You already use Prezi to share your ideas—now you can use Prezi to fund them. We’ve teamed up with RocketHub to make it just a little bit easier to turn your dreams into reality. Even the most innovative ideas are powerless without the people that believe in them. We created Prezi to help people express themselves and share their thoughts more effectively, because we know that it takes a village to bring an idea to life. The folks at RocketHub feel the same way; as one of the leading crowdfunding platforms on the web, RocketHub is focused on helping individuals connect with a community that can give them the resources they need to make amazing things happen. Prezi & RocketHub—A Match Made in Heaven We are thrilled to announce that RocketHub is the first platform of its kind to integrate Prezi into the crowdfunding equation. With a simple click, you can now embed prezis on your RocketHub project page, making it easier than ever to impress and engage with the potential funders who have the power to send your ideas into action. To celebrate this coming together, we have partnered with RocketHub to launch the Fuel For Ideas Challenge, a unique opportunity to use Prezi to crowdfund your ideas. What is the Fuel for Ideas Challenge? The Fuel For Ideas Challenge is open to anyone with a groundbreaking idea that they want to see turned into a reality. Maybe you have been working on a new battery design that will store energy more efficiently, or maybe you have always wanted to start your own small business selling pies. Whatever your dream, now is your chance to make it a reality. All you have to do is make a prezi describing your idea and why it should get funded, and submit it as part of a RocketHub project through the Fuel For Ideas Challenge portal. What will I win? The five projects whose prezis get the most “likes” on Prezi.com will become Fuel for Ideas Finalists, and we are going to set up our Finalists for crowdfunding success. The Finalists will not only receive a special one-on-one consultation with a Prezi designer to polish their prezis but also be featured on Prezi.com and in RocketHub’s newsletter—exposing their projects to millions of potential funders! Oh, and one lucky Finalist—deemed by a panel of Prezi judges to have the most creative and unique project—will win $1,000 towards his or her goal and an exclusive opportunity to talk with our CEO, Peter Arvai. He will be happy to give you advice on how to use all that funding to bring your project to life. We’re excited to see all the amazing things our communities come up with. So what are you waiting for? Get started making your prezi and creating your project today, and let us help you fuel your ideas! Guest Post by Prezi Team, with Permission from Prezi
RocketHub is excited to announce a brand new initiative with FreshDirect to help awesome food-related projects raised funds and receive support. Here is the official release: LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. / NEW YORK, N.Y. - October 2, 2013 – Popular online grocer FreshDirect and top crowdfunding company RocketHub, today announced a call for entries for the “Next Big Food Thing” challenge. Entrepreneurs with innovative food-related ideas— from food products to kitchen gadgets, from farming advancements to food businesses, and everything in between—are encouraged to submit their projects. Finalists will be announced in November and will crowdfund for their idea via RocketHub.com. A winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on a number of factors, including money raised, funder engagement and overall quality of idea. The entrant with the winning idea will receive $10,000 to fund their venture and the chance to partner with FreshDirect. Two runners-up will receive $2,500 each to fund their businesses. Judges for the “Next Big Food Thing” include Geoff Bartakovics, Tasting Table CEO, Natasha Case, Coolhaus CEO, Sarah Copeland, Real Simple Food Director, John Craven, BevNet Founder and David McInerney, FreshDirect Co-Founder. “I’m constantly wowed by the incredible new ventures I hear about; ideas that can improve the way we grow, prepare and provide food, and ultimately change the way we eat,” said David McInerney. “We’re excited to support and spread the word about the newest and greatest small food businesses out there as they strive to take their ideas to the next level.” “RocketHub is excited to team up with FreshDirect to power the “Next Big Food Thing,” said Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub. This partnership will leverage the massive power of crowdfunding to incubate innovative food endeavors.” To submit a project, visit www.freshdirect.com/nbft The deadline to enter a project is October 31, 2013. —- About FreshDirect FreshDirect is a leading online grocer in the U.S., delivering premium quality fresh-from-the-farm foods and brand-name groceries to customers in the greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware metro areas and greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. With a more than 2,500-member workforce that is still growing, FreshDirect places an emphasis on nutritious, delicious meals and convenient services that allow customers more time to live healthy lives. FreshDirect aspires to be a valued corporate partner in all communities in which it serves. For more information, visit www.freshdirect.com. Follow FreshDirect on Twitter: @freshdirect and on Facebook: facebook.com/FreshDirect About RocketHub RocketHub is a top crowdfunding company that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and social leaders raise millions of dollars. RocketHub is a brand-friendly crowdfunding platform that delivers powerful pathways for success to its users.
One Spark, The World’s Crowdfunding Festival, takes place in downtown Jacksonville for five days in April, and Creators showcase their best ideas at any stage of development in the areas of Art, Innovation, Music, Science and Technology for a chance to access $300,000 in crowdfunding and prize money and millions in capital investments. Heading into our second year, our goal is still to facilitate a community event. When I say community, I’m not just referring to Jacksonville, our local community, who we love and who have embraced and supported us every step of the way. I’m also referring to the creative community abroad. We want to help creatives from around the globe showcase their ideas in a unique and exciting festival environment so they can connect with the resources they need to make them a reality. One Spark is like making RocketHub come to life in downtown Jacksonville, and connecting those projects directly with the people who can fund them and help them launch. That community of people, people with amazing ideas, they inspired us to launch this project so we can grow the event and make it bigger and better that’s who we’re working for, One Spark is for the Creators. It’s really been amazing taking crowdfunding to the streets hadn’t really been done before and people are really excited that we’ve taken it there. It’s obvious that crowdfunding works, that it’s the new capital economy, and it works really well on online platforms such as RocketHub. But I wonder how many times someone has had a great project, a really great idea, but they just didn’t have the network to find funders, or thought, “If I could just get in front of potential funders, I know I could sell my idea and I know they’d want to contribute.” One Spark has been amazing for the creative and innovative community and it’s already evolving to the next stage an accelerator and apprenticeship program for standout Creators called KYN. One Spark co-founder Elton Rivas just launched that new initiative last month to offer continued support for Creators and the response continues to be tremendous. But it all starts with One Spark, and that’s what we’re still trying to fund here. This might sound obvious, but what you’re trying to do is new, and disruptive. To the creative community, this makes your project appealing. Get the word out early, bring key thought leaders into your feedback loop and ultimately, get buy-in and build advocacy. You’ll need this powerful collaborative not only to fund your project but ultimately, to move it beyond the powersthatbe and on to a successful launch. There’s strength in numbers and like most crowdfunded projects, your success will depend largely on the strength of your network. - Joe Sampson, Executive Director, One Spark
I came back to RocketHub because it was the obvious and clear-cut choice on how to find funding for my project. The campaign I ran in the early days of the community was simple, yet effective: we managed to raise $3,000 in only 15 days! (I’m still surprised we could do that!) It only stands to reason that our new goal, $4,000 in 60 days, would be just as easy, if not easier! The second campaign is very similar to the first, in that it takes a certain amount of time and energy along with the right about skill and wit to continue to persuade people as to why they should help fund your project. There are admittedly some new difficulties, but they are not unlike those that came with the first campaign. For example, the first campaign a few years back came with the anxiety of not knowing what to expect: would this actually work? When it did work, that eased that anxiety. However, now we need to be careful not to take anything for granted. Just because it worked before doesn’t mean it will automatically work again, so we need to remain diligent in our efforts. Similarly, when the fundraising plateaus, we need to remember not to get discouraged or frustrated. We just need to look for new ways to show why our project is so important. In addition to the above advice, creativity is key. It’s imperative to have a vision or a dream, and it’s equally important to have the drive to make that a reality. It’s also important to be able to improvise and think on your feet. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones you think up after you launch your campaign. Remember, your job is to show why your project is so important that people cannot pass up the opportunity to fund it. Finally, don’t be afraid to go a little out of your comfort zone. Obviously, you don’t want to sell yourself just to make your project happen, nor do you want to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable beyond the point of no return. But wading into the proverbial shallow end of the scary pool of unfamiliarity may be what drives your project to be fully funded. For example, our current project has an option of receiving a free concert in your house for a $500 donation. In addition to that, I offered the first person to donate $250 or more a free dinner with me on my tab. You never know who you’ll meet with these goods! - Jack Furlong, Recording Artist, Composer, Educator, Crowdfunding Veteran
BugFest is the largest bug event in the country, with over 35,000 visitors coming to learn about arthropods, sample buggy dishes at Café Insecta and participate in fun bug crafts and games. Each year, we allow our visitors to vote on the “Theme Arthropod” and this year scorpions were the winner! One of the things that makes BugFest so special is that it is all about science. We have dozens of entomologists and arthropod experts at the event. Once we knew scorpions were the theme for 2013, we brainstormed scorpion ideas and asked around for scorpion experts. Our contact at NESCent (National Evolution Synthesis Center) told us he knew a scorpion evolution expert and introduced us to Lauren Esposito. After talking with Lauren, we realized that not only was she a great scientist, she was an excellent educator and science communicator and we knew we had to have her come to BugFest! The response to our campaign has been amazing! Of course, the Museum has very passionate supporters, already, but I’ve been blown away by the response to this campaign. When talking to folks, everyone has a different reason for donating. Some do it because they love the Museum, some do it because they love BugFest and some do it because they love scorpions! Almost everyone that has donated is passionate about science education—I’ve had comments that folks “want the children to learn about science.” Folks definitely appreciate the goods but that does not seem to be the true motivation for our funders. We took our time when putting together our RocketHub page and we had a whole team involved. We did not just throw something up; we tried to make our page really cool! We even had a photo shoot for the goods in front of the Museum! Additionally, we have tried to be very thoughtful about how and when we send out the information to our supporters. We started by sending it out to Museum and Department staff (we are part of the State’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources), then we sent it out to our volunteers and then our members. Of course, we posted it to Facebook and Twitter, too! Moving forward, we plan to cycle through our lists again and hopefully hit our funding goal before the deadline on the 17th! - Kari Wouk, Senior Manager of Educational Collaborations at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Science Crowdfunding Pioneer
We come from a background in craft beverages, Mike as a longtime award-winning homebrewer, and I (Greg) as a writer. I had been exposed to mead fairly early, but it was basically impossible to find. For me, though, I always had it in the back of my head as a beverage that could do well in the market with wide appeal. I had the good fortune to meet Mike, who made (all due respect to our friends at Moonlight) literally the best meads I have ever tasted, and we thought it was time to really try and get this beverage the attention it deserves. Every single person who we tell about it starts off concerned - will it be too sweet? Will it taste too much like honey? How could it be better than beer or wine - and every single person changes their mind after having some. After enough tests, we just had the confidence that people will love it. Our supporters have been great. There is no question that it really hurt us not to be able to give away mead as a reward. If we were a juice or hot sauce company, we could crowdfund our first batch as basically presale, but instead we’re more in a position of asking people to believe in a business and a beverage because of their community or the need for gluten free options or their support of local business. We’ve gotten a lot of traction and attention locally, and every event we go to we get constant questions about when we’re going to open up (looks like three weeks!), so people are on board and ready to purchase. I think we hit crowdfunding at an interesting time, though, where everyone has been hit up a lot with tons of good projects from a ton of platforms, and there’s a little fatigue. So we need to close strong and remind people that with small amount of money, they can really help us start strong and bring something new to the marketplace. If we had it to do over, we’d have done the campaign earlier, in spring. Summer made it tough to get consistent momentum because people are on vacation and it’s a crazy season for all beer-related things. We thought the activity might help, but it gets pretty easy to get drowned out in the beer world from June to after Great American Beer Festival in October. When people are dropping $75 on a case of pumpkin beer in August after springing for tickets to huge, awesome festivals like the National Homebrewer Convention, SAVOR, ACBF, etc… I think $100 pledges turn into $30. Really know the demographic of your primary network. We’ve found that friends our age (45) and older don’t know what crowdfunding is. We’ve had to explain it multiple times to many of them and it just doesn’t really click with a lot of them. It is definitely something to think about before launching a crowdfunding campaign. One thing we did correctly, though, was be ambitious and ask for support that would help, but that wasn’t make-or-break. You can have a great project with a lot of support, but you have to have the fortitude and funds to launch even if you don’t make a dime via crowdfunding. It’s not fair to your supporters to put it all on them, because they have lives and can get hit with bad luck, too. We’re so grateful for every pledge and penny that our supporters have offered, because it will make our start that much stronger. - Greg Heller-LaBelle & Michael Manning, The Colony Meadery Co-Founders, Crowdfunding Entrepreneurs
At some point you realize the system is broken. For me it was a combination of watching my 16 year old daughter slog through traditional public school and talking to friends who weren’t as lucky as I was to escape the corporate culture of business. A world where we penalize you for failing, where we teach you to avoid risk, to not rock the boat, to follow the SOP and to do what you’re told is not a world that creates great minds and empowers great ideas. It isn’t a world that any of us really want to live in, so why do we continue to perpetuate it? Makerspaces are doing a great job of changing this culture of stagnation one warehouse, one city, one hacker group at a time. But when we reached out to customers and supporters of Artfire.com (the artisan marketplace that I run as my full time gig), we found that most maker/hacker spaces are not perceived as “welcoming” to fine artists, women, and people who are less focused on tech but still want to create. Maker House was conceived as a way to offer a gender neutral, cross-disciplinary makerspace that values art as equal to technology. After all, without art, technology is lifeless. Ask anyone who spends their time on Pinterest how many hours they would spend looking at the source code. It is the art combined with the tech that mesmerizes us. At Maker House we’ll focus on a wide range of art, tech and creative experiences in an environment where you are encouraged to take risk, fail, experiment and rock the boat. We’ll have Arduino and robotics courses, but also live radio drama, lectures on physics and archaeology yoga and martial arts classes, knitting, painting, papercraft and jewelry making classes. We’re already focusing on classes that are cross-disciplinary. We have an instructor team for “Knit to Death” a class that combines knitting and self defense, and an instructor offering “Precision Chainsaw Carving”. We’ll also offer salon discussions, poetry slams, open mic nights, story contests, film festivals and workshops on everything from parenting to student loans. We conceived it as a YMCA for your mind, something that is accessible to anyone. In just a few months, over 70 instructors have signed on to offer over 150 classes. We’ve booked 40+ events and we’ve given tours of this magnificent historic mansion we are renovating to hundreds. All of that and we aren’t even open until September. In this process my daughter has elected to hack her own education, supplementing an online curriculum with maker/hacker/incubator space work and fine art performance with real world organizations instead of traditional schooling. People in Tucson are responding passionately to the idea of an artisan driven maker space and we’re budgeting for the AV gear and staff to put these classes, events, and performances online so everyone can access them. It doesn’t change the whole world. But it will impact thousands of lives for the better. That IS a world that I want to live in, so I’m going to help build it. Our supporters are responding fantastically. We’ve raised over $40,000. We are going after a big raise, which is challenging. The other challenge is that an artisan maker space can be a hard concept to communicate clearly because there aren’t a lot of things you can draw fast comparisons to. We’ve found that you have to be able to answer WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) with every channel and every message. That means producing a lot of interesting content, videos, photos and rewards. A lot of that content is used to further explain about Maker House, the building renovation, and introduce the people involved. Crowdfunding for something other than a product is challenging. You aren’t pre-purchasing a widget that you will get personally. You are funding a project that will change and improve the lives of thousands of strangers. For crowdfunding success: Be ready to produce a ton of video. Not just your main video, but your update videos, progress videos, behind the scenes videos and blooper reels. Video gets clicked, and it gets shared. Find your one sentence summary. “Like a YMCA for your mind” has worked for us in numerous meetings, communications and conversations. I didn’t come up with that one, a friend of mine did. The minute he said it, it clicked. People are busy, you need to be able to communicate what you are doing quickly. Have a plan. We built a 45 channel, 5 person, day-by-day communication matrix to ensure we were reaching out to everyone we could with consistent messages. You have to have a plan. This is going to be a lot of work, and a lot of stress. Most people won’t fund you. Just like me, you will learn the amazing value of the select few who want to join in launching your project. They make more of a difference than they will ever know, and have impact that is vastly disproportionate to the few clicks it takes to contribute. - Tony Ford, Chief Operating Officer of ArtFire.com, Co-Founder of Maker House, the World’s First Artisan-driven Makerspace
August 16, 2013, EL PASO, TEXAS – Spira Footwear and RocketHub announce the introduction of a new running shoe collection based upon the popular A&E Network television show “Duck Dynasty.” The line will feature Spira’s patented WaveSpring Technology and the duck camouflage pattern from the show, and will be available through RocketHub beginning August 16. “The Spira team has worked hard to create a better running shoe - and build their authentic brand from the ground up. Now through A&E Project Startup and RocketHub, Spira is collaborating with Duck Dynasty to share a wonderful story of entrepreneurship and empowerment,” said Brian Meece, CEO and Co-founder of RocketHub. This is the latest initiative of A&E PROJECT STARTUP, which is designed to showcase up-and-coming brands and new technologies. This is the first time that network television has been directly involved in a crowdfunded project, and will include a television commercial that will air on A&E, social media and website presence that will all feature the new Duck Dynasty shoe. All of the filming for the initiative was done in El Paso by a New York based film crew. “A&E did a phenomenal job of showcasing El Paso and was genuinely excited to be here,” said Spira CEO and Co-Founder Andy Krafsur. “The biggest challenge for any entrepreneur is the opportunity to tell their story, said Krafsur. “We’re grateful to A&E Project Startup for discovering us and helping us along on our journey. A&E is one of the best story tellers on the planet and the Robertson’s are remarkable entrepreneurs. Like the Robertson’s, our business is a family business. My wife, Holly and I co-founded the Company and work side by side.” The Spira story itself typifies the entrepreneurial journey of many small businesses. “I had been a runner my entire life, and ran competitively in high school and college. But by my early thirties, I was so beat up after a run, I would have to take a week off.” said Andy Krafsur. “I had been a practicing attorney for 17 years. I will never forget the first time a tried on what turned out to be the very first Spira shoe. It was a crude prototype with the WaveSprings duct taped into a cut open midsole. I put the shoes on and shot around on our basketball court for a couple of hours and suddenly realized my legs were completely fresh. I knew at that moment that my life’s calling was to bring this phenomenal technology to the world. I left the practice of law and have been pursuing my life’s purpose.” We’re proud to be from El Paso,“ said Krafsur. “Our company is owned by the El Paso community. The majority of our almost 300 shareholders are El Pasoans.” Spira shoes are premised upon a patented technology called WaveSpring. The WaveSpring is a lightweight, laterally stable and compact spring, which is placed in both the heel and forefoot of all Spira shoes. The WaveSpring not only cushions, but returns energy, allowing people to participate in the activities with far more comfort and less stress and strain than traditional footwear. In addition, the WaveSpring will not break down and provides a “new shoe” feel for the life of the shoe. A recent pilot study found that runners who run in Spira shoes had reduced heart rate, respiration rate and oxygen consumption from their shoe of choice and the participants in the study were able to run 20 seconds per mile faster with the same amount of effort. Fans of Spira and Duck Dynasty will have the opportunity to pre-purchase the shoe at a substantial discount. Once the project achieves its $100,000 funding goal, A&E will donate $20,000 to America’s VetDogs®, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides service dogs for disabled veterans and active duty personnel. The Spira campaign will continue for 90 days and offer a variety of deals for supporter of the project. For more information, visit Spira. The project itself will launch on August 16, 2013 on www.rockethub.com/duck.
As described in my trailer, when I was told I had 2-5 years to live, at 30 years old, I knew I had a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it. With my disease, ALS, you eventually have to make a decision. To live or to die. It really comes down to that. As a filmmaker and as a person with a lot to live for, especially my son, I decided to turn the cameras on myself and to make a feature film about something which reaches for the truth & to document the journey. I wanted to show the world a different way to look at disabilities and a terminal diagnosis. The result has been nothing short of inspiring and humbling. I have always had this tight knit group of friends who rally and now, I have a lot more. So many people who just happened upon our RocketHub site have offered their creative help, their money and their network to help us complete the film. I consider all of them, an important part of this story. I’m grateful and hope it inspires others to fight through their adversities in life as well. My advice: Life is unpredictable. If you have a dream, go for it. - Patrick O’Brien, Filmmaker, Advocate, Crowdfunding Success
It all started a year ago at a joint art exhibition Catherine Aubelle and I organized in Tübingen, Germany. A very nice visitor - who happened to be a renowned art historian and curator, as we later found out - popped into the gallery and fell in love with our paintings. We began to talk - in three languages - and at the end of it, the art historian said, “You need to publish a catalogue!” That was the initial seed, which took hold immediately. I asked her if she would be willing to write the foreword, and she instantly agreed. A few months later, we met to discuss the catalogue project. Compared to fund-raising, the actual publications process is a piece of cake, as we are both experienced editors, translators, and graphic artists. It was clear from the start we needed to print a catalogue in the very best quality possible, that is offset, and this quality was only to be had for a price. We needed professional photographers to shoot the artwork, a graphic artist to produce high-quality repros, and we wanted to be able to pay the art historian for a professional text. I began to research crowdfunding, which is all but unheard of in France and not very well known in Germany. But I had a hunch I could count on my American friends to be pioneer funders and I was frankly intrigued by the possibilities crowd-funding seemed to offer. Because Catherine and I have been cultivating a large network of buyers and friends through our website and our social communities over the last couple of years, we decided a crowdfunding campaign would be one of three methods to raise the funds needed to print our catalogue. The other two bases were the sales of our artworks and an old-fashioned letter campaign asking for advance orders. In general, the response to the idea of crowdfunding has been extremely positive across all cultural circles. Our motto has always been “encounters” - what happens when creative people meet - and we have seen marvelous things develop as a result. First, the video - which we considered the most important vehicle to transport our artistic mission - was shot by a professional documentary filmmaker, Pierre Bouillier, who volunteered his time out of sheer enthusiasm and the opportunity to do something fun and creative. We spent a lot of time thinking about and planning the video, which in fact would have never come to be if we hadn’t decided to crowd fund. Ultimately, we wanted the video to be an artwork in itself, with the unexpected bonus that all of us ended up having a fantastic time making it, thanks to Pierre’s intuitive grasp of our ideas. Second, we deliberately chose not to have any voice-over dialogue in the video because we wanted to avoid translations and subtitles, treating all three languages equally. (The exception is the last image, “Adopt a page!” in English.) We wanted to convey what we are doing purely through music, sounds and visuals. However, we didn’t want to incur copyright charges, so we decided on the sounds of the sea to accompany the images, keeping things simple. Along the way, a French clarinetist of Catherine’s acquaintance was so excited by the video that he offered to record Debussy’s Rhapsody with a concert pianist. This took some time to organize, but by downloading the music midway during our RocketHub campaign, we now have an unexpected highlight that we hope will make our campaign more attractive to potential funders. As we expected, there are big differences in the three cultural circles we’re targeting. Americans are very comfortable with ordering things online and paying by credit card. They’re used to it and know the lingo. I sent about 20 of my American contacts a letter explaining the crowdfunding principles and asking them to be pioneers as soon as we launched. Fortunately, about half a dozen obliged, getting us off to an excellent start. I should note that I tested the system by funding a RocketHub campaign with a small contribution, just to see how it worked. It was really easy, so I could convey this to my potential pioneers with the conviction of experience. So far, the German and French funders have been hesitant. The instructions on what to do in order to fund are only in English; RocketHub does not yet offer a way to include the instructions in other languages. The Germans don’t have any problems with English, but the French seem to. Thus Catherine has had to walk her French funders through the process over the phone. We have included translations of the project description in our campaign, but Germans and French generally appear to be unfamiliar with this type of fund-raising. Another issue is currency. My two main reasons for choosing an American-based crowd-funding platform is that I have an American bank account and I knew Americans would not be reluctant to order something online. However, because I reside in Germany, I will have to deal with international currency exchange fees later, which reduces the amount of funds available for our project. So far, we have had no German funders for our RocketHub campaign yet. What we’ve discovered is that the idea of paying for something in advance, via credit card, via Internet, seems to be foreign to the Germans and French. It needs a lot of explaining, a lot of encouraging, a lot of time. So we’re constantly nurturing the network, feeding tidbits to our social communities to keep up the buzz. For crowdfunding success: Build your network in advance. There’s no way to know if a campaign will go viral, and the factors leading to virality are still a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t think it’s possible to start a crowdfunding campaign overnight. We didn’t start in a vacuum. We know our customers. We’ve spent years selling our artwork. Our buyers trust us. So far, every single one of our funders is a personal friend or art buyer. In other words, we are building on a network that is already there. Do your homework. I spent months researching crowdfunding. I observed my own behavior: I only donate to a cause where I have a connection (either I like the idea or the person). The rewards don’t interest me. Being a fiscally conservative person of modest means, I calculated a very modest donation of $10 per head, though I’d read the average donation is $75 and that most people donate $25. I added up the number of social community contacts Catherine and I had, which was about 400, divided by 2, and multiplied that number by $10. I figured we could hardly go wrong. All the same, I was very anxious - I suffered many a sleepless night in the weeks before launching our campaign. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Our RocketHub goal is only one of three ways we’re raising funds. Of course we hope we can earn the lion’s share of the $13,000 we need through crowdfunding, but we have another base in the donations and advance orders we’ve received and will hopefully continue to receive. You could say we’ve been doing our homework for years, building our customer base. So while I fully expect we’ll reach our modest RocketHub goal of $2000, I believe the bulk of the funds will likely come from direct donations and advance orders. - Gabriele Glang, Bilingual Writer and Artist, International Crowdfunding Success