How important are perks/rewards for my crowdfunding campaign?

Prashan Paramanathan

By Prashan Paramanathan


29th May '15

We get asked a lot about perks and rewards and how important they are for crowdfunding success? Do I really need to offer perks? Won't it stop people being philanthropic?

Our answer to these? Perks help. A LOT. 

The reason for this is that perks give people a way of participating in your campaign. They tap into selfish motivations as well as benevolent motivations. And they let you access your supporters' spending purse, not just their philanthropic purse -- you can guess which of these is bigger. 

So what perks should you offer? 

Well perks tend to fall into three categories:

  1. Pre-release products or services: 'Selling' products and services via crowdfunding is probably the most common type of perk. Whether it's tickets to your eventmembershipsCDsbee-hives or even crepes, forward selling products and services is a great way to get people involved in your project. 
  2. Unique experiences: Most social cause organisations don't realise it, but they are nearly always an amazing repository of wonderfully special, unique experiences. It could be dinners on a rooftop gardenworkshops on a farmtickets to an opening party, or even locating a tattoo on a founder.
  3. Special recognition: An oldie, but a goodie. Getting their name on or sponsoring a part of a project is still popular among some crowds. The key here is being creative on what can be sponsored. Edgar's Mission had barns, rocks, rakes, posts, shelters and even a mountain

 

So, how do I come up with perks for my campaign?

This might sound obvious, but the easiest way to come up with perks is to co-design them with potential donors. Edgar's Mission ran a workshop with some of its key volunteers prior to its campaign to come up with their perks. Spacecubed did the same with their members. It's best to have a hypothesis on your perks as a starting point, as well as the levels you need perks at (normally $25, $50, $100, $250, $1000, $2500, $5000)

 

Some other considerations

  • Perks which are directly connected to your campaign, which let people participate in your campaign/project are far better than unconnected perks (eg. Amazon gift cards, 
  • Having an early bird offer on your perks is a great way to build momentum. Spacecubed - a co-working space in Perth - released a very limited number of highly discounted memberships in the first 24 hours of their campaign
  • Some perks (like drugs, illegal stuff, raffles) are not allowed. Make sure you check our terms to stay on the right side of the rules.