To Project or Not to Project


Since CSU launched our crowdfunding platform in 2013, we have had many different individuals and groups approach us about launching their crowdfunding projects.  It became clear early on that we needed strategies to identify serious project creators from those who were just dipping their toes in the crowdfunding waters.

The more we can figure out upfront who is serious, the more efficiently we can use our time to help the project creators who really have what it takes to succeed.

We worry a little about the content of the projects when we’re vetting (for example, we know that raising money for student travel is a tough sell so we try to stay away from those kinds of projects), but ultimately the attitude and intention of the project creators carries more weight in whether or not a project will achieve the goal.

Here are three easy things to screen before you get going:


  1. Does the project creator understand that they are responsible for the success or failure of their project?

This the main thing that we look for. Project creators who are enthusiastic about their project and who want to carry the burden of the project on their own shoulders. We will do everything in our power to help every project succeed, and we expect our project creators to do the same. A good project has a creator who knows that they will tell their story better than anyone else, and they will understand their own networks better than we can. A good project creator is willing to put themselves and their project forward. If they don’t believe in their project enough to promote it actively, why would anyone support it?


  1. Does the project creator understand the essential elements required?

We have a lot of first-time conversations with potential project creators. In the first meeting, we are sure to share that they will need to have a good video, a strong marketing plan, a decent number of pre-committed gifts, and that they will be making personal asks to a large network of individuals. If they come back for a second meeting, we probably have a good project creator on our hands.


  1. Is the project creator willing to spend time to learn how to succeed at crowdfunding?

We want all our project creators to undergo some training on the tactics that work for creating and marketing a project for success. Project creators need to have some skin in the game and dedicating time to learn is a great indicator that they feel this way.


When we can answer unequivocally “YES” to all of the questions above, we know that we have a project that is likely to succeed.