At the World Floorball Championships in Riga success is a question of money, too. Many smaller federations try to save their budgets with crowdfunding. But they fail. So how to do it right?
Canary Islands. The Swedish national team, relaxing in the sun, running on the beach, preparing for the next international tournament. Such pictures are entertaining, but kind of frustrating, too. To other nations such a preparation is a dream that won’t come true very soon. No matter how hard they try.
In fact, most of the smaller federations, male or female teams, adults or juniors, have to charge their players hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to be able to organize their participation at international tournaments.
To some the potential of crowdfunding platforms had become an attractive tool to collect money for their projects. However, many of them failed to reach their goals or didn’t even start, because they didn’t know how. If you want to walk this path, here are some rules to bear in mind:
1. Find the right platform
It’s not just about Kickstarter. Check out which platform attracts the right crowd. You’re not looking for techies or arty farty guys, you’re looking for sporty, goodwill folks (check out StartSomeGood or fairplaid.org). Important, find a platform in your native language. You’ll have to count on parents and older family members, that might not be firm in english. Others just don’t trust sending money to some random foreign institution.
2. Explain why
Sounds too simple? It isn’t. Nobody feels motivated to donate money for some anonymous fellows making active holidays in Latvia. Explain, why this project is not only important to the team, but to the whole community your backers are part of. Explain, that this money will directly support the growth of floorball in your country, bring it into media, power youth sports and help everyone involved – at the end your backers, too.
3. Don’t fly too high
Crowdfunding platforms operate by the rule, that you only get your money, if you reached the goal you set before. It’s no use calling for the whole team budget of 30.000 dollars, getting solid 5.000, but letting them go again, because you were too greedy. Rather aim for a lower mark and explain why you actually need more and what your real budget is. Don’t worry, people won’t stop donating just like that.
4. Make real deals
Don’t start with peanuts. If you allow them to support you with 5 bucks, some will be happy to get a good conscience so cheap. If they really want to help, they will pay more. But usually folks are not donating for nothing. Backers want something in return, so offer something they like. Nobody needs postcards for 2 dollars. Invite them to a training course with the national team, provide them with a signed jersey, give them a really cool key chain (yes, they can be really cool) or a gift card of your sponsor. Also aim for clubs. For a higher sum, your national team coach might drop by and teach them a lesson.
5. Use your (full) network
It’s unlikely to get any support by “non-floorballers”. You’re dependent on your own community and your own network. That means, that your federation’s facebook page is not the only channel you have. Explain clubs, they have to spread the word and motivate their members, so they spread the word too and motivate their friends and fellows… and so on and so on. This will not happen automatically. You’ll have to ask for it. By the way, look for real influencers, such as big clubs, popular players or famous fans, that have a lot of followers, and think of some special agenda.
6. Invest money
This might sound strange – investing money you don’t have? Yep. Build a nice facebook campaign communicating your crowdfunding project, connect it with a viral competition for a signed jersey, target your peer group and boost it with 100 dollars. If you do it properly, this money will definitely pay off.
7. Keep the news rolling
Your project needs more than a loud starting shot. Prepare continuous content you can permanently remind your community with. Try to personalize a lot. Introduce players and stuff members (and their stories) in videos that create empathy and the desire to help these sympathic folks.
8. It’s not over when it’s over
We’re not talking about the administrative part (that can get tricky in some countries). Stay faithful to you backers, perhaps give them something extra after all is set and done. It’s very likely, you’ll need them in two years again.
BONUS: Success story
The German federation had its fair share of failed crowdfunding projects. But lately Floorball Deutschland had some real success stories. Here you can check out the projects of the Men’s and the Women’s U19 national teams.