http://www.zequs.com/snippets/step1 http://www.zequs.com/snippets/login-section-generic http://www.zequs.com/snippets/login-section-pledging http://www.zequs.com/snippets/tippingmodal http://www.zequs.com/members/contract http://www.zequs.com/snippets/delete-pledge http://www.zequs.com/snippets/delete-campaign http://www.zequs.com/snippets/exit-campaign http://www.zequs.com/snippets/save-campaign http://www.zequs.com/charity/delete-modal http://www.zequs.com/charity/exit-modal http://www.zequs.com/charity/save-modal http://www.zequs.com/snippets/launch-date-passed-modal http://www.zequs.com/snippets/launch-date-passed-activated-modal http://www.zequs.com/snippets/logged-in-user-header http://www.zequs.com/campaign/campaign-menu-dropdown-logged-in

Campaign Incubator

Welcome to our Campaign Incubator!

Here you’ll find a comprehensive guide of how to set up the best looking fundraising page, complete with hints and tips from our very own ZEQUS Angels: The individuals who make up our dedicated team that deal with 100’s of campaigns on a daily basis, and who are responsible for helping you make your campaign as successful as possible.

We want to share with you tips on how you can engage with potential donors by creating a video pitch; how you can creatively incentivise them; and how best to share your fundraising efforts with the world (as well as getting noticed amongst the ZEQUS community).

Remember, if you’ve got any questions, queries, or would simply like to brainstorm some ideas with a ZEQUS Angel, just get in touch either through the contact form or via Hello@ZEQUS.com.



Guidelines

Before you get started have a quick read of the rule book! ZEQUS is a platform for brilliant fundraising campaigns to get funded. Below we have listed our goals and mission. If we (the ZEQUS management team) are made aware of any fundraising campaign that violates our guidelines we may remove or decline the campaign from the ZEQUS platform. Should you be unsure about the guidelines, then please contact us at Hello@ZEQUS.com

Be Creative!

Hold up a second, what do we mean by this, surely if I am doing a marathon all I need is a donation page where the money just goes straight to my chosen charity? Take a step back and think how many people get a boring link to a donation page asking everyone in the office to support? If that is how you want to fundraise, fine, we'll let you have the best looking fundraising page out there, but….. YOU CAN DO SO MUCH MORE!

We are here to help campaigns from all over the world with all sorts of different messages get funding. The more creative you can be, the more chance you have of standing out from the rest of the pack. Use great images, record a short video (even if it is just with your phone), write a compelling story as to why you are doing this fundraiser. Remember you are publishing your page to be seen by thousands of people, spend some time making it look great.

No Financial Incentives!

Our economy is based on rewards and patronage, not financial gain, please don’t taint it. Make your offer a unique experience, a limited edition product, something fun. No equity is ever traded on our site and no loans/financial returns (i.e. no share of financial gains) are either. You can ask people for donations, but we really recommend you think about how you want to phrase it.

Who is Eligible to List a Project on ZEQUS?

Everyone that has over 18 years under their belt. You need to have a bank account that can be linked to PayPal, GoCardless or Stripe. You can submit a campaign from anywhere that Paypal works (eg USA, UK, France, Australia and many more wonderful countries).

How It Works In A Nutshell

You click CREATE, this starts the campaign creation process. You set yourself a deadline (max 55 days) to reach a fundraising goal. You put up rewards that you can offer to people that support you at each price (donation/pledge) level. You make the page look great by uploading images and ideally a short video (think WHO, WHAT and WHY). Then you click CONTINUE, you select to either raise money for yourself, or a charity. You click ACTIVATE! Your campaign is live, no review, no delay, straight away it is up there.

You have a max of 55 days to get the funding together. Your supporters make pledges to your campaign. They get asked if they want to send their money to your campaign irrespective of whether you reach the target (Stretch Funding). If you hit the target, you hit COLLECT CASH! It triggers all the payments to go through.

Sound fairly straightforward? Well that is because it is! Read on below to really get to grips with how get the maximum out of ZEQUS for your fundraiser

 




Define your campaign

With any ZEQUS campaign, it’s important to be clear about what you are doing. Every fundraising page must be shaped as an individual campaign. In the case of crowdfunding this means it needs a set of goals or targets that can be completed a time limit to raise the funds. If you don’t know what yours are, then it’s time to clarify them. This is the first step for any campaign owner.

Shape your campaign

Your campaign must have a clear beginning and end, and a defined goal. Campaigns cannot be ongoing, but can be part of a bigger picture. This involves setting your (financial) goal, determining how long your campaign will run for, and also thinking about whom you’re going to be targeting your fundraising efforts at.

Set your goal and plan ahead

When choosing your funding goal, remember to take into account all of the unhidden costs, such as postage and packaging of pledge rewards (these are described later) and any payment processor fees. Don’t worry, your dedicated ZEQUS Angel will be able to help understand how this affects your goal. As a rough rule though, we advise to allow for roughly 3% of your funding goal.

After considering all of the possible unhidden costs, now is the time to set your goal. How much should you ask for? Well, as our friends the Stones would say:

“You can’t get what you want. But if you try sometimes, yeah, you might find you get what you need”

The question here is not how much do you want, but rather, how much do you need? Think about how much you need to make your idea happen. It’s vital to be as transparent as possible. So often listing what the money would be used for is a great way to show potential supporters you have planned your campaign thoroughly and are really passionate about making it happen.

Accommodating for stretch funding

You may have already heard of All or Nothing crowdfunding, which is a fantastic innovation in the fundraising world: Campaign owners only receive the funds if they successfully reach their funding goal, and backers are only charged if the campaign has the necessary money to go on to deliver the pledge rewards and the campaign objectives.  This provides protection to the backers and the campaigners, as neither party are under any obligations unless the campaign is fully funded.

ZEQUS uses stretch funding, which is all or nothing with a twist: We give backers the power to decide whether or not they wish for their pledge/donation to go the fundraiser irrespective whether the goal is met. This is particularly valuable for charity fundraisers as let's face, most of us want our donation to go through to the charity irrespective of whether a specific campaign reaches its funding target.

This powerful method also allows fundraisers to offer incentives, i.e. pledge rewards, to incentivise donations. As a fundraiser you agree to fulfil the pledge rewards upon reaching your funding goal as part of collecting the cash you have fundraised (in charity campaigns this means the funds going to the charity).

When to start, when to finish?

Every ZEQUS campaign has a lifespan of anything up to 55 days. Campaigns can run for anytime, from 1 hour up to 55 days. This is the limit we set to campaigns on ZEQUS. The reason being that longer campaigns are not necessarily better: They tend to lose interest and fizzle out. Shorter campaigns are easier to manage and keep an ongoing interest: There is a sense of confidence and urgency that helps motivate potential backers to reach your funding target.

With this in mind, it’s important to think about when you want o launch your campaign and how long you think you need to muster the funds. If you’re needing the money in time for the making of a film for example, work backwards from that date, and make sure you leave enough time in between the ending of your campaign and when you start filming, for you may have some pledge rewards to fulfill in that time (again, more to come on pledge rewards later).

Write your campaign description

WHO are you, WHAT is your campaign all about, and WHY do you (or the charity) need the funds you’re asking for?

These are some of the immediate questions people will be asking themselves when first looking at any campaign page. It's therefore important to clearly state your goal right from the beginning and make it clear to people why you're trying to raise the funds you need.

You want to be concise, but the more detail you provide and the more transparent your campaign can be, the better.  If you can, try to break your funding target down and state exactly how your funding target will be spent, essentially itemising each cost. This will add credibility to your campaign and will more likely gain the trust of potential backers.

Create some pledge rewards

This is where fundraising can get creative: By giving something back to the people supporting your fundraising efforts. This is what really makes crowdfunding a fundraising game changer. Pateince though, there's more on this in a bit.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Only when all these are considered is it time to make your video and tell people about your campaign (for you should now know what exactly you’re trying to achieve).

A video pitch is a great way of making a campaign more personal, by showing people who you are, what you are doing and why you need the money. From our experience, campaigns with a video pitch are twice as likely to successfully reach their goal! Fret not though non-film makers, for we’ve got some hot tips that will guide you through the entire process.

And finally: Remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint

rabbit and tortoise

Building your campaign is an important process and will not necessarily happen overnight. Once you’ve shaped your goals, feel free to submit it for feedback at any time: The ZEQUS Angels are here to shape, support and promote your campaign (they’re free- so make sure you use them!) You can regularly update your campaign, tweaking any finishing touches until you are happy for it to go Live. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once your project is uploaded that your part is done. 

Everyone, without exception, underestimates how much work goes into running a successful campaign. Again, fret not though, for our ZEQUS Angels are here to help you along the way. They’re here to help promote your campaign and to try and gain as much exposure for your cause or idea as possible. They’ll also be on hand to guide you through the process of what happens when your campaign comes to an end, and how to go about your reward fulfilment.

 

Ben, a ZEQUS Angel, says: “Building a foundation of networks is vital for ensuring your campaign’s success. It’s all about ‘strength in numbers!’”

 

James, a ZEQUS Angel, says: "Try not pluck a random figure out of nowhere. Break down your costs, ask for what you need, and be as transparent as possible"

 


 

Create amazing rewards

One of the things that sets crowdfunding apart from fundraising is that, with crowdfunding, your contributors actually get something back from your campaign in the form of unique pledge rewards. Great pledge rewards motivate contributions: they give your audience the knowledge there is an exchange taking place, not just a one way transaction. They’re also a great way of engaging your community, and making them feel a part of your campaign.

This is where fundraising can get creative: By giving something back to the people supporting your fundraising efforts. This is what really makes crowdfunding a fundraising game changer. Offering rewards for your charity fundraiser for example can help you raise more.

What is a pledge reward?

When a backer ‘pledges’ to your campaign financially, you can choose to reward them. A pledge reward is a way of giving something back to the people who help fund your project, and a way of including them in your campaign, allowing them to join your journey and become an advocate of your campaign.

A pledge reward acts as incentive to increase giving. It is a non-financial incentive that can be in the form of experiences, products, acknowledgements and accreditations; anything that is related to your campaign and that you can offer to potential backers. Fret not though, for these don’t have to necessarily cost you anything, although we liked the example above as they simply offered to buy any of their supporters a beer next time they saw them. The simplest acknowledgement can sometimes be best, and at the end of the day you’re trying to raise money so it all depends on what you can afford to offer.

Great pledge rewards motivate contributions: they give your audience the knowledge there is an exchange taking place, not just a one way transaction. They’re also a great way of engaging your community, and making them feel a part of your campaign.

Creating your rewards

This is a chance to bring in whatever resources you can. Perhaps you know of a restaurant owner in your local area for example who’s willing to give away some free meal vouchers? Regardless, this is also a chance for you to get creative.

When thinking about what levels of rewards to impose, and at what price to offer them at, remember that you want to cater for the widest possible audience. Having a range of tiered rewards is therefore key to appealing to individuals, creatives, and even businesses (you could offer some advertising space in your theatre programme for example, or on a banner your website).
We therefore recommend creating a couple of the 3 main types of rewards:

Entry Level

Your entry-level reward is to accommodate for those who simply want to donate to your cause. For a relatively small amount, you can offer a simple recognition of thanks that is inexpensive to you, whilst giving your campaign the option of going viral (and essentially catering for the masses). Remember as well that backers can manually enter in larger amounts for a tier (if they wish to pledge more than £5 for the world’s finest lemon drizzle cake for example)!

 

5 pounds reward screenshot

 

Rather than just offering a simple Twitter shout out, Hollie Rogers gets creative here and engages her backers by giving something relatively inexpensive to her, whilst unique to the backer (and her campaign).

Core Pledge

On average, the most popular pledge size from all of our successful projects is £64. You should therefore try to have what we like to call a core pledge: Something that you’re really proud of, and which could potentially be your campaign’s main selling point. Ideally this should be between £25-£65.

 

50 pounds reward screenshot

 

Twelfth Night’s reward for £50 (along with their £25 reward) secured almost two thirds of their support. Remember though, your backers are the people who are making your creative idea a reality, and so you should ideally be offering something of better value than they would normally get.

The ‘Wow’ Factor

Don’t be afraid to go big. The more your campaign is perceived as offering the better. It’s not the end of the world if no one pledges to it, for hopefully your core pledge(s) will be securing most of the funding. What it does do though is that it shows that you have ambition, and that you’re willing to reward bigger pledges. This could be your chance to accommodate for potential corporate support from businesses and organisations.

 

1000 pounds reward screenshot shark

 

Whilst shark cage diving might seem like a nightmare to some, When Jaws Came To Visit actually received 3 backers for this particular reward - and Rufus even secured 1 backer for his £5000 reward.

LIMITED EDITION, FIRST COME FIRST SERVED

When thinking about what to reward your backers with, it’s worth bearing in mind some tactics that will garner some initial support (essentially getting the ball rolling), as well sparking up some interest in the middle stages of your campaign, which will often be the quietest period.

Setting a limit on a particular reward for example can be a good way to get people to act fast.

 

50 pounds reward screenshot paint

 

Take The Arts Barge campaign for example they did just that and offered a limited edition print for the first 10 backers for this reward (and it didn’t stop them receiving more than 10 backers either). -

 

 

“I had kept a last day special reward back for the final push, and it was a social media frenzy as I got down to the finish line with under an hour to go.”

Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing

 

To Summarise, A Good Pledge Reward Is Something That:

• Makes an obvious incentive for supporting
• Connects your audience further to the work
• Is shareable
• Is unique – ("Not your run-of-the-mill thing you can buy on the shelf")
• Flows naturally from your campaign

 

Natalia, a ZEQUS Angel, says: "For each tier, if you’ve got a photo of a particular reward then be sure to upload this too. Pictures can really help your campaign."

Julio, a ZEQUS Angel, says: "Try and have something new to shout about.  Announcing a new reward for example, can stay in the bank until your campaign goes quiet and you’re ready to cash in on it!"

 


 

Make your video

Making a short video is a great way of telling people a little bit about yourself and of delivering a personal and engaging summary of your project: It gives a face to your campaign.

People are often put off by the idea of making a video, but it's nothing really; it just makes a more personal pitch, showing the viewer who you are, what you are doing and why you need the money. Fret not though, for you don’t have to be a professional filmmaker. A good video pitch could be simply made on your friend’s iPhone or webcam. Either way, we highly recommend making a video, for campaigns that do have a personal video pitch are twice as likely to be successfully funded.

Not conviced? Fear not. If you insist on not having a video, you can use this valuable piece of web real estate to show some pictures. Just be sure to use pictures that excite people, make them think, and most importantly of all, engage with you and what you’re trying to do (as well as making them want to make a pledge).

However, your video is often the first thing people will look at when viewing your page, and so it's essentially a selling tool for you to entice people to want to scroll further down your campaign page. With this in mind, we’ve got some practical and technical pointers that should help you make people want to find out more about your campaign.

The Practicalities

 

Keep it short

Treat it as a movie trailer, preferably less than 3 minutes, in order to fit into people’s web browsing time. (There’s nothing stopping you uploading more video footage at the bottom of your page).

Looking at Mission Explore:Food’s video, they clearly and concisely define their goal in less than 1 minute, as well as creating a fun, intriguing and visually engaging pitch.

Give a face to your campaign

The reason being that people like to know who you are, and so it breaks down any barriers of trust. Make your appeal more personal by speaking directly at your audience. Introduce yourself, making sure you give your audience a little face time. Tell people why you care about your campaign and let them see how enthusiastic you are (hopefully it will be contagious). The more passionate and excited you are about your project, the more people will be drawn to your idea.

Blue Origin’s simple, but honest pitch shows all the members of their band, and after watching it just now are you desperately trying to think of a ‘reasonable request’?!

Show examples

It is important to also show your audience rather than tell: Use concrete examples, like photos, video clips of your work, testimonials from others, etc. Don't just face the camera and explain your campaign. People won’t want to look at you for a full 3 minutes (unless you’re extremely beautiful). Make your video a visual showcase of what you're all about, and give as much detail as possible.

Full of behind the scenes footage, Night of Brian’s pitch instantly appears more credible and fills potential backers with confidence that the film is going to be made/finished. Obviously some films need funding before they can even start shooting, but the point is to try and show some examples of your work (even if it’s something you did previously).

Make people want to find out more

Don’t give the whole game away. Hook your audience in with some bait, and reel them in by directing to other parts of your campaign page.

The Pocket Book of Vagina Cakes  is a campaign slightly out of the ordinary. The title in itself might make someone want to find out more, but to have Dawn French on the BBC One Show in fits of hysterics because of your product  - now that’s hard to compete with!

The examples for each of those points illustrate each specific point. If you can incorporate all of these into one –you’re on to a winner!

 

The Technicalities

What camera to use

Most Mac computers’ integrated cameras are fine for achieving what you need (Photobooth), as is your iPhone, BUT…if you know of a friend who owns a digital SLR, then now’s the time to ask them for help. The newest Nikon and Canon DSLR’s for example can shoot amazing HD videos and will give you amazing results. Otherwise, consider using a digital still camera in video mode (anything that’s easy to upload onto your computer when you’re done.)

Make your voice be heard

model shouting

Good audio is key. Any unrelated background noise can distract the viewer and ruin your pitch, so take note of any potential background noise (refrigerators, air-conditioning units, builders outside, traffic, a neighbour’s dog etc) and take your video (or any audio recording) in a quiet echo-free space.
If you’ve got a microphone that you can use (or borrow), then do so. You can also try to eliminate white noise and static by using the controls in your video editor. If anything is at all still unclear, consider using subtitles.

Let there be light

Make sure we can see you! Don’t film your video in a poorly lit room late at night because you’re in a rush to get your campaign uploaded. Cameras work better with LOTS of light, so try and get as much natural light as possible and be sure to use whatever lamps you have available to light up the room that little bit extra.  Also, don’t be afraid to make use of any mirrors you have- as these reflect ambient light.

Practice Makes Perfect

guy playing the guitar and singing

Before recording, it’s a good idea to write a quick outline with three or four bullet points of what you plan to say. You’re unlikely to get it right first time, but start recording and give your spiel.
As soon as you’re done, decide what you liked about what you just said, then do it again immediately. Repeat this process five times. You’ll notice yourself getting more comfortable and conversational in front of the camera with every take. Then take the best bits of every take (which are usually the first and last) and put it together for your final one.

Editing

This is where you can make or break your video. This is where you can polish your final version and make your video the best it can be, adding a soundtrack perhaps and making sure your intro makes viewers ask for more. However, be careful not to overdo it. You want to showcase the good stuff you recorded, not obscure it with fancy editing.

Windows Movie Maker and iMovie both work fine, but remember to keep it short! Your video has to be punchy, and we can almost guarantee you that your first edit will be too long. Take a break, and cut out at least 25% of the video.  Focus on isolating the good parts: the really crisp, clear lines, as well as the fun moments where you connect with the camera/audience.

Edit these together in big chunks, but you must be ruthless. Make sure your video isn’t boring. Show it to a friend and get some positive criticism.

Uploading and Embedding Your Video

All happy? Well be sure to save your video first of all. You don’t want all your hard work to be lost. Now you can get uploading.

YouTube is the most common video-hosting site used on our platform. To find out how to upload a video to YouTube, click here (please note though that your video must be publically shared for it to register on our site).

Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, you can then copy and paste the URL code to the correct field. If you're not a fan of YouTube, you can use alternative video hosting sites, such as Vimeo.

 

James, a ZEQUS Angel, says: "People will often buy into you as a person, sometimes as much as the campaign itself, and so the more passionate, enthusiastic and personable you can come across the better."

 


 

Promoting your campaign

Whilst ZEQUS will automatically give your campaign exposure to our interconnected global community, you (as the campaigner) need to be the driving force of your campaign. You need to harness your contacts and call out to your online community (see our ZEQUS guide on how to build a community of your own). Build some excitement prior to launching, for it’s important to get off to a good start and get the ball rolling right from the word go.

Remember that you are the initial driving force of your campaign, and so it’s important to have some sort of a game plan and prepare yourself for the campaign ahead.

“Putting the pitch together was the easy bit…If I was to give one piece of advice to a new crowdfunder, I would tell them to make sure there was one person who was prepared to set aside an hour or two per day to devote to it all and not to sit back and let it happen.”   Sue Lloyd, The Door To Brighton Fringe

Garner the support of your own crowd

For most campaign owners, support comes from within their own networks and their networks’ networks. Your friends and family should be your immediate first point of call. Aim to raise the first 25% of your funds from close friends, family, and fans. A campaign that appears to already have a following with numerous backers will help resonate a degree of credibility and will help encourage people beyond your inner circle to start contributing to your project.  Early success adds credibility to your campaign and gives your campaign legitimacy.

Contact influential bloggers

Keep an ongoing relationship with press and bloggers. As exciting as it is when launching, many people will want to follow you and your campaign’s story, so keep them up to date with your progress. By now, you should already be beavering away tweeting on Twitter and posting on Facebook, so don’t be shy…

Contact press

With plenty of focus on new media, don’t forget about the humble journalist who also has the power to get you and your campaign in front of a large audience. When writing your press release, don’t forget to include your contact details and links to your campaign. The press release should be written in such a way that it is applicable to a wide recipient community. It is intended that only the title should be edited and tweaked to the appropriate audience. For example, “Local resident launches art crowdfunding campaign” would be suitable for the local newspaper, while “Recent art graduate launches crowdfunding campaign” would catch the eye of education and art journalists.

Get more exposure on the ZEQUS platform

The more traffic and support you can generate for your campaign, the more chance you have of being featured on the ZEQUS homepage, further increasing your campaign’s visibility to the ZEQUS community. This is influenced by the amount of traffic generated by people sharing your campaign using the social media plug-ins on your page, and the level and rate of money pledged.

Share your campaign page

Make the most of your campaign page and its features. The ‘Embed’ tab should not be ignored. By using this feature you can embed your projects’ widget (page or video) on any website which will help drive tons more traffic to your campaign and help secure early support, more Facebook shares and tweets. Don’t forget to embed into any Wordpress you have created: Ask friends to do it on their blogs and sites, and even local businesses and newspapers… after all, they’re always looking for new and exciting local content to feature.

Make the most of Facebook and Twitter

three birds with lots of money

As we’ve already seen, Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to connect with large amounts of people and ultimately promote your campaign; it’s also a great way of keeping people up to date with your progress and how your campaign is getting on. This is why ZEQUS has integrated social media plug-ins that link your Facebook and Twitter accounts directly to your campaign page, allowing you to collaborate and easily share your campaign with your online community.

However, whilst it may be good enough to just get a lot of people to like your Facebook page for a business (or follow you on Twitter), you need to build upon your social media community and occupy the attention of those people for the sake of your campaign.

Here’s how to get the most out of your Facebook page and your Twitter account, and keep your campaign alive.

 

Tarkan, a ZEQUS Angel, says: “Crowdfunding can be a marketing campaign as much as anything. Everyone underestimates how much work goes into a ZEQUS campaign, so be sure to know how you’re going to get the word out there before launching your page. Map out how you're going to get the word out there week-by-week.”

 


 

Update Your Supporters

Once your project is Live, you need to keep it alive; you need to keep people interested and engaged. Updating people about your progress is an easy way to retain people’s interest in your project, so remember to make full use of the powers of social media. Updating your backers and followers however is crucial and this is easily done directly from your campaign page.

Campaign updates are a great way to share, post media and thank your backers. They ultimately serve as your campaign’s blog.

 

 

Underneath the updates tab (either on your campaign page when logged in or in your campaign dashboard), you will be given the option to upload text and images in the form of updates. For images it is a bit fidly as you need to copy and paste the URL of the image (i.e. the image has to be saved somewhere else). The easiest way to get an image up online is posting it to your Facebook page, then if you left click on COPY IMAGE URL, you will be able to add it to your UPDATE here. We do this for our own security as we don't vet what is sent out from your account to your supporters. This is your relationship with your backers now, keep them updated and they will keep on helping you raise more money!

Building Momentum

Don’t let your project go quiet. Regular updates ultimately help build momentum for your campaign and act as a simple method to promote it.

Make your campaign into a story and post an update every few days from your campaign page: Bring your friends, backers, and anyone else following your campaign, on the journey with you.

People often start updating their fans as a last resort, when their campaign has become slightly stagnant, but a story should be told right from the beginning and not the middle! Campaigns with momentum are more likely to reach and even exceed their goal, and you want your backers to be eager to find out what happens next. 

Regular contact between you and your backers can be really beneficial for these are the people that are already behind your campaign, so by keeping them updated they will become the champions for your cause.

See Simon’s (aka The Professional Litter Picker’s) regular words of encouragement in this blog.

Sharing’s Caring

Rather than asking everyone for money everyday, and bearing in mind that your should be treating your campaign like a story that is slowly unfolding, it’s only fair that you share this progress with your fans, backers and followers. ‘Recent press coverage‘ for example, or ‘pics from last night’s rehearsal’. Share with everyone how your campaign is coming along; keep them informed of any developments (the good and the bad), and allow for them to feel like a part of your project.

Engage Your Backers

Involve your backers by asking for their help and advice. Open up your project by asking for new ideas related to your campaign. This will allow for your backers and followers to become more engaged with your campaign and will hopefully encourage more traffic. If you've already had 50 people support your campaign and you're still shy of your target, send them all a message and ask for them to help spread the word. After all, it's in their interest for you to get fully funded if they want their rewards!

 

Ali, a ZEQUS Angel, says: “Your campaign is an exciting journey, one of which your supporters are now sharing with you, so keep them in the loop and engaged for the duration of your fundraiser.”

 


 

Reward Fulfilment

Reaching your funding goal is the start of an exciting journey. As for ‘what happens next’ for you and your campaign, we’ll tell you, for knowing how the entire ZEQUS process works is essential for any campaign owner.

Getting the money raised

The transfer process will vary between each payment processor, and can take up to a week for all of the pre-approved payments to be completed, so be sure to allow for this time period when determining when your campaign ends. Importantly, consider sending out an ‘update’ via the ‘update’ tab to say thanks for the support and to give your backers an update on the timings etc. Communication is key! Don’t forget, it’s a journey, not a one-night stand!


Fulfilling your rewards

Reward fulfillment is just as relevant for those of you about to create a campaign as it is for those of you who have already been successfully funded.

Plan ahead. When setting your funding goal, you should (have) take(n) into account the various shipping costs associated with your pledge rewards, for these may add up to substantially more than you think.
Be sure to take into account the weight of each reward, the relevant packaging and possible international shipping costs (as well as any other hidden costs such as your physical time in preparing the rewards).

Who to send what to

After your campaign is completed, and you have accepted the funds, you will have access to all of your backers’ details, including their name, email address, how much they pledged, and what you’ve promised them.

Please note however that not everyone completes their profile fully, and therefore you will occasionallyhave someone who fails to add in their shipping addresses. We recommend sending out an update prior to downloading the file, asking for everyone to complete their profiles and/or email you with their address.

Make It Fun

It’s very easy to get over excited about the prospect of your campaign becoming a reality and to forget this stage, but without your backers you would be back to square one and without any funds. Sending out all of your rewards can feel overwhelming at first, but staying organised and having fun with it will make the process much simpler.

Make use of your campaign updates and share with people how you’re getting on; whether it’s a horror story from the post office earlier that day, or pictures of the 200 personal thank you letters that still have their envelopes waiting to be individually licked! Ask for people to let you know when their stuff arrives too; this is a great way to keep them engaged with your progress and re-igniting their excitement in you and your campaign. Enjoy giving back to people who made your campaign possible. Don’t forget you may want to do another campaign. Treat your backers well and they will continue to want you to succeed.

Staying in contact / posting updates

Your ZEQUS campaign will remain on the platform after your campaign has ended. We want you to be able to stay in contact with your backers, and keep them up to date with your progress, for the campaign is often just the beginning of any idea, campaign or cause. The end of the campaign marks the start of the long term engagement – some campaign owners are still sending out updates to their backers almost 2 years after they have reached their funding!

You may also wish to call upon your ZEQUS fan base for any other campaigns you may decide to embark on.

 

Julio, a ZEQUS Angel, says: "Transparency is the key to all successful campaigns. Keep your supporters updated when things are going well. Keep them updated when things are taking longer than expected."