The crowdfunding culture has truly caught upon.
Compared to the centralized and less transparent traditional modes of raising finance, crowdfunding is seen as a much optimized, transparent method of raising small funds from diverse resources and ventures from a large number of people spread anywhere. To get funding and retaining control over your business crowdfunding is the best way to raise funds to convert business goals into reality. New business ventures, radical ideas, and new opportunities seem to be the lifeline of the crowdfunding process.
Let us understand a bit more about crowdfunding.
Understanding Crowdfunding and its nuances
This is exactly the opposite of the mainstream, commercial approaches to business funding. In a much more traditional sense, if you want to raise funds to start your business or launch a new product you would need to put together a business plan, with proper market research, probably even get a prototype and pitch ready to sell your story to a limited pool or financial institutions. The entire chain of funders included corporates, banks, investors, and VC firms limiting your option to key players. So in a way, we can compare these traditional methods to a funnel with the fund-seeker at the wide end and the audience at the narrow end making this a very time-consuming approach with huge geographical constraints.
A crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter turns the funnel upside down. It is a single platform that allows an individual or business to build and showcase the campaign story to a large number of funders which can include even your family and friends. The best part about crowdfunding is that it transcends borders. As a crowdfunding platform development company, we help you create a friendly platform that would give funders an exclusive opportunity to curate their story.
Indeed Crowdfunding is one of the most successful and accessible ways of raising money for a project. Campaign owners do not have to undergo any credit check or a pitch in front of a panel of Venture Capitalists. According to Statista, crowdfunding raises $17.2 billion a year in North America alone. This number is expected to grow up astronomically in the next few years. Last year alone there were about 6,455,080 crowdfunding platforms last year out of which successful crowdfunding campaigns have raised $28,656 on an average.
Must-have general features in your crowdfunding platform
Are you looking to create a crowdfunding platform with the best custom software development company?
You have arrived at the right place because we at Chapter247 Infotech believe that there are many essential features that will take your web application to dizzying heights. We dedicate this section to render our expertise on the must-have functionalities of your new crowdfunding platform.
A robust account management
A very important feature of a good crowdfunding platform is smooth and straightforward account management. It should reflect correctly and easily the amount that is being crowdfunded and the transfer status. The account management feature should include charts, withdrawals, and transactional records in this section with reports and dashboards as an effective way to represent raw data. There can be no compromise in terms of features and functionality for a crowdfunding platform. Fundraisers have the need to create the campaign, monitor it, control it, and also manage the fund-raising by keeping a continuous tab. On the other hand, even an investor would like a regular update on how the campaign is faring because they want their money to get to the right place. Below is the image of an account management page of a popular crowdfunding platform.
Payments and withdrawals are the backbones of the crowdfunding system. The payment systems should accept payments from the local and internal system and this is possible only with a user-friendly payment system ensuring maximum fundraising activities on the site.
The infrastructure which defines the key functionalities of the site is a very important factor of a crowdfunding site. There could be many forms of crowdfunding infrastructures but the best ones have utilized WooCommerce. We have the experience of building crowdfunding platforms on viable infrastructures.
Easy sign-up and application process
Since the entire interaction happens on the website, offering a seamless user experience right from the beginning will give you a competitive edge. The investors and fundraisers who are your clients should not get puzzled when they come to your platform. If the interface confuses them, they may choose not to proceed further. A clean design, intuitive navigation are the top aspects needed for a killer crowdfunding website. Transparency also is the key to terms and conditions are given clearly. This will ensure building long-lasting relations with the audience.
We also believe that clear-cut communication on the website will do a world of good in terms of client acquisition. Having crowdfunding tips for campaigners explaining how to get started or in short offering a knowledge kit to the users will be a valued feature of the website. Another thing that has to be ensured is the accurate display of content across all the devices because visual consistency is as important as functionalities especially when you are new to the hood.
Backend project management
Now being the owner of the website, you are entitled to amass the rewards for your hard work and to put together everything smoothly. A list of rewards, revenue generated, and commission being earned are the things that need to be taken care of for a creator. Powerful report generation should definitely be a part of the crowdfunding website. If there is no analytics, the portal creator will find it very difficult to make the project changes when needed. The UI should be so easy that it should be a no-brainer to manage important built-in features like rewards, donors, updates, money flow, and a timeline for funding.
The layout for the back-end of the crowdfunding website features should be a bundle of some great management tools:
- List of users and the amount of credit required;
- An analytical dashboard with pending users, projects, and donors;
- A self-explanatory message board
- Total number of users, funds and returns information and finally;
- Payment logs with the relevant safe and secure gateways.
Having the right payment gateway
The concept of crowdfunding thrives on the concept of payments and donations which is why the presence of a well-established payment gateway is essential. Choosing the right gateway provider matters. Payment history is needed to deal with payment log which contains the project details, payment number, date and time of the transaction, and the status of the project.
It is important to understand that the payment gateway functionality you choose should align with your business goals because every payment gateway has different offerings. What has worked for your competitor could fail for you. So, before you integrate a payment gateway it is important to compare many providers and make an informed decision. To start with, decide on what the business model will be for your crowdfunding platform whether you are looking at all or nothing and a flexible funding approach.
Talking about the ‘all or nothing’ model, here borrowers can receive only the pledges that are gathered during a crowdfunding campaign on the condition that they have realized their goals. This model is great because it helps in advanced monitoring eliminating the chances that money will be wasted. The second model is also known as the partial credit model ascertains that the startups can get some portion of funds regardless of whether they have achieved their business goals or not.
Promotion is an important strategy required to send across the message clearly to clients. The marketing message template is a good add-on because you can easily edit it with inline code tags. It comes additionally with an SMS interface that helps you to add and review new SMS lists for easy project and queue management.
Choosing the right business model
‘One size doesn’t fit all’ principle applies here because a tailor-made crowdfunding platform will help you bring out your own uniqueness to the entire mechanism. The understanding of concepts of different crowdfunding platforms is essential to decide whether you are looking at any one type or will it be a combination of different types.
It is significant that the crowdfunding platform enables reliable accounting to validate the identities of potential donors and stay KYC compliant. There are many scalable identity verification solutions on the markets to take care of money-laundering attempts. Such guarded and full-proof security measures are needed to detect potential frauds and terrorist financing which these platforms are vulnerable to. With KYC compliance, documents so collected can be matched with the person reducing chances of money laundering and identity theft. The list of FAQs should be comprehensive and clear with transparency across the platform.
How we recreated GoFundher to a robust website for crowdfunding
GoFundher is a platform that motivated women entrepreneurs to come to the forefront to seek investments for their dream projects. We became the development partner for GoFundher and recreated an all-new platform for them that defied all complexities they had to face in the earlier version created by someone else.
We followed a strict agile methodology to convert the dream into reality and to overcome previous roadblocks like poor loading speed, imbalance between design and content, poor security features, zero integration with social media, non-intuitive site navigation and an extremely poor information structure.
We had quite a job in our hands but our successful turnaround of the project has helped the client win rave reviews. Check out how we did it.
Technically speaking, these features can take different forms like a step-by-step guide on how to create a project and fund-raising procedures. To help users to start smoothly, your website has to be equipped with modules like FAQs, chats, and digital assistants. It is also important to have pages about the fund-raiser or borrower story which will add more steam to the crowdfunding campaigns.
The above-given feature list is our take on launching a successful crowdfunding website. User experience is crucial but only a great looking website only will not suffice constituents of a reliable platform. Your crowdfunding platform has to be easy-going and understandable with easily implementable flexible tools for effective backend management.
To get a better understanding on how these features will bundle up for your crowdfunding platform, feel free to contact us. We will be glad to share our insights and build it for you.