Before they leave, or “bounce” as Internet analysts have coined the phrase, it’s estimated that people spend, on average, less than a minute on each website they visit. Expect to exceed that minute when you visit the fledgling website Fund My Adventure, which specializes as a crowd funding site for travelers.
If you’re not familiar with the concept behind crowd-funding, here are the basics: first, come up with a pitch for a product, or, in the case of Fund My Adventure, clearly define where, when, and what you want to do, with the only stipulation that your plans entail some sort of not-for-profit travel. The next step is to go online and create a “campaign.” The campaign, which basically amounts to a profile page for your adventure, needs a “catchy, simple, and memorable title.” Also needed are a brief headline description of your trip, your fundraising goals, and other pertinent trip information including dates, locations, and objectives.
One of the most important details that you can add to your campaign, according to Fund My Adventure’s online “Strategy Guide,” is the campaign video. The campaign video is your chance to show people “who you are and why your trip is worth contributing to.”
Strategy is crucial when it comes to crowd funding. Kevin Montford, Colorado Springs resident and founder of Fund My Adventure, believes that taking the time to define your campaign, iron out the details, and calculate costs are the most important tips for success. Another important tactic is the reward feature. Rewards are offered to contributors on the basis of how much they give. The example offered on the website is: “$5 – I will make a Vine video on top of the Eiffel Tower personally thanking you. $20 – I will send you a handwritten postcard from three unique places on my trip…etc.” Once all that’s done, the final step is easy: petition friends and family (or perhaps strangers visiting the website will contribute to your cause), and then wait and hope that you meet your goal.
Though Montford’s website is fresh out of the box and so far lacks the sort of success stories which could bring heavier traffic and recognition, there is no doubt that crowd-funding sites are full of success stories. Perhaps the most extraordinary example to surface was that of the Pebble E-paper Watch, an idea for a customizable, smartphone-interfacing watch, which managed to raise more than 100 times its fundraising goal of $100,000 for a grand total of $10,266,846, on the crowd-funding website, Kickstarter. Unlike Kickstarter, though, Fund My Adventure doesn’t host campaigns for business ventures; it speaks for a niche market, so don’t expect to raise exorbitant amounts for your summer trip to Thailand. That said, there is no cap on contributions, so you could end up raising a lot more than you hoped for, perhaps enough to spend the next four years in Thailand.