The space race in the sixties saw opposing camps fighting tooth and nail to get ahead of each other to go further than any man had ever gone before. Through the spirit of healthy competition, the winner was not only the first person to set foot on the moon, but the entire industry which benefited from collective learnings and a focus to do better than had ever been done before. The same can be said for crowd funding, which is now fostering healthy competition amongst industry groups to help entire sectors obtain funding previously unavailable to them.
iPledg is leading the charge with an initiative that calls for industry groups, for example the sporting community, to promote to their members to pitch for the chance to win success-fee-free campaigns, supported by regular expert advice from their own sector as well as from authorities on crowd funding. The offer is a simple yet effective one – the industry group announces to their members a competition that offers a fully supported crowd funding campaign. Hopeful applicants are asked to submit their entry by outlining their project in 100 words or less, and why they would like to use crowd funding to generate the funds they need. From all the entries, a select number receive weekly support in the setting up of their campaign, the launch, and ongoing assistance for the life of the campaign to help the project creator achieve the greatest degree of success. Additional promotion through iPledg’s extensive social media presence, newsletters, press releases, and blogging are also on offer as part of the prize, as is the benefit of being coached by experts in the field of crowd funding, combined with instruction from the industry body themselves.
Through such competition, crowd funding is taken to a whole new level. Individual project creators challenge themselves to pitch their campaign in the best way possible, leading to a better campaign. Competition between members of the community or industry group to win one of the fee-free, fully supported campaigns leads to better project descriptions, more creative rewards, and fantastic media as project creators produce entertaining and engaging short videos and photos to support their fund raising efforts. And the industry body or community themselves benefit. They have more successful members with projects that are funded without any impost on the community, they show their members a way of raising required funds through crowd funding, they have great newsworthy stories to share with their members, and they have successes off which they can breed more success.
The first group to introduce such a competition in Australia is Sports Community, whose membership is made up primarily of sporting clubs, from the very small to those at the highest levels in national competition. Sports Community have promoted the competition to their database, not only leading their community into the brave new world of crowd funding, but creating some interest and excitement within their ranks. Working closely with iPledg, Sports Community will support the campaign winners in the lead up to the start of the campaign, and throughout the life of the campaign to give the project creators the best chance possible to succeed. But the winners are not just those who win one of the 5 fee-free, supported campaigns. All members of Sports Community can follow the progress of the campaigns each week, and learn more about crowd funding to give them a host of hints and pointers on how to run their own crowd funding campaign. As such, the community as a whole benefits.
And it is not just with the Sporting Community that this form of competition can work. It is about to be tried in the IP arena, the entrepreneurial space, to assist start-ups, and with creative and artistic groups. Charities too are welcome to try, and have their members benefit from friendly competition and a chance to win a fee-free, supported package. Community groups such as Rotary and large institutions like Universities also are well suited to enjoying success through crowd funding in this way.
Fitter, faster, higher, stronger – not just an Olympic credo, but the benefits that can be offered to members of community groups and industry bodies that opt to try creative crowd funding competitions like that offered and supported by iPledg