Support Trust and Transparency: PledgeMe’s values

Over the past six months Team PledgeMe has been working on our values. What are they, how do we express them, why are they important, and what’s the impact. We came up with a whole bunch of ideas, but whittled it down to five values.

Before we introduce you to our final shiny values, it might be good to work through why we think they are so important.

  • Because when you need to make a big decision, your values help direct you.
  • Because our values are our banner. They show the world who we think we are.
  • They keep us on track and keep us real.
  • They underpin what each member of the team does

Each of Team PledgeMe has adopted a value and will be introducing them to you over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the first from Jackson on trust and transparency…

support transparency and trust

“Of course you can’t ‘trust’ what people tell you on the web anymore than you can ‘trust’ what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do.”

— Douglas Adams

Even in the very early days of the webbernets, when Douglas Adams said the above quote, there was a huge issue of trust. Who could you trust? Why should you trust them? And what’s stopping any old noddy from putting bullshit onto The Internet?

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Collaborating with our crowd to increase impact

It all started in early March 2012. Anna (that’s me) and Alex (that’s this guy) met at a cafe to talk about our journeys as leaders of organisations with a bigger vision that just financial value creation. I was, and I guess still am, the  co-founder of PledgeMe, and Alex had recently been appointed CE of the Hikurangi Foundation (now the Ākina Foundation).

Over a coffee, we decided we should hang out more, which turned into an offer of office space, which turned into them turfing us out after two years because they just couldn’t get rid of us (and we’d outgrown the office… and they refused to let us work in the closet).

8235655647_b4db077075_o

Alex and Anna both speaking at TEDx in 2012

Ākina has been with us every step of the way. From the earthquakes that shut the office down, to scolding us for the rainbow coloured sprinkles we’d leave on the boardroom table, to literally holding me up when I crowdsurfed at our million dollar party, right through to the launch of PledgeMe.Equity and our first campaign to crowdfund crowdfunding.

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Back to the books: CrowdfundingU + fee change

Team PledgeMe has learned a lot over the last year. And now with 12 equity campaigns funded (out of 19 launched) we have a pretty clear idea of what’s working and what needs refining to help kiwis fund the things they care about.

As we do, we listened to our crowd. We asked them what would help get them ready to run equity campaigns, and what they thought would give them the best chance of success. We clearly heard that companies wanted more support in the lead up, more education around, and a better structured programme to ease them into a campaign.

Taking that on board, and mixing in our experience in crowdfunding…

we’re launching, CrowdfundingU!

Welcome to CrowdfundingU

CrowdfundingU will provide a structured 6 week programme for equity campaigners, running through all the things you need to know about:

  • What is Equity Crowdfunding
  • Documentation do’s and don’ts
  • Mapping your Crowd
  • Communicating with your Crowd
  • Pitching to your Crowd (from visuals to events)
  • Launching your Campaign

While comprehensive, the programme is not intense. It’s not some sort of boot camp where we wake you up at 5 AM and make you do press ups in the mud. We focus on the essentials on a one-to-one basis to make sure companies are ready for their campaigns before they hit the launch button. The sessions give an up to six week lead in time to launch, but can be condensed for folk who want to move quicker than the average bear (or tiger).

So for all of you who want to learn more about CrowdfundingU click here. If you want to sign up you can do that there too.

Got questions? Ask Will, our Equity Champion, more questions here or tee up a time to chat.

This does mean our pricing will change

To reflect the change in the way we’re running equity campaigns we’re changing how we charge for them.

There will now be an upfront fee of $1,500. This replaces the fees for legal work and background checks we were charging previously. It also covers the one-to-one time you’ll get with one (or more) of the PledgeMe team through CrowdfundingU.

PledgeMe.Equity fees as of 01/02/16
CrowdfundingU $1,500 (zero rated) Paid before campaign starts
Success fee 5% of total raised (zero rated)
Credit card fee 2.8% + 25 cents per transaction (Only on pledges paid by credit card, average fee to date is ~0.3%)

 

To use PledgeMe’s Shareholder Portal there is a fee of $25 (plus GST) per month, first two months free. It’s optional to use this service.

And of course, you may incur additional costs launching and running your campaign, ranging from legal and accounting to design and communications.

The benefits

Over the past year we’ve found that running equity crowdfunding campaigns can be a daunting task. Having done two rounds for PledgeMe, I can confirm that it is indeed a little bit scary. So CrowdfundingU is designed to break that fear down into small chunks and make it manageable. Here’s how CrowdfundingU will benefit all you potential equity crowdfunders out there.

More structure

One of the big things we heard from our crowd was that they wanted a more structured process. Not a rigid set of guidelines, but something more than just a how to guide. CrowdfundingU breaks helps you get all the corner and outside bits of the puzzle locked down, to make the middle bit easier.

More support

Campaigns all come in different shapes and sizes, and from campaign to campaign we were figuring out how we could help companies. With the one-to-one sessions during CrowdfundingU it gives the companies space to ask us questions, and gives PledgeMe time to hear what the companies need and go away and work on it.

Pitch Kitchen

We’ll still be running Pitch Kitchens during CrowdfundingU, but these will be better informed and come sooner in the process to give companies good feedback on their pitch as they’re building it. Because of the better structure and increased support we’ll have a better idea of the skills the companies need present and so can arrange stellar lineups (from our crowd and theirs).

Directing PledgeMe

An acquaintance once told me a good director (on a board of directors, not like Steven Spielberg director) is like having someone on the roof of your car, shining a light onto the road ahead. They aren’t driving (that’s the CEO) or actually in the car (that’s the team) but they make sure you are heading in the right direction, and might occasionally reach into the car to pull the handbrake if they need to.

With Anake leaving our board of directors, we’re on the lookout for someone to jump on the roof of the car that is PledgeMe. That someone needs to be able to shine their fullbeams on our mission to help Kiwis fund the things they care about, our strategy, and oversee our management team.

We’re going to crowdsource applications because… you know… we’re a crowdfunding site. Typically, the hunt for a new board member goes on behind closed doors, but, we’ll be searching for the right person with our crowd’s help. Who is our crowd? Well that’s you! So if you are interested, or you know someone who might be a good fit, have a read of the job description below and apply using the Weirdly form below. If you have further questions then get in touch with either Nick (Chair of the board) or Anna (you know, me).

Details at a glance

Position: PledgeMe Board Member
Length of term: 1 year with the option to renew annually
Applications open: 15 January
Applications close: 10 February
Interviews: 15 February
Directors’ Fees: $1,100 per month (paid in shares / cash annually).

How PledgeMe does governance has evolved significantly since we started up almost four years ago. We started out with the two co-founders setting the direction, doing all the things, and trying to prove crowdfunding was actually a thing New Zealand needed.

Then, we realised we needed outside support. We got a group of smart people together for monthly advisory panel meetings to test our ideas, get feedback, and discuss the best ways to grow PledgeMe.

When we decided to start equity crowdfunding, it became apparent we needed to get serious about governance. It became more formal, with our initial investors in equity crowdfunding becoming our original board members.

After almost two years on the board one of our original board members, Anake, is leaving to focus on his family and other commitments. We’ve decided to go out and find a new director with a fresh perspective. We’re aiming to bring more diversity to our board, and need someone who is ok with the fast pace of a startup and who has the rigour required for being a director on the board of a financial service provider (FSP for you acronym lovers out there).

The sorts of skills you will need

Here’s a list of skills, experiences, and general things we reckon will indicate value-alignment.

Someone who’ll ask good questions

You don’t need to know the answers, but you do need to help us ask the right questions and work toward constructive solutions together. It’s not only about the questions, it’s about sharing your experience and reviewing our work, and chipping in with your informed opinion about the best path forward.

Someone who is ok with a bit of risk (but can manage it too)

PledgeMe likes to do things differently. We want to push boundaries, move quickly, and make a difference. You need to be comfortable with a constantly evolving playing field. To change the world you’ve got to be a bit uncomfortable, right?

Someone constructive

We want to make sure we have a diversity of opinions in our decision making — that’s why we have a board. We don’t have to always agree, but we do need to come to solutions which work. You’ll need to be able to identify and tell us about risks. This needs to be done in a constructive and consensus-focussed way.

Someone who is good with kids

You don’t have to have any. We don’t need a babysitter. In our experience, the best board members are the ones who are great parents / aunties or uncles / mentors. Startups are pretty similar to a teenagers, sometimes you need to protect them from themselves but often you just need to let them make their own mistakes in a safe space.

Someone comfortable with tech

You won’t have to dive deep into the Ruby or be our new scrum master, but we need someone who likes using Google Docs, responds to emails promptly, and who knows how to use platforms like Slack, Trello, and Loomio.

Someone who is comfortable with the financial and legal side of things

You don’t need to be an accountant or a lawyer. But, you should be able to read a balance sheet, and be comfortable with the requirements of being a director. We’re also looking for the new board member to bring experience / skills in branding, scaling operations, and/or a legal brain (though, we’ll still call on our lawyers, Buddle Findlay, as needed).

Who is on the board?

Blog - Board - Nick
Nick Lewis — Nick is an experienced entrepreneur with a history of work in the investment banking space (from JP Morgan through to co-founding Woodward Investments in New Zealand). He is the Chair of our board and independent board member, and started off (back in the day) on our advisory panel.

Blog - Board - Anna
Anna Guenther — Anna is our Managing Director, co-founder and CEO of PledgeMe. She sounds American but she’s definitely a Kiwi. If pushed, she’ll say she’s technically from Dunedin, but will later admit she grew up in Boston. Having roamed around the world, she now calls Wellington home. Anna completed her Masters on crowdfunding and has worked for everyone from NZTE to MIT (and all of the acronyms in between).

Blog - Board - Breccan
Breccan McLeod-Lundy — Breccan manages all things tech for us with the help of the awesome Rabid team. He is passionate about what the next level of crowdfunding could be, and has a beautifully analytical brain. He’s the only board member left in his 20’s…

Blog - Board - Anake
Anake Goodall — Anake, our departing board member, has a strong background in both the public and private sector. This busy man is currently on the boards of Meridian and the Ākina Foundation as well as ours. During his time as CEO of Ngāi Tahu, he developed an intergenerational asset allocation programme around their then $700million portfolio. He’s South Island based. Read our farewell to him here.

04 team and board

 

You? We’d like to add some diversity to the board. That could come in a few forms: gender, age, location, physical ability, orientation, the list goes on… More on this soon.

How our board rolls

The Board has the primary responsibility to oversee the conduct of PledgeMe and to supervise management (who are responsible for the day-to-day activities). In performing its functions, the Board primarily considers the interests of PledgeMe to which its fiduciary duty ultimately resides, and then to its shareholders. It also considers the legitimate interests of other constituents such as employees, suppliers, and customers.

Number of board members

We currently have four board members, and aim for between 3–5 board members at any time, with a mix of skills, backgrounds, and expertise. A quorum is currently 3 board members. Nick was deemed our independent director under the NZX rules, but we aim to get one more independent director. Aiming for 40% female representation, with wider general diversity (age, location, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation).

Chairperson

The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Board on an annual basis (May meeting). The current Chairperson is Nick Lewis.

Term

New directors are appointed at PledgeMe’s AGM or through a resolution passed with the shareholders during the year. Nick will manage the staggering of the board terms, based on interest, their performance and the filling of skill gaps.

Board membership is set to a 1 year term with the ability to renew annually.

Directors’ Fees

Set at $1,100 per month paid annually in arrears and paid in a mix of shares but with enough cash to cover tax implications.

Frequency

Monthly board meetings and occasional discussions on Loomio, though this can be moved to purely online (via Loomio) as needed. 10–15 hrs per month. Board members are required to respond to discussions and emails within two working days.

Board Responsibilities

The Board retains the responsibility for managing its own affairs including the responsibility to:

i) Appoint the Chairman of the Board;

ii) Appoint, review and/or replace the Chief Executive Officer

iii) determine the timing and agenda for Board meetings.

iv) annually review the skills and experience represented on the Board in light of rapidly changing business requirements.

v) recommend the criteria and potential candidates who meet the criteria to the Board.

vi) on the recommendation of the Chair, appoint, determine the composition of and set the terms of reference for Board committees;

vii) approve the terms of reference for the CEO and Chairman.

viii) implement an appropriate process for assessing the effectiveness of the Board, the Board Chair, committees and directors in fulfilling their responsibilities.

ix) assess the adequacy and form of director compensation and make recommendations to the shareholders to approve the director compensation at the Annual General Meeting.

x) assume responsibility for Company’s governance practices and ensure they meet the needs of the shareholders, employees and customers; and

xi) monitor our compliance with our licensing obligations under the Financial Markets authority.

APPLY

So that’s the role and the kind of person we’re looking for. Think it’s you? Then please fill out this application form powered by Weirdly.

UPDATE: Some people have been having trouble filling out the embedded form. If it isn’t working, not saving, or crashing then please click through here and complete it.

How to PledgeMe.

New features, ahoy!

One of the great things about having a developer on the team is that we can continuously bring out some neat little functions to make people’s campaign experience better. The latest couple of things we’ve changed on the site are specifically focussed on making creating a campaign easier and adding functionality so you can track it once it is up running.

New create page

We’ve given the create a campaign page a face lift. We’ve removed that wall of text and streamlined the information you see and better clarified between the types of campaigns you can run. Oh and of course there is Jordan’s face peeking up from the bottom there.

We’ve also made the page where you submit your campaign proposal a bit more logical, beautiful, and we’re asking better questions so we can help make your campaigns successful.

Creating a new project campaign on PledgeMe

Campaign Analytics

Probably the coolest thing we’ve added is the ability to track your campaign via Google Analytics. Once your campaign is approved, you’ll be able to add in a Google Analytics tracking code so you can see how many views you’re getting, where they’re coming from, and how long people stay on the page.

Adding Google Analytics to a PledgeMe campaign.

Once you’re logged into PledgeMe, hit the Edit Campaign button, then the Analytics tab and enter your tracking code. Once you hit save Google Analytics will start collecting stats for your page. Woo! For more info on how to use Google Analytics check out their help page.

More in store

We’ve got heaps of other little features going live over the next couple of months. So keep your eyes peeled for them as they pop up.

One year on

It’s one year ago today that we had our first successful equity campaign – for us.

It was a scary move, going out with our own campaign and asking our crowd to join us on our journey. I joke that it’s effectively the same as getting naked and running through a crowd of friends (and critics). It’s a no holds barred, warts and all approach to growing your company, and it’s not for the faint hearted. But, it worked. In 23 hours we raised our maximum goal of $100,000, and we grew from a team of 2 FTE’s and a board to a family of 186 shareholders, directors and team members.

PledgeMecake

And, we got so much more from our crowd than just the funds. In the last year we’ve gotten everything from strategy sessions to home cooked meals to contacts in Australia to campaign leads to attendees at our pitch kitchens to another round of funding. We’ve been supported commercially and personally. We’ve strengthened existing friendships and made new ones.

With your help, in the last year we’ve gone from $2.9million total pledged through the platform to $8.2million pledged. We’ve had 11 other equity campaigns funded, covering a spectrum of industries – from beer to wind turbines to solid hair care bars. And, we’ve almost hit the 1,000 mark on total funded campaigns. Yep, that’s almost 1,000 campaigns that got the funding they needed to go ahead. Since 2012.

So, I want to take this moment to say thank you. Thank you to our supporters, shareholders, and the growing PledgeMe team. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. We also wouldn’t be who we are today without you.

AWESOME FOOD AND AWESOME TEAM

 

What does the next year hold?

  • More kiwis funding the things they care about.
  • Us pushing to hit our goal of $8.2million pledged this financial year.
  • Different ways of supporting our crowd, be it new ways help campaigners to new products we offer.
  • More inspiration. More learning. More you.
And for me? Turning 30.
xx
Anna
ps. Here are some other campaigns you might want to check out on the anniversary of our funding:

 

What the All Blacks can teach us all about culture

It’s no secret inside Team PledgeMe that for me, major sporting events (like World Cups and the Olympic Games) mean erratic sleeping patterns, constantly waking up flatmates by yelling at the TV, and even more time spent trawling Twitter. A few of us have been relegated to a #sportsball channel on Slack for intra-office communications on the subject matter.

The Rugby World Cup is over. This makes me sad. The main reason I feel this way is that the All Blacks, especially this team, have captivated me for a few years now.

The thing I find so fascinating is the culture they’ve created. It incubates success better than anything else I’ve seen in sport.

The All Blacks have been ranked #1 in World Rugby for more than a decade (less a few months by South Africa). That, in itself, is crazy. But had they fallen to their Trans Tasman rivals last weekend, it would have been slightly harder to call them the best team ever.

But the All Blacks prevailed. They are unequivocally the best team ever.

Theories about the success by this current batch of All Blacks, and the most recent head coaches Steve Hansen & Graham Henry, will undoubtedly be covered by academics in years to come.

How can a team remain this dominant for so long? How do they continue to innovate and remain ahead of their rivals?

Things weren’t always this great. There was a turning point after the 2003 World Cup when New Zealand lost in the semi-finals to Australia. Coaches Graham Henry, Steven Hansen, and Wayne Smith met with some of the senior players. The outcome of the conversation was for the All Blacks to move past their macho-culture towards a culture with humility and respect.

You can’t change your culture overnight. It takes time. I’m sure it wasn’t easy either. After 100 years of being rugby’s toughest team, the All Blacks coaching staff and leading players decided being feared wasn’t enough.

Their culture was holding them back and it needed an adjustment.

Culture

… dictates your pace of change

There’s the saying that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This means with the right culture a team — whether it’s the All Blacks or a startup — achieves more faster. Everyone is able to focus on their key areas improvement. This allows the team as a whole to continue to innovate. Culture keeps a team’s inertia up.

The All Blacks began changing their behaviour, particularly while on tour. I’m sure at first it required effort to manage. As cultural norms shifted, the All Blacks likely spent little time on this. They focused on rugby while many of their rivals were probably still spending time and energy on off-field issues.

… happens behind closed doors

The All Blacks culture is not what us “normal people” see from interviews and read in the media.

Picture this. The All Blacks had just won. They have a quick debrief in the changing rooms and the team gets ready to head for their hotel. Before leaving they turn do a final sweep of the locker room. They leave it the way they found it so nobody has to clean up after them.

… is the sum of the team

A favourite athlete of mine was recently questioned about a pretty impressive team effort he played a key role in. He responded by saying “it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit”.

Listening to Dan Carter’s interview after receiving Man of the Match, you notice he focuses on  achieving the goal of back-to-back World Champions as a team. None of it, not even the individual honour he’d just received, was about him. It was about the collective.

…dictates your long-term performance.

It’s impossible to say an organisation and team’s success is solely related to culture. Looking back now though, the All Blacks winning average went from 75% in 2004 to 86% by 2011 and again crept to over over 90% in the Steven Hansen era. It’s hard to deny the impact culture had in this progress.

Although it’s sad to see several legends leave this team, we’ve seen the All Blacks culture cut through the noise and focus on continual improvement.

That’s why they’re the best team ever.

Advancing by retreating

We’ve been talking about having a team retreat for a while. So long that our Slack channel was optimistically predicting April. But it wasn’t until the other month starting with ‘A’ that we managed to get (almost all) of the team in the same city. (We missed you, Jessie!)

Damn that's a fine-ass team

So a couple of weeks ago, seven of the team gathered in Wellington and headed out to to the KiwiConnect (they’re a shareholder. Wahoo!) house in Whitemans Valley. We wanted to spend a weekend hanging out super casual and discussing some of our goals for the upcoming year. Oh and eating awesome food. The house was amazing and I’m shocked half the team didn’t end up staying there forever. It’s definitely a step up from standard Wellington living.

AWESOME FOOD AND AWESOME TEAM

Here’s what we learned:

  • Branding is hard. We did a good two hour session throwing around all the things we hold near and dear and wading through feedback from our crowd on what makes us special. We’re still working through our final four brand values, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

→ Empowered by your crowd, powered by PledgeMe
→ Trustworthy and transparent in everything we do
→ It’s about more than the rewards and the return
→ Seriously fun humans

  • Rory is the master of the box game. Seriously, as Lana puts it “he has the moves of an 8 year old girl”.Cheesus that's a lot of cheese
  • There is nothing like cooking as a team. You get to learn a lot about people (and about food — who knew pickled fennel was a thing? Turns out Jackson did), and the way to your teams heart is really through their stomach. There was lot of cheese consumed (one wheel was bigger than Lana’s head).
  • Trello is where the party’s at. Seriously. We walked through the ins and outs of how we can use Trello better to manage our team (and lives) and these were Jackson’s top three tips:

1. Use it
2. Seriously. Use it.
3. It’s just like using post-its. Except better.

  • Banjo-riffic timesYou need a mix of work and play. We spent time lazing around reading, sharing stories of things you’d wouldn’t know about each other and working on PledgeMe’s strategy. We find strategy is best developed over S’mores and guacamole (maybe not at the same time, but if you try it, let us know).
  • The best way to force your “boss” to delegate things is when they’re sick and you refuse to let them touch anything. I was forced to sit on a bean bag in the corner most of the weekend (no box game for me…) and watch the team organise everything. It was super empowering to see the team just make everything happen around me.

If you’re thinking about running your own retreat here are a few things to think about:

  • Get outside of your day-to-day, even if it’s just an hour away. It helps you see things differently and makes it more of a break than work.
  • Have everyone propose a meal. It makes the vibe more communal and you all get to learn new recipes. though, if your recipe is the weakest link, you may be pushed off the list and you might just be Sous Chef the whole weekend.
  • Use a Google Doc to coordinate recipes and timings.
  • Encourage people to bring things they just like doing. We had banjos, running shoes, and knitting needles at our retreat.
  • If you can find a whiteboard use it.
  • Appoint someone “Chief Grocery Master”, so they can coordinate all the shopping list and recipes.

Sometimes you need to get ahead by taking a step back and seeing things from a different perspective. What better way to do it than with good people, good food, and good times.Seriously, food.

How to PledgeMe.

What is this crowd you speak of?

While this modern life can occasionally feel a bit lonely, the reality is we all have a crowd. Like an enormous venn-diagram, we’re all connected to each other in some way: be it by blood, a common interest, a shared workspace or simply by walking down the same street at the same time.

Here at PledgeMe we don’t ever shut up about crowds. The crowd you need to tap into to get your project running, to reach your goal and bring life to a dream. For us it’s a word that starts to look funny when we read it because we use it so often, but it certainly doesn’t lose its meaning.

There’s a few different components making up your crowd. Let’s take a jam donut. Donuts are not only tasty and delicious, they work really well as a metaphor. Also it gave us an excuse to eat donuts for research purposes.

Mmmmmm donuts.

Donuts are delicious (and are a good metaphor for crowdfunding).

Imagine yourself as the jam. You’re right in the middle, with an idea. Jam on its own is ok, sure, but is made so much better with some support.

1. Cream: The bit immediately surrounding the jam (you). Making the donut that much more delicious, you can’t really have jam without cream to complement it.

These are the people you first mention the project to. The ones you run the idea past to gauge just how crazy it might be, test subjects you speak with before you’ve even filled out the pitch submission. They might be your friends, family, or respected people who terrify you but give you confidence to go through with it.

Your immediate crowd are critical: talk them through the whole process of submitting and publishing the project, and make sure they know when it goes live. They’ll have their trigger fingers ready to pledge immediately and give you momentum right at the start.

Writing a list of these people and contacting them directly is the best plan of attack (and as a bonus you can pat yourself on the back for being super organised). Maybe even get them together, give them donuts and have a pledging party.

2. Pastry: A donut wouldn’t be a donut without the sweet bready bit holding it all together. People come for the jam and cream, but don’t get very far without pastry.

This is where social media comes in. All your friends on Facebook, your followers on Twitter and Instagram: these people have at least some vague idea of who you are and what you’re about. They are by no means less important than your immediate crowd, they keep the ball rolling with pledges. When you’re making donuts, if you don’t get this bit right then it might all fall apart. The same goes for a crowdfunding campaign.

Oh gosh. Just let me eat it already.

As you can see, the simple jam and cream donut is much more powerful than we first thought.

3. Sugar: The literal sugar on top, pushing you over the edge with delight.

The magic of the internet is that messages can be shared super easily. These are the people you met once at a party, worked with briefly, or possibly don’t even know at all. But your immediate (cream) and secondary (pastry) people are friends with them, work with them, or buy coffee from them. When your project is shared on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram (or LinkedIn or Pinterest or Slack), these metaphorical sugar people see it. Their interest is piqued.

But how do you get them to pledge? By having a video (bonus points) and really great content. This is the crowd who might not know you, but help get your project over the line. Convince them to jump on board by being the most excellent you you can be. We know you are, and this part of your crowd have the potential to move through the layers and end up as part of your immediate crowd. Who knows, they may even be just the right person to make some extra magic happen.

Without one of the four components, a donut wouldn’t quite work, nor be quite so delicious. The greatest thing about a donut is eating it, and for the purposes of this metaphor, appreciating how your crowd comes together to make a successful whole.

 

FINALLY!

The perfect don… crowdfunding campaign. Mmmmmmm donuts.

Breaking Ground

[A couple of months ago a bright-eyed Irish lad approached us. He had experience in financial markets and a thirst for a challenge. Barry is now PledgeMe’s Rad Debtor, looking at crowdlending and debt crowdfunding for us.]

Nine months ago, I peered across from the other side of the internet and a bright blue bubble caught my eye. We shared a glance and I approached nervously. My voice quivering, my hands shaking, my pits sweating — “hey what’s the story, PledgeMe?”

Barry sees PledgeMe from across the bar…

An artist’s impression of Barry’s first glance of PledgeMe. Original image by Beer by Bart and used under Creative Commons Attribution license.

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