Feedback Wanted: Creating a National Crowdfunding Campaign Rating System

14 Jan

Crowdfunding platforms need to add crowdfunding campaign rating systems, portfolios of crowdfunding service providers and social media network graphing APIs to improve success ratios

By Robert Hoskins

We work with lots of people who want to launch crowdfunding campaigns.  It is surprising how many are completely unaware that they need a startup business plan before considering launching a crowdfunding campaign, especially when the main goal is to raise money to start a new business.  Even project related crowdfunding campaigns would benefit from writing up a business plan to help campaign managers organize and to think logically about what they are trying to accomplish with their fundraising campaign.

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

Front Page PR is the #1 Crowdfunding PR firm in America

One of the most popular crowdfunding services that is in demand from crowdfunding campaign managers is quality advice/feedback on their initial efforts to shoot a good crowdfunding video, write up an effective crowdfunding profile and write enticing calls-to-actions for their campaign’s perks, rewards, donations and soon-to-be investment performas.

The biggest reason that crowdfunding campaigns fail right now is because they do a poor job of providing elementary campaign planning requirements such as conducting a thorough competitive analysis, writing a business plan, creating a corporate message map, building an experienced management team, establishing a target audience, planning a marketing budget to reach their target audience, and predicting with some certainty a perks/rewards (sales) forecast complete with a return-on-investment analysis.

It sure would be great to see crowdfunding platforms start requiring campaign managers to fill out both a business plan section as well as the crowdfunding campaign. It may require extra work, but it certainly would improve a platform’s success ratio.

During this campaign planning process, it would be extremely beneficial for campaign managers to be provided with a database of third-party experts to give them professional advice and counseling.   This behind-the-scene step would allow them to seek professional advice from marketing, financial, legal and other pre-qualified crowdfunding service providers in order to evaluate and critique their campaigns before they went live. In addition, they could utilize these same experts to help them build a professional management team that would add credibility to their crowdfunding profiles.

After the campaign goes live, a public rating system would kick in that would allow investors/donors to rate each module of the business plan and the crowdfunding campaign on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their perception of the information provided. Or, perhaps the crowd should be allowed to ask questions or click on a green, yellow or red flag depending on how they felt about each section of the crowdfunding pitch provided. This would be an extremely good way for thousands of people to work together to vet and weed out fraudulent campaigns by raising red flags at the appropriate time.

To keep negative sharks from bashing without compassion, other users could evaluate advisers and ban people that are considered to be trouble makers after a certain number of derogatory comments that are detrimental versus instrumental.  The purpose would be to educate the masses as more and more investors begin logging on to invest in upcoming equity crowdfunding deals.

In addition, all crowdfunding platforms should be required to use the social graphing APIs from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and other social media networking sites so that everyone can research everyone to see who they are and what their professional credentials are.  This would also encourage crowdfunders to do a lot more work on improving their social media profiles and networks before attempting to launch a fundraising campaign.

Just like media outlet comment sections, people without social media profiles should be banned from creating crowdfunding campaigns as well as critiquing them.  This also might be an easier way to govern who is allowed to invest and what their budget level is on an annual basis based on their status as an accredited or unaccredited investor.

Once a national, standardized crowdfunding rating system is up and running, which may take quite a while, it will be easier for novice investors to search secure crowdfunding platforms for investment opportunities based on their desired crowdfunding rating and risk assessment criteria.

Some basic Crowdfunding Rating Modules to get the conversation started:

Business Plan Rating Modules:

  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Management Team
  • Legal Issues
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Audience
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Promotion
  • Place (location)
  • Distribution Channels
  • Campaign Goals
  • Campaign Expenses
  • Campaign Revenue
  • Campaign Deliverables
  • Campaign ROI
  • Exit Strategy (even though Mark Cuban says no)

Crowdfunding Campaign Rating Modules:

  • Crowdfunding Goal
  • Campaign Length
  • Pitch Video
  • Pitch Profile
  • Perks/Rewards/ROI%
  • Marketing Budget
  • Industry Growth Predictions
  • Sales Forecast
  • Funds Usage
  • Barriers to Success
  • Fulfillment Milestones
  • Social Impact
  • Post-Campaign Fulfillment Audit

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