26- year-old, Aditi is a teacher at a government school who started a crowdfunding campaign to buy supplies that her school lacked. The goal was set at Rs. 1,00,000 and just within the first week, it raised almost Rs. 24,000. While the start was good enough, the fundraiser died down after that. The page lay abandoned for the next 45 days; till she decided to shut the fundraiser and withdraw whatever she had been able to collect.

What did she do wrong?

Aditi primarily relied on her close friends and family to help her out i.e. her primary network. She had no access to a secondary network or even a tertiary one; she never thought she would need to go beyond personal and social media sharing. Therefore, as soon as her primary network was exhausted, her fundraiser died.

Networking is the key to crowdfunding success!

Crowdfunding in India is not understood very well. Most campaigners, who start a fundraiser on any platform, usually stand by and wait for funds to pour in. But that is not how it works. Networking is key to making bring in donors. You need a network not just to donate, but also promote your campaign to bring in more donors from their own networks.

The three-tiered crowdfunding network

Your network begins with your immediate circle, your close friends and family but for effective crowdfunding, it must expand. According to a quick survey done by Impact Guru – the largest platform for medical crowdfunding in India, around 60% of donations to any fundraiser come from the secondary network.

The secondary network is what your primary circle creates. Think of friends of friends, colleagues of relatives, relatives of friends etc. Your primary circle must be motivated to share and promote your fundraiser through various mediums – Facebook, Whatsapp, Email to help you reach to their primary network i.e. your secondary network.

Once that happens, someone from the secondary network might share your fundraiser with their primary network and thus connect you to a tertiary network. Very often, campaigners notice that absolute strangers have donated, many a times in huge numbers, to their campaign. This is because; they have a strong primary network that is helping them promote the fundraiser as much as possible.

Continuous promotions = Faster crowdfunding

One share on Facebook doesn’t do anything. The open secret to good crowdfunding is to be consistent and continuous in your promotional efforts. Especially, if you are raising money for a medical emergency or treatment. Medical crowdfunding in India is especially successful because campaigners understand the importance of constant sharing, whether its updates on the patient’s health or a thank you shout out or information about their treatment.

Regular updates and sharing build trust and invite more strangers to donate to your fundraiser. So before starting a crowdfunding campaign, make sure you train and equip your primary network to spread the word! Happy crowdfunding!