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How to Create a Budget and Goal for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

We’ll show you how to build your project budget and set your crowdfunding campaign goal.

“How much money do you need to raise?” is one of the first questions our Patronicity Project Coaches will ask you when starting your crowdfunding campaign. While it can be hard to know how much to ask, we’ll show you how to determine your budget. Your budget will help clarify your crowdfunding goal and make it possible to crowdfund successfully and raise the money you need.

We’ve broken it down into four steps to walk you through creating a budget and goal. Plus, you’ll receive a budget template to populate your own numbers and build your project budget.

Step 1: Identify your funding needs

Keep things simple. Start by making a list of items you want to purchase and associated costs, like labor.

Here’s what you should consider:

  • Start with the largest items–what will cost the most?
  • Not sure what something costs? Get quotes from local contractors, local businesses, or even estimates based on general online sourcing
  • Include shipping, installation, and labor cost
  • Plan for ongoing maintenance

Give yourself some room by padding your budget by 10%, as costs can change and fluctuate. What’s most important is that you are transparent with your donors about cost estimates.

Here is a sample budget from the very successful Bedford Community Garden campaign:

A sample Patronicity crowdfunding campaign budget.

Step 2: Identify the funding you already have in the bank

Let’s start with what you know: How much money do you have now? Do you have any current funding partners (referred to as leveraged funding)? Consider potential matching funds. Let us know where you’re located, and we can share any known funding opportunities. We have several partners in states around the country that could cut your budget in half. If you do not have any funds or funding partners yet, that’s okay, too!

Note: By listing your expenses, you can create giving levels based on your project budget and the items you need to purchase for your project. Check out our blog on how to build giving levels for your crowdfunding campaign for more information.

Step 3: Determine your capacity to raise funds

Next, consider your capacity for raising funds. If you have a very large budget, crowdfunding might not be a good fit. It can be challenging to raise large amounts of money online, so consider not only your individual time and resources but your network’s reach as well. The effort needed to raise $5,000 is significantly less than raising $50,000, so you should have a general understanding of what’s possible when goal setting. Crowdfunding is best done with budgets that are:

  • Under $50,000. Although your goal deadline is flexible, crowdfunding campaigns are most successful when completed within 60 days. Keep this in mind when determining how much you can raise in a given period of time.
  • Significant but attainable. It is great to continue to raise and keep the momentum going.
  • Closing a funding gap for a larger project, or are the final dollars needed before the project can get started.

Step 4: Total it all up

Finally, add up the total expenses and subtract the funding you already have in place for your project. This is your campaign goal! You’ll add it to the Get Started section of your Patronicity page under “CAMPAIGN GOAL”. Your coach will review your budget and give you feedback and guidance. Then, you’re ready to start fundraising!

Build your budget

By following our four simple steps, you can easily develop your budget. We've even created a budget template to make it even easier. Get access to the Patronicity Budget Template by completing the form below. It just takes simple math skills or the use of a calculator to add up the possibilities. This will make clear to your community and prospective donors how their donation will make a difference.

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