How to succeed at crowdfunding: Benefactors

There are three key types of supporters – VIPs – who make the difference between crowdfunding success and failure. Your VIPs are:

  1. Day 1 Backers,
  2. Influencers, and
  3. Benefactors.

Each of your groups of VIPs is so important, they all get their own post. This post is about your Benefactors.

Benefactors are people who will pledge more than $500 to your campaign. And that $500+ is often for something intangible with low cost to produce. Sometimes, this money is truly a gift, a financial offer of encouragement for your project.

At first, when we look at the number of people likely to pledge more than $500 to your campaign, they seem like a small piece of the pie because they represent such a small percentage of the total people backing your campaign.

pledge breakdown by backer count

This breakdown is the average for our clients. Typically, there are only 1-6 Benefactors, representing less than 5% of the people who have pledged.

But they are key to your campaign’s success. Why? Because although they are your smallest group of backers, they represent the largest portion of funds raised.

pledge breakdown by money raised

This handful of people get you almost 40% of the way to your goal. VIPs indeed!

Each campaign is different, but some of the VIP benefits we often offer Benefactors include:

  • One-of-a-kind rewards. These backers are very unlikely to be strangers. These are fans, friends, and family who already know about your project, and they are excited about it. It’s worth thinking about what will be of value to each of them individually. Clients have offered special recordings of their favorite songs, a personalized DVD of a book reading, the opportunity to visit a closed film set, or admission to a private celebratory dinner. What will be of value to each of your Benefactors?
  • Producer credit. Name your Benefactors prominently in the credits of your book, film, album, or other project. Offer to promote their project, business, or organization, too!
  • Campaign draft sneak peeks. Your VIPs get to see your crowdfunding campaign while you are building it. Ask their advice, and incorporate their feedback.
  • VIP soft launch invitations. This topic gets its own post, but to summarize, let’s say we’ve been promoting October 15 as the day your campaign goes live. That’s the day we’ll broadcast it publically. But what the public doesn’t know is that we’re actually going to quietly launch it on October 14. Your VIPs get an exclusive invitation to the soft launch, and first rights to your one-of-a-kind rewards.
  • Private bonus rewards. Almost always, there will be draft copies of your project: proofs of books, rough cuts of films, play dress rehearsals. Your VIPs get free first rights to these, as well.
  • VIP launch “Red Carpet” treatment. Whether it’s your film premiere, your book launch party, or opening night of your play or concert tour, give your Benefactors the “Red Carpet” treatment. Thank them personally and publicly.

Make sure you treat your Benefactors right – they are key to the success of your crowdfunding campaign!

If you’d like a free analysis of your crowdfunding plans for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!


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