Whether it is your first fundraiser, or you are looking to better the results of your last one, this guide is here to help you, entrepreneurs. Raising more funds is crucial to getting your startup to the next phase to help your dreams become a reality.
Improve Your Storytelling Skills
That doesn’t mean making things up but instead telling the story of your brand. Creating interest in your product or service will be key to obtaining the most funding possible.
Practice being able to speak compellingly about how you came up with the business idea and about where you see your journey going in the short- and long-term. These words are likely ones you will say more than once, including at your next fundraiser to gain more supporters.
Explain what opportunities come with investing in your brand to those who might not be familiar with of your product or service. Try your pitch in front of friends and family to get their feedback on how to improve it before the big event.
Finally, remember that you should aim to have a conversation rather than a one-sided conversation when you tell your brand story to donors and investors. Only then will they feel included and want to help you.
Decide Who You Want to Be There
While you might say right away, “I want everyone there,” when you think more about it, that’s not the best strategy. If there are a lot of people there, you would have to pay for the marketing for them, rent a large venue, and provide refreshments for the group.
Instead of thinking that bigger is better, instead home in on who you want to attract to your event and what atmosphere to convey to them. Having a comfy feel to the event, without it seeming too big, is likely the best way to go.
Otherwise, you risk there being too many people for the venue. That gets uncomfortable, not to mention being unsafe.
What Can You Offer Donors?
Be ready to tell those who you want to attract to your startup about how they can benefit from helping fund it, whether they are offering a one-time donation or want to invest in it regularly. For example, engraved .
Using bricks as a fundraising idea does not require high upfront costs. Consider offering donors the opportunity to have their name and a custom message in an existing brick structure of a building or a walkway.
Set Goals Beforehand
Rather than going into the event thinking that you simply want to get as much fundraising support as possible, put details to your entrepreneurial goals for the event. Doing so will allow you to stay focused and be able to measure results, unlike if you have an abstract goal without specific parameters.
A few examples of goals to set are:
- How much money to raise
- When you will need the funds by
- Are online donations another option to in-person
- When the project starts and ends
With that said, it is also important to be flexible. While you might set a deadline when you need the funds by, recognize that investors might need more time to decide whether to partner with you, especially if it is a large sum. If it is someone you want to work with and has a high likelihood of , it is probably worth accommodating their time request.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the ‘Shiny’ Stuff
Many entrepreneurs love new initiatives and jump at the chance to try a new way to showcase their startup. While this might be tempting to you, try not to get caught up in the shiny objects around you or, in other words, moving from one idea to another.
Trying a lot of different fundraising ideas rather than sticking with one theme and setting goals for that one plan will ultimately be your downfall. Rather than doing a range of different fundraising activities, stick to one idea and see it through for actual results.
While it might be tempting to go after trends, they can wind up only distracting you and wasting your time. As an entrepreneur, you likely already know that time is money, so you can’t afford that shiny distraction.
Understand What the Investor Wants
When you’re looking to get investors in your startup, it is important not only to be able to be a good storyteller, as discussed earlier but also to know , exactly. What are their worries, and what do they want?
Take the time to research who is a potential investor in your startup. Then you can customize your pitch to fit with their vision for their overall investment strategy.
Grow Your Network
If you haven’t started doing so already, now is the time to build your connections so that you can reach out to more people about your fundraiser when it’s time to have one. The internet has provided great ways to virtually meet people and get introductions to others through those you know already, whether on , email, or crowdfunding sites.
A bonus opportunity that may come from these networking efforts is that you may gain a mentor. This person can help you through the fundraising process, based on their experiences, and avoid common pitfalls. If they are in the same industry as you, then they make a positive difference to your future.
Concluding Thoughts on Fundraising as an Entrepreneur
As a startup founder, you want to grow what you have begun and truly see a return on your hard work. Fundraisers are a great way to do that, whether it is a one-time event or a series of activities with a common goal to gain donations and investors’ attention.
The tips above can help you get more out of your next fundraiser. By gaining more funding, you can put your plan for growth into motion earlier than you might be able to do otherwise. Above all, be confident in the approach you take to present your brand in the best light possible.