms should work with multiple currencies, be optimized for various devices, and tap into social networks.
Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital by asking a lot of people for a little bit money rather than a few people for a lot of money.
A crowdfunding platform is an online portal that allows you to advertise for, collect, and keep track of the money you raise. There are 3 basic forms of crowdfunding:
- Debt relief
While each form affects your general approach, you will still need a capable crowdfunding platform to get started.
At Chetu, crowdfunding software (link is external) is an old friend to us, so we’ve seen it all. We’ve put together a list of 5 key features that every good crowdfunding platform should have.
5 Key Crowdfunding Platform Features
- Payment gateway that supports multiple currencies
- Progress meter to easily track campaign progress
- Secure mobile options to best reach your audience
- Responsive design that can adopt to user devices
- Social network sharing to expand your reach
1. Payment Gateway That Supports Multiple Currencies
As of the summer of 2019, the world’s benchmark currency is still the United States dollar (USD) (link is external). Many people around the world will make contributions to their crowdfunding interests in USD, but many others will not. For that reason, it is important to configure your relevant crowdfunding software to accept multiple currencies.
At a basic level, the most important advantage of accepting multiple currencies is a competitive edge over other projects that don’t. Think about adding options for these common currencies:
- Australian dollars
- Canadian dollars
- Singapore dollars
Accepting leading currencies, along with many others, will help you attract more people willing to contribute.
You will also build public trust because you’re showing your willingness to accommodate support from other currencies. This is true whether you’re crowdfunding for debt relief, to raise capital for a needed purchase, or funding your business in return for granting equity in that business.
2. Progress Meter to Easily Track Campaign Progress
The concept of the progress meter (also known as the progress bar) is simple: it’s a graphic that shows how close something is to being completed. Create a graphic with different colors to easily track progress.
progress meter to easily track campaign progress
Using a visual representation to show your campaign’s progress can be exceptionally powerful motivators.
The lure of progress bars (link is external) is undeniable. People love to complete tasks, and they love positive reinforcement. The encouragement that progress bars provide comes down to gamification (link is external). Gamification is when you incorporate game-like elements in situations that are not games.
Contributing the last $500 in a large crowdfunding campaign is, in this context, like completing the last task to earn a reward. The pleasure we derive from such a reward is as a result of our societal mindset — we prefer to complete things rather than leaving them incomplete.
3. Secure Mobile Options to Best Reach Your Audience
There are too many crowdfunding apps in circulation to list. Many of them are fairly flexible and can be customized for each person using them.
For those who want true customization, however, you can always have someone else design it. You just need to know exactly what you want, then tell the company you hire to make it. That way, you don’t have to do any tweaking.
You have to decide if you want personal contributions, business contributions, or both before designing the app. Person to person (P2P) and business to business (B2B) are two separate entities, and each has its own foibles and rules.
You have to ensure the security is up-to-snuff. No one is going to give you money of any kind if hackers and thieves can get in to snatch it. The app also has to be user-friendly and intuitive.
Other questions to ask yourself include: Do you want your crowdfunding platform (link is external) to network with others by allowing them to hyperlink to your site? Do you want the app to send receipts or tax documents? Do you want the app to be Android compatible, iOS compatible, or both?
Make sure you know what’s what before starting so that you don’t waste time.
4. Responsive Design That Can Adopt to User Devices
Responsive design is a necessity. There are so many devices these days that a single set of code won’t work on them all.
It is, regrettably, also going to get worse. Already, there are personal computers, Android smartphones, Apple iPhones and iPads, Kindles, BlackBerrys, and even smart TVs and internet-ready game systems, for which modern apps must be created.
Responsive design ensures that an app can detect a user’s device and display optimized content for it.
For example, if a person uses an Android phone to run a crowdfunding app in the morning, an iPad after a business meeting, and finally a personal computer during the evening, there should be no loss of functionality at any of these times. Security protocols and interface design features must mesh unnoticeably for ease and convenience.
Responsive apps build trust and put the user at ease, which is why responsive design is crucial to the success of any crowdfunding app.
5. Social Network Sharing to Expand Your Reach
One of the big challenges of crowdfunding is “finding the crowd.” It’s easy to find people, but it’s tough to find people who care about what you’re doing. The best way to do that is to use social media.
Fundraisers shared on social networks raise up to 3 times more money (link is external), according to GoFundMe. It’s a good idea to give users the option of sharing your fundraiser on social media. That way, they can reach their friends who would be interested in helping you.
The “tell two friends” trope is the main idea behind a social sharing feature. Social media is intertwined today, and many people interact with several social channels daily. By having that sharing feature, you provide them with many more than two opportunities to tell their friends.
Create a catchy hashtag that is easy to remember. For example, let’s think about a crowdfunding campaign for jump-starting a green manufacturing process. Catchy hashtags might include #NoToPlastic, #EasyBeingGreen, or #GreenIsGood.
At the end of the day, the right crowdfunding software will depend on your campaign and goals. But there are still core features that are common among the best solutions.
Look for mobile-responsive platforms that can accept multiple currencies and be shared on social media. If you’d rather have your own custom app, think about all the key features you want to incentivize donations.