Creating a project
One of the main reasons Donors prefer crowdfunding to traditional fund-raising drives is that they get to see exactly where their money is going. The project is your idea, with a well-defined proposal, funding target and completion date.
What title should I give my project?
Make it simple and specific. Remember - it's a title, not a description. It needs to grab people's attention.
What should I include in my project?
Here's your chance to justify your project. See the pitch guidelines on the "Pitch" tab of the project create flow for more detail, but here's a top-level structure:
- What’s your story? (Introduce your school and your students)
- Why do you want to buy these things?
- What impact will they have?
When will my project go public?
Once you've created your project you can submit it to us. If it meets all of our guidelines we'll make it available to the public around 3 days later or at the start of the next wave. Please note that you can't edit your project after submitting it. However, you will be able to add updates.
A Guide to Rocket Fund
For a useful 2 page print out, checkout the guide below.The Crowdfunding Handbook
Funding & Fees
Rocket Fund uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If you don't reach your minimum needed by your completion date, no money changes hands. We suggest choosing the minimum funding target that allows you to carry out your project.
We don't charge teachers or donors to use our platform.
The only fee teachers will pay is the 2% that we add to every project target to cover the credit/debit card transaction fees charged by Stripe (our payment provider).
How Rocket Fund covers its costs
We claim Gift Aid on donations from eligible Donors who choose to support us. This means we can pass 100% of donations onto teachers. We're a non-profit, so any surplus created will be put back into match funding other school projects on Rocket Fund.
What do I need to consider?
A shorter project can convey a sense of urgency to Donors. That's why we've found that projects up to one month in length tend to be more successful.
The larger your funding target or your minimum needed the longer you are likely to need to raise it.
Receiving the products
You only receive the products IF you have hit your minimum target and AFTER your project's completion date. After this, we will purchase the products and send them directly to your school address within 3 weeks of project completion.
Creating a Video
One of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving your target is to make a video. Videos allow Donors to gain more of an idea of who you are and what you're doing. It builds a more personal connection between you and the Donors, which is likely to encourage a donation.
What makes a good video?
A good video is personal! At its simplest, a good video can just be your students and you speaking into a camera. The basic idea is to give people an idea of who you are, what you're doing and why Donors should care about your project. Oh, and be yourself!
A student led example: Fem in STEM
Get your students involved, it makes a great project.
A whole school example: Ardleigh Afloat
Or get everyone involved!
An Oscar worthy example: Tech@MPS
They got some professional help with this one...
- Camera The one on your smartphone or tablet is probably fine!
- Sound Reduce background noise as much as possible!
- Light Lots! Check that the main source of light is behind the camera.
- Editing Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac) are great.
- Students Maybe they could help you create a video?! (Remember you'll need parental permission if your video identifies individual students).
Vimeo has great advice!
What types of video can I use?
How large can my video's file size be?
Vimeo's basic account has a limit of 500MB per file and 5GB for premium accounts. YouTube has a limit of 2GB.
Can I use music on my video?
Yes, but only if you have permission to do so from its owner! Alternatively you can use any music from http://freemusicarchive.org/ with artist permission.
We've found that saying thank you engages Donors and encourages more donations.
We highly recommend offering 3 forms of thank you as rewards to your Donors:
1. A thank you note from yourself
2. A thank you note from your students
3. Some form of personal recognition / thank you to the Donor (e.g. a mention in the school newsletter)
To save you time, we strongly recommend you keep your rewards digital and easy to deliver!Download Rewards Guide
How can I promote my project?
Start by sending a personal, email to family and friends. Include a link to your project! Once they have pledged your project begins to look more attractive to others. This is a good time to get posting about your project on Facebook, Twitter, other social networking sites, and your blog. School newsletters are also a great place to raise awareness.
You shouldn't overwhelm your networks with group messages, but gentle reminders throughout the course of your project will be beneficial. Remind them of your deadline. However, nothing beats a personal touch when asking for donations!
Your school's network
Your school has a large community of students, parents, alumni, suppliers and supporters. How could you tap into those networks? Talk to your Headteacher and create a plan.
Could they help you get the word out?
Look on Facebook or LinkedIn for former students and staff of your school. Often alumni will lie dormant on these pages until reactivated by something like a request for donations. School forums on Facebook / Linkedin are also a good place to post up your projects and get a discussion going. The more people you have talking about your project, the better.
If you're lucky enough to have an Alumni Office (or person responsible for keeping the contact information on alumni), then get in touch with them ASAP. If you make it clear to your Alumni Office that you will use the contacts responsibly, they may be kind enough to reach out to some alumni who would be interested in your project!
Use student, school or local newspapers and radio stations to get the word out. Media attention will help you reach out to people outside your immediate networks.
The real world
Get out there! Posters, flyers, meetings, parties... not everyone lives in cyber-world!
Check out our Promotions Guide below for more handy tips.Download Promotion Guide
Updates are a way of interacting with Donors. They breathe life into both your project and are essential to the process.
Regular updates show anyone viewing your project that you are committed to it and that there is someone with a personality behind it. Your Donors will be notified of each of your updates by email. If they like what they see they are more likely to tell their friends about you.
What kind of updates should I provide?
Is your project going well? Short messages let Donors know that your project is progressing well and their contribution is being used productively!
Small milestones show that the project is making progress and will encourage new Donors that you deserve their support!
Share reviews, press releases, photos and videos! Donors love to see how their support contributed to the success of your project.The Crowdfunding Handbook