Prepare yourself

Check that you’re ready to borrow.

Hold your horses. Before you dive into preparing a crowdfunding campaign, use our Campaign Readiness Evaluation for Debt (CRED) tool to check if you are ready to borrow and have a good chance of being able to repay your loan.

Not to worry if you’re not ready. Take a look at running a project or equity crowdfunding campaign with us instead. We’d be happy to chat with you about the different options.

Get Informed

Good work. You’re already preparing by reading this guide. To get informed we suggest that you keep on reading this. You should also go out and learn about the law, financial terms, and general investor literacy.

Want to know the law around crowdlending? The FMA has comprehensive explanation of peer-to-peer lending on their website.

  • Confused by financial terms? See Unravelling Financial Jargon for information.
  • The Commission for Financial Literacy also has some comprehensive training material on their site.
  • Need some investor literacy? Have a read of Sorted’s investing guide. 
  • NZTE outlines some other sources of capital over on their website.

Having a handle on the law and jargon helps you cut through the confusion and nonsense
so you can make the most of your campaign. You’ll better understand your responsibilities
and build a better pitch.

Think it through

PledgeMe.Lend is similar to traditional project crowdfunding. When you create your campaign and pitch you’ll need to use a mix of text, images, video, social media and page updates to get the word out. To communicate why your crowd should invest in your organisation you need to really know your organisation inside out, know your purpose and know what makes (or will make) your campaign work.

You will need to explain what your organisation is all about, how the funding will be used to grow your impact, and the return that you’re offering in the form of interest and rewards.

Take a bit of time to go over your business plan, financials and really get to the nub of why you’re borrowing and why you want your crowd to be the lenders.

Get Support

Getting your team on board will be crucial to a successful PledgeMe.Lend campaign. Make sure your partners, staff and governance board know what’s going on and are able to explain the process. They’re champions for your organisation and will help in running the campaign.

You’ll also need to get your business plan, financials, and pitch video looking good and up to a high standard. Not every business has the skills in-house to do these things and it always pays to have someone on the outside look in.

If you want or need specialist help, we have a few people ready and eager.

  • Film makers: the normal daily rate is around $1,000. E-mail us for contacts in your area.
  • Accountants: we know accountants in your home town, and also ones that will Skype you. E-mail us for an introduction. 
  • Business planning: There are business advisors available to give you feedback and support making your business plan. 
  • Crowdfunding consultants: There are experienced crowdfunders who help people meet their crowdfunding goals. You might also want to talk to your local economic development agency and ask about their capability vouchers (they can match fund you!) or local incubators.

We’ll help you figure out if you need external help during CrowdfundingU and set you up with the appropriate people.

You might also want to talk to your local economic development agency and ask about their capability vouchers (they can match fund you!), incubator, or read through the Investment Ready Guide by NZTE.

Your Cornerstone Crowd

Who is your crowd?

Figure out who your crowd is. It’s about identifying the people who support and believe in what your organisation does. It might be your friends, family or people in your various communities. You might have networks and organisations who have supported you in the past and are looking to play a bigger role in the future of your organisation. You may even already have a dedicated customer base chomping at the bit to see you succeed. Figure out who is in your crowd, then how and where you can communicate with them. Whether in real life or through technology, connect with personality and authenticity.

If you prefer metaphors and jam donuts have a look at our sweet explanatory blog post.

First 50

Make a list of the top 50 people you think are willing and able to invest in your organisation and spread your message far, wide and deep. 

Now go talk to them. Seriously. Pick up the phone or, even better, take them out for a coffee or a frozen yoghurt or a sit down meal at a three Michelin star restaurant. Maybe not the last one.

At the very least, send them a personalised e-mail giving them a heads up about what you’re thinking of doing, why, what the money is going to be used for, and how they’ll benefit. Get them to agree to pledge when the campaign goes live and willingly preach your good word.

Use one of our templates to help you reach out.

Prep your crowd

Once you’ve figured out who your wider crowd is, start letting them know you’re planning on running a PledgeMe.Lend crowdfunding campaign. Use your e-mail newsletter, website, and social media to get a sense of whether people will invest in your organisation. Let them know it’s happening so they can save up, check with their partners, and plan their finances.

Sussing out your crowd and your First 50 is an important step. It validates whether people are willing to invest and their feedback can help you to identify what it is about your organisation that really resonates with them (and is likely to strike a chord with other lenders). You can get your crowd to pre-register their interest by setting up a Mailchimp list. 

What can PledgeMe do?

Preparation is key. Through our six week CrowdfundingU programme, we’ll help you wrap your head around what borrowing from your crowd means, how it can work for you and how you can effectively spread your message to your crowd and expand your following even further afield. We’ll get you in the best position possible to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. For more info on CrowdfundingU take a look at the next page and to sign up swing by here.