Whether you or your team need funds for equipment, travel, training, competition expenses or anything else in order to be successful, Sportfunder is able to quickly and efficiently get you the funds that you need. We know that fundraising can be a nuisance. That is why we created tools to take care of the fundraising for you. Sportfunder is built on the premise that every athlete has a community of supporters around them. Whether it is your parents or your siblings living nearby, an uncle or a grandmother living far away, each athlete has people that want to support them. Sportfunder’s technology enables each athlete to gather that community around their athletic fundraising goal quickly and efficiently. Below are a couple of ideas of what kinds of campaign one can launch with Sportfunder:
At a glance, every successful campaign has the following:
Ready to run a successful campaign? Let’s dive into the details:
It’s easy to tell people not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we very often base our reading choices on aesthetics. The same goes for campaigns!
Grab a contributor's attention with a stunning action shot or an inspiring team picture.
Your picture should be:
After being drawn in by your awesome cover photo, a contributor will then read your title and decide whether they want to read on. First impressions count, so make sure your title is interesting and accurately reflects your goal. People want to make a difference in your life now, so make sure your goal is relevant and realistic to your current situation.
When writing your title, remember the three Cs – Clear, Concise, Catchy.
Clear: What is the event, competition or ultimate goal of your campaign? Avoid being vague or talking about a goal that is too far away.
Concise: You want your contributors to be able to tell other people about your campaign in one sentence.
Catchy: If people are going to share your campaign, they need to remember it, so be creative (oops, that’s the 4th C!).
Present your campaign as a chance for supporters to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so avoid words like help, donate or charity, and use words like join, take part, and follow.
Here are a couple good examples:
So you’ve hooked the crowd with your cool picture and catchy title, but you need to show them who you are and what you can do. Use your video and description to clearly communicate why you’re running this campaign and what you will accomplish with their support. This is your chance to inspire supporters and get them excited about joining your journey!
Your video doesn’t have to look professional, it just needs to tell your story in an honest way, and look like you put effort in. Don’t try to sound like a commercial, just be yourself, and tell your story as it really is. This allows supporters to get to know you, trust you and identify with your story.
A video is not mandatory but, we’ve found that a good video can increase your chance of success by 200%.
In a good video, you should:
If you’re not sure how to make a video or upload it to Youtube or Vimeo, check out our step-by-step guide.
Even if your video is incredible, you have to assume that some people will still not watch it. Here you can elaborate on the points you touched on in your video, provide more details about your past, present and future experiences and why you’re running the campaign. We have couple of built in templates to make this process even more easier.
Your text should:
It’s best to write and record your video in your mother tongue.
Since Sportfunder is a global platform, which allows you to share your story with people around the world, we also suggest having an English translation of your text and English subtitles in your video. You can read more about choosing a language and adding subtitles to your video, in this blog post.
Did you know that the length of your campaign could greatly affect your chances of success? The Sportfunder team has found that the most effective campaigns run for 30 days.
Momentum: your campaign should be long enough to generate buzz, but not long enough that people forget about it.
Engagement: the longer your campaign, the harder it is to keep people interested.
Urgency: knowing that your campaign is ending soon creates a sense of urgency for the contributor – they are more likely to contribute immediately, before it’s too late.
Focus: running a campaign takes a lot of time and energy, so the longer you spend campaigning, the more time you’re taking away from your training and the less focused you are on your sport.
Now that you know what the ideal length is, you need to think about when to start and end your campaign. There are a few items to take into consideration for this decision:
The first thing you should know is that you get to keep the money that you raise during your campaign, whether or not you hit your goal. Now, you may be thinking about setting a really high goal because you have “nothing to lose,” but this could actually do you more harm than good.
Benefits of having a realistic goal:
1) Estimate a budget: make a list of every possible expense relating to your sport and your campaign – from training and travel, to packing and shipping rewards. Add them all up. You now have a rough budget and a very good starting point for your funding goal.
2) Think about your reach: Sportfunder is a great place to share your campaign with a global audience. That being said, most of your contributions will come from your friends, family and community, so your goal should be based on your network size. Your should be able to raise 30% of your goal in the first week, just from your close friends and family, so you need to know how much support you can really expect from them.
3) Give yourself a buffer: When your campaign is over, the money you raise will be subject to Sportfunder administrative fees (5% for a standard campaign or 10% if using our 'teams' fundraising features) and PayPal/Credit Card processing fees (up to 3%), so we suggest setting your campaign goal a bit higher in order to account for these. And, if you are putting up rewards, don't forget to factor the cost of these into the goal you set as well.
Here’s an example of how to make that calculation:
The above calculation works like this; if you raise 10% more than you actually need, then once you've subtracted platform and processing fees of 8% from the total amount raised, you will still end up with more than you need. Rule of thumb, multiply the minimum you need by 1.1 for a standard campaign or 1.15 for a team campaign and you you will be fine :) If you then think that your goal seems unachievable or so high that it may scare people away, then we suggest breaking it into multiple consecutive campaigns. Between campaigns, you can, and should, update your athlete or team page to keep your fans engaged, informed, and ready to contribute to your next campaign.
Rewards are offered to contributors in exchange for their support. Rewards are not obligatory, but your chances of reaching your goal (especially big amounts) will increase with having them.
Campaigns that offer rewards tend to be more successful than those that do not. Rewards offer a way for the athletes to form long-lasting relationships with their fans, they make the contributor feel valued for their support, and they help you spread the word about the campaign (if they’re interesting).
The more creative you are with your rewards, the more buzz you’ll be able to generate around them. We provide some templates, but we suggest tweaking them a bit to make them your own, and adding a description of what that money could help you buy: equipment, travel, coaching fees, lodging, etc.
Here are a few types of rewards you can offer:
Would you pay $300 for someone to say thank you on Facebook? I didn’t think so. Try to price your rewards fairly and strategically, and offer many price ranges. Remember that typically people contribute $25 to $50, so offer incremental rewards of $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, $300 etc. (or equivalent in other currencies) to encourage people to contribute a bit more than $10.
Companies are looking for visibility to promote their products and services. Crowdfunding campaigns, teams and athletes can be very popular, especially on social media. Your campaign can be a great way to showcase existing sponsors, and also attract new ones. Discuss with your favourite gear provider, gym, travel agent or local business!
If you already have a sponsor, you can add their logo, link to their website, and description to your campaign page to give you more credibility.
If you acquire a sponsor during your campaign, go ahead and add their logo! The more, the merrier! In one of your rewards, you can even mention that you will showcase their logo on your campaign page.
Your sponsor’s logo can also appear on your athlete or team's profile. You can delete and add more sponsors at any point.
If you fill out the "payment information" section of your campaign creation and funds will be sent to you via our payments processor partner, Stripe.
Alternatively, in order to receive the funds you raise, you’ll need to set up a PayPal account which you can link to your bank account. Don’t worry, PayPal is free and provides secure online transactions!
If you already have a PayPal account, then you simply need to provide us with the associated email address when you fill out the campaign form. If you don’t have one, click here to create one.
Once you create your account, Paypal will invite you to connect to your bank account. Follow their simple steps to prevent a delay in receiving payments.
Our policy is to send you the funds within 10 business days of your campaign ending, so make sure to take this into account when you decide on the end-date of your campaign!
If you’re a coach or a team manager, you still connect your PayPal account and we will send you all the funds at the end of the campaign. But, it will be up to you to distribute the funds to your athletes, we can provide you with a list of the breakdown if you need it.
Most successful campaigners raise 30% of their funds in the first few days, from their close friends and family. These immediate contributions are essential because they give your campaign credibility, and make people feel comfortable contributing. Early momentum can also be leveraged for marketing and press, which in turn will bring in more contributions.
To create this early momentum:
Early momentum is key, but keeping that momentum up throughout your campaign is just as important. Before launching, take some time to think of a strategy to keep people engaged.
Start by collecting pictures and videos of you training, competing, or receiving awards. Once you have a collection of media, you can then decide when you would like to share them and how.
In order to have the option to invite your team members and manage their campaigns, you first need to identify yourself as the Team Manager in the “I am A” section.
In the “Team” tab, you can then invite your team members to join your campaign. There are several ways to create a team campaign which vary in terms of how much time and energy they require from you. Below we list them from the most involvement, to the least:
In all three of these cases, you will have to provide us with the funding goal per person, which will appear on their profile when they or you create it. You will have the ability to edit or delete any of these profiles at any point.
Once your campaign is running, check on your page frequently to see how your athletes or members are doing. If you need to contact any or all of them regarding their campaigns, you can use our mail feature to send them a quick message.
When your campaign goes live, send the link to everyone in your first circle (close friends and family) and ask them to be the first to contribute and share your campaign. This will help you generate momentum.
Follow-up with personal emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, or better yet, do it face-to-face! This increases the chance that they will contribute and makes them feel valued and appreciated!
Remember to write a short description of your goal and your rewards, and include a link to your campaign in your online messages. This will be helpful when they want to share the information with their friends.
Once you’ve shared your campaign with your first circle, it’s time to share it far and wide! Lucky for you, Sportfunder provides you with loads of tools to help you do just that!
Emails are the best way to reach your supporters, and the Sportfunder email tool makes this really easy. We’ve broken down the emailing section into three separate parts :
Learn more on how you can leverage your circle by reading this blog.First Circle - Personal Emails
Go to your inbox, whichever it may be – Gmail, Outlook, etc – and see if you have a relative or close family member that you have interacted with via email. Write them a personal email with your campaign link and a small description – ask them to help you reach your goal by contributing and sharing it with as many people as they know.
If done properly this will dramatically increase the chances of success for your campaign. This is because your relatives are your biggest fans and with this email, not only are they able to be your first contributors but they can also forward this email to other relatives and help you get more contributions.
Your older family relatives such as grandparents, great uncles and aunts are much more likely to be using email as a communication tool. Sending your campaign link to their inbox allows them to reach into their “deep” network of connections to get you more support. For example, a grandparent or parent will be able to forward your email colleagues or friends.Second Circle – Use our “Email Marketing” Tools
Your second circle of supporters is made up of acquaintances, friends and friends of friends. This circle of supporters needs a bit more persuasion. However just in sheer size, this circle includes A LOT more people than your first circle. However, the amount per contribution is smaller, but this may not always be the case. This is important to consider because if you do this properly you might be able to rack up a lot more smaller contributions.
This circle of supporters still want to be a part of your success. However in order to contribute they need to know a little bit more about you and what it is that you do. As a result, you should use pictures, images, videos and any other mediums to tell your story – entice them into joining you!
To help you with this process, we’ve added an easy to use updates system that allows you to update your supporters. What this means is on Step 4 (Promote) of your campaign creation you are able to add potential supporters and on step 5 you are able to craft an update with text, pictures and videos that will be sent to the supporters you’ve added and published on the selected social networks.Business / Press - Templated Emails
Reaching out to the media is a really great way to spread the word about your campaign, it gives you credibility, boosts your momentum, and it’s good for your image. We suggest contacting your local newspapers, freelance journalists ,magazines and TV stations about your story and your campaign. They’re often happy to do a short piece on an aspiring athlete in the community.
We provide tips about how to contact the media in our campaign creation process, as well as templates and a tool to track who you’ve contacted and whether or not they responded.
Tips for finding journalists:
Tips for contacting journalists:
If you have a great story and do not know how to find journalists, contact us! We will help you get press and blog coverage.
Promoting your campaign on your social media channels is one of the BEST way to reach your extended network. When you go live, use the update box to announce your campaign on Facebook and Twitter and send a message to your list of supporters (Step 4 of your campaign creation). Throughout your campaign you can either use the built in update box or social media by themselves.
Tips on Social Media:
You can also use our share buttons to post a link to your campaign on all of your social networks. You can keep track of how much your campaign is being shared throughout your campaign too.
Though not everyone has the money to contribute, they all have the ability to share your campaign. Reach out to some of your friends with the most followers on Facebook or Twitter, and ask them to post about your campaign (and of course include the link). You can try creating a unique hashtag that your friends can use when they post about you as well!
You might be posting updates on your Facebook wall every day, but that doesn’t mean people are seeing them! SportFunder has found that the best way to make sure people know about your campaign and see your updates is to create a Facebook event and invite all your Facebook friends. Be sure to include a link to your Sportfunder campaign, as well as a description of your rewards and your goal.
Not only will they receive all your updates, but it also provides them with a way to give you feedback and encouragement. Don’t forget to add a link to this Facebook event on your campaign!
Your local, provincial, and national sporting bodies are the perfect mediums to amplify your fundraising efforts. Write them a quick email to let them know about your campaign. Remember you have an amazing story, people want to hear about it. Also ask them to use their resources such as social media, their website, and newsletters to help you spread your campaign. Remember to always be polite and respectful.
While sharing online is a great way to build awareness about your campaign, face-to-face communication is still one of the best ways to get more funding. When you take the time to explain your campaign to someone in person, they feel more connected to you and your goals, and are more likely to contribute. This doesn’t have to be complicated, it can actually be fun!
Here are some ways to spread the word:
1. Plan a dinner or get together
We’re not talking about a big fancy party, but inviting some friends and family over for dinner when you launch your campaign can go a long way. Take some time to introduce them to the platform and show them your video you worked so hard on!
2. Tell your school, coach, club, gym and team
These are people you see all the time, and they see how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come; these are the people who want you to succeed. They would be happy to spread the word and contribute.
Ask your club or gym to mention you in an email to all club members and other members in person. If you’re a coach, tell the athletes you train; they love being a part of your journey and feeling like they made a difference. You can also print out posters that you can leave at your training facility or club.
3. Engage your parents
Your parents can be one of the biggest resources in your campaign. They’re your number one fans, and what parent doesn’t love talking about their child to their friends. What’s more, is that your parents’ friends actually have the means to contribute financially (unlike some of your Facebook friends). You can print out posters or flyers that they can hand out, or send them an email with the link to your campaign that they can forward to their friends, colleagues and extended family.
4. Deliver rewards personally
Instead of sending rewards, try delivering them in person during your campaign. This makes the contributor feel appreciated, forms a bond between you and your supporter, and makes them a more loyal fan. Do you know what loyal fans do? They spread the word! Be sure to take a picture of you and your supporter with the reward and post it on your campaign as an update.
Updates are an important way to drive new people to visit your campaign and keep supporters informed about your progress. An email can be sent to all your supporters on the list, this multiplies your outreach to your acquaintances. Also you can post a message on your Facebook page and both personal and public to further increase your outreach.
Tips and Tricks:
You took the time to come up with creative rewards, now use them to encourage people to visit your campaign by talking about them on your social media pages.
If possible, start sending out rewards before the end of your campaign. Contributors are likely to share their rewards and experience with their friends, which will be great publicity for your campaign. You can ask your contributors to send you pictures of themselves with the reward so you can post it on your campaign as an update!
You can also add rewards at any point in your campaign to generate more buzz. Go into the “Contributors” tab during your campaign to see which rewards are most popular and try to create improved versions of those rewards.
When you get a contribution, you will get an email notification with the name of the person that contributed. If you’re not already friends with them on Facebook or Twitter, go find them and add them. Next, write a public thank you message to them by tagging them in by name (don’t forget to include a link to your campaign).
Not only is this a great way to give your contributor the recognition they deserve, but it also helps increase awareness about your campaign. Your message will appear on their wall so their friends will see your campaign, which may lead to a ripple effect of contributions - Read more.
Having a Sportfunder campaign can actually make it easier for you to find a corporate sponsor. If you’ve been sharing your story and contacting the press, then you’ve probably created a buzz around yourself and your campaign and have generated a lot of visitors to your page. This is the type of visibility a sponsor looks for, but you need to show them why it’s worth it for them.
In your rewards, offer different options that companies of various sizes would be interested in. Here are some examples:
Next you need to bring these rewards to their attention. Write an email or go to a company in person and explain your athletic goals, why you’re the right person to sponsor, what benefits they would get and so on. For a guideline on what to write in an email or letter to a company, click here.
Note: You can add as many logos as you want on your campaign page and athlete profile.
Once your campaign is over, you need to thank your contributors and send them the rewards they requested. It’s best to send them in the first 2 weeks after your campaign ends in order to maintain a relationship with your fans and keep their trust.
In the “Contributor” tab, you will see a list of all the contributors and what rewards they requested. In this table, you can keep track of which ones you’ve sent and you can contact your supporters if you require more information (size, address, etc.)
For team campaigns only: If you’re a team manager, in the “contributions” tab you will be able to keep track of the rewards each athlete must fulfil.
We will send your funds to your bank account or PayPal account approx.10 days after your campaign ends. You can then connect your bank account to your PayPal account and transfer the money between accounts.
For more details about connecting your bank account, watch this.
If you’re a coach or team manager, we will send you all the funds at the end of the campaign. It will be up to you to distribute the funds to your athletes, but we can provide you with a list of the breakdown as needed.
Just because your campaign is over does not mean that you have to disappear until your next campaign. We have created new athlete profiles that serve as your own personal website. It’s free to use and will never be taken down (unless you ask us to).
With our new athlete profile pages, you can:
Having a successful campaign will not solve all your funding needs. We know that you will need more the following season or year, and we encourage you to launch another campaign, but we suggest taking a 6-9 month break between campaigns (unless your goal is really low). People need to feel like you’re contributing to your own goals and not just living off what they give you.
You can also send private messages to followers to see if they are willing to contribute to a new campaign. If it you receive positive responses, then it may be a good time to launch a new campaign!