If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen a friend or acquaintance trying to raise money through crowdfunding. People use these newly popular platforms to collect donations for trips, creative projects, business startups, tuition and really anything else you could imagine. Because crowdfunding has proven lucrative for many small-business owners, many dance studios try fundraising with KickStarter dance campaigns or other crowdfunding resources when they’re in need of new facilities, recital venues, transportation to competitions, studio upgrades and more.
Some studio owners might be skeptical of this method of collecting donations, but with the right platform and marketing, the results can be impressive. Dance Studio Life explained that one former professional dancer in Virginia managed to raise $2,500 to open her own studio and provide attire for less fortunate students.
If you’re thinking about giving crowdfunding a try, here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your campaign.
The Appeal of Crowdfunding
The reason that crowdfunding has really taken off is simply because it’s a simpler way for people to raise money. Most studio owners know how hard it is to raise a significant sum through car washes or bake sales, and online fundraising gets rid of all that hassle.
The new way to raise money has become especially useful for artists, including those in the dance community. According to Dance Teacher magazine, the Kickstarter dance category actually has one of the highest success rates.
“One of the reasons dancers have been so successful is that they tend to ask for more modest sums, which makes the campaign more manageable and likely to be funded,” Dianne Debicella of Fractured Atlas explained to Dance Teacher magazine. “Dancers also have strong communities and are able to get the word out to their circles.”
Best Practices for Studios
Once you’ve decided to launch a campaign on a crowdfunding site, the first step is to choose which platform suits your needs. Some of the most popular options are Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe, but these choices all come with stipulations and parameters that may or may not work with your goals. Take time to research each site, read through their frequently asked questions and see how well similar campaigns are performing. One big decision you’ll need to make is whether to choose an all-or-nothing approach, where projects that don’t meet their goals get none of the pledges.
You’ll also want to do the bulk of your planning well before you launch the campaign. Entrepreneur magazine recommended that you start spreading the word about your goals to your patrons and supporter six months before you go live on a crowdfunding site.
Another best practice is to offer more than just a thank-you email to your donors. You can encourage parents and students to contribute by offering a discount on next season’s tuition or on studio merchandise. This is also a good way to ensure your re-enrollment rates will be high!
Tips for Success
After your launched your campaign, it’s important to stay on top of managing it. After all, you probably won’t meet your goals if you set up the account, then forget about it. Here are some tips to keep in mind as your promote your fundraiser.
- Post your crowdfunding page to social media accounts, and encourage dedicated patrons to share the link.
- Don’t be afraid to share the campaign with local arts groups who could generate interest in your cause.
- People respond well to visuals, so include pictures and videos in your campaign.
- Find out what promotional tactics work, then adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Collect donor emails and give them updates after your campaign is complete. Many people will be happy to see what they helped create.