People like to give to a good cause. The way people identify with a cause is through a story.

You have a crowdfunding story, and that’s what you need to tell through your crowdfunding page to be successful.

You’ll do this in 3 ways – your video, description, and the updates you send to your Backers along the way.

But first, you need to know what your crowdfunding story is. To help you, we’ve put together some questions:

Who are you?

Introducing yourself is important. People are supporting YOU. Is there anything special they should know about you?

If you’re working as part of a group, introduce each member, and their place within the team.

What are you trying to do?

Can you boil it down to a sentence or two? What’s your “elevator pitch”?

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“Why?” is the central pillar of your campaign. It is the reason people will actually get out their credit cards, so you will have a few questions to answer here.

Be original in the way you present your project, in order to make it stand out from all the others: this is THE question that will help you catch the attention of your future Backers!

  • Why have you chosen this path?
  • Why is it important to you – and others?
  • Why is this funding crucial to you right now?
  • Why should people want to get involved?
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How are you going to reach your goal?

A key part to you crowdfunding story is explaining your strategy and the things you have already done. A bit of early momentum shows Backers you are committed and increases their confidence.

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What do you need the money for?

If you are trying to cover a few things (for example, a field trip might cover flights, accommodation, food, and equipment hire), telling people how this breaks down is a good idea.

Kelly is from the UK and has just started her PhD in Environmental Policy and Development. As part of her studies, she’ll need to research the influences of coastal zone management on the transmission of aquatic animal pathogens (to study the influence of farm management practices and wild aquatic animal migrations on pathogen establishment and transmission between farmed and wild sites). Kelly’s tuition fees are covered by a scholarship, and she has a part-time tutoring job to cover her accommodation and daily life. But she needs extra funds to cover the costs of her research. She needs to raise £2,500 for two trips: one to visit aquatic farms in England and Norway, and one to a European research conference in Brussels.

To start, Kelly answered the questions above. These are her answers:

Who are you? My name is Kelly Smith and I am 24 years old. I’ve been studying to work in coastal zone management, which is about the effective enforcement of regulations and environmental impact assessment. I already have a master degree in Earth, Environmental & Ocean Studies but I’ve been interested and involved in these matters since high school. I used to volunteer for a local environment protection association.

What are you trying to do? As part of my studies, I need to go on two research trips: One to visit aquatic farms in England and Norway, and one to a European research conference in Brussels.

Why is this funding crucial? I grew up in a coastal village, and over my lifetime, I’ve seen the area change due to rise of tourism and an evolution of local activity from rural to more urban uses. This has undoubtedly impacted the environment – the big questions are by how much, and whether this will have larger impacts on other parts of the ecosystem. My studies will help us understand what’s going on, and provide some ideas as to how we may be able to minimise any negative effects.

Why should people want to get involved? The changes to our environment have brought good things like economic development, local infrastructures and modernization of services, but it also has its bad points. My studies look to reduce the pollution, shortage of fishing resources, and closure of local fisheries that have come with progress.

How am I going to reach my goal? I’ve been heavily involved and studying the field of environmental management for over 10 years. I’m on the last part of my studies before I can make a real difference. This campaign will allow me to gather vital data and share ideas with those currently researching in my area of expertise. Both of these activities will be important for the environmental future of the area. Now I need to ask my friends, family, and those who believe in the importance of the environment to help me fund my crowdfunding campaign.

What do I need the money for?

£2,000 – Flights, train tickets, and car rental

£500 – Local accommodation and food

We’re going to follow Kelly’s crowdfunding story throughout our help resources to show you how she creates and promotes her crowdfunding campaign.