Crowdfunding & Thundafund

Crowdfunding: The Hope A Crowd Can Bring

Crowdfunding is the new bank loan, without the pressures of repayments. Crowdfunding is an online method of fundraising that allows people all over the world to put their ideas or pitches onto a digital platform. These pitches are then available for people worldwide to see, and to decide whether or not they would like to support the campaign. There are 4 main types of crowdfunding methods available, rewards-based, donation-based (backabuddy), and equity-based (Uprise.Africa), and debt based, each with its own unique purpose.

In South Africa, crowdfunding is still a relatively new concept and with many South Africans still skeptical about making online transactions, it is very much a rising industry. Rewards-based crowdfunding has become a growing force within South Africa, with Thundafund at the forefront. Thundafund is the brainchild of entrepreneur Patrick Schofield, who founded the company in 2014.

The way that rewards-based crowdfunding differs from any other form, is that in exchange for the money raised, the project creator is expected to give something back to the backer in the form of a reward. These rewards can vary, anything from a thank you card to a tangible product will suffice. However, when selecting rewards for your Thundafund campaign, it is important that you keep both your project and your potential backer (audience) in mind.

What makes Thundafund different from other rewards-based crowdfunding platforms is that it has been designed for Africa. As a South African based company, Thundafund has a patriotic  commitment to Africa and strongly believe that by activating their own communities that they can build prosperity. Thundafund prides itself on the extensive levels of support that they offer , whether this be in the form of workshops, private marketing consultations or assisting project creators in setting up their campaign, as it is important to them that each campaign reaches some sort of victory.

Thundafund strives to show full transparency, which is why they have a tipping point system. The tipping point is the first goal that a project must reach in terms of fundraising in order to be funded. This tipping point is selected by the project creator and is the minimum amount that the project creator needs to get their project off the ground. Thereafter, there is a dream goal, which is the ideal amount that the project creator would like to raise. Should the tipping point not be reached, neither Thundafund nor the campaign creator will receive any money, and the backer is refunded.

Milestones are another key part of the Thundafund philosophy, these milestones are there to clearly outline how the money raised through the campaign will be spent. This adds to the transparency aspect, which is important to the brand as it links so closely to the trust of their backers. As crowdfunding is a new idea in South Africa, trust is key in building an innovative future.

Over the years, Thundafund has had many success stories in both the entrepreneurial space and various other sectors. The Honest Chocolate Cafe started a crowdfunding campaign in 2014, and through their efforts raised R66 000.00 to help them start their cafe. Another thriving business that made its debut through crowdfunding, Proof Wine Bar in Somerset West, raised over R200 000.00 to start their venture. Thundafund has an ever growing captive audience that reaches people on an international scale and with start up capital becoming harder to obtain every year, crowdfunding is the light to guide entrepreneurs into the future.

The Mutts Coffee Table Book Success Story

18892901_10154347810330683_4807606235245146073_n

I decided to crowd fund in order to produce Mutts the Book, a collection of mixed breed rescue dog portraits and their inspirational stories, after several unsuccessful attempts to attract a book publisher.  I was told that the project was too niche and not commercially viable for them to take a chance on, so either sponsorship or crowd funding were the options to bring the project to life.  Corporate sponsorship was a dead end, so I crowd funded.  I chose Thundafund because it’s a South African platform with proven successful campaigns.  I almost didn’t launch the campaign in fear of it not working (if only I knew) but I planned as best as I could so that as soon as it launched it got traction with an online audience.  I decided to make the book a charity project with sales proceeds being donated to Sandton SPCA and CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare), I figured that the giving back aspect of the project would encourage people to invest. My minimum target goal was R125,000 and the dream goal was R155,000, in fact the project ended with just over R166,000 raised!  I have spent the money on the design, layout and printing of 1000 books with cash to spare for a launch event which will be in Joburg on 19th November.  We’re on track to donate R150,000 to the two charities once all the books are sold.

19983524_10154462397245683_4785334153907475308_o

I terms of advice, planning is key.  I had geared my online community up to expect the campaign and started to generate interest with the Mutts topic by sharing photos and blogs about the book’s backstory etc several weeks before the launch.  I posted on social media twice a day, every day with photos, blogs, links and encouragement to donate.  I chose a 45 day campaign and I didn’t stop until it finished.  I incentivised people to give by offering additional rewards for taking the campaign over the R100,000 mark and the R125,000 mark which helped to generate interest.  I made sure I gave shout outs when they were due and I sent out weekly newsletters to my database with campaign updates and enthusiastic encouragement to donate.  Whilst we had rewards available, the majority of my money came from ad hoc donations, so I guess people felt like they were part of a community by giving.  It was really hard work to keep up the momentum, but I think the Mutts campaign was successful because I didn’t stop promoting and sharing until we got to the dream goal.  Persistence and perseverance are key.

By Emma O’Brien

 

Thundafund Throwback Success Story – A to Z AmaZing South African Women.

Here is the first of many Thundafund.com Throwback success stories for A to Z AmaZing South African Women – Modjaji Books crowdfunded to generate capital to publish A to Z of Amazing South African Women in 2017.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

“Our Thundafund.com campaign for the A to Z of Amazing South African women has been a huge success. We raised the tipping point money in a few days and broke through our dream goal a few days before the end. We were fortunate in that our team brought different skills and we were all equally committed to making the campaign work.

The video that we put together was simple and direct and strong, and addressed the reasons that we saw for encouraging people to join the campaign. We were lucky we had the skills in our team to make the video.

unnamed

Raising funds to publish the book has helped us not only with funds for the book, but created a community of people who care about the book. Lots of people shared pictures on social media of their rewards when they got them, and we were able to re-share these. The Thundafund.comcampaign has been a continued marketing resource even weeks after our campaign closed.

The book itself was suited to a crowdfunding campaign as it features and celebrates a wide range of women. The book is beautiful, the images are gorgeous and in it we recognise women who have been ground breaking, bad-ass and have made waves in their field of endeavour. A book such as this is necessary in a country where we have high rates of rape and domestic violence. The book offers a counter-narrative to the one of being a victim and encourages women and girls to view themselves as having agency.

unnamed-4

I think we got our rewards right, there were possibilities for support along a scale from very small – postcards (R100), a book (R250), buying one for yourself and one for someone else less fortunate (R500), as well as some bigger rewards. We had over 150 backers and we were fortunate that the campaign was widely shared. I think that people felt it was something that they could get behind, we offered them something that they wanted (the book) and we offered them an opportunity to be generous – buying a book for someone else. We received media attention for the campaign from the social media shares. And Exclusive Books promoted the book for Women’s Day, it is a best seller at the Book Lounge in Cape Town, and we heard this week that Exclusive Books has selected it for their Christmas List promotion. All in all we are grateful to Thundafund, to our supporters and readers. We are delighted to have been able to bring this book into the world.” (Colleen Higgs. 2017)

https://www.thundafund.com/project/amazingsawomen

How To Create A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

A successful crowdfunding campaign can help you bring in money to achieve your business goals.

You have a brilliant idea you feel will change the world, or at least change the way people experience it. The only problem is no one else feels the same about it and the banks aren’t willing to put the money up so you can take your dream forward.

The solution can be as easy as asking strangers for money – South Africans are increasingly turning to crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending methods to raise capital for their business ventures.

“The vast majority of the South African market activity – $13,8m – came from peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, with the remaining $1.2 million spread across microfinance, donation-based and reward-based crowdfunding,” according to a report published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Funding.

The report also noted that compared to other African countries, South Africans have the most platforms on which people can solicit money for their ventures.

In order to reap the benefits of crowdfunding, it’s important to launch a great campaign. Patrick Schofield, CEO and founder of Thundafund, a crowdfunding platform that has helped several companies start or expand, says there are several things you can do to increase the chances of success for your business.

Start planning ahead of time

“Spend as much time on pre-campaigning planning as you would on your actual campaign. If you’re thinking of [running a campaign] for up to 45 days spend, 45 five days getting your ducks in a row,” he says.

This means you need to make sure you have all the necessary campaign material, such as a promo video, and distilling your message into something that’s punchy and relatable.

Ensure that you have a social media following

“Crowdfunding is social financing, so if you don’t have a strong social following, it’s going to be very difficult to crowdfund,” Schofield explains.

If you don’t like social media or don’t have enough followers, linking up with someone with a strong following will help you get your message across.

Build a team

If you have a great idea, you might be tempted to do everything on your own. But a team will make your campaign more effective

“Identify a couple of friends who will be keen to promote your campaign. Select three people who really believe in your campaign and who will spend time getting your message out there,” he advises.

The secret is to keep the team tight so it does not get out of hand, Schofield says.

Leverage your networks.

Leveraging the skills of different people within your circle can help you improve your campaign’s success.

“Let’s say you want to start a new range of T-shirts – identify people within your network who are powerful within the fashion and social standing space,” he says.

Approaching journalists and key influencers will get you enough people who can make noise about what you’re doing.

Keep things personal

When your campaign goes live, Schofield says it can be tempting to rely entirely on social media. But more personal messaging can also work wonders.

He says that while you’re tweeting and putting up Facebook posts for the general crowd, you should also send out individual emails or start WhatsApp conversations with specific people. This allows you to engage with them and get them hooked on your idea.

 

http://www.destinyman.com/2017/04/19/create-successful-crowdfunding-campaign/

GRIT: A Crowdfunding Essential

It’s been a week and no one has backed my campaign, what do I do?

Giving up is not the right answer. You’ve put a lot of effort into setting up your campaign, you can’t give up yet!

This is where grit comes in. The American Psychologist, Angela Duckworth,  who is the leading authority on Grit describes the term as ‘perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

Crowdfunding success is having grit, following through with your campaign, not giving up after a bad first week.

So what can I do about my funding problems? How can I show my grit?

Well you can start by answering these questions:

  • Have you told everyone you know?
  • Have you reached out to people beyond Social Media?
  • Do you have a clear idea of who is going to back your campaign?
  • Do you have a group of people helping you spread the word
  • Have you asked people for their opinion on your campaign?

A great start to getting funding is to read our blog post on creating a Funding Strategy. Read it here.

If you feel you need to restrategise your campaign send us an email or give us call. We’re here to help you achieve the funding you need.

At the end of the day it’s important to realise that it’s up to you to get the funding you need. Having grit throughout the journey will help in achieving your funding goals

Your Thundafund Campaign is just the start of your project’s journey. Grit will play a serious role in the success or failure of your venture. To learn more about the power of Grit and how it can be learnt check out the Freakonomics podcast on Grit here. Angela Duckworth has a great TED talk, watch it here

The Importance of a Funding Strategy for your Thundafund Campaign

Why you need a funding strategy:

A funding strategy helps you identify possible backers and how to get through to them. Crowdfunding starts with your crowd, it’s these people that will comprise of your core funding. Here is the outline for constructing your own funding strategy, this is purely a template so customise it to your own situation. Crowdfunding is hard work, it requires persistence and perseverance. A funding strategy can help you stay focused and directed so you don’t end up wasting your time trying to reach the wrong people.

 

Backers Inventory: list

Here you list all of your potential backers from your third cousin Nelson to your oldest friend Justene. This helps you identify and prioritise who you need to target for your campaign. Here are some examples:

  • Immediate Family 
  • Extended Family
  • Friends
  • Fans/followers
  • Communities – Shul, Church, soccer club, etc

 

Potential Fundscash

Working out how much you will be able to raise helps prioritise how much time and effort needs to be expended on certain potential backers. It also reduces the risk of setting your tipping point too high.

  • How much can be raised from immediate family?
  • How much can be raised from extended family?
  • How much can be raised from friends?
  • How much can be raised from passionate fans?
  • How much can be generated from an event?
  • How much can be raised from your communities?

 

Channels to best reach these potential backers:communication.png

 

Phone Call:

A call provides a direct communication with the potential backer, increasing the chance of them funding you. A phone call is personal and shows initiative on your behalf. It is also important when contacting someone that doesn’t have a strong online presence such as Great Aunt who hardly uses her computer.

 

Email:

This is a great way to reach out to a large amount of your potential backers. An email allows you to communicate why their support is needed. This is a quick way of spreading the word about your campaign and is more direct than posting on your social media feeds. Make sure to always include the link to your project page to ensure it’s easy for the recipient to support you.

 

Social Media:

This is an easy way to spread awareness around your campaign to your friends and followers. It’s a powerful tool in keeping everyone updated as well as reminding them of your campaign.

 

Here’s to a successfully funded campaign,

The Thundafund Team

Utilising Facebook for your Crowdfunding Campaign: a Thundafund Case Study

Facebook is the number one social-media platform for crowdfunding.

If you do one thing, have a Facebook Page. We’ve found that an active Facebook Page is the one thing that correlates the most between campaigns that reach their goals, and ones that don’t.

Here we’ll discuss how best to use Facebook for your crowdfunding campaign. We’ll be using Ground Up as our case study. Check their awesome campaign out here.

Launch

Let everyone know you’ve launched your campaign! This first post needs to introduce your campaign, what do you need, how much do you need and how to support it?

launch-fbb

Do’s:

  • Make sure you include the link to your campaign
  • How much you need
  • Explain what you need the funding for
  • Tag us so we can share, like and comment

During

It’s important to find a balance of how frequent your posts should be regarding your campaign. Posting too often can irritate followers, however too few posts lead to low awareness.

We believe it’s best to post 3 times a week to ensure low irritation levels and high awareness. The posts are broken down as the following:

One post as a reminder about your campaignremember

One post about the progress of your campaign

progress

One post thanking backers who have pledged to your campaign

thank-you

After

Whether successful or not it’s important to acknowledge and show gratitude towards your backers. You now have the funding you need, let the world know! Post about your rewards your busy sending out and ask backers to send photos of them and their rewards. It’s always great to show your followers where the funding is going and how far along you’ve come.

Final Thoughts

  • Boosting your posts can really help reach your target market, spread awareness and gain new followers
  • Spending between R10 and R50 is a great starting point for boosting your posts
  • If you aren’t a Photoshop wizard Piktochart.com is an easy way to create beautiful graphics for your posts.
  • If you need any further assistance feel free to contact us

 

Have a fantastic day,

Thundafund Team

What on Earth is Crowdfunding?

When I tell people that I work for a crowdfunding company, I am almost always confronted with looks of confusion, which are then quickly followed by a response along the lines of, “What on earth is crowdfunding?” It is safe to say, that while crowdfunding is growing quite quickly in this country, many people are still unsure about what it actually is. It is definitely time to unpack this growing venture which has changed many lives for the better.

‘Crowdfunding’ can be defined as: “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods.” In simple terms, crowdfunding is therefore a means for your regular citizen to help fund their fellow regular citizen’s business idea or campaign. Some of the popular crowdfunding platforms around the world are ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Go Fund Me’. Thundafund happens to be South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform.

Thundafund has quickly become South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform’s and one of the reasons for this, is the fact that Thundafund uses a ‘Rewards-based’,‘all-or-nothing’ crowdfunding system. A rewards-based crowdfunding system means that anyone who makes a contribution to a campaign, is guaranteed to receive some form of reward for their contribution. In addition to the ‘all-or-nothing’ system, Thundafund also ensures that any project or campaign can only claim their contributions if they have reached their ‘tipping point’. A ‘tipping point’ is the minimum amount of money needed to get your campaign started. This is incredibly beneficial because it not only ensures that contributors’ funds don’t go to waste, but it also helps campaigners see whether or not their project/business ideas are actually lucrative or not.

In addition to that, one of the factors which makes Thundafund stand out, is the fact that it focusses on growing African businesses/campaigns. For too long, Africans, specifically South Africans, have fallen into the mind-set which has led us to believe that in order to be successful, we have to work for someone else, instead of becoming entrepreneurs and actually working for ourselves. Thundafund has begun to dismantle this mind-set by quickly becoming an important platform for Africans to showcase their innovative ideas and start world-changing businesses and initiatives.

The time has come where we can no longer depend on big companies to fund our brilliant ideas and with crowdfunding, we no longer need to. Whether it’s your friends, family, friends of family, family of friends, or anyone really, platforms such as Thundafund are making it easier for your everyday person to invest in their fellow everyday people’s ideas, and make their dreams a reality. Whether you want to change the world with a great idea, or you want to change the world by funding a great idea, Thundafund is the name and crowdfunding is the game! Visit our website at http://www.thundafund.com and make it rain, today.

A note from the editor :-

This blog piece is taken from a fresh look from our social media intern, Zanele Kabane, to explain what Crowdfunding is about.

Thundafund goes mobile

The NEW & IMPROVED www.thundafund.comwebsite is live (3)

Built in Africa for Africa, the new Thundafund website is 100% mobile-responsive. It is simple, easy to use, and accessible everywhere. For the backer it’s super-convenient. Love a project? 2 clicks and you’ve backed a project #nologinrequired

Thundafund is truly built for what we need in Africa as a crowdfunding solution.

Check it out, try it out, it is a new world revolution straight out of Africa.

The new Thundafund website boasts:
A smooth and sleek new look and feel.
Self Sign-up functionality.
A mobile-friendly and responsive design.
A  3-step payment process.
A donations button which allows backers to contribute any amount of money to a campaign without having to purchase a reward.