What is the The Spark Project?

The Spark Project is a community for Filipinos to support and crowdfund projects that are creative, innovative, and passion-driven. It is a local platform that showcases projects to like-minded people who are willing to pitch in money for something compelling and worthwhile. These supporters, called backers, get rewarded when they fund a project. These rewards may range from a personalized thank you note to a limited edition product; all mindfully conceptualized by the project as a thank you to their backers.

What Crowdfunding Is

Crowdfunding is a new term but an old and simple concept. It is the pooling small amounts of money from a large number of individuals to fund a project or venture. It leverages on web technologies such as e-commerce and social media, making it accessible and convenient for anyone interested to show support. A form of fund-raising activity, but unlike donation-based systems, it heavily anchors on a rewards system. It is a very public way of raising funds for you project where transparency is key.

What Crowdfunding Is Not

As crowdfunding has already gaining popularity over the years, there are still some misconceptions which people have about Crowdfunding and how it works. So, to help Project Creators better understand Crowdfunding, below are some common misconceptions:

Crowdfunding is just posting your campaign online.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but running a crowdfunding campaign online requires hard work – and a lot of it. A crowdfunding campaign has three stages, namely: the pre-campaign preparation, the campaign proper, and the post-campaign activities.

In order to have a successful crowdfunding campaign, all the elements of a campaign should have already been thought through. The pre-campaign preparation includes identifying the initial set of backers, a promotion plan, and the readying the set of rewards. The campaign proper is the execution of the promotion plan as well as rallying the crowd to support your campaign. The post-campaign activities involves the delivery of the promised rewards to the backers as well as providing follow-throughs for your Project.

So, it’s not really a walk in the park. But, don’t be scared. Our team is dedicated in ensuring that Project Creators are ready to take on the Crowdfunding campaign by offering them advice and support.

The crowd will come to you.

By far, the internet is the greatest, most useful invention that this century has. Because of the World Wide Web, it is now easier for people to search for their interests by just one click. However, just like what advertisers say, people, nowadays, are swamped with billions of information, making it also harder to hold their interest in a long period of time.

Given this, it is important that Project Creators actively and aggressively push their stories out there so that the crowd would gain awareness, interest – and hopefully, action – with the project campaign. It is a mistaken belief that crowdfunding is all about people coming to the Project or the Project Creator. It is rather about going to the Crowd and inviting them to support the cause.

There actually is a crowd.

There are a lot of instances when people think of ideas and implementing them just to find out that their product/service is really not what others need, want, or will even support.

Having the word “crowd” in crowdfunding is there for a reason. It simply means taking into consideration what the crowd thinks about and what they are interested in. The crowd may include the community to which the campaign is for, or the community of backers who are willing to support the campaign, or even both. As point number two above suggests, the crowd, more often than not, better respond to stories (and campaigns for that matter) which they can relate to.

Benefits of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is usually associated with raising funds. But most successful crowdfunders would say that the money they raised through crowdfunding is just icing on the cake.

Crowdfunding is a good way to test your market and validate your idea, build your community, and get feedback from your customers. Not to mention the possible opportunities that could spin off from a successful crowdfunding campaign.

For the Project Creator: Things to consider when building a crowdfunding campaign

The Story

All crowdfunding campaign involves a compelling story to which your backers or supporters can easily identify with. This can be your personal story, the community’s story, or a story on how the product/service came about.

In order for a story to be effective, here are some tips that we want to share with you:

1) Use videos and images. Use clear photographs, video narrations, graphs, and promotional materials so that your backers can visually relate to your story. This will work wonders for your campaign!

2) Write your paragraphs in a clear and concise manner. The trick is to catch the reader’s attention immediately by the first to second sentences

3) Tell the specifics first and then go to the generic details. In this way, your story can focus first on what you aim to do and will later on show how it fits a bigger picture.

The Crowd

As mentioned earlier, it is a false belief that your supporters or backers will just pop-out from nowhere. If they do, then Crowdfunding should have been easier! However, running a campaign requires effort in engaging the crowd to support your campaign.

Based on our site’s historical records, a campaigns first set of backers actually come from the Project Creator’s inner circle – his friends and family. So, it is important that you already engage them (and even have them pledge) prior having your campaign go live.

There also types of people who would first need concrete proof that your project is doable. So, it is important that specific details on execution and reward delivery be included in your campaign write-up.

The Rewards

Rewards are usually outputs made from the project. Backers love limited editions, personalized experiences, and unique mementos. By offering rewards, backers are given a chance to take part in and have something to remember about your Spark Project. It is a must that you offer rewards to your supporters. And it goes without saying that you should also make it a point to deliver these rewards as expected. Backers respond well to well conceptualized rewards.

The Funding Goal

Typically, your funding goal is the minimum amount you need to raise in order to cover costs of your project. But, you can always exceed your funding goal. When thinking of the amount you should put, you can also have in mind the Pareto principal – 80% of your goal will come from your immediate supporters and 20% will come from casual walk-in customers.

In our site, the maximum funding goal that you can put for one project is P300, 000.00.

The Funding Duration

This pertains the optimal time in which you can raise your identified Funding Goal. The most feasible funding duration based on our statistics is 30 days.

For the Backer: Support a project and get rewarded for chipping in.

When you go through the different funding campaigns on the site, you’re bound to discover awesome projects from people just like you. Watch their video pitches and be inspired by their stories. Once you’ve found a project that you’d like to support, back the project and get a reward in return. These rewards may range from a personalized thank you note to a limited edition of a product; all are mindfully conceptualized by the project as a thank you to their supporters. Keep updated about the project’s progress and get in touch with the creators personally.

Got other questions? Do visit our FAQs section or email us at info@thesparkproject.com.

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Community for Creative Entrepreneurs & Changemakers