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

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.

Crowdfunding 101 Workshop by Albert Butorano



20th November 2015, on a sunny Friday afternoon, people filed into the Learning Lab at the MTN Solution Space on UCT’s plush BreakWater campus to learn about crowdfunding; why it has been so successful so far and how Thundafund’s platform can help them achieve a similar success.

Brows were furrowed, shoulders were hunched and notes were taken as Winslow Schalkwyk (Thundafund’s Community and Marketing Manager) spoke on the benefits of crowdfunding and gave tips on key issues such as; the steps needed to complete a campaign, the importance of visuals and social media to connect with the customer and backer-base, what makes a good video, and how to keep investors engaged and avoid donor-fatigue.

Attendees were visibly excited by what they heard and several hands were raised when Winslow concluded and opened the floor for questions, it was another successful addition to the series of free workshops being held by Thundafund around the country to educate creative minds on the benefits of crowdfunding, in line with the partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture.





Written by: Albert Butorano

2015 Bitcoin Africa Conference Report

The inaugural Bitcoin conference was held in Cape Town on the 16th and 17th of April 2015. The hugely successful event boasted a distinguished and varied audience in attendance including the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Treasury Department, the Financial Intelligence Agency, some of South Africa’s largest banks as well international and local entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and start ups.

Speakers and audience members gathered to discuss all things Bitcoin, including what Bitcoin is and how it is changing the way we do business.

Here are some quotes from the conference:

Brock Pierce – “Bitcoin is a likely winner because of its brand recognition, and large and secure networkpierce

Vinny Lingham – “I think the biggest buyers of Bitcoin in the next 3-5 years will be government”Vinny

Jonathan Smit – “Bitcoin could become the currency of the internetSmit

A second Bitcoin Africa Conference, to be held on the 3rd and 4th of March 2016 in Johannesburg, is already scheduled and promises to be as captivating as the first one. Matters such as the challenges and opportunities provided by bitcoin and the block-chain technology as well as their impact on the current social, economic and political order will be up for discussion.

For more information, email

or visit and subscribe to their newsletter

or follow them on twitter at

Did somebody say Crowdfunding Workshops?!?

Get ready South Africa – we are coming your way.

Excitement all around as we are having a second round of Crowdfunding Workshops and Crowdfunding Intro Sessions across South Africa.

Do you, or someone you know, have an idea, innovation or dream that needs seed capital? Always wondered what crowdfunding the Thundafund way is about? Then these workshops are for you!

Our workshops – known informally as the gospel of crowdfunding according to Thundafund – will take place at these venues across Mzansi:

20 November: Cape Town Crowdfunding 101
23 November: Johannesburg Intro to Crowdfunding at Nomads & Co
24 November: Johannesburg Crowdfunding Masterclass at Nomads & Co

#ThundaTip : Action Learning (learning from your mistakes)


Action Learning is basically learning from your mistakes and asking the important questions that will get you to the results you want to achieve.

The Action Learning Model can be applied to any aspect of your Thundafund crowdfunding campaign. Whether that’s your social media marketing, setting up your campaign on Thundafund or even your marketing strategy. Applying this model to your creative and collective processes will get you closer to your dreams and goals.

Applying the Action Learning model to your campaign:

1) Plan – decide on what you want to achieve and what the first step toward that goal will be.

2) Act – apply the first step/action.

3) Observe – after implementing the first step ask yourself if you have achieved the goal you set out to achieve.

4) Reflect – what have you learned from this exercise? What needs to change? What could you have done differently?

5) Start Again – Start the cycle again, and again and again until your objectives are achieved.

So simple, yet so rewarding.

Good luck with the rest of your campaign. Let the FUNDing find you and remember the Thundafund Mantra:


#ThundaTip: Closing Your Campaign With Style

Imagine the Scene:

The presidential elections have just finished after months of kissing babies and standing at podiums. The new president has been announced and the crowds are lining the streets in front of Parliament…and the new president is silent! He/She is nowhere to be seen, no follow up or celebration. It’s never happened. President-elects have a post-campaign going around the country thanking everyone for their support and ensuring them that they made the right choice.


Barack Obama

Think of your post-campaign period of your campaign as the follow up and reward fulfilment phase.


Continue Online Updates

Promote a sense of mutual success and collaboration by remaining active with campaign related content online. Make sure to give the supporters no reason for concern that their funding has gone towards a worthwhile cause and that they will indeed receive their rewards in a reasonable time.

Some ideas of post-campaign updates:

  • “We Are The Champions” – Celebration Post
  • Best Supporters
  • Most Popular Rewards
  • Team Celebrations
  • Throw Back Thursdays
  • Campaign Highlights
  • Reward Delivery Updates
  • “Seeing is Believing” – Updates of when the project comes to life.

Remember you can keep the frequency of updates to quite a lot less than when you were  actually campaigning.

NB – Email Your Thundafund Database

At the end of your campaign you will receive an Excel Sheet with all your supporters on it and all their campaign related details. (Name, Surname, Email, Reward/s Bought, Contact Number, Postal Address & Physical Address). Use this information to follow up LIKE A BOSS!

Eg. Create customized reward report emails for those who bought specific rewards (locally & internationally).


Fulfilling your commitment to providing rewards in the time frame that you have clearly communicated to your backers is crucial to your idea’s LONG TERM SUCCESS…and you’re legally obligated to do so 😉

Providing Rewards

In your Thundafund Database you will receive the rewards chosen and delivery details of all your supporters. You’ll need to ‘deliver’ different rewards in different ways:

  • Recognition

If it was a social media shout out…you should probably have already provided this reward during the campaign. If not, it’s never too late to say THANK YOU!

  • Retail

Use a reliable courier to deliver your rewards, unfortunately the South African Postal Service just won’t cut it these days.

Ensure that the item is packaged properly and with a heart felt letter attached with a campaign summary and thank you.

  • Experience

Make sure to communicate when, where and how this experience will be facilitated. Providing location, time & date as well as any other relevant information.

Make this a hassle free and WOW experience!

ii. Communication 

“Communication is key to any good relationship”

The annoying marriage councillor that said this is actually right! If there is anything that a supporter should know regarding their and any other rewards, then let them know.

  • Delays

Inform supporters of delays, as soon as possible before it actually becomes a delay. Try keep these updates to the relevant supporters whose rewards are being delayed.

  • Success

When rewards are delivered let every relevant supporter know about it and post images | videos about it online. Celebrate Success!

Providing your supporters with their rewards is an exciting period, but is also hard work and filled with twists and turns. It separates good campaigns from GREAT ones!


#ThundaTip : Building your ‘Online Presence’


‘Online Presence’ simply means the different ways you represent yourself and your idea/innovation/dream on the internet.

If a potential backer were to search for you on the internet, what would they find? That’s right – there’s more than one way to create your online identity besides a website. And they range from free to low cost options that require little to no technical expertise.

Why it matters to you and your campaign?

Having a strong ‘Online Presence’, relative to your funding goal, is crucial to crowdfunding success for two reasons:

  1. In order to direct potential supporters to your campaign page, you need to easily and effectively contact them through various online platforms. You can’t spend your campaign trying to gain followers, likes and subscriptions – before you launch your campaign they should all be there!
  2. If a potential backer wants to find out more about you – they need to see that you are legit through looking at others who have followed you on your various online platforms. Giving them more confidence in your idea and making them more likely to back your campaign!


Now that you know the theory behind what ‘Online Presence’ is and why you need it, you need to understand how to do it!

Building an online presence isn’t about being a loud mouth and show-boating your idea to everybody and anybody, that’s not going to get you very far. You have to be very strategic about what kind of message you’re putting out to the world, so that the people that notice you are the right kind of people (aka. Your Target market).

Using a combination of the most popular Online Marketing Channels below to build your communicate your message through and build your community!



“A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

  • #DearDiary – Don’t have a website? Then start a blog. Blogs are the best way to present yourself as a legitimate and trustworthy entity, without getting an expensive and fancy website. If you’re thinking long term, a regularly updated blog is a must have. Examples include: WordPress, Wix, Weebly
  • Content – Blog posts are a lot longer than Facebook posts, and go into detail on the topic, event or concept that you want to write about. You can write about anything, just make sure that it’s something your readers want to see.
  • Posting – Varies depending on content;  1-3 per week. Whenever you post on your blog it emails your subscriber, nifty hey?

How to Create a Successful Business Blog



  • #OnlyOption – If you had to only choose one social media platform to build an online community on, choose this one. You can think of Facebook as your home on the internet, allowing you to post messages and photos, as well as start conversations. It’s main purpose must be for you to have as many like-minded followers like your page, and engage with the information that you post.
  • Reach: To increase reach, ensure that your followers engage with your posts. Everytime someone likes your page or comments on your posts, it can appear in THEIR FRIENDS‘ feed, increasing the number of people that see you.
  • Posting – If you post too much on Facebook, it will restrict the number of people that see your page. So keep posts to 2-5 per day, no more.
  • Content – Facebook for Business nicely describes what sort of content any organization | business should post.  Post a mixture of information that would interest your reader that isn’t about you (content marketing), and information about your product | service.

Facebook for Business



“Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called tweets.”

  • #ConversationStation – Twitter is best for getting people chatting about what you’re doing.
  • Reach – Mention influencial people & organizations to inform them about who you are and what you do, engage in trending conversations and tweet | re-tweet content that your followers will like.
  • Content – Attaching images to your tweets increases engagement big time, remember that an image takes up 23 characters.
  • Posting – You can share a lot more tweets on Twitter than posts on Facebook, go for 5 – 10 per day. Don’t even be afraid to post a specific tweet more 3 times in a day.

5 Essential Elements Of A Great Twitter Content Strategy



“Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms.”

  • Content – Pretty pictures! Make sure to use the right hashtags (#) in your posts, as they act as categories for people searching a certain kind of image. So use hashtags that are popular, are make up one and push people to use it. Take pictures of behind the scenes action, things you see throughout your day and images of your project idea’s product | service.
  • Reach: Follow like-minded accounts and comment on their posts to gain followers.
  • Posting – Post as much on Instagram as you would on Facebook. However, quality over quantity always wins. Make sure that the images you take represent your brand that you’d like to put out to the world.

 Instagram 101 – 7 Keys Steps to Instagram Success



“LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service.”

  • #Let’sTalkBusiness – Linked in is Facebook for business, but has the added awesomeness of a Blog!
  • Content – Post professional content that will represent you. Content ideas include productivity tips, research articles, news updates and business advise.
  • Reach -Follow professionals in your industry, ‘endors’ their skills and ‘like’ their professional activity.
  • Posting – Don’t post more than once a day on LinkedIn. It’s a very direct message to your followers so you don’t want to spam them. Aim for 5 posts a week and don’t forget to use the right ‘tags’ to categorize your posts.

11 Tips for Creating a Buzz-Worthy LinkedIn Company Page



  • #You’veGotMail: We strongly suggest MailChimp as your choice for a mass-emailer as your conventional mailers (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc) allows a limited number of emails to be sent at once. MailChimp is free if you have up to 2000 contacts on your email list and is quite user friendly for beginners.
  • Content: Post updates on what’s been happening with you and your business, special offers | events and exciting news. Make sure to email your subscribers content that they value, emails can so easily turn into spam. Use catchy headings and keep it to the point, no long paragraphs of writing in these emails!
  • Posting: Try only send out database emails when it’s absolutely necessary. Monthly at the least, weekly at the most.

15 Email Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

 Now that you’ve got the “What?”, “Why?” and “How?” out the way, go out there and build your digital community!


#ThundaTip : Telling Your Story

Concept image with What is Your Story printed on an old typewriter

“Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a brave crowdfunder set out to tell the world about her amazing idea.”

Writing out your campaign copy is not the same as creating a document for investors to analyse with business terms and big fancy words. The everyday Joe is going to be backing your campaign – speak to them.

People are moved to action by emotional story telling rather than by facts and figures. Think about the TV adverts that you will never forget, do you ever remember numbers and figures? Do you ever remember disingenuous sales tactics? No, you remember how it made you FEEL.

When writing about your crowdfunding campaign, you have got to make people feel. Make them inspired, make them relate to your mission, make them excited about how awesome your project is and that the world can’t go on without it!

The copy of your campaign on is split into 3 different parts.

1. Matchbox Pitch

This match box pitch is exactly what the name suggests, a write up of your idea that is so short it can be written on the back of a matchbox.

You need to create a paragraph of no more than 140 characters (The same length as a tweet on Twitter) that you can fire off to a potential supporter, in order to gain their backing.

It also appears in your Project Widget on


2. About the project

This section is an extension of your matchbox pitch and should be around 60-80 words long:

About the Project

Make sure that it ends off with a ‘Call-to-Action’ or a challenge. A ‘Call-to-Action’ tells people what you would ideally like them to do and a challenge sets out what you aim to achieve.

Also direct supporter to your rewards set like this:

 Call to Action

3. The Full Story

Now you’ve grabbed the attention of your potential supporters. They are interested in who you are and what you’re aiming to achieve through your crowdfunding campaign, but they need a little more convincing.

Like any educated consumer, people need information and emotional engagement in order to part with their hard earned cash and | or engage in supporting something.

A good structure to make sure you’re not missing out on anything:

  1. Who are you?

Whether you’re an individual or an organization, it’s always polite to introduce who you are. Make sure that readers understand what it is that you do, so that it makes sense in the scheme of the campaign.

  1. Past, Present, Future

Give brief highlights on what you have done in the past, where you are now and where you aim to be in the future.

Read to rise

  1. Why you’re crowdfunding?

Detail out to readers what you’re aiming to achieve through a successful crowdfunding campaign. This is the crux of the matter, if you can’t explain to people why you’re running a campaign it’s going to leave them very confused.

Im crowdfunding

  1. Milestone Details. 

Write out how much money you need at each Milestone, and what that money is going towards. Be as specific as you can be, people want to know exactly what their money is going towards.


  1. The Ask

A lot of people, and organizations, struggle to ask for donations or to ask people to buy rewards…just be out with it! You will never gain anything from being quiet, you might as well give yourself a chance.

  1. You can follow us here.

Adding your online links at the bottom of the page is always a great option to allow readers to do further research on you, or to let them engage on your social media without actually buying a reward.

Spread the love

If you follow these tips, and add your own pizazz, you are surely on your way to writing a crowdfunding story that will inspire the most hardened money-saver to support your campaign!


#ThundaTip : Creating a ‘Campaign Promotion Journal’

Keeping a  ‘Campaign Promotion Journal’ is crucial to defining your marketing strategy. If you have to make time to do ANYTHING, make it this.

When writing up your journal, you have to be in the mindset of making connections! Consider who you hope to engage with, and how strategic communication will help build your ‘digital neighbourhood’.



Detailing exactly who you’re going to approach for funding and support is a very important task. These are the people you need to chat to:

1. Target Audience

  • Pin point people that will appreciate what you’re doing. Try be as specific as possible in grouping them by characteristics.
  • Give each group a name and explain why that group appreciates your campaign.

2. Campaign Cronies

  • Many hands make light work. Get a group of your best people together that are dedicated to the success of your campaign to help spread the word and to be your ‘brains trust’.
  • Ask them to commit to backing your campaign as it launches – and estimate that contribution.
  • Also, write down which network they are able to tap into best.
  • List 10.

3. Early Supporters

  • So they’re not your best buds, but they will know who you are if you give them a call. Make sure to secure these 2nd level supporters and ask them to contribute.
  • Again, estimate their collective contribution.
  • State their name, contact details, contribution amount and how you plan on contacting them.
  • List 20.

4. Organization Promoters

  • Established organizations have rapport and connections! Approach organizations that can help you reach your target market and that will feel a benefit from being associated with your campaign.
  • When approaching them, be sure to provide them with some form of value for adopting | promoting your organization – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Also, if you know someone that works there you should contact them as your ‘in’.
  • List 20.

When approaching these various groups, make sure to create template approach messages | emails for each group. This makes it easy to throw in a name and change some group specific information in each message, without having to create a whole new one every time.


Colouful speech bubbles

Approaching the media is all about identifying those outlets that will see your campaign as quality content for their viewership. Approach them individually, not with bulk mail, and customize your introduction to their unique services.

1. Local Media Influencers

  • Make a list of at least 10 LOCAL newspapers, radio stations or online publications that you aim to approach and be promoted on.

2. National Media Game-Changers

  • Make a list of at least 10 NATIONAL newspapers, radio stations or online publications that you aim to approach and be promoted on.

3. Big Time Bloggers

  • Research ‘Bloggers’ that you think would like to shout out about your campaign.
  • Don’t be alarmed if they request some remuneration for writing up a post on your campaign. This is an industry norm, that you might need to weight up the pro’s and con’s of ROI.

4. Terrific Tweeters

  • Track down influencial people in the ‘Twittersphere’ and get them to write the 140 characters on your campaign.
  • Mention them in a tweet on the lines of : “Hey @TerrificTweeter, have you seen our #crowdfunding campaign doing X? You’d dig it! If so, let’s DM? >>>”

For each of these organizations | people make sure to write down these points: 

  • Name.
  • Why they’d be interested in your campaign.
  • Contact Information
  • How you’re going to contact them.
  • The date you’re going to contact them.

By creating the ‘Campaign Promotion Journal’ you’ll be sure that your contacting everybody that’s anybody – leaving you with the peace of mind that you’re doing what needs to be done.