Conversations on Crowdfunding with Thundafund: January 2014.

Thundafund and WDC

“Look at Crowdfunding as a shopping mall for doing a specific thing: Thundafund Is a shopping mall for new creative & innovative ideas. People walk pass shops & then decide to stop & check it out – this is your project.

Think about the way in which the Young Designer Emporium operates; where they are 1 store that hold spaces for number of designers to place their labels; these are the principles upon which Thundafund operates.”

The objective of Thundafund is to showcase your venture.

The 1st #CrowdConvo of 2014 was held at Thundafund’s HQ, Daddy.O, where projects who are involved with WDC2014 & independent ventures keen to crowdfund with Thundafund attended.

#CrowdConvo’s are group discussions where creative ideas, suggestions and questions regarding their campaigns are answered collectively.


Patrick Schofield, the CEO of Thundafund and main speaker at this event, introduced the Thundafund website and explained exactly what goes on in order to ensure that Projects are successfully ‘Thundafunded’ and the work that is needed in order to set up a crowdfunding campaign.

“There are no unsuccessful campaigns on Thundafund” he explains that they are merely ‘Misunderstood’.

On Thundafund you always have your Milestones – public monetary targets – which are explained in order to set a good understanding as to why you are crowdfunding and what it is that is needed for you r project to get the green light.

“Keeping it short, simple & concise  – putting it across in a way that you would understand, not asking for donations.”

He carried on to explain that projects on Thundafund are not asking for donations but are rather in the mind-set of ‘I would like to do good in the world but I want to see something in return – it is not a one way street.’

Charities are given money and often the donor forgets about what or where the donation went to because there is no physical reminder.

When you are offering an ‘In-Kind’ reward for the money that is pledged to your campaign there are people who are in waiting, who will be, in time reminded about what the cause was, where their money went to and why. These backers are in waiting, they are waiting for your campaign to close successfully and for their rewards to be sent to them. In 1 -6 months when the product has been produced; when their rewards are given to them, they should be receiving emails, projects continue to engage with these backers as they are waiting in anticipation for the project product.

These are all challenging thoughts that need to be considered before your project goes live. An in-depth planning session is needed beforehand. Why not go through the Thundafund site and check out other successful projects as well as those who are misunderstood. Best of all, back one to gauge the process of crowdfunding.

Patrick says that when using Crowdfunding you need to understand that it is a delayed event and not over-night magic – that your profile needs to have already been set up (including active social media platforms).

The moment your profile for your project is up on social networks; you have to ask people – groups of friends to share your online features because you want to have and also need to have feedback on your project. This ultimately is your 1st and most accessible target market.

You are building an audience and once your campaign goes live you have supporters. Your database is really important so building it up before your crowdfunding campaign goes live is a great idea and leaves you well prepared and not scrambling while time is ticking.

When you go live you want at least 10 people who will back your project so that it does not sit at R0. Being quick off the mark has proved great in successful campaign momentum.


Your Campaign Explained:

1. Video:

  • Patrick underlines the importance of your video on Thundafund “Short, sharp, sweet – share with friends”
  • The Mooibos Video was being presented and was used an example as a clear and targeted video. It is very important that your message comes across. It needs to be simple, straightforward and honest. Remember that this is your first direct relationship with the crowd; so talk to them.

2. About this project:

  • You project is introduced; why you’re crowdfunding, your milestones are explained in detail. You and you team are introduced. And, you’ve extended an invitation to your crowd – would you rather ‘help’ or ‘join us’?
  • Your Milestones are all set to your specific needs. You want to make them attainable and enough to begin your venture. Need a massive amount of money? Start small and produce a successful crowdfunding campaign for a ‘pilot’ – this is a great proof of concept to take forward to investors & sponsors.
  • Milestone 1: Your start up cash: what is the basic amount of money that is needed and where exactly will it be spent. Once you reach your 1st milestone you get to keep the funds that are made. Milestones 2 and 3: Once you have achieved the goal of Milestone 1, what can your project achieve with extra money in you campaign.

3. Rewards:

Patrick explains that there are 3 types of rewards; benefits of trade value.

  • Retail: This is something that is tangible. It allows for the backer to have a souvenir if you would. It could be a limited edition or a replica of the actual product that you are making – even a handwritten post card. Whatever it is, it makes for a good product if the backer knows what is going into in order to produce it, where it is coming from and who is the artist behind it.
  • Recognition: It is important to remember that we are social beings and that we love our contributions to be acknowledged. So sending out a shout out on your ‘wall of fame’ on all social media platforms, newsletters, acknowledgement listed in programmes etc. is a good way to go about this.
  • Experience & Access: People love to have access, whether it is a ticket to a dress rehearsal, a performance or exhibition. Crowdfunding allows you to be innovative and what better way than to look at previous campaigns on Thundafund to use as research material.

Struggling with creating ideas on for your rewards?

Questions around “What rewards should I be sending out?”, “How do I tie rewards in with the project that I am doing?: were asked. “I cannot see how my project can come up with returns”. Ideas and following through with rewards were quite a hot topic.

The projects that can be viewed on the Thundafund website are all set as guidelines; it creates an idea as to how you can tie in rewards with your campaign. Patrick continues to explain that it is necessary to make sure that you set limits on how many of each reward you will be able to produce. Time is of essence, you only have a certain amount of time before your project is a success and you need to then start working on you rewards that need to be delivered. Take into deep consideration the time, effort and cost that is involved with productions, ensuring that your backers get their rewards in good standing & on time.

Still stuck, think about you would like to receive – or even better, ask your friends / family / ‘fools’ – having them give the idea is a great way to secure 1 backer already.


 Wanting to attend a #CrowdConvo yourself? Pull in! 

Next #CrowdConvo is happening Friday, 14th February at 14.00, Daddy.O Offices, Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock, Cape Town.

Extra details:

We regularly update our Facebook and Twitter so keep up to date there for more event information.

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