The concept of crowdfunding has been around for a while, but unfortunately, not everyone knows how to use it correctly.
“It’s certainly taken off in the last five to 10 years,” said Suzanne Paschall, Saskatchewan ambassador for the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA).
“It started, really, with charitable crowdfunding, which probably isn’t surprising, because they’re the funding experts. Raising money for charities has a long and storied history.”
They were really the first to get their heads around the concept of bringing crowdfunding to the Internet, said Paschall, from there, people began to use the concept for everything from community to artistic pursuits. Now, a popular platform for crowdfunding is the rewards-based model, where rewards are given to each contributor based on how much money they put toward the campaign.
These days, sites like Kickstarter, indiegogo and FundRazr make it easy for anyone to simply push a button and start a crowdfunding campaign. But for a lot of people who don’t know how to plan their campaign properly, they may end up in the 65 per cent of rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns that end in failure.
“The big push right now is really to educate people about how to plan properly and execute properly crowdfunding campaigns,” said Paschall. “Our goal overall is to, you know, I think in the entire industry across portal owners and suppliers and all the people involved in the industry is to see that success rate go up.”
That’s what the upcoming Let’s Talk: Crowdfunding 101 workshop in Lloydminster is all about. Led by Paschall, the workshop will cover the basics of organizing and planning crowdfunding campaigns.
“I believe in it, and I’ve found it to be very beneficial to my business and I can see a lot of future benefit for a lot of small business entre- preneurs,” said Paschall. “In particular, for cultural entrepreneurs in the literature, music and art fields.”
Paschall, who is also the editor in chief of Indie Ink Publishing, has personally used the crowdfunding model to benefit her business.
“I was looking for different strategies to mitigate risk and manage cashflow better,” she said. Being in the publishing business, she reserves a lot of money for editing, design and printing, with return profits (if any) coming in three to six months after books hit the shelves.
Crowdfunding seemed to fix that problem.
Let’s Talk: Crowdfunding 101 workshop will take place Thursday, Sept. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Regional Business Accelerator. Tickets are $20 for members and $50 for non-members.