How to put together a winning project

By Anita Gallagher
Training Lead at HIPGive

Your project —the text or story that you publish to explain your project to potential contributors—  is a key element of any crowdfunding campaign. While many individuals will be converts to your campaign simply because of their ongoing commitment to your cause, a well-written project will reinforce their willingness to donate. Moreover, if you wish to inspire people to give for the first time, your choice of project is essential: a brief window of opportunity to capture people’s attention and spur them into action.  

Here are our top five tips for putting together a project that persuades even the most reluctant individual to give.    

  1. Choose a catchy title

Don’t expect everyone to read all of your project narrative—they won’t. Better to convince them straight off with a persuasive title. The best titles are short but paint a picture, illustrating the overall impact of the project in a few well-chosen words. Some titles we’ve loved include “Gardens for Good” helping rural women in El Salvador and “A Goooooal for our students” supporting Latino students in academic and soccer summer camps in North Carolina.


  1. Keep it short

Always provide information that is directly related to the specific project you’re funding. Avoid long sentences and complex concepts. Focus on creating empathy and showing how your project makes a difference in ways that really matter to people. Check out the Maíz para Resistir project: El Hombre Sobre la Tierra that raised $13,961 dollars from 175 HIPGivers with a word count of only 300. 


  1. Use a few key facts to back up your position

A well placed fact or key statistic will please the rational thinkers in your audience. They’re also a useful way of anticipating objections and/or answering concerns that people have about whether your approach really works. Look at how this hugely successful project by the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant or Luna Maya’s midwifery project use a well-placed statistic to make their case. 


  1. Include encouragement to give

People visiting a crowdfunding page should know that they are invited to give, right? You’d think so, but it’s best to reinforce the call to action by explaining how different amounts can move the project forward. Have a look at how the team at Peronia Adolescente included a list of what different donations can achieve to motivate people to give at certain levels. You could easily include these items in the “perks” section, or explain how all donations, no matter how small, will make a difference. 


  1. Above all, be friendly

Although the project is based on a written text, it’s not a formal request for a grant. Avoid the copy/paste and instead, imagine that you had the opportunity to explain your project face-to-face to a friend. You’d likely use simple, respectful and friendly language, and that’s what works best for crowdfunding projects too. Take a look at U Yich Luúm’s project about building an eco-friendly cultural space, which combines warmth with ease-of-reading. 


Want a bit more help with putting together your project? Have a look at the resources in the Tools section, such as: 

  • How to Select your Project in 5 Steps
  • How to Write up Your Project


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