How to Choose the Perfect Date to Launch Your Crowdfunding Campaign in College
Most first-time crowdfunders don’t realize how important timing is for the success of their crowdfunding campaign. Choose the right date, and your team will be focused and engaged. Choose the wrong date to launch a crowdfunding campaign, and the results could be detrimental.
The following are a few tips as you strategize a launch date for your crowdfunding campaign.
Do-or-die funding deadline
The first (and most obvious) step you should take when determining your campaign’s launch date is look at when you need the money in the bank. For some, this is a flexible timeline, but for others (such as those going on trips or paying fees for competitions), there might be a hard deadline.
If you know you belong to the latter group, you can reverse engineer the latest date you can launch based on when you need the funding and how long your crowdfunding campaign will be (typically this is 30 days). Of course, we recommend giving your team a “grace period” to allow yourselves time to collect the funds you’ve raised and allocate it appropriately.
However, if you don’t have a strict deadline, we always recommend capitalizing on the forward momentum your team experiences in putting together the campaign by launching as soon as your team is ready.
Check your academic calendar
It is critical to your campaign’s overall success that your first and final weeks of crowdfunding will have your team’s full and uninterrupted focus. Therefore, we recommend scanning through your school’s academic calendar to ensure you aren’t planning to launch (or end your campaign) during a time in which other big events are happening.
It would be challenging to be fully engaged, for example, if you were studying or taking finals. Or if you were home on a holiday break. Or if you were moving in or out for the semester.
So protect your time fundraising. Make sure nothing will be happening that could divert attention or engagement. Be focused, be diligent, and map out any events or holidays that could affect engagement. And then plan accordingly.
Consider your team’s timeline and events
Beyond the academic calendar, you’ll want to lay out your team’s calendar, such as deadlines, commitments, and internal and external events that affect your group.
Once you’ve mapped out all relevant dates, you’ll be able to then sort through them and determine 1) which events you’ll want to protect by not fundraising concurrently with them, and 2) which events you could use to capitalize on your crowdfunding campaign. For example, consider how you could leverage an upcoming competition to inspire donations. Or a booth at homecoming. Or a social media push during a public event.
What offline events could you harness to draw attention to your crowdfunding campaign, and which events will only serve to distract your team? Mapping these out early on will help you strategically make the best choices around your campaign’s launch date.
Launch only with high engagement
Finally, ask your team: When would everybody be the most excited to fundraise for this campaign?
We recommend launching your campaign at a time where your team can meet regularly with a laser-like focus, as well as when your team will be eager to raise the funding. For example, a team at University of Alberta who has raised over $60,000 over three campaigns (and is up for a fourth one!), typically launch their crowdfunding campaign shortly after the student participants are accepted into the program. This ensures that the students are energized and engaged when their campaign launches.
In essence, the key when choosing a date to launch revolves around full-team readiness, focus, and excitement. It is a strategy often overlooked, but vital to success. So don’t forget to take the time to map it out. We promise you and your team won’t regret it!