Crowd-funding for your non-profit

Crowdfunding (CF) presentation, Thu 30 Aug 2018, AORTIC Secretariat (Mowbray, Cape Town)

On Thursday 30 August 2018, Belle & Co. Associate Alexandre Rodrigues presented a lecture on non-profit financing in South Africa, with a focus on crowdfunding.  Alex is a CAIA (Certified Alternative Investment Analyst) charter holder, and works as an investment principal at Edge Growth, an SME growth specialist and impact investor.

The presentation delivered by Alex covered the following topics:

  • What is crowdfunding?
  • How does crowdfunding work?
  • How do you put a campaign together?
  • What resources do you need?
  • What platforms can you use?
  • Q&A

The presentation lasted an hour and participants in attendance were mostly from cancer non-profit companies (NPCs) AORTIC and CANSA.  Only a few participants had had some exposure to crowdfunding, with one having run an entire campaign on rewards-based international CF platform Indiegogo (to raise funding for a music concert), another having used GivenGain (also a global CF platform, but charity-based) for on-going small donations (for their cancer related NPC) whilst the last person had mostly only heard of CF (in a corporate model run by a financial services firm, OUTvest by Outsurance – a way to crowdfund one’s investing goals).

Alex began the presentation by highlighting the main sectors that use crowdfunding (social causes at 30% followed by small businesses/ entrepreneurs at 17%, with creative industries in third place at 12%).  The various types of CF models were then briefly discussed (equity, rewards, charity and peer-to-peer/P2P lending) before the global stats on the quantum of financing raised via this mechanism were shown (over $50bn worldwide in 2016, with most devoted to P2P lending at over 75%).  SA examples of platforms offering the various CF models were presented (rewards-based: Thundafund, equity: UpRise.Africa, charity: Back-a-buddy and P2P: PeerFin/ Rainfin).

The presentation went on to describe the elements of successful campaigns (e.g. use of rich media like videos, short but punchy copy, tools to share the campaign on social media, deadlines on fundraising plus realistic targets, reaching the “tipping point” within the first 2/3 weeks etc), with a focus on South African rewards-based CF examples (mostly taken from SA CF platform Thundafund), including: Land for Lions, Siki’s Coffee Revolution and “Know Your Water”.

Alex then explained what factors to consider when choosing a CF platform for one’s campaign (fees, type of funding: all-or-nothing or keep what you raise, ability to use/ incorporate multimedia, social media sharing tools etc), before delving into the importance of defining what you need the funds for and why (clarity of purpose to engage your supporters).

The presenter then stressed the importance of having a (realistic) fundraising goal and ensuring that the campaign length is optimal (SA data on rewards-based CF campaigns show that the average successful campaign raises ~R25k over 9 weeks).

Alex then went on to explain how campaigns run by dynamic teams rather than just an individual generally outperform (mix of skills and broader networks), and how maintaining a budget for the project and campaign is key to avoid running out of cash during fundraising and execution of the project.

Towards the end of the presentation, Alex explained the significance of planning, especially during the critical times of one month prior to launch (ensuring the content is ready – rich media like photos and videos, plus copy for the story, milestones to report back to community on progress, thank you letters to donors/ supporters etc) as well as on the day (stressing the importance of being able to “launch in a day”, i.e. go all out during the 24 hours after the campaign goes live, sending links to the campaign via social media, emails and even considering a launch party to drum up excitement for the project).

Alex explained the significance of feeding back to the community throughout the campaign as an essential way to keep interest and momentum, i.e. maintaining the campaign, especially given the fact that up to 65% of the funds raised are done so in the first 2 and last 2 weeks (i.e. the importance of starting and ending strong) of a campaign.  It was noted that campaigns that didn’t get past the 30-40% fundraising mark in the first 2-3 weeks were unlikely to reach their goal by the end of the campaign.

Lastly, Alex walked the crowd through his experiences running his own charity-based CF campaign 5 years ago (in 2013) and what he did well (short, punchy copy; a thank you to donors) versus what he did poorly (lack of rich media, no updates to supporters etc).  The presentation ended with some general Q&A, during which participants asked questions such as: “what the best platform to raise charitable funding in SA was” (local platform vs international; answer: depends on if campaign could have global appeal or not, i.e. for cancer-related causes, either one could work), and “what a cancer NPC could use CF to raise funding for” (e.g. sending an underprivileged scientist to an international cancer conference; to pay for the publication/ printing of a cancer directory etc).

The group then broke for refreshments and general socializing, with catering provided for by AORTIC.

 

 

 

 

 

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Belle and Co. participates in Creative Activism Workshop

Tshisimani Activist Centre, Mowbray, Cape Town: March 2018

We were exposed to various forms of creative and cultural activism, read case studies, had a guest speaker from SWEAT sharing live campaigns, and we formed teams to pitch our activist campaign to others.

Our project centered around “community safety and security” where we came up with an innovative idea on how to utilise public spaces (especially street corners) to claim back or occupy the streets into productive community spaces.

We called it “The Triangle Project”. See video here.

Dive Deeper into SE: Social Enterprise Legal Training in Romania

Iasi, Romania: March, 2018

Belle and Co. Associates, Sicelo Mbonani and Adelaide Cupido, represented South Africa at the Dive Deeper into Social Entrepreneurship Programme focused on Legal Forms for Social Enterprise. Belle and Co. presented a comprehensive overview of legal forms in South Africa.

“Deep gratitude for #divedeeper South African consortium project partner @Belle & Co . for generating this opportunity to share learning and connect with 9 countries, 3 Continents. Ready to come back and multiply the impact through the public sessions we discussed. Awesome connecting with Sicelo as well and looking forward to collaborating with the team on SAcan soil. #we shared #we learned #we played #we grew” – Adelaide Cupido, Belle and Co Associate.

 

Belle and Co.as Design-thinking Coach in Germany

Munich, Germany: March, 2018

The International Academic Programme for Entrepreneurship (APE) Bootcamp is run by the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. This Bootcamp is about doing, not about listening to lectures. This is why participants will spend most of their time working on a real-life business idea in
teams. In addition an experienced team of coaches and mentors will be present to guide the learners through the process.

Belle and co. has been invited to be one of the Coaches on the APE Bootcamp, mentoring 65 students from about 10 different countries. At the end of 10 days working through the Human-Centred Design Thinking Innovation Process, the teams are expected to pitch their prototype to a panel of judges.

View the APE Programme Info here: APE-Bootcamp-2018

Here are some of the method cards and tools used during the Bootcamp: Methodcards APE Bootcamp

Dive into SE: Romania Social Enterprise Job Shadow

Iasi, Romania: September, 2017

Belle and co. Associate, Mohlomi Motloung, participated in a job shadow / study tour of social enterprises in Iasi, Romania.

Main aim of job shadowing activities is to provide the participants an opportunity to learn from good practices directly in the place and have possibility to network with stakeholders coming from other country, brainstorm ideas for future development of their social enterprises. Project will include more shadowing activities. Each activity will take 5 days, excluding travel days, it means one working week. Participants of job shadowing will be selected by each organization reflecting the aims and goals of each organization, their future plans and needs, interests of the participants.

Read Report Here: SE Job Shadow Report

Dive into SE: Bulgaria Study Visit

Sofia, Bulgaria: June, 2017

Belle and Co. Associate Nthakoana Maema, participated in a tightly curated study visit of social enterprises in Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the Dive in Social Entrepreneurship Programme. The main objective of the tour was to analyse successful Social Enterprise Business Models. Visits included engaging with a range of Successful Social Enterprises, as well as Local Government Departments (Social and Labour Dept).

See Report Here: DiveIn_Report_Sofia

Cultural Entrepreneurship Hub Project Launch

Munich, Germany: March 2017

The Goethe Institut and Strascheg Centre for Entrepreneurship (Munich University) have partnered to create a consortium to help build Cultural Entrepreneurship Hubs at Goethe Institut Greece, Indonesia and South Africa. The project is financed by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Belle and co. has been invited to be part of this consortium along with other local consultants from the three countries identified.

Read more about the project here.

Capacity Development: Arts Appreciation

Dunoon, Cape Town:  June, 2016

Belle and Co. conducted a bi-lingual (isiXhosa / English), 3-day Arts Appreciation training with artists from the Dunoon Community. The training included exploring career pathways in the music industry, cultural policy, arts fundraising as well as sage theatre industry advice from invited guest speaker, Sticks Mdidimba (Manager, Artscape Theatre). The workshop also included a 1 day cultural bus tour in the Cape Town CBD, meeting art industry stakeholders such as SAE Institute and iKapa Dance Company. Co-Facilitators: Ayanda Mpono, Belisa Rodrigues