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Handbook V1.03 - 5/14/14
The information you need to run a successful campaign.
Introduction to Crowdfunding A
This Handbook is a guide to help you better understand
crowdfunding and to maximize your chances of success.
Page 4-5 SECTION 1: Preparing for Your Campaign
Page 7-9 SECTION 2: Creating Your Campaign
Page 11-12 SECTION 3: Promoting Your Campaign
Page 14 SECTION 4: After Your Campaign
Page 16-18 SECTION 5: Appendix (Goals, Rewards, Videos, Money)

The first four sections of this handbook will give you the basic knowledge you need to
create a successful campaign. The appendix in Section 5 offers you an extended guide
to crowdfunding and extra tips on how to maximize your success. You may find it
helpful to read the short Appendix (Section 5) first, as it gives a good overview on the
guidelines of running a successful campaign.
What is digital crowdfunding and what does it mean for your school?
It is the collective efforts of teachers, students and supporters who network and gather
individuals such as friends, parents and relatives, local businesses, and the local
community to support raising funds for your school. This is accomplished with the use of
social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs and email.
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Section 1 - Preparing For Your Campaign
Preparing For Your Campaign 1
Preparing your campaign properly is VITAL to your overall success.
We have found that the preparation process will either make or break the success of
your campaign. We have outlined our research and personal experience in a Campaign
Preparation Blog. This will give you step by step advise on how to motivate your
students, build your networks, reach out to local businesses, make videos, etc. We
strongly advise that you take your time to do the homework before jumping into your
Let people know about your campaign before it begins.
The first time someone hears about your project might not be the best time to include a
request for money. At least two weeks before your project starts, you should spread the
word to students, parents, local press, local organizations, and community members
who might support you later on. This is called a soft launch and can be a very effective
way of gaining support so that when you do launch, you can start with a bang! Consider
throwing a “Launch Party” for your students and parents before your campaign begins.
This is a great way to ensure generous support right from the start!
How can I grow my tribe?
For every 10-fold increase in Facebook friends, your project's chances of success
double. One great way to let your students, parents & supporters know that you are
planning to crowdfund is by creating a facebook group and adding them all to it. A
FundMusicEd campaign creator with 1,000 online friends is twice as likely to succeed
as a campaign creator with 100 friends. So be sure to ask those in your network to
invite anyone they think might support your campaign to your group. The people who
learn about your campaign before it begins will be your front line in helping to spread
the word. Your online network is your biggest asset in being successful, so take time to
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cultivate it. Our research suggests that this is one of the most vital parts in running a
successful campaign. See the Appendix Section 5 for a step by step guide on getting
the most out of your social networks.
What Can I Expect During My Campaign?
Quick Out of the Blocks
You're excited about your project and you push it to parents, students, friends, family,
local businesses, and the community. These are the people who will help spread your
campaign (if you ask them to) so an early flurry of activity is normal. Achieving 30% of
your funding target in this period is great. It is very likely that if you can reach 30% of
your goal in the first week you will have a great chance of reaching your overall goal by
the time your campaign comes to a close.
We suggest you reach out to local businesses as soon as your campaign begins and
encourage them to pledge on one of the business levels. You can add their logos to
your campaign page if they do, offering them advertising and a chance to show their
goodwill to the community. It is good to let them know that the earlier they pledge the
more exposure they will get, to encourage fast action.
The Dry Days
It is important to understand that things might go a bit quiet in the middle. This is why
shorter campaigns, which keep their momentum through this period, tend to be more
Better Late Than Never
At some point you see your deadline approaching, and start to panic! You promote your
project more vigorously, stressing the urgency of backers' donations. Very often this
works! Some early backers may even make an additional donation because they want
to see your campaign succeed. In crowdfunding, the majority of donations are received
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towards the beginning and the end of campaigns because of the buzz
that is created around the openings and deadlines. As things come to
the end and you haven’t hit your goal, you don't need to panic.
Regardless of if you hit your goal or not, you will receive whatever funds you raise.
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Section 2 - Creating Your Campaign
Creating Your Campaign 2
We have gone to great lengths to make getting set up quick and painless.
When you start a new campaign, much of the information will be defaulted to make it
easy for you to get up and running quickly. We have pre-filled some of the basic info so
you only need to edit the places specific to your music program, such as titles and
images. Feel free to completely make it your own, however.
Although we have included pre-filled rewards so you don’t have to search out rewards
to give to pledgers, feel free to edit or add your own. When your campaign ends, we
will provide you with all of the info you need to fulfill using the provided rewards we have
preset for you.
Below is a step by step instruction guide to set up your campaign.
Step 1: Sign up at
• Enter your name, email, password and press Create My Account.
Step 2: Create a wePay account to accept funds
• This happens automatically when you press start a new campaign on the “My
Campaigns” page.
• Just enter your name, email, and password and press Create My Account.
• Your bank account info is not required to begin, only to withdraw funds at the end
of your campaign.
Step 3: Enter your campaigns basic information.
• Enter your school name, project title and other basic info.
• Set your goal. Learn about goals in the Appendix of this Handbook - (Section 5).
• Set your campaign length for around 30 days.
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Step 4: Review, edit, or change the preset rewards.
• You can add a new reward at the bottom of the section by pressing the red New
Reward button.
• You can learn more about rewards in the Appendix of this Handbook (Section 5).
• We have pre-filled several rewards for you. Some are all profit, and we have
included a few tangible rewards to encourage pledgers to contribute.
• If you like what we filled in, just skip past this step. Otherwise, edit at will!
• Be sure you review and edit the delivery date for each reward, based on your
best estimates for delivery.
• For the prizes that need to be shipped, make sure you allow for around 3 months
for the estimated delivery, though it will likely be delivered in a third of the time.
Step 5: Review or replace video.
• We have provided you with a basic video that we can customize with pics and
the name of your school & music program, but you can also make your own.
• Make sure you replace the default cover pic to a picture of your music class.
• If you want us to customize your provided video, just keep the default video as it
is, and after you submit your campaign we will customize your video with images
you added to your campaign content before publishing your campaign.
• If you make a custom video, it does not have to be professional. Some of the
most successful videos are made with webcams or iPhones.
• You can either make a new one, use the customized one we give you, or edit the
one we send with your own video cuts and/or soundtrack.
• You can learn more about videos in the Appendix of this Handbook (Section 5).
Step 6: Edit your campaigns Main Description
• Review, edit, or replace the Call To Action at the top of the Main Description.
(120 characters is a good length)
• Replace the photos and titles with your own and add other content as needed.
Content is important for inspiring people to pledge. The most successful
campaigns are those that raise money for specific items or purposes rather than
just a general budget fundraiser. Remember that people will respond to the
“why” first so when you write your content give them your “why” then your “how”
then your “what”.
• Upload logos for local businesses who have pledged on Ad Levels (See the
Appendix Section 5 to learn about pledge prizes).
• Delete the tax deductible image if your school's status does not allow for that.
• You can use Headings 1, 2, and 3 using the Paragraph Settings drop down, to
create sections.
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• Feel free to make this your own. If you have trouble with
formatting don’t worry, because we will help you get your
campaign looking perfect before we publish it.
Step 7: Review, edit or replace the Sharing Details.
• This will be the info that will be pre-filled when people click “tweet” or “like” on
your campaign page.
• Facebook and twitter sharing text has been pre-filled, and just needs you to
replace the school names.
• Feel free to customize the sharing text further.
• Make sure you are mindful of the character limits (120 characters).
• The link to your campaign will also be added to each tweet and like.
Step 8: Check the “Agree to Terms” box and submit your campaign.
• We will approve and publish your campaign within 24-72 hours.
Step 9: Subscribe to comments.
• After hitting save, your campaign will appear. Click on the comments tab, then
click on the “Subscribe” button on the bottom left of the comments section.
• Add your email to subscribe. This will ensure you receive an email each time
someone leaves a comment on your campaign.
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Section 3 - Promoting Your Campaign
Promoting Your Campaign 3
Whether you've built up your tribe or not, the best way to achieve early donations is by
tapping into your student & parent network. Once you get a few donations your project
will look more credible to other backers. It doesn’t matter if you call, text, email, tweet, or
send messages on Facebook - the messages just have to be PERSONAL. Above all
else, YOU MUST ASK for your supporters to pledge & share. Ask nicely, but ASK!
Email is your first line of attack.
Compile all of your network’s emails into lists - include: parents, students, alumni, local
community supporters, press, local businesses, administrators, student body, family and
friends. Mail Chimp is a great service to manage email lists and blasts. It provides
analytics on who opens and clicks the email you send, helping you to gauge the overall
effectiveness of your emails.
Email and ask for support (you have to ask or no one will help).
Once compiled, send an email to everyone with a link to the campaign and ask them to
do two things. 1. Pledge to your campaign. 2. Share the campaign with their friends,
family, and networks and encourage parents and students to do the same. You can
either send one to everyone or send separate emails to business, press, student &
parents. Mail Chimp allows you to send bulk emails without having to worry about it
going to people's spam folders
Promoting to Local Businesses
1. Inform local business supporters and ask them to pledge to support your music
program. Mention the ads you will post on the campaign for higher level
donations and the need to pledge early to get more exposure.
2. If businesses pledge, upload their logo in the Main Description of the Campaign
under the Local Patrons Section.
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3. Ask local businesses to ask their networks to pledge using social
media and email. Share the link to your campaign page with
them so they can share it.
Promoting to Local Press
1. Inform the local press about your campaign and goals, and ask them to write
stories about your campaign and post about it on their social media networks.
2. We have created a press release available for download that you can customize
specifically for your school.
3. Share the link to your campaign for them to use in their articles.
4. Tell them you and/or your students would love to do an interview for them.
5. Contact popular local blogs, radio stations, or even news stations.
6. This doesn't have to be too time-consuming – quick phone calls or short
messages are all that's needed to gauge initial interest.
7. Crowdfunding is still relatively new and so your local press may well be
interested in what you're doing.
Promoting to Students, Parents & Supporters
1. Inform students and parents about your crowdfunding campaign and let them
know that you need their help sharing the campaign with their friends, family, and
social networks.
2. We suggest you get them all together in a room before the campaign begins.
3. Share the link to your campaign with each student and parent so they can use it
to share the campaign in emails and on their social networks.
4. Motivate parents and students each day to continue sharing and talking about
the campaign to keep buzz alive. i.e. keep the link on your marker board or in
view of students at all times & send consistent email and social media reminders.
Promoting on Social Media
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1. Send consistent updates to your school’s social media networks, asking your
network to pledge (people won’t give unless you ask), share your video and give
updates on your progress.
2. (optional) Create a group on Facebook linking to your campaign and invite
people in your network. Encourage students and parents to do the same.
3. (optional) Write a blog about your campaign giving your personal thoughts and
post your video there. (share this with press, businesses, students & parents).
4. Successful campaigns consist of entertaining social media updates such as daily/
weekly video updates, shout outs to people who have already pledged, fun facts
about your music group/students, etc.
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Section 4 - After Your Campaign
After Your Campaign 4
Accessing Pledger Data
In the “My Campaigns” section you will see a “payments” button to the left of the listing
for your campaign. Click that button and you will immediately see some data about your
pledgers. Download the .CSV file at the top right of the page to access even more data
including who referred each pledger and shipping info (in case you need it). You will
find the names and email addresses of each pledger, so that you can followup with
updates and fulfill their rewards.
My project has finished. What now?
Whether you've reached your overall campaign goal or not, it's important to say thank
you to the backers who placed their faith in you. You can do this with a social media
update, but it's also important to send emails. It's a nice touch to continue to add
updates to your project to let backers know how you're getting on throughout the year.
Think of it as preparing for your next campaign; always be cultivating your network!
Thanking your pledgers & delivering rewards.
As part of your thank you messages, let backers know when they can expect to receive
their rewards. Delays do occur, and backers won't mind this as long as you let them
know! It's better to use emails (rather than social media updates) for this, as you'll be
sure they have seen it. A brief hand-written “thank you” with each mailed reward is a
great way to bring your successful crowdfunding campaign to a close.
Info about the pre-filled rewards.
Before your campaign comes to a close we will send you all the information you will
need on fulfilling the ordered rewards. We promise fulfillment will be painless, and we
will help you all along the way.
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Section 5 - Appendix
Appendix 5
Setting Your Goal
• If you haven’t had a fundraiser in awhile, you might set your goal for your entire
budget. Crowdfunding campaigns are a good way to centralize all of the community
buzz and fundraising into one short 30 day sprint.
• Don't decide on a goal yourself. Involve your students! Dialog with them about how
much THEY think is a realistic amount to raise and what they’d like to use the money
for. This will help them feel more responsible for the outcome and keep them
• You will receive all funds raised whether or not you hit your goal, so it doesn’t hurt to
overshoot a bit.
• Don’t overshoot to an unrealistic number. You can receive funds in excess of your
goal and it is better for morale when you exceed your goal rather than miss it.
• Pledges allow you to receive much more than the actual cost of the prize.. it is
psychology, people are pledging not buying something. The reward is just a cherry.
• Have your students to set personal goals. We have incentive prizes available for
you to purchase to give to students that reach their goal. Student Goals are tracked
by asking pledgers who referred them when they check out and can be seen in your
payment section. Learn more about peer to peer fundraising in our Campaign
Preparation Blog.
• You can track payments in the payment section of your campaign. Get there by
clicking the “Payments” button on the “My Campaign” page.
Payments & Withdrawing Money
• After signing up and starting your first campaign, you will be prompted to create your
wePay account by entering your email and name. This is all you have to do to begin
accepting funds.
• wePay accepts funds in an online account that you can access at anytime.
• You don’t have to connect your bank account to wePay until you are ready to
withdraw money.
• You keep all the money pledged whether or not you reach your goal.
• You can withdraw money at anytime from your wePay Dashboard.
• WePay’s merchant fee for each transaction is 2.9% +30c, but that fee is passed on
to the backer when checking out. That way it doesn’t come out of your cash!
• You will also notice that a fee of 10% is deducted by Fund Music Ed to cover our
expenses and keep the lights on. This means you keep up to 90%. Fees are
deducted automatically.
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• You can submit refunds from your wePay dashboard. We suggest you keep a small
amount of funds in your wePay account at all times to accommodate possible
• You may notice at times throughout your campaign that your wePay account may
not equal what you see raised on the website. The reason for this is that money
does not go into wePay until it has cleared your pledger’s bank account or credit
card. If the transaction is still pending in some manner it will not be applied to your
WePay account until the transaction is complete.
• Any refund will not reflect on your website total but will be seen in your wePay
Pledge Rewards
• By default, when you create a new campaign we have pre-filled all the pledge prizes.
Some are all profit for you, and others have a selected vendor that requires a fee for
the prize.
• We have chosen the levels based on best practices from several successful
crowdfunding campaigns. If you choose to make your own, just be creative!
• It is important to have a few tangible items included with 100% profit levels, as the
power of crowdfunding is to offer backers real rewards for pledging.
• “I Helped Fund Music Ed” T-shirts are just $7 each with free shipping!
• Many pledge prizes offer a new reward, but include some of the lower levels as well.
It is important to list that in the description of the rewards. This helps encourage
higher pledges.
• If you are not allowed to hold a raffle due to school restrictions, you can change the
10 prize to something else and remove the note on other levels about the raffle.
• We have listed a few levels to give 10% of the funds from that level into a
scholarship for one of your seniors. You will be responsible for following through
with the scholarship, but we think it’s a great idea for the student & for how it will
encourage people to pledge.
• We have included ad levels for businesses & families to purchase ad space or
senior space in your concert programs. You know your prices better than us.. edit at
will. These levels also offer image space on your campaign profile. To add their
image, just edit the campaign and add the image to the “Our Local Sponsors”
section in the “Project Content” tab.
• We ship all of your purchased prizes to your school when the campaign ends. We
hope to soon ship items directly to pledgers!
• If you choose to customize the rewards, choose trusted vendors that offer you a
huge margin and will ship the items to your school.
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• After your campaign ends, you will receive all of the funds donated, minus our
service charge (10%), and we will provide you with a fulfillment packet; that will
provide you with everything you need to successfully fulfill pledge rewards.
• You will be responsible for delivering the prizes to pledgers.
Campaign Videos
• We provide you with a stock video.
• If you want us to customize your provided video, just keep the default video as it is,
and after you submit your campaign we will customize your video with images you
added to your campaign content before publishing your campaign.
• When we are done customizing your video, we will send you the video to upload to
youtube, or we can also upload it for you to our youtube channel and send you a link
if you prefer.
• You can further customize your video by splicing in video of your students &
teachers (I’m sure one of your students knows how to edit video).
• If you choose to make your own video or splice video into the one we provide you,
don’t worry about the quality. Some of the best videos are simple, made with a
webcam or iPhone. The most important aspect of your video is that you tell your
story and connect personally with the viewer.
• Also don’t forget to ask for pledges in your video. You have to ask to get pledges.
• Why post a video? For a start, statistics. Other popular crowfunding platforms have
found that projects with videos are 147% more likely to achieve their fundraising
• Crowdfunding's meteoric rise as a fundraising model is largely because it allows
backers to engage with projects and their creators, and experience their enthusiasm.
A video is your opportunity to get this across, and is far more effective than even the
most elegant prose.
• Here are two resources to help you make great videos: Article 1 & Article 2.
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