I am doing some of the very first marketing for my business that I’ve ever done — I’m offering a REWARD on a Goshen Funded crowdfunding campaign. Depending on when you read this, you may find my REWARD — a coupon for $10 Web Site Hosting — on a currently running campaign at GoshenFunded.com.

That coupon is worth a full month of Level 1 hosting.

But the details are not easy to grasp, are they? I agree. Hang in there, because I want you to see the marketing potential here for your own business.

THE STORY OF GOSHEN FUNDED

Here’s a way to understand crowdfunding and the emerging online community marketplace:

GoshenFunded.com is a local voluntary community crowdfunding resource for Goshen, Indiana (my home town.)

Organizations large and small, businesses and micro-businesses, church groups, civic groups, and individuals with creative ideas crying out for funding, are all welcome to create crowdfunding campaigns for their special projects.

Crowdfunding is: inviting many people (from far and wide) to give a little bit to help create something that you find inspiring, or useful or cool, or beautiful, or fun. You invite your contacts, through word of mouth, email, and social networks, to consider donating, and to invite others to donate too. Your own connections generate buzz and spark the initial giving. Then your friends tell their friends, and interest spreads.

Crowdfunding is an it-takes-a-village approach, as opposed to finding a few big donors or investors, or borrowing from a bank.

Did you know? 85% of donations to a crowdfunding campaign come from friends, family, and the local community.

The big crowdfunding sites are: Kickstarter, IndieGogo, GoFundMe, maybe you’ve heard of these?

Goshen Funded is different. (In just a moment I’ll be able to explain why.)

Goshen Funded’s crowdfunding engine is the startup, Community Funded, of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Everyone who donates to a local Goshen campaign on the Goshen Funded web site ends up with their own Community Funded account — with all the tools and guidance to be able to create and run their own crowdfunding campaign.

(Not that you have to. Maybe that’s not your thing.)

Launching and running a crowdfunding campaign is thrilling. It’s an epic, time-consuming, exhausting, exciting, scary, satisfying, all-out piece of work to plan and execute.

So here’s where Goshen Funded is different, because the Community Funded platform has a unique feature that creates a new kind of online community marketplace. They call it REWARDS.

REWARDS are incentives created by our local Goshen businesses and individuals, offered to crowdfunding campaigns in support of their project and objectives. A REWARD could be a gift certificate, dinner for two, a massage, a loaf of bread, a basket of garden produce, a trip to France, a coffee mug, a cooking class, a yoga lesson, concert tickets, a T-shirt, social media consulting, a bottle of wine, a shopping spree, web site hosting…

Kickstarter, IndieGogo, GoFundme, none of these have REWARDS. None are designed to help a community strengthen its connections.

That’s what makes GoshenFunded.com special.

And, full disclosure, I helped build it, with Phil Metzler and Ben Beyeler doing a lot of the community organizing and technical know-how to make it happen. We started about a year ago, and we’ve hosted about half a dozen crowdfunding campaigns since our “soft launch” last Fall, 2014.

Which brings us back to Marketing…

SPEND MY MONEY PLEASE

I am doing some of the very first marketing for my business that I’ve ever done — I’m offering a REWARD on a Goshen Funded crowdfunding campaign. Depending on when you read this, you may find my REWARD — a coupon for $10 Web Site Hosting — on a currently running campaign at GoshenFunded.com.

This $10 coupon is for both new and existing clients. So if you already are a client of Oakley Studio, LLC (it’s probably why you came to be reading this blog post) go grab your coupon. It won’t save you any money, but $10 of your regular monthly hosting will go to support a worthy crowdfunding campaign. You’ll be spending my money. Neat huh?

HOW IS THIS MARKETING?

For a business like mine (or yours?) this is simply a great brand awareness and marketing opportunity. Businesses that offer REWARDS to Goshen Funded campaigns will be featured “Project Heroes” and the “Sponsored Rewards” page of each campaign is essentially a marketplace for new prospects to discover and learn more about my business.

Goshen Funded - Project Heroes

So here’s what you can do today…

  1. Go to the Campaigns page on GoshenFunded.com, check out the REWARDS tab on any current live campaign, and grab your $10 Website Coupon. (Spend my money, please!) Notice that as you pay for your contribution to the campaign, you will be creating an account at CommunityFunded.com
  2. Go to Community Funded and log into your new account there. Check out the tools available to you to create a crowdfunding campaign. Then look at the “Inventory” section — this is where you can create your own marketing REWARDS to offer to any Goshen Funded campaigns. Think about what your own clients and customers need, and create a REWARD for them.

Then post a comment below and tell me about your experience. Thanks.