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How to Build Giving Levels for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

How to Build Giving Levels for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

Unique giving levels and rewards-based crowdfunding can add excitement to your crowdfunding campaign.

As you’re starting your crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to consider how you might entice patrons to give. Unique giving levels and rewards-based crowdfunding can add excitement to your crowdfunding campaign and allow patrons to feel connected to your project, organization, or small business. But where to start?

In this guide, we’ll look at how to build giving levels for your crowdfunding campaign and provide ideas on what these might look like. We’ll look at rewards-based crowdfunding to see if it’s right for your campaign or if simple impact rewards might be a better option.

You’ll learn:

  1. The subtle differences between rewards-based crowdfunding and giving levels
  2. How to build your giving levels
  3. What types of giving levels and rewards we recommend
  4. How many giving levels your campaign should offer

Giving Levels and Rewards-Based Crowdfunding

Giving levels are a common crowdfunding tool that provides optional donation amounts that allow individuals to have a specific impact on the crowdfunding campaign. Giving levels are sometimes referred to as impact rewards. For example, for a park project, a giving level could be $100.00 to purchase a bench for the campaign.

Rewards-based crowdfunding is when crowdfunding campaigns offer patrons a reward or gift for providing a donation at a certain giving level. For example, for a small business, a giving level could be $20.00 for a branded t-shirt.

Giving levels and rewards-based crowdfunding provide unique incentives that can encourage individuals to give at higher levels, whether for name recognition, project impact, or a tangible gift. So, think outside the box and be creative in your giving levels and rewards!

Providing a variety of giving levels or rewards is an easy way to demonstrate to patrons that you appreciate all levels of support. This can be especially important for individuals who can only give $5, $10, or $20, amounts that are not commonly seen as impactful. However, every dollar counts and will add up fast for a grassroots campaign. Just think, 100 donations at $10 is $1,000 towards your goal!

How to Build Your Giving Levels

Unique giving levels offer the opportunity to connect with your patrons in a personalized way. Giving levels allow patrons to see their direct impact on the project through their donations.

You don’t want your giving levels to be a burden on your campaign. So, our best advice is to link your giving levels to your project budget. Sometimes, simply letting donors know what their dollars will directly support within a project can be enough to entice them to give.

One way to build your giving levels and rewards is to have each level build on one another. For example, if you offer a sticker for $25, you could offer a sticker and a t-shirt for $50, and so on.

What Types of Giving Levels and Rewards We Recommend

Giving levels and rewards will look different depending on your project, organization, or business. Look closely at your project budget to tie items in your budget to individual giving levels. Here are a few ideas and considerations.

Giving Level Ideas:

  • Gratitude and acknowledgement such as handwritten thank-you cards or shout-outs on social media
  • Naming rights to a product or space
  • Patron wall or other recognition on signage
  • Patron-only event or celebration

Reward Ideas:

  • Discounts, such as percent off discount or reduced price membership
  • Experience, such as a free class, ticket, or rental
  • Merch or Tangible Awards, such as stickers, t-shirts, mugs, or hats

Things to Consider with Rewards-Based Crowdfunding

If you are looking at rewards for your patrons, consider items you already have on hand as promotional tools. This will make your rewards easy and cost-effective.

If you offer goods or services, you could consider offering a discount. But be sure to assess your bottom line first to ensure it is a discount that you can afford to offer. Depending on your business or offering, this could be an opportunity to drive business back in the door.

Don’t overpromise! Tangible gifts, like t-shirts or other branded items, can quickly become an added expense to your campaign, especially if it is something you don’t already have in stock.

Be sure to consider all the costs associated with items like this, including the cost to create and ship the items, before you finalize your rewards.

You might be able to avoid shipping costs if you offer local pickup for your rewards, but be sure this is clear in your reward levels, in case you receive any non-local donations.

How Many Giving Levels

You don’t want to overwhelm patrons with options. We recommend offering five to seven simple giving levels and/or rewards that are brief and easy to understand.

We also recommend your rewards have a good mix of lower and higher levels, such as $10-$20 and $1,000-$10,000, depending on the size of your project.

Name your giving levels in a fun and enticing way. Consider how you can market your giving levels to get people to click!

Take a look at the three projects below for Giving Level inspiration.

Giving Level Examples
Golden Needle Tailor Shop “The Fabric of the Community”

Golden Needle Tailor Shop “The Fabric of the Community”

Giving Level Examples
Green Brain Comics Recovery

Green Brain Comics Recovery

Giving Level Examples
Fortress Café Re-Energized

Fortress Café Re-Energized

Additional Sources and Resources