crowdfunding marketing

Published February 4th, 2014 – by @trycelery

Crowdfunding Marketing

“It’s not about the money”. This overused line serves as a “trump” card when illustrating unadulterated passion in the face of conflict. It’s also kind of the truth when it comes to a growing primary use case for crowdfunding — marketing.

Marketing as the primary reason for crowdfunding is gaining considerable traction with celebrities, fortune 500 companies, and venture-backed startups alike: those who can’t even pretend to be in financial binds worthy of public contribution.

Celebrities like James Franco, Neil Young, Shaq, Kristen Bell and Zach Braff have each tried their hands at crowdfunding. Pair these Hollywood millionaires with major brands like Dodge, Honda, Kimberly-Clark, DC Entertainment, Phillips, Microsoft, and Coke, and it becomes obvious that marketing isn’t just a side-effect of crowdfunding.

Here are 4 ways brands use crowdfunding to kick-ass at marketing.

1. Get Product Validation (or not)

There’s nothing like a crowd to either validate or stomp the last shred of life out of a new idea. Generating as much product feedback as possible is a key component in creating something people want. As it turns out, crowdfunding is a fairly inexpensive way to quickly reach thousands of potential customers and find out what they really think. Nothing says “great idea!” like backer dollars, and fewer things can spell out “m-e-h” faster than a failed campaign paired with dozens of “I just didn’t get it…” emails.

For innovative marketers, crowdfunding is a modernized focus group with wider spread, more feedback, and a less contrived means for public discussion. It’s a way to test the waters without diving headfirst into building something with shaky demand.

Example: Bonobos Katy Perry Shark Suits

Bonobos is an American apparel designer that wondered if everyone else was as obsessed with Katy Perry’s Super Bowl shark costumes as they were. They took testing the market for ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ one step further by publically capturing demand before even launching a crowdfunding campaign. Taking to Twitter, the designer received 3.7K affirmative retweets that they should launch on Kickstarter.

Bonobos and the shark suits illustrates how even social crowdfunding can be used to capture demand, vamp up support, generate early-stage feedback, and validate what we already know: people loves costumes!

2. Create Brand Advocates

A marketing ‘win’ is when people are talking. Preferably they’re saying good things, but even that’s up for debate. In today’s realm, it’s not easy to cut through the clutter, and even harder to make an impact that’ll encourage brand advocacy. Creativity, uniqueness, and story matter more than ever: all things a well-executed crowdfunding campaign brings forth effortlessly.

Crowdfunding allows customers to become apart of the plot-line. Instead of passively consuming online advertisements or watching a television commercial, crowdfunding as marketing encourages activity and revolves around engagement. Closely resembling guerrilla marketing, seemingly intangible brands cross into unchartered public territory, becoming humanized in their vulnerability. Giving consumers the opportunity to experience brands actively, on their own terms, forges a connection that’s truly worth talking about.

Example: Dodge Dart

In 2013, Dodge Dart introduced a clever marketing ploy where customers could crowdfund their new car. The commercial announced, “Dad sponsors the engine for your birthday. Grandma sponsors the rims for your graduation.” Those registered would invite their family and friends to “sponsor” parts of the car within their selected timeframe, hoping that by the end of their “campaign” the car is paid for.

The campaign changed the way individuals and even communities thought about buying cars. The process became public, shareable, and in some cases, cause-driven, with groups banding together to purchase a vehicle for nonprofit programs and outreach. With over 1 million social shares, the campaign generated thousands of leads to remarket to, and according to Richard Swart, Berkeley’s crowdfunding professor (yes, Berkeley has crowdfunding courses), the Dodge Dart “saw sales more than double the following quarter.”

3. Have Greater Exposure

Crowdfunding and its success stories make the news. When this exposure is harnessed, it can give products and projects the final nudge they need to cross into ‘viral’ territory. Using crowdfunding to propel exposure in unique product campaigns is commonplace, and is even becoming a popular means for marketers and musicians alike to reach the ‘next level’.

In 2015 7 Grammy-nominated musicians were Kickstarter alum. Among them is American singer, Antonique Smith, who played Faith Evans in the biopic “Notorious”. She used her 2012 $50K Kickstarter funding to promote and market her finished debut album, and soon after gained public recognition. This year, she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

Example: TLC

The all-girl trio TLC, famous for “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs”, has had four platinum albums and won four Grammy awards. Despite this great success, the group turned to Kickstarter to get rolling on a new album, 23 years after their debut.

It’s unlikely the group was cash-strapped, but rather wanted a marketing edge to make their fifth album notable and most of all, relevant. Involving fans in the process was a strong marketing play, resulting in national and international coverage, plus a 14.5% increase in total Twitter followers.

Do you think TLC could have created this same buzz through traditional marketing and PR?

4. Become a Beloved Brand (it’s possible, really)

Crowdfunding as a storytelling tool cuts through noise, and connotes innovation, virality and a certain edginess. When properly harnessed, even big brands like Honda and Coke can break down a corporate wall (or two), and appeal to smaller communities and causes. Honda did this with their Indiegogo “Project Drive-in” crowdfunding campaign to save American drive-in theatres, and Coke with their campaign to crowdfund cleaner water in rural Mexico.

Crowdfunding allows for companies both small and large, to tell different stories, in an alternative way, and change the way their messaging is received.

Example: Newcastle

Newcastle Brown Ale knew what they were up against when it came to locking down a $4.5M 30-second advertisement spot during this year’s Super Bowl. Unwilling to blow their yearly marketing budget, the company spearheaded the “Band of Brands” to crowdfund the cost of the ad spot. For an estimated average of between $150–250K, 37 contributors appeared in one hodgepodge Super Bowl advertisement.

This brilliant crowdfund became one of this year’s most talked about Super Bowl ads. It also secured the beer brand’s role as one of America’s most beloved archetypes: the successful underdog. The “band of brands” showed the world how fun Newcastle is, and highlighted them as a relatable, creative force to be reckoned with.

The best part? It cost Newcastle a fraction of the $9.5M Busch spent on their flopped ‘anti-craft beer’ ad.

Crowdfunding as marketing can snowball exposure and network products to the power of 10. The transparency, call for action, and real-time story creation of a crowdfunding campaign is something that is unparalleled in today’s marketing realm. Although inviting customers along for the ride may be unpredictable, the reward is marketing that feels genuine, memorable, and two-sided — something close to human.

crowdfunding campaign tools

Crowdfunding Campaign Tools

Crowdsourcing is a testament to the power of collaboration. Hundreds and even thousands of individual efforts combine to create something world-changing. If you’re jumping into the chaotic world of crowdsourcing to fund your startup or passion project, you’ve got a lot of hectic days and coffee-fueled nights ahead. Running a successful campaign, standing out in a sea of creative projects, and coordinating all the moving pieces takes a lot of hard work.

Use these tools and resources to stay on top of it all and start writing your own crowdfunding success story.

Step 1: Choose Your Platform

There are hundreds of crowdfunding sites to choose from. Discover the key differences, strengths, and drawbacks of each platform and pick the right one for your project.

  • 26 Top Crowdfunding Sites by Niche: Consult this list of popular crowdfunding sites, sorted by project type, for crucial details on fees and platform restrictions.
  • Inc.’s 22 Crowdfunding Sites (& How to Choose One) Infographic: Answer a series of yes or no questions to discover exactly which of the top 20+ platforms fits your needs
  • Read reviews of hundreds of crowdfunding platforms to learn from others’ experiences and find help choosing the best option for you.

Step 2: Do Your Homework

Polish your reading glasses, find a comfy chair, and read up on platform requirements, best practices, and words of wisdom from the crowdfunding community.

Step 3: Read the Fine Print

Don’t get caught off guard by legalities. Cover all your bases and make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for!

Step 4: Set Your Budget

Time to talk numbers. How much do you need to turn a profit? Can you afford to offer that awesome backer reward?

Important!: Your budget must include more than just your project costs. Don’t forget about pesky fees — like the percentage the platform will take as its cut, bank fees, state and federal taxes, payment processing charges, and all the miscellaneous costs incurred when setting your final fundraising goal.

Step 5: Plan and Manage Your Work

Buckle up! It’s time to put the pedal to the metal and make your project plans a reality.

  • Project management tools like Wrike: Track every task, coordinate all the moving pieces, get help from your team, and adjust to any bumps in the road.
  • Google DriveDropbox and Box: Store important project files in the cloud, where it’s easy to share with your team and access them from anywhere.

Step 6: Build Your Product

Find creatives and craftsmen to help with everything from brainstorming the perfect product name, designing an eye-catching logo, and building a professional prototype.

  • 99 DesignsCrowdSpring, & Elance: Submit a description of your needs and designers will pitch you their work. You pay for the submission you like best.

Some crowdsourcing platforms require you to have a prototype in hand before accepting your campaign. When it’s time to create a physical mockup of your idea, here are a few options:

  • Find the parts you need, or hire a local prototype developer.
  • Shapelock and Sugru: Shape your prototype by hand with moldable plastic or rubber.
  • Ponoko: Upload your copyrighted design, get a quote, and they’ll make one for you.
  • Shapeways: Get a 3-D print of your product in one of 30+ materials.

Step 7: Create a Killer Campaign Page

Flex your creative muscles! Showcase your project (and your personality) with beautiful visuals, compelling text, and enticing rewards.

  • Anatomy of a Greater Kickstarter Project Page: Read tips for creating an exceptional project profile that will get people talking, sharing, and reaching for their wallets.
  • Video 101 from Vimeo: Follow these 3 steps to great video, from choosing a camera to editing and post-production.
  • Stupeflix and Animoto: Cut a stunning video with these online editing tools.
  • Free Music Add something special to your video with these free or low-cost music selections and sound effects.
  • Hire voiceover talent, artists, musicians, translators & other creatives for just 5 bucks.
  • ODesk and Get creative and technical help from talented freelancers.
  • Vimeo and YouTube: Use these popular hosting services to embed your finished video on your project website or profile.
  • Slideshare: Stand out from the video crowd with a sleek slideshow.
  • Pixlr and FotoFlexer: Beautify your photos with these easy-to-use editing programs.

Step 8: Generate Buzz

Spread the word about your project, attract more backers, and build momentum to power your campaign across the goal line.

  • Crowdfunding Promotion Beginner’s Guide: Find tips for writing a convincing pitch, harnessing the power of friends and family, and brainstorming great rewards.
  • Hubbub’s Tips to Make Your Project Stand Out: With over 150,000 projects launched on Kickstarter alone, these tips will help you get noticed.
  • LaunchRock Platform for Launching Startups: Create “coming soon” pages, build anticipation for your product, accept pre-sales, and more.
  • WordPress and Blogger: Set up a product blog to chronicle your progress, share exciting news and achievements, and build a community around your brand. Or, use to create and share an online newspaper with the latest details.
  • MailChimp and Boomerang for Gmail: Send sleek email newsletters to your backers with the latest news, and optimize Gmail by scheduling outgoing messages when you’re away from your desk.
  • Hootsuite and Buffer: Schedule social media posts and manage all your social networks in one hub. Use Twilert to get real-time notifications when your brand, hashtag or keyword is mentioned on Twitter.
  • Kicktraq: Review analytics for your Kickstarter project for insights on how your promotional efforts impact the number of backers, page activity, and dollars pledged.
  • Send your press release to this list of blogs, publications, and influencers that cover the crowdfunding industry.
  • Crowdfund Mafia and Seeding Factory: Call in the professionals for help with press releases, media distribution, email templates, and more.

Step 9: Get Your Products Made & Rewards Fulfilled

Congratulations! Your project reached its goal! But you can’t breathe easy just yet — it’s time to deliver the goods.

  • US Domestic and International Shipping Rates: Check out this cheat sheet to calculate shipping costs down to the penny.
  • ShipStation: Import your backers list, print labels in bulk, and schedule shipment with all the major carriers.
  • ShipWire: Free up your garage by storing excess product in their warehouses, then let ShipWire automatically select the ideal carrier and route for each shipment.
  • CustomInkCafePress, and Zazzle: Print quality custom T-shirts. Tee Launch even ships directly to your backers.
  • Restock your manufacturing supplies, find local shops, download CAD models, and more.
  • BackerKit: Manage and track each reward as it’s delivered to your loyal backers.
  • TaskRabbit and Zirtual: Hire a helping hand or personal assistant to cross daily tasks off your growing to-do list.

Step 10: Keep Your Project Alive After the Campaign Clock Runs Out

Your campaign may be wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean your project has to end. Create a place for new customers to find and buy your product, and for current backers to stay connected to your brand.

  • Vendevor: Embed an online store that can accept credit card payments on any site — like your project blog or Facebook fan page — with a single line of code.
  •, and Continue selling your products after your crowdfunding campaign ends through these online shops.

We applaud all the artists and innovators who build a collaborative community around their enterprise. And with these tools, you’ve got all the resources you need to successfully launch your own passion project.

Have you ventured into the wild world of crowdfunding? What tools did you find useful during your crowdfunding campaign? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


You’ve seen the headlines on wildly successful crowdfunding projects: the Pebble watches, the Reading Rainbows, even potato salad projects that take off and raise support beyond the creators’ wildest dreams. This success may look like a stroke of genius, a million dollar grassroots movement, or pure insane luck. But crowdfunding success doesn’t happen by accident (well, usually). Look past the headlines and quirky success stories, and you’ll see a few common threads strategically woven through successful campaigns.

You’ve already got the great idea. Now build your campaign around these 10 essential crowdfunding principles and take your startup project from the drawing board to the launch pad.

1. Preparation. It may seem like projects are thrown up on Kickstarter or Indiegogo on a whim and funded in a snap, but months of planning go into successful campaigns. Pick your platform, examine similar projects to learn from past success and failure, plan out each stage of your campaign, and choose the tools you’ll use to manage the process.

2. Realistic goals. What’s the bare minimum amount of money you need to make your idea a reality? Stick to that number. It might be tempting to inflate your final figure, but don’t get greedy; you’ll risk setting off warning bells for potential backers. Besides, if people really love your project, you’ll raise more than your fundraising goal. In fact, 87% of campaigns that hit their goal also exceed it.

3. Design. Photos and video are eye magnets, and they’re the very first thing each new visitor will see. Make the most of that first impression with an elegant page design, a professional prototype, and a polished video. Welcome backers to your page and get them excited to be part of your project.

4. Incentives. Offer tempting rewards! And make sure the value of each reward matches its contribution level. (In other words, don’t make a simple T-shirt a reward for your $50 backers.) Feel free to get creative, but make sure you’re offering real value. And remember to create opportunities at many different levels, from $1 to $500 and beyond.

5. Personal connections. Your main goal is to win over the people who matter most to your brand. (You’re probably not going to convince a vegan to back your gourmet beef jerky, no matter how hard you try or how great your product is.) So don’t try to be all things to all people. Figure out who your core audience is, and focus on making genuine connections with them. Tell your story, interact with your backers, and let your personality shine through. After all, people want to support other people, not faceless companies.

6. Transparency. By nature, crowdfunding backers are interested in the “how” of projects. So indulge that curiosity by pulling back the curtain and giving them a peek at the behind-the-scenes. Show your backers exactly where each dollar goes, share status updates, and invite them to launch parties.

7. Responsiveness. Be willing to listen to feedback from your backers and add new features, tweak the product design, or offer new rewards. Respond to every email, comment, and social media mention. This is your chance to plug into your audience and tailor your products specifically to your core customer base to create the best product possible. So take advantage of the opportunity and engage with each and every piece of feedback.

8. Collaboration. Crowdsourcing and collaboration are two sides of the same coin. You’re tapping the power of collaboration to fund your project, so why not extend that power to the project itself? Collaborate with your internal team to work efficiently, and team up with freelancers for help designing your logo, building your prototype, or writing your press release. And don’t forget to let backers contribute, too: ask them to help spread the word, or poll them on things like product color schemes and fun new stretch goals. You never know whose idea will help take your project to the next level.

9. Organization. Take advantage of project management tools (may we suggest Wrike?) to make sure every idea, every step in the process, and every deadline and milestone along the way is tracked. And it prevents you from losing your mind along the way.

10. Gratitude. Thank your backers constantly. They’re supporting your idea with their hard-earned dollars and investing in your success. So make sure they know just what it means to you. Nothing is worse than someone who is ungrateful for those who help them succeed.

We’ve seen firsthand the power of collaboration and know exactly how much hard work it takes to make your dreams a reality. Make sure your campaign has these 10 elements, and you’re well on your way!


By:  Darryl Burma | Crowdmapped

Did you know that nearly 70% of all crowdfunding campaigns that are launched don’t actually reach their minimum funding goals? Typically, if you only reach a portion of your desired pledge amount all donated funds are then returned to investors once your campaign end date arrives. In other words, in most cases it’s all or nothing so it’s in your best interest to really do your homework and make your fundraising campaign count.

Of course there are many different ways that people try to raise money and a lot of the so called “old-fashioned” techniques still work. Before launching a campaign there’s really no way to predict the outcome but there are ways to help ensure better odds. The following is a list of 10 helpful tips to avoid failure and achieve success.

Tip #01: Plan Your Campaign Far in Advance

Like the age old saying you need to plan your work and work your plan and crowdfunding campaigns are no exception to this rule. Look at it this way, you’re attempting to convince total strangers to invest in your idea. Some of the people who fund your project may very well be friends or family members but a large portion of pledges will come from investors you’ve never met before. This is one of the many reasons why you really need to prepare your campaign long in advance. The last thing you want to do is go in blind and you really need to think your pitch through from all angles and from start to finish before taking that first step.

Tip #02: Have a Proper Business Plan

Not having a proper business plan is like is like having a vehicle with no wheels, sure you can sit in the drivers seat but you won’t end up going very far. Having an innovative new idea is only one piece of the puzzle. Not only do you want your idea to come to life but you want your new startup launch to become a long lasting success. Thus the reason that realistically planning the long term goals for your small business, company or service is essential.

Cloud based business planning software

Obviously finances are a big part of what fuels a company and either keeps it going or not. Managing your finances is just as important as raising capital through a crowdfunding site. Have you asked yourself how you plan to execute certain types of spending? Where will your revenue go once it’s generated? Those are just a couple of the many questions 9 out of 10 investors will want answers to before they whip open their wallets and you need to have these types of answers well in advance in order for your startup idea to be taken seriously. Some people get stumped at this early stage in the game but that’s why there are companies like the Funding Roadmap out there to simplify the whole process and help you get started.

Tip #03: Make Your Story Compelling

Your story could easily make or break your crowdfunding campaign so it needs to be a good one. The key here is to truthfully explain your campaign and what it’s all about in the most engaging way possible. You don’t necessarily need to be a novelist or marketing expert to achieve this, you just need to be knowledgeable and passionate about your idea and know the purpose of it inside and out. Make your story captivating and explain to people why they should consider investing in your idea over the thousands of other new ideas that are constantly out there each day. Why does your creative idea stand out above all the rest?

Tip #04: Start a Social Marketing Campaign

Everyone is using social media as a marketing tool these days, this has been the case for several years now. Having a well thought out social marketing campaign prepared in advance is a great way to create and maintain buzz around your product or idea. If you’ve never used this type of marketing strategy before it’s really a lot easier than you may think. For instance, it literally takes less than a minute to plug a link on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and it’s not like you have to post an ad on trees all throughout your town or city to get the word out.

If you aren’t an expert when it comes to generating traffic or don’t have a large following there are several great resources out there to help you get started. Here’s a few that should help:

Writing catchy and effective text and key phrases to draw attention can require a certain level of creativity, but if this is not exactly your forte there are social media marketing services available for small business too.

Tip #05: Constantly Promote Your Fundraiser & Interact

Frequently stay on top of your campaign, check the status often and never leave people hanging when they ask you questions. No matter how simple a question may seem, it’s critical that you treat all potential investors equally and with honesty, courtesy & respect. Certain questions may sound silly to you but to someone else having the answer could determine whether or not they decide to fund you. Also, be prompt rather than tardy. Obviously you can’t be glued to your computer 24/7 but the quicker you respond, the more you promote your campaign and the more actively involved you are the higher your chances of successfully reaching your desired funding amount sooner (if at all) will be.

Tip #06: Rewards & Incentives

Explain to potential investors the types of rewards and incentives they can expect by funding your project. Let them know that their contributions are well appreciated and provide them with as many reasons as possible to invest in your idea.

Lowline An Underground Park in NYC Kickstarter campaign

Take LowLine: An Underground Park on NYC’s Lower East Side for example, a featured listing on the popular Kickstarter website. This project exceeded the desired funding amount with 15 days left in the campaign. Check out some of the rewards offered, this is a good example of being creative and putting some good thought into rewards ahead of time.

Tip #07: Include Informative & Engaging Videos

Having an informative, educational and entertaining video is a great way to help your crowdfunding campaign go viral. Using free services such as Vimeo and YouTube for example you can leverage the power of video marketing and take your campaign to the next level. Professional and engaging videos are a great way to express what your startup company is all about in a way that plain text on a screen could never do.

Creating a stunning video beforehand is also a way to show investors that you have good initiative and well planned execution. Anything you can do to prove and convince investors that their money won’t go to waste is a good thing. If you took the time to make a quality video to promote your product this will reflect positively on your overall campaign.

Tip #08: Being Unique Really Does Count

Let’s face it, although still in their infancy, crowdfunding sites are popping up out of the woodwork left, right and center these days. It’s no longer Kickstarter alone running the show. This means that the amount of people starting new crowdfunding campaigns is rapidly increasing. In other words, to stand out above the rest the more unique and creative you are the better your chances will be of getting noticed. More exposure equals more potential pledges.

Tip #09: Pick the Right Type of Crowdfunding Site

Crowdfunding Site Logos

As mentioned above, there are numerous different crowdfunding sites out there all across the globe now and the number is constantly rising. This is why it’s important to do your homework and select the right one just for you and your particular project. Some of them are simply general crowdfunding sites geared towards all types of categories while others are geared towards specific types of campaigns for things like hobbyists, artists, film makers, musicians, game developers, app developers and the list goes on.

Tip #10: Know & Understand Your Target Audience

Don’t waste your time & effort creating a good pitch or campaign unless you fully know and sincerely understand your target audience. Be sure to do good research on this subject as it really is important. Being able to relate to your target audience is not only a plus but also quite a necessity.


We hope these tips have been helpful and would love to hear your feedback and/or suggestions. Perhaps you have launched your own crowdfunding campaign already and if so we’d love to hear about your experience. Feel free to speak your mind and leave your comments/questions below!


Darryl Burma is the Co-Founder, Vice President and CTO of CrowdMapped Inc.
crowdfunding groups

Published by Daryl Burma | Crowdmapped

Social media is a great way to find crowdfunding campaigns to support or invest in and also promote your very own campaigns! Check out this list of 50 crowdfunding groups on Facebook!

Crowdfunding EVERYTHING Goes

I Love Indiegogo

Indiegogo Projects Group


Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Etsy, Bonanza, Fundraisers, And Charities

Crowdfunding Pitch

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Other Fundraising Projects

Promote My CrowdFunding: Campaign Promotion and Exposure

Crowdfunding Marketing/Press/Buzz/Planning

Crowdfunding news and articles

Crowdfunding: Making IDEAS turn into REALITY

Crowd Funding

Crowd Fund Assist


Crowd Funding


Crowdfunding UK

Crowdfunding Europe




Crowd Funding Network

Crowdfunding Association of America

International Crowdfunding

Global Intentional Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding Promotion Page

Fund My Crowdfunding Campaign



Crowd Funding & Crowd Sourcing

Open Crowdfunding & Micro-Seed Investing

Crowdfunding Germany

Crowdfunding France

Crowdfunding Marketing

Crowdfunding Cross Promotion Club

Kickstarter Launches Now

Crowdfunding Pro

Crowdfunding Equity

Crowdfunding Business Investors

Launch School

Crowdfunding Brazil

Healthy Crowdfunder


Fan Funding Films F.F.F

Crowd Funding UK


Crowdfunding España

Crowdfunding Thailand

Crowdfunding Ideas

Darryl Burma is the Co-Founder, Vice President and CTO of CrowdMapped Inc.

3 things to look for in a real estate crowdfunding platform

Published by Scott Picken on Apr 20th, 2015

Whether it’s tracking steps for a workout or booking a flight online, we’re all aware that technology has connected us more than ever. However, the “Information Age” has changed a lot more than our fitness routines and travel plans — it has transformed how we see the world. Through the invention of online investment tools such as crowdfunding, technology has significantly impacted how we interact — both with each other and with our money.

Recently, the international real estate market, in particular, has been revolutionized by the advent of crowdfunding, which has brought new life to the industry’s formerly outdated investment practices. Each day, more and more real estate investors are turning toward crowdfunding to conduct their transactions.

In fact, real estate crowdfunding, especially global investment, is the fastest-growing segment of crowdfunding, having expanded over 156 percent through 2013-2014. With the total size of the real estate crowdfunding market now at over $11 trillion, the growth of platforms is radically changing the rules of the real estate game as we’ve known it. Online platforms are leveling the international playing field by opening the floodgates to market information and giving minor league and rookie investors a shot at the big leagues safely.

However, it’s important to stress that not all crowdfunding portals are created equal. Although most are very secure and credible, some platforms can provide inaccurate or dishonest investment information due to either their lack of experience or integrity. And as more real estate investors jump on the crowdfunding bandwagon, it is imperative to know which platforms to pursue, and which to avoid. In order to weed out the bad from the good, you should know exactly what a legitimate real estate platform looks like by fully understanding how one should operate.

Before you make a decision about which real estate crowdfunding platform is best for you, here are three important elements a good platform should provide:

1. Accurate and up-to-date information on the market and investment opportunities

If you want to see your investments thrive and grow, it’s crucial to gather the most current information about your targeted markets. Real estate platforms should provide constant access to expert information, allowing you to acclimatize to the market’s natural ebb and flow as needed. With a credible platform, you should have access to firsthand data on current market trends to keep you continually updated on your property’s status and the market’s current climate. Put simply, the right platform should place you in the right market and connect you to the right information so you can locate and choose quality international real estate properties to invest in, while partnering with the best local partners.

Your platform should also allow you to plan strategically better before making any investment decisions by providing you all the resources necessary to do proper and extensive research. This way, you can prepare to take on any unforeseen situations or market instability. Unfortunately, most people who invest in international properties lose their initial investments because of inaccurate or incomplete information. But as long as you do your homework, it’s easy to dodge the bad properties or partners. An excellent real estate platform should help investors maximize profit by ensuring they know about investment prospects and are aware of the current market trends. In order to succeed, you have to have the right information and the right partners.

2. Convenient access to vast opportunity        

In our always-connected world, we are no longer bound by countries, currencies and economies, and, as a result, it’s now less about where you live and more about where your wealth lives. By blurring the lines between investors and capital, international real estate crowdfunding platforms have the potential to unleash unlimited wealth opportunities that have since been submerged beneath language barriers, time zones and cultural differences.

Global real estate can open many doors for investors to increase their financial wealth through widening exposure to a larger array of markets. And by broadening the overall reach of capital formation, real estate crowdfunding platforms can provide issuers and investors a much-needed source to meet the demands of today’s globalized economy.

That being said, your platform should be able to connect you easily with every opportunity the international real estate market poses by granting you access to an entire network of investors and investment options. Ideally, a real estate platform should also substantially simplify the investment process with a responsive, online support system and an efficient, user-friendly interface.

Platforms should ultimately provide a “one-stop” personalized service for you, fusing the convenience of the Internet to the investment process and acting as your go-to source for any real estate information and communication. Remember, buying a property is only one-third of the transaction. Tax, structuring and compliance make up another third, and the ongoing maintenance and managing of the transaction comprises the remaining third. This is why you need to make sure the platform and partners you are working with provide you with a real “end-to-end” solution.

3. Thorough background checks on potential investments and partners

Above all else, a legitimate crowdfunding platform should hail your safety as its chief concern by providing various security measures, such as comprehensive background and security checks. Essentially, an honest platform centers on bringing safety to an investment opportunity.

For example, before choosing another investor to go in on a property with, a platform should offer you ample resources to make sure you align with partners who are legitimate and well-versed on the global real estate landscape. When transacting in the international market, it’s incredibly important that you choose partners who have a strong global presence and understand each country’s set of real estate guidelines and nuances. By providing you access to company track records and successful global deals, platforms should help make sure you select an established partner who’s it for the long haul. And since time is critical to real estate investment and sound partnerships are pivotal, your platform should keep you up to speed on your potential partners.

At the end of the day, the appeal of real estate crowdfunding platforms lies in their ability to welcome a wider spectrum of players to the game. And as long as you know what the rules are, you’ll find a well-equipped crowdfunding team in no time. So don’t let fear of foul play keep you from your next big win — get informed, suit up and step up to the plate. After all, who wants to watch everyone hit home runs from the bench?

Scott Picken is the CEO and founder of Wealth Migrate, the premier global real estate investment marketplace. Scott has more than 16 years of international real estate industry experience, and Wealth Migrate’s leadership team has been a part of $1.34 billion in real estate transactions worldwide.


Published by Daryl Burma | Crowdmapped

5 Tips for Surviving the Final Stretch of Your #Crowdfunding Campaign

You’re crowdfunding campaign is winding down to the last few days remaining. After so much hard work you’re inches away from your goal and, despite feeling anxious among other mixed emotions, you can almost feel the tingling sensation of sweet victory running through your veins. But before you and your team do a victory dance the pressure is on to make that final push to break through the funding goal barrier.

First off, let’s be clear about something before we get started. Failure is not always a bad thing. Even if you put your heart and soul into making the absolute best campaign and marketed it to the best of your ability, not reaching your crowdfunding goal the first time around does not make you a failure especially if you learn from the experience. No matter how bad you need the funds to take your product or idea to the next level the great thing about crowdfunding is that you can always give it another go if need be.

That being said, reaching your campaign goal the first time around is of course ideal and hopefully the following tips will help you avoid having to relaunch your campaign.

1) Be Assertive & Reach Out For Additional Help

reach out for help

In life, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a bit of extra help every now and then. If you’re crowdfunding campaign is running out of time, don’t be afraid to reach out to others to help assist your team in achieving your crowdfunding goals. Try to be assertive as opposed to aggressive. Even if reaching your goal is looking a little bleak what you need to focus on is portraying how confident you are in whatever it is you’re raising money for. If you show desperation and fear about not reaching your goal it will be harder to convince others that such a goal is obtainable and worth their time & support.

Get your entire team together and compile a list of contacts. Strategize ways on generating more buzz through those contacts & create a call to action plan. Encourage all of your contacts to spread the word through their entire networks and create a sense of urgency without being aggressive. Make it a fun, exciting and rewarding experience and let people know how their support will help make a positive difference.

2) Get More Creative With Stretch Goals & Perks

creative crowdfunding campaign stretch goals

Crowdfunding campaign backers love great perks. Being more creative with rewards can result in drawing the attention of a lot more backers. Once you come up with some cool new perks get creative with promotion, marketing and social media. Instead of simply saying something like “please support our campaign” talk about the cool new perk you added instead. This will help you avoid sounding cliche and also get people more enticed.

If the creative juices just aren’t flowing then you can always ask your current backers or the public for feedback on what stretch goals and perks they would like to see and then implement the ones that are feasible and make sense for your campaign.

3) Ask for Advice On Popular Crowdfunding Groups

ask for crowdfunding advice when in doubt

There are some really great crowdfunding groups and forums out there, don’t be afraid to join them and ask for advice from experts or people who have been in your shoes. Popular social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ have some very helpful groups that are dedicated to helping people just like you.

Being strong is partly about knowing your weaknesses and if you’re stumped and need help figuring out how to improve your campaign and get more traction there’s no shame in asking the public for assistance.

Here’s a few crowdfunding groups on major social media platforms to get you started:

Facebook Crowdfunding Groups

Google+ Crowdfunding Groups

LinkedIn Crowdfunding Groups

4) Whatever You Do Try Not to Panic

keep calm

States of panic are a natural occurrence and can arise at any time for various different reasons. Sometimes things can seem overwhelming especially when you have so much riding on something. The success or failure of a crowdfunding campaign can be a nail biting experience at times and so much can depend on the outcome.

If you find yourself discouraged after doing everything in your power to reach your campaign goal but can’t seem to raise those last remaining dollars try your absolute best not to panic. Take a deep breath, relax and one way or another know that if you remain focused you’ll get through this.

5) Thank Your Current Backers & Provide Constant Updates

share thanks with crowdfunding campaign backers

Don’t underestimate the power of constant updates. Thanking your current backers and keeping them involved in the success of your campaign is essential. A while back I wrote an article explaining the importance of frequent crowdfunding campaign updates which you may also find helpful.

Letting current backers know how much their support matters & asking them to remain engaged can build momentum. You never know who knows who and encouraging your current backers to help spread the word during the final days of your campaign could be the resulting difference between reaching or not reaching your goal.


Hopefully some of the advice above will help you along your crowdfunding journey. If anyone has other useful tips please feel free to share them in the comment section below. Additionally, you might also find this article helpful by Crowdfunding Pays which explains some great strategies for finding crowdfunding campaign backers offline

Darryl Burma

Darryl Burma

Darryl Burma is the Co-Founder, Vice President and CTO of CrowdMapped Inc.


There is plenty of independent information when it comes to choosing funds and shares, but how do you know what to look for in a crowdfunding project?

You are left to do your own research on peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms as there is little independent information on projects or the platforms you are putting money into.

Now a new crowdfunding analyst firm called All Street has launched with the aim of plugging this gap, we reveal how to assess a crowdfunding project.

From breweries to people and businesses, crowdfunding provides hundreds of opportunities for investors to lend money directly to a range of projects.

You can either provide a personal loan using peer-to-peer, also known as lend-to-save, or get a stake in a new business or project on a crowdfunding platform.

Platforms have to do due diligence on those both lending and asking for money, but the only way of investors assessing offers is by reading the information the business makes available.

The risks are supposed to be outlined through the platform you use, but you still have to make a decision about investing in a person or project with information from just one source.

In contrast, a fund or share would have data such as company accounts, financial metrics that show their risk and performance history, as well as independent analyst reports on their prospects.

So how do you know if a crowdfunding project is any good and even if the platform itself is safe?

AllStreet, which has also launched its own crowdfunding campaign to raise £15,000, says it will help investors make more informed financial decisions by providing independent reports on opportunities.

For a £25 monthly subscription, investors will be able to access five reports a month from All Street that will provide an assessment of a peer-to-peer or crowdfunding opportunity, analysis of the business model and wider market views.

It will also look at who is behind the platform the project is listed on.

It’s worth bearing in mind that while investors can benefit from good independent research, the cost of a service like AllStreet’s can swiftly mount up and represent a hefty chunk of the relatively small amounts many people invest in crowdfunding. A £25 monthly charge amounts to £300 per year for what is ultimately a limited service.

If you are considering signing up for this kind of service, make sure that you can cancel your subscription if you do not feel that it is worth having.

Investors considering crowdfunding should also remember it is high risk. Experts advise that you should only allocate a small percentage of your investable wealth to these kinds of investments.

It is is also important to remember to spread your risk. Professional investors who run small company and venture capital funds will often own stakes in 50 to 100, or even more companies.

Investors in crowdfunding can easily get carried away by the story being sold to them and should be very careful not to put too many eggs in one basket.

Emanuela Vartolomei, founder of All Street, said: ‘Crowdfunding is transforming the investment market and opening it up to us all. Whether you have a little or a lot to invest, everyone can support companies or projects they believe in and really make their money work for them.

‘However, investing money in start-up firms brings its own risks and it is important that individual investors are aware of what those risks are and have all the key information at hand in order to make better investment decisions.’

How should you assess a crowdfunding investment?

All Street has outlined five top tips to help you decide.

Do your research

Don’t just decide based on the crowdfunding page and video. While platforms do some basic background checks, you have to be comfortable that the project is what you think it is and taking their word for it isn’t always enough.

Investors should get as much information as possible. Even if it’s not such a large amount, you don’t want to be investing your money into a company whose issues might not be immediately apparent.

Pick several projects in different industries

Investing all of your money into one project could increase your chances of losing money or leave you feeling unsatisfied if for example the social impact project that you supported has failed.

Choose projects that operate in different markets or target different audiences to improve your chances of getting the social impact you want or bringing the financial return you hoped for.

Be clear about why you are investing

There are no guarantees in crowdfunding and thinking carefully about why you are supporting the venture will help you make decisions that you won’t regret.

Do you want to make a return or are you supporting the venture simply because you want to help?

Even if the company is offering rewards or a regular financial return, consider how you will feel if you don’t get the return you expect, or any return at all.

Know what you’re buying

There are several different types of crowdfunding, and within those groups there are varying structures. You want to be aware of

  • Equity crowdfunding: You give money in return for a stake in the company. Just like traditional shares there are lots of different types, some give you voting rights, some might change in value if the company issues more shares at a later date. Investigate what rights your shares give you.
  • Debt crowdfunding: This is commonly called peer-to-peer lending and usually involves you getting your money back plus interest. They look like a regular loan but you need to bear in mind that these loans don’t guarantee that you will get the money back plus interest.
  • Donation crowdfunding: Donors have a social or personal motivation for putting their money in and expect nothing back. Make sure you support projects you really believe in and that are aligned with your values.

Talk to people

Crowdfunding is all about people and sharing knowledge – talk to people about the projects you plan to support. It is easy to buy into a five minute video with emotive music, but a chat with a friend or family member will help you see the project more objectively. They may ask questions you hadn’t thought about.

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