Estimating crowdfunding reward delivery dates

This is part 4 of a 4 part series on rewards for crowdfunding campaigns.

Rewards fulfilment is probably the most challenging part of crowdfunding, because from the moment you launch, everyday its’ a race against time to get perks out your door, and into your backers hands. There are just too many unforeseen variables for reward delivery.

Here are just some examples:

  • Manufacturer parts are incorrect or not working
  • Shipping, or material costs increase unexpectedly
  • Delivery parcels get stopped at customs inspection checkpoints
  • Inability to fulfil rewards in time due to manufacturer delays

Getting overfunded is a good thing, but along with it comes the additional work of managing backers and fulfilling the additional rewards needed. You’ll need to buffer in additional time for all these, and have plan B contingencies in place to deal with them.

So it’ll do you good to triple the original length of time you’ve planned for rewards to be fulfilled. If you’ve originally forecasted that 3D printer to ship in 6 months, set the estimated delivery date 1.5 years later instead. This will help properly manage your backers expectations early on.

Basically under promise, over deliver.

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success – by Anthony Kaufman

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success

1. Identify your target audience—preferably, audiences.Fox had two built-in niche audiences to target; fans and followers of her primary subjectTibetan Buddhist Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, of which there are many worldwide, and the estimated 7,000 people that Fox cultivated during the grassroots release of her last film, 2006’s “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.”

2. Give your backers plenty to see.The fact that “My Reincarnation” was essentially complete and already showing at select international film festivals also helped. While Fox was initially uncomfortable asking for money for a project that appeared complete, she still needed some $100,000 to cover the costs of music rights, post-production sound, subtitling and additional editing for broadcast. But she used the existing film to her advantage, touting the Kickstarter campaign at public screenings and teasing the movie with multiple video clips on the web.“So our campaign didn’t just have a Web 2.0 aspect, it had screenings and it had video,” says Fox, who worked with a team of filmmakers Stefanie Diaz, Katherine Nolfi and Lisa Duva, to make the effort work. (Nolfi and Duva took a percentage of the proceeds. Kickstarter takes 5% of every project’s donations.)

3. Get creative with incentives. (Hint: Hats and T-shirts probably won’t do the trick.)Like most Kickstarter participants, Fox also offered special incentives to donors—and not just posters or DVDs, but limited-edition prints of paintings by a famous Buddhist teacher, original art and artifacts from Fox’s personal collection (“I raided my home,” she admits) and a gold ring and Tibetan statue donated by the father and son shown in the film, which went for $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.“Those two donations tipped everything,” says Fox. “We probably raised $50,000 in four days.” In the future, Fox suggests, to bolster the value of incentives, “I’d ask people who believe in the project to donate precious objects. You have to know who is your target market and what do they want.”

Thanks to Anthony Kaufmann link