How to crowdfund your next travel adventure
Smart rewards for travel fundraising
When you browse travel fundraising campaigns on Indiegogo, you’ll see lots of $15 thank-you postcards, $40 t-shirts, and other rewards… This is a problem.
[While] it’s not wrong to offer thank-you postcards for $15… in order to reach a wider audience than your immediate friends and families (who are already sympathetic to your goals), you’ll need to do better.
To create quality rewards, begin by surveying your talents and interests. Then ask yourself: What would someone who doesn’t know me actually pay me for? Can you illustrate? Throw pottery? Edit essays? Build websites? Provide evidence of these skills (photos, links, etc.) on your campaign website, and offer them as personalized rewards to your contributors.
For $100, offer to custom-design a website or blog — a great reward for older, computer-phobic people. For $300, offer to tutor someone in music theory over Skype. For $50, craft a purse made from recycled plastic bags. If you have a skill that could be offered over Elance, Etsy, or Craigslist, you have a potential crowdfunding reward. (And if you think you don’t have quality skills to offer, you’re probably wrong; ask a close friend or parent to help you identify them.)
After creating a solid foundation of skill-based rewards, add a few travel nostalgia rewards. Offer to bring back a souvenir — something only available in the place you’re visiting — or create a short video of people you meet on your trip saying “thank you” in their native languages. Make sure these rewards don’t feel cheap — expensive rewards should genuinely require a bigger expenditure of your time and creative energy.
—excerpted from How to crowdfund your next travel adventure