To help Angeline Tan achieve a personal goal of cycling across America and share her journey through a documentary, the sports enthusiast raised $23,320 – 93% of her goal amount – in 83 days from May 9, 2014, to July 31, 2014. More than two-thirds of her goal amount was donated during the first month of her crowdfunded campaign before she began her cross-country trip.
- Research and learn from successful and unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns while you’re planning yours.
- Put yourself out there – “people are sold by sincerity.”
- Write personal notes and messages every day sharing your cause.
- Devise a method for receiving cash since some people are uncomfortable donating online.
- Market your cause like crazy.
- Expect that everything won’t go as planned, and find ways around issues that arise.
- Inspire others to have confidence in you by having confidence in yourself.
The Story Behind Angie Across America
Angie was born and raised in Malaysia, where she fell in love with sports. As her life brought her to Singapore and then California, she continued to explore different physical activities. Then, in 2010, she fell in love with triathlons, where you run, bike and swim to complete a competition.
Also an adventurer who likes to challenge herself, Angie decided to explore the U.S. via the triathlon sport that she was weakest in, cycling. So she set out on a 4,000-mile journey, biking more than 100 miles a day for 39 days, where she had to conquer mountains, 50 mph winds, torrential rain, hail, scorching sun and insect swarms. By the end, she became the first Southeast Asian female to complete this monumental task.
“This bike ride is more than just two wheels across a vast country. This is my story of reaching for something bigger than myself,” Angie explains in her promo video. “I can’t do this on my own. Every successful dream has a team rallying behind it. I need your support,” she goes on. “Together we will create an epic adventure. I invite you to join Team Angie as I ride across America this summer.”
Through her documentary, Angie shares stories from those she met on her trip, with hopes that “others can learn from the resilience of these individuals to find strength to power them through their personal mountains.”
Since Angeline was on the road biking 10-12 hours a day during her ride, she knew she would have limited time to update her campaign. So she made arrangements.
“Thankfully I had a good friend whom I roped in before I set off on the road to monitor the contributions coming in and to update any necessary information on my behalf,” she said.
And her team, from her riding partner to her friends back home, encouraged her not only to complete the ride but also helped her keep everyone informed on her progress with live updates.
Once Angie’s campaign went live, she received feedback from donors who felt uncomfortable using newer online payment processing services and would have preferred to use the more conventional service of PayPal.
There was also a small minority that didn’t trust online payments at all and elected to give cash. Luckily this turned out to be a non-issue because IgnitionDeck allowed Angie input cash donations manually.
“Put yourself out there”
Angie didn’t just limit her requests to family and friends. She reached out to strangers and anyone she thought might take an interest in her quest to bike across America with personal notes.
Her advice to others launching a crowdfunding campaign echoes her actions: “Be unashamed and put yourself out there … People are sold by sincerity. Sell your heart to rally a community of supporters.”
From her genuine tone on the initial video to her individual goals of pushing herself and inspiring others, Angie displays confidence and humility simultaneously. Her belief in herself and others propelled her toward a successful fundraising campaign.
Start with Kickstarter, Achieve Success with IgnitionDeck
Angie first started her campaign with Kickstarter, betting that the household name would offer a network that would enthusiastically receive her project and drive her toward her goal. But it didn’t work out quite like she expected.
“I was wrong. Not only was Kickstarter charging a premium for successful campaigns and not releasing a single dime for unsuccessful campaigns, [but] my campaign did not receive the visibility it needed from Kickstarter’s network,” Angie explained.
“Also, Kickstarter’s designated campaign period of no more than 30 days is too short to properly execute a campaign to success. I’m glad I looked for alternatives and found IgnitionDeck, which offered and did everything Kickstarter couldn’t do.”
Angie also liked the control IgnitionDeck offered, since she could crowdfund on her own website. “IgnitionDeck gives me full autonomy over the campaign data and metrics, unlike using Kickstarter or Indiegogo where I don’t have access to backer’s data except for their contribution amount, names and emails.”
“IgnitionDeck’s design and user-interface of the campaign is relatively simple and straightforward, which resulted in the ease and convenience for people to donate to my campaign,” she said. “So thanks, IgnitionDeck!”