One driver of crowdfunding successfully is creating compelling rewards that relate to your project. Think of who you would like to pledge and what kind of rewards those people might pledge for. People want to give you money if your project inspires them and rewards should give them an extra reason for opening their wallets and helping you out.

    General Tips for Crowdfunding Rewards

    Rewards can be creative and quirky, but should not be too complicated. You should be able to deliver on them once your campaign closes successfully. We recommend a range of small to large rewards (ranging from $5 and up) depending on the project’s scope. Here are some extra tips:

    • Try to offer at least three different rewards at three different cost tiers, so that your potential pledgers have options.
    • Use the opportunity to engage local partners or other people who may benefit from your crowdfunding campaign. For example, if you’re crowdfunding a new art studio, why not reach out to local artists and offer to exhibit their works in your new studio for a certain pledge amount? Or you could check if local art and paint stores would be willing to give out discounts or vouchers to pledgers through your campaign (they get more customers while you get more pledgers – it’s a win-win!).
    • Try to have at least one reward that pledgers could only get through your campaign and nowhere else. For example, if you’re crowdfunding a film, offer exclusive first viewings for a higher pledge amount.
    • Don’t be afraid to add a reward halfway through your campaign. Fur Patrol provides a great example of this. When they passed the two-thirds mark, their campaign’s momentum slowed and they needed a little boost. So they added a couple of new rewards, including a baby-blue edition of their Vinyl album. It was so popular that they had to add another reward giving previous pledgers the option to upgrade to it!
    • Events can also be a great crowdfunding reward. For example, if you’re launching a book, film, or something similar, why not have a launch or opening party? ‘VIP ticket to launch’ is a very tantalising reward for many potential pledgers.

    Inspiration for Crowdfunding Rewards from PledgeMe Alumni

    Want some inspiration? Here are some examples of great rewards we’ve seen on PledgeMe:

    1) Good Time Comedy Club: Grandpa Figs, a Christchurch-based comedian, offered to change his last name to whatever one lucky $10,000 pledger chose for five years post-campaign. We love the commitment and outside-the-box thinking!

    Just Literally Buy My Last Name Alright

    2) Mangle and Gruff – This Wellington band wanted to release their first EP and they decided to create a range of crazy rewards – everything from a calendar of Will (their guitarist) to creating a full-blown religion for $1,000. Someone pledged for that!

    3) Ralphi – This Tauranga-based up-and-coming illustrator wanted to fund her attendance at a comic workshop. Her rewards of various sized doodles went like wildfire. She ended up funding her project in under 24 hours.

    4) The Barkery – This campaigner gave reward options you’d expect from a cafe which hosts both dogs and humans, such as cappuccinos, puppacinos and Ethique ‘shampooch’ bars. However, you could also pledge to immortalise your dog on one of the fence posts of the new location or as a menu item. If something like ‘Chino the chihuahua chocolate cake’ doesn’t allow bragging rights, we don’t know what does!

    Immortalise Your Dog On The Fence Posts

    5) Waitakaruru hot spring Manuka Honey: This beekeeping campaigner offered pledgers who were willing to pay the price the chance to be a beekeeper for half a day. The reward created quite a buzz!

    Bee A Beekeeper For A Half A Day

    Inspiration for Crowdfunding Rewards Internationally

    1) Kris White wanted to write a graphic novel – The 36.  He had a range of different rewards for his pledgers, but the one that captured the hearts of four big spenders was his offer to immortalize their names as a supporting character in his novel for the small fee of $1,000 each.

    2) Ted Rall, an American journalist and cartoonist, needed $25,000 to get to Afghanistan and write a book of cartoons on what was actually happening there. He spent a month reporting on what he saw there, with regular cartoon updates uploaded via satellite phone. His comics touched on everything from Taliban biker gangs to pizza. Who received these? The backers – of which he had over 200. Rewards ranged from a base $10 for updates to $10,000 for drinks with him in New York once he returned.

    3) Emily Richmond wanted to travel the globe by boat – 24,000 miles in 24 months – and her rewards ranged from an origami boat to a sailor hat, to a polaroid taken in one of her many destinations and posted back to the lucky pledger. This polaroid reward inspired over 70 people to back her, and she managed to raise over $8,000 for her project. My personal favourite though was her offer to mail a coconut ($125)  from one of her island stop-offs (though I imagine there may have been MAF restrictions on that!).

    So hopefully this gives you an idea of what rewards you should try to incorporate around your project. It really can be ANYTHING, so long as it’s within legal limitations and deliverable by you after your crowdfunding campaign closes. Do some research, see what similar things have been done, but focus on your audience – what would you spend money on if the tables were turned?


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