Are you ready for crowdfunding? Four past THIS PLACE MATTERS participants offer their advice

By Alison Faulknor, New Initiatives Director, National Trust for Canada

Here at the National Trust we have a special vantage point with our THIS PLACE MATTERS crowdfunding competition. We have the great privilege of watching and helping hard-working and passionate community organizations pull out the stops to win and raise money for their much beloved historic spaces. I will be honest, as I watch these groups in action, I’m not sure I would be this brave!

Crowdfunding takes moxie. It takes a plan, creativity and a lot of sweat to manage the peaks and valleys of your campaign. But, it is also an enormous amount of fun and a powerful fundraising tool. Recently, we asked our 2016 THIS PLACE MATTERS participants what they learned about crowdfunding and what they gained from the experience.

Port Dalhousie
Community members gather at the Locks in Port Dalhousie to celebrate their 2016 THIS PLACE MATTERS win.

Here is what they told us.

On the importance of harnessing both traditional media and social media….

“We learned that it is important to get the word out via traditional media and especially social media. We contacted all of our network of friends, family and community leaders to spread the word.” LETHBRIDGE MAIN STREET PROJECT

“We made sure we got the word of the contest out through social media, to every possible media outlet, we got in touch with people using every mass email list we had access to, and we hosted and participated in every community event going in the month of October. Before long, everyone in town knew about the project, and they voted every day – and likely ran the other way when they saw us coming!” FRIENDS OF THE KENTVILLE LIBRARY

On the power of video…

“I think one of the most important things we did in preparing for the competition was preparing a video presentation.  People seem to react to vision and dreams when you help them to “see” it, a video is a great force multiplier.” KIWANIS CLUB OF ST CATHARINES

On having a clear vision…

“The other really important aspect to our win was our project itself, and our vision for it within the community. While we lagged behind in some areas, we always knew that we had a really great historic space, and how important a new library would be to our town, our downtown.  It also helped that everyone on our project team was not only engaged in the project but passionate in a deeply personal way. Passion for a clear goal was critical to our success.” FRIENDS OF THE KENTVILLE LIBRARY


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