Neuroscientist Stephen Larson wanted to make OpenWorm, the world’s first open-source digital organism, available for Web browsers. So he and a small team of scientists turned to crowdfunding. With four days left in a 30-day funding window, things looked grim: The project was only halfway to its $120,000 goal, and falling short would mean getting no money at all. The team rallied supporters, obtaining more than a pledge per minute in the campaign’s final hours. Below, three lessons to keep in mind for your own crowdfunding projects.
* The 30-day OpenWorm campaign started and ended at 9 a.m. Because Kicktraq records campaigns’ statuses at midnight, 31 data points appear on this chart.
Graphic by Katie Peek; Data courtesy Kicktraq and Stephen Larson
Timing is everything. Galvanize support through social media at the beginning and end of a campaign, when most people are paying attention.
More time ≠ more money. Extending a funding window only lengthens the lull in pledges seen in the middle of most campaigns.
It’s not over till it’s over. Really. Hang in there.