7 Steps to Success
Step 1: Be Realistic With Your Goal

New to our platform or online fundraising? Be conservative when setting your goal. We recommend setting goals at 75% of what you need to raise. You can always raise more than your goal; there is no limit!

When creating your cause, be realistic with your goal. If you are new to our platform or online fundraising in general, then be conservative with your goal – maybe set your goal at 75% of what you actually need to raise.

Our fee structure includes a 3% increase for causes that do not meet their goal to incentivize cause owners to create realistic and achievable goals.

When thinking about your cause length, keep in mind the size of your goal. Our research has shown that causes lasting between 30-40 days have the highest rate of success. This allows the cause to be long enough to spread the word but short enough to create a sense of urgency. Larger dollar amount goals should have a longer deadline (we allow between 5-90 days).

Step 2: Be Creative

With PledgeCents, you have the flexibility to raise funds for any school or classroom need. So let your imagination run wild. Raise funds for a school-wide compost system, or software for creative writing through Skype, or even a chance to attend a conference for professional development.

To get things started, you need an attractive title to entice investors to support you! Be creative in the approach you take to naming and describing your cause (click here for a good example). Create a title that will attract even a stranger.

And don't forget to be creative when uploading pictures/videos. Images of the students, classroom, and/or product(s) will allow investors to have another layer of connectivity to your cause. Don't let your page just be black and white. Bring some color to provide transparency and a sense of excitement for your cause.

Step 3: Be Detailed & Transparent

The more a potential investor knows about your cause, the more likely they will be to contribute or help you spread the word. Include a detailed explanation of why you are raising money and the impact it will have on your students. Let investors see how the funds will be utilized and allocated.

When explaining your cause, include plenty of details. This is one of those times when using fewer words is not necessarily better. You need to explain your cause completely—the reason you are raising money, and the impact it will have on your students. It's always recommended that you include links to allow potential investors to learn more about the opportunity you are raising funds for.

Explain what the cost per unit is because this will help people decide to give more than they want. For example, if it costs $40/book, then an investor may be more prone to contributing $40 than $10 because the investor knows that his/her $40 just bought you a new book!

Step 4: Include Photos and a Video

Creating a video will help investors connect with your cause on an emotional level and allow you to convey the importance of reaching your goal. It's a great thing when people can actually hear the voices of the people they will be impacting.

When creating your cause, you are able to post up to 3 pictures and a video (via YouTube/Vimeo link). We recommend that every cause have a 1:30-2:30 minute video and up to 3 pictures. Causes with videos see 20-25% increase in dollars raised.

If you don't want to create a video (or upload one), then make sure to insert pictures that are relating to your cause. The images should be of your students, classroom, and/or the needs you are looking to raise funds for.

Email us at info@pledgecents.com if you would like us to create a video for you for FREE!

Step 5: Involve Your Students

Your students can be your best fundraising resource. Get them excited about helping with your cause, and teach them about planning and implementing a fundraising effort.

Crowdfunding resources for your classroom provides educational opportunities for your students. Some ideas include using your cause to teach your students about social media, marketing, finance, budgeting, teamwork etc., or creating a class assignment during which the group that helps raise the most funds for our cause will receive a pizza party or another small incentive.

Who knows, your students may even have ideas of more classroom causes you could create!

Trust us, your students will be more engaged with your crowdfunding cause than going door-to-door selling chocolate bars.

Step 6: Spread The Word

Do not create your cause and expect it to fund itself. The more ways you market it and get the word out, the more likely you will be to reach your goal! You will need to use unique ways to market your cause. Keep thinking of new, innovative, funny ways to spread the word.

Just posting the cause on your Facebook page once a week will probably not be enough. Remember that Facebook and Twitter are your friends. Utilize the social media platforms and have your network share your cause for you. This way, your cause will begin "trending".

If you aren't a social media person, then utilize the other features that are directly on your cause page. Post your cause on blogs by using the "Embed Widget". Save time and use our "Email Button" to have pre-populated content show up. All you need to do is insert the email address.

If you think the cause is worth funding, then show this by continuously working to promote it!

We are happy to share strategies and help you brainstorm how else you can be creative outside of social media. Just ask!

Step 7: Keep Your Investors Informed

People contribute to your cause because they believe in you and your students. Your investors want to know where their contributions are going and how they are being utilized.

During and after fundraising for your cause, make sure you are updating your investors by posting in the “Update” section on your cause page. All investors will receive an email when you post an update in the “Update” section. This will help you save a lot of time!

Updates should include content and/or pictures. By continuously updating your investors with messages and pictures, you will build a strong relationship with them that might allow you to retain them as repeat investors for future causes.

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