Maybe you have an idea for an incredible new invention, feature film, or other project, and while you're sure it will be a success, you simply don't have the funds available to make your dream a reality. Thankfully, with sites like Kickstarter, RocketHub, and Indiegogo, you can crowd fund your project online quickly and easily simply by sharing your campaign on social media. Check out these tips for creating a successful crowdfunding campaign for your passion project.
Pick the Right Platform
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There are thousands of crowdfunding site options out there, so it's important to do your research and pick the one that will best serve your projects needs. For example, while Kickstarter is a popular option that draws millions of users, you have to be confident that your project will reach its financial goal, because if it doesn't all the money you earned will be returned to your backers. While Indiegogo isn't as big as Kickstarter, it does offer a flexible funding option, meaning even if you don't reach your goal, you'll get the money. Gofundme is also a popular option, but is more focused on non-profit causes and charity, so it may not be the best place to fund a product idea.
Craft a Convincing Pitch
It's important to convince your audience that your project is an important innovation that will somehow benefit them. Describe your project in clear detail, lay out the steps you will take to make your dream a reality, and include convincing images, diagrams or even videos to make your pitch even stronger. Make sure that your passion for the project comes through in your pitch, because if it doesn't feel like you really believe in the project, it will be very difficult to convince your audience to believe in it. While your pitch should be relatively in depth, we also recommend crafting a shorter elevator-type pitch, so that the casual browser can also get a good idea of the project with very little effort.
Define Your Audience
Who do you see benefitting from your idea? If it's a film, who would see it? If its a product, who would use it? When you can answer these questions with assurance, you can begin finding ways to target that audience. Maybe that's finding facebook pages or other sites where users fit the qualifications of your ideal consumer, maybe that's simply reaching out to family and friends you think would be interested. Once you know your audience, you can also craft your pitch to appeal to those people.
Create Incentives for Donation
People like to feel like their good deeds are recognized. Whether its sending a free tote bag to every person who donates a certain amount, or including the names of your most generous benefactors in the credits of your film, its important to make people feel like their generosity is appreciated. This can be as simple as sending thank you notes.
Utilize Your Own Community
The people most likely to donate to your campaign are your friends and family who know you, and believe in you. That means it's important to post your campaign to your personal social media, send emails out to your address book, and generally be persistent in your own community about your project's importance. It may feel awkward to ask people you know for money, but it's likely they'll appreciate your entrepreneurial spirit, and be happy to help you out.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.