Entrepreneur Program Blog / Crowdfunding Tips from Indiegogo & Kickstarter Experts

EforAll Crowdfunding Workshop

2014 EforAll Crowdfunding Workshop

On August 6th, over 70 people attended the EforAll Crowdfunding Workshop in Lowell. This event featured experts who have run successful Indiegogo and Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns. They included:

  • Julia Gavin, Board Member of the Arts League of Lowell (ALL) – Ran a successful Indiegogo Campaign that raised over $6,000. ALL fosters and celebrates creativity and artistic expression in Lowell and the surrounding areas
  • Nathan Rothstein, Founder of Project Repat – Ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign that had over 175 backers. Project Repat is a venture that transforms old t-shirts into beautiful blankets
  • Sam Antonacio, Founder of Spiceventure – Ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign that raised over $10K. This helped launch their international food truck venture that sells Indian, Lao, Khmer, and Thai Food
  • Lianna Kushi, Program Manager at EforAll- Ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign that raised over $5K for the Angkor Dance Troupe to fund a world-premiere show

If you are thinking about launching a crowdfudning campaign, here are some helpful tips from the workshop:

Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo


  • It’s an “all or nothing” model. If you reach your goal, you get to keep the money raised. If you don’t, you get nothing, and all of your funders will get a refund
  • Only funds “creative projects.” Basically these are projects where one specific thing is made (film, game, book)
  • Monthly Traffic: 5.5 Million U.S.


  • Even if you don’t raise your target goal, you can still keep a percentage of the funds raised
  • Accepts all types of projects
  • Monthly Traffic: 919,000 U.S.

Before Your Campaign Begins

  • Decide which platform is right for you. There are other platforms out there besides Kickstarter and Indiegogo – think where does your community go online
  • Have a specific ask (don’t be vague, tell funders exactly what you would like to use with the money)
  • Set an attainable fundraising goal (with Kickstarter, if you don’t hit your target, you lose all of the funds)
  • Craft a clear message
  • Try to make a great video. This will help your campaign be more successful
  • Build up your fundraiser base (you want an audience in place before the campaign begins)
  • Create an outreach strategy. Where it’s press, networking events, how will you reach people and how will they find out about you.
  • Don’t go at it alone, have support.

During the Campaign

  • Hustle! Don’t just sit back, get out there and network (whether in person or online, make sure you’re connecting with potential donors)
  • Schedule time to devote to the campaign, for example Sam spent 2 hours a day promoting Spiceventure’s Kickstarter for the duration of the campaign
  • Write energetic and engaging updates
  • Make expectations clear, especially when rewards will be received
  • Do good to get good. Help promote other campaigns in your space, even maybe donate a little here and there. It’s a community so what goes around could come around
  • But remember, don’t solely do it to get something, you may be disappointed

After the Campaign

  • Fulfill your promise to the backers! Make sure that you deliver what you’ve said you will. If something comes up and you can’t or things change let them know
  • Communicate and update. Related to above, let your donors know what’s going on. If something new has happened because of their support, share it with them
  • If you don’t succeed, don’t be bitter and thank those who supported you. Find other ways to engage them and get them connected to your company or your cause

Crowdfunding isn’t for Everyone

  • There are lots of way to connect with customers and even to get them to prepay besides crowdfunding. For example Nathan, with Project Repat found flash sale sites like Groupon and Living Social to have a further reach and generate more sales
  • Certain businesses and ideas don’t do well on crowdfunding
  • It’s time consuming and may not pay off, weight your priorities. If you’re a non-profit it may seem like an innovative fun thing to try, but think about where your donors are and who they are. If you’re trying to engage a new base, make sure they are likely to be on these sites or attracted to online donor campaigns.