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CrowdFunding is it more than Potato Salad?

In Sept 2014 . Columbus, Ohio native Zach "Danger" Brown started a campaign to raise $10 on Kickstarter to make a potato salad. Instead he ended up raising $55,000!

And why not? It seems there are crowdfunding campaigns popping up left and right for all different reasons and if you take just a few seconds to look through some of the popular sites you will see campaigns that want to raise money for anything from heart wrenching tragedies to crazy 'potato salad' like campaigns.

So in 2013, when the idea for a Christian crowdfunding site came up, we asked ourselves "is there a need for another crowdfunding site?" As we discussed business plans and what our goals and direction would be, it became very clear we did not want to make just another crowdfunding site.

As Christians, we realize that no amount of money would give the world what it really needs - HOPE. You could get all the crowds, in all the world , raising all the money that they can, and not really make a difference in anyone's life for the eternal, and that was a problem.

We wanted a site that crowds of Christians could could come together and support other Christians in their endeavors. We believe that when we live the life God wants us to - we will be living to share the hope we have found.

We also realize that sometimes in order for people to see the hope of Jesus, we need to meet their physical needs first.

That's where the funding comes in. GiveSendGo is meant to give Christians the opportunity to be supported by the body of Christ. A place for the body of Christ to get out from their comfortable pews and support people in God's family that they might not have ever known about. Why wait 'til heaven to rub shoulders, worship and encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ. We have the opportunity now.

So it is our hope as you have read this, that you understand what we believe God wants GiveSendGo.com to be. A place for Christians. A place to fund hope. A place to pray and connect with the body of Christ around the world. A place not only to raise money but a place for givers , senders and goers to work together to be the light of the world.

Please join with us praying for campaigns diligently, giving to campaigns as God leads, and sharing campaigns to spread the word.

As the #1 free Christian crowdfunding site, it is vital that you know how we are different from other crowdfunding platforms.

We are FREE. We charge no money to use our platform. We believe you should be able to keep all the money you raise. GSG is powered by voluntary donations from Givers and Goers. Other crowdfunding sites take between 5%-10% of the money raised by a campaign.
Each month, we give 10% of the donations given to GSG back to active campaigns on our site. We’re the only crowdfunding site that believes so much in what you’re doing that we put our money where our mouth is. We love being Givers!
The most valuable currency is God’s love. Only God can meet the deepest needs of each heart. That’s why we’re grateful to have individuals and organizations dedicated to praying over our campaigns. We pray for eternal results because those are ultimately the only outcomes that matter. The God we serve will ALWAYS be bigger than money.
On GSG, Christians can choose to raise funds for short or long-term campaigns. GiveSendGo allows Goers to set up their campaign to receive monthly recurring donations from their Givers. Traveling across the country and world to share God’s love just got easier.
Outside the obvious funding for mission trips, GSG also can be used to raise funds for medical expenses, business ventures, personal needs, churches, nonprofits, ministries or any “God Adventure” you embark on. Whether you’re a Giver, Sender or Goer, you can be used by God to be a difference maker!

5 Best Tips to Help Make Your Campaign a Success!

Pray for your Mission:  Ask others to as well. God planted a seed in you to see a change take place. Ask Him to bless it. Money is no issue for God. Don’t make your campaign simply about how much money you can raise. Use your campaign to deepen your trust in God’s provision and to invite others into the life-changing work He’s doing! 

Share a Story, Not a Campaign: The more people connect to your story, the more likely they’ll give. Don’t just give the who, what and where. Make sure you invite people into the WHY. What difference can they make if they donate to your campaign? People are looking for a way to change the world. Invite them to be a part of something big. Write your story to engage those who don’t already know you. Use pictures and details that will compel others to want to be a part of your mission. 

Who is Your Crowd? Most of your crowd will be family and friends, co-workers, etc. Before you even launch your campaign, make a list of potential Givers. Include their email, Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers and any other contact points. Then when you go live, use this list often to share what’s happening with your campaign. Use all different forms of contact and reach out to people individually. Personally Invite 10-20 First-Day Givers. Crowds are more likely to follow what they see other people doing. If they see that you have early, excited Givers, they will be more likely to give to you too. 

Keep Your Target Goal Attainable: Yes, it’s easy to set a high goal. In reality, your Givers will be less likely to donate to a mission that is not likely to hit your goal. Here's the reality: On average, only 10-30% of your crowd will actually contribute to your project. They’ll give an average of $50. And you will need to contact them directly multiple times just to see that 10-30%. If you send out ONLY Facebook blasts, that number shrinks to between 1-5%. So, set your funding target based on how much you can realistically raise rather than simply choosing the amount you desire.

Share, Share, Share! Believe it or not, most people aren’t refusing to give because they don’t believe in you. Many people procrastinate. That's why we encourage you to share seven or more "asks". People want to help but they just need to be reminded. 
It’s important to promote your project as soon as it’s enabled. Then keep it up. Send encouraging messages to your crowd every few days and you will see results. Use email and direct Facebook messages to ask for donations. Use the Update tab to inform your followers on where you’re at and what’s happening with your mission. Ask them to continue spreading the word. 
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CrowdFunding.... The Proverbial Money Tree? 

Many people think "easy money" when they think of crowdfunding. That if they just start a campaign, money will automatically start flowing in, especially if it's for a good cause or for something they’re passionate about. 

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Yes, there are campaigns that raise thousands of dollars in a matter of hours. Is that typical? No, it’s not. Those are just 1% of the campaigns we hear about. 

Does that make crowdfunding a waste of time? No, and we want to give you some tips to increase the success of your campaigns. 

We at GiveSendGo.com have broken things down into 4 P's: Pray, Plan, Partner and Persevere. 

Pray: As you begin to decide the what, when, where and how much of your campaign, it can be very exciting. It’s easy to plow forward with the excitement of the adventure. 
Make sure you take time to talk to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom, guidance and blessing. He wants to be your Friend and your Partner. Spend time with Him. God will be the best supporter you could have. Ask others to lift up your campaign in prayer as well. 

Plan: Before you even raise your first dollar, a successful campaign takes planning. If you decide within an hour to make a campaign, write a quick story, upload a picture and launch, you will probably not accomplish the results you were hoping for. 
So, as you sit down to PLAN your campaign, ask yourself these questions:

What am I inviting people to invest in?
Why would they want to? 
What results do I hope to see if I raise this money?
If the media was to write a story on me, what headline would capture peoples’ attention?

Then start writing your story. Start with your campaign title. Make it compelling. What will draw people in to hear your story? Then, as you begin to write your story, don’t just give the who, what, when, and where. Make sure you give the why. 

Let people know how their money is going to make a difference. Let them know the impact that they’ll have on someone or something in this world. The more specific you can be about what the funds will be used for, the better. 

Then, ask someone to proofread. Feedback is always important.   

Next, find an image or video. This is important. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. You want to be able to convey your story through your image/video. So, pick carefully and do not enable your campaign until you find the image that works best. 

And lastly, decide on a reasonable amount of funds needed to raise in a realistic timeframe. Yes, you might want to raise $100k but that will look like a daunting task to your givers. Pick a goal that you think is within reason for the people you KNOW will give to your campaign (friends, family, etc). 

People want to give to something they feel will get accomplished. Giving $10 to your $100,000 campaign doesn’t seem worth it. You can always change your goal, if needed, during your campaign. 

Partner: Crowdfunding will not work without partners. You need to have friends, family and more who want to partner with you in your endeavor. Before you even launch your campaign, make a list of PARTNERS. Include their email, Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers and any other contact points. Then, when you go live, use this list often to share what’s happening with your campaign. Use all different forms of contact and reach out to people individually. 
As shared earlier, don’t forget to personally invite 10-20 First-Day Givers. Crowds are more likely to follow what they see other people doing. If they notice that you have early, excited Givers, they’ll be more likely to give to you too. 

Don’t stop with only the people you know. Be creative. Use the internet to reach out to others that might be interested in what you’re doing. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to find groups, pages and more, of people that are passionate about what you’re doing. Invite them to partner with you.  

Look for media sources that might want to share your story. From Newspapers to radio, blogs, press releases and more, there are lots of avenues to spread the news about your campaign. Do a Google search on key words in your campaign and see what comes up. 

Crowdfunding is all about finding partners that believe in what you are doing and inspiring them to take part in giving and spreading the word.

Persist: Crowdfunding is not for the weak of heart. Posting once a week on Facebook will rarely bring about the outcome you desire. It’s not necessarily because people don’t want to give. Most people are busy and constantly in a state of information overload. Consistently work at getting the attention of potential givers.

People must see your campaign an average of 8 times to decide to give, and need to see others giving to make it even more compelling. PERSEVERE. Don’t give up. Use different forms of communication to ask people to donate. 

Share with others as much as you can from your heart about what you hope to do. Continuously let people know what you’re doing and why, compelling them to join you.  

And lastly, remember you have the ultimate PROVIDER on your side.

Be diligent, follow through, pray, plan, partner and persevere. Never doubt that you’re on a mission and the God of the Universe is cheering you on. Money is no option for Him. Ask God to guide your steps and give you wisdom in your endeavor. Follow His guidance in everything you do and you are guaranteed success!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.    

Proverbs 3:5-6
GiveSendGo.com for your next crowdfunding campaign!
 

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