It was fate that led Varun Sheth, Kunal Kapoor and Zaheer Adenwala to join forces and launch Ketto on August 15th 2012. Actor Kunal Kapoor, who supports several charities, noticed the challenges NGOs repeatedly faced while fundraising and began looking for ways to make the process more efficient. At around this time, finance professional Varun Sheth was keenly observing the business of social causes, while Zaheer Adenwala, a technology professional, was mulling over the possibilities of moving the fundraising model online. When this trio's paths crossed, ideas flowed and Ketto was born, heralding the future of fundraising.
What began as an engine for charities to fundraise efficiently became a platform for anyone to fundraise in support of NGOs. This led to the birth of NGO microsites that hosted several fundraisers run for them. Corporates too had a space to raise their Corporate Social Responsibility now. Besides starting a company fundraiser for a social cause, they could also use Ketto as a tool to build team spirit or as a recruitment solution. Learn more here.
Today, Ketto is not just a fundraising platform for social causes. It is a tool of and for empowerment. It is the key to a better tomorrow. With this in heart, Ketto has now created a space for creative projects to get funded. Because every good cause deserves support.
So let's get yours going!
Crowdfunding is the process of raising money online through contributions made by many different people who share the same passion for your project. Crowdfunding may also often involve a 'reward' in exchange for contributing.
The best way to start is to see what other successful fundraisers have done. For inspiration, you can browse current fundraisers here.
Have a blog of your own? Write your thoughts on the latest trends and developments in your field, or post a compelling list of events that inspired you on your own creative path. Anything that could potentially open doors will help once you're ready to launch on Ketto.
Tap into various creative communities, especially on Twitter. You can find really awesome creative folk to follow and tweet with by searching for relevant hashtags.
Be positive and personable with your online persona. Remember, you're building social bridges that will lead those supporters and enthusiasts to fund your next project.
Gathering a following takes time. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day - and they're right.
Set aside a few months. It will pay off in the long run. We promise!
As with putting together the right film crew, having a proper fundraiser team is key. Interestingly, teams of two or more people typically generate 94% more funding than projects run by a single campaigner. Find people who can help you with specific aspects of the fundraiser - for example, a friend who specializes in social media or graphic design.
It's also important to make sure your Ketto profiles are up-to-date and complete with photos, bios, Facebook and email verification, and contact info. The more transparent you are, the more the crowd will trust you to use their money wisely.
For even more 'before the fundraiser' advice, check out our Fundraising Tips.
Once you establish your community and team, it's time to take the next step and create a fundraiser. While it may seem daunting, fear not! The process is simple.
Let's start with the video.
The video is the single most important element of your project fundraiser. It's essentially the elevator pitch you'd give to a CEO while travelling from the lobby to the penthouse.
You've got that much time to get across who you are, what your project idea is, and why people should care about your project enough to help you fund it.
The truth is that not many people will give money if you only post photographs.
People give to other people, not necessarily to projects. Many make the mistake of not appearing in their videos. Be. In. Your. Video. Say a few words to your potential funders, be as personable as possible, and chances are you'll be rewarded.
Looking for statistics? Fundraisers with a video raise an average of 114% more than fundraisers that don't. In other words, have a video. And don't make it too long! It's a pitch, not a dissertation. Keep your video fun, loose, informative, and from 2½ to 3 minutes in length.
Tell us about yourself.
Tell us about your project, and include the following:
Show us what you can do. Maybe share some of your past work, or something from the project at hand.
Don't leave your crowd hanging. You need to tell them what to do next - and that's to contribute.
The pitch-the area of text below your video-is where you'll fill in additional details about the project, such as a breakdown of the budget, a synopsis, and team bios. Keep it concise and clear and answer a few simple questions: Who are you? What are you raising these funds for? How else can people support your project? Yes, we know you covered much of this in the video, but sometimes the best bears repeating. Now is also the time for details. Before, you were pitching to a CEO n in an elevator. Now he's reading the proposal. Ok - not really. He's reading coverage on your proposal. Either way, he needs to know more. As crowdfunding has gained in popularity, more fundraisers are creating dynamic fundraiser experiences to make the text more visually pleasing. Custom headers, infographics, and additional embedded video content tell a more complete and exciting fundraiser narrative.
Whether you go the visual or verbal route, strive to make your text as personal as possible. Tell a compelling story of why you're passionate about your project, and present it in a way that makes others want to be a part of the story, too.
As with television's varied picture quality, the rewards offered in exchange for a contributor's support also vary in quality.
"The Unique Experience"
"The Personal Touch"
We use a flexible model where you keep your contributions whether or not you hit your goal. Now, just because your project will cost Rs. 3,00,000 doesn't mean that Rs. 3,00,000 should be the amount you set as your goal.
Based on your answers, you should set your goal to a number you're confident you can hit. For instance, if you know you can get Rs. 9,00,000 from your immediate family, friends, and supporters, and you're relatively certain you can convince them to contribute within the first couple of days, setting a Rs. 3,00,000 goal should be all right. If there's any doubt, though, then lower that amount to a number you're sure you can get 30% of from the people you know.
A key thing to remember is that you can always overfund, and many do! In fact, 89% of fundraisers on Ketto do just that, and by an average of 30%. The philosophy is simple: "Shoot low, aim high" - set a goal at an achievable amount, look to hit that number in half the time, and then "aim high" and surpass it by the time the fundraiser closes.
But before all of this, be sure to research the expenses associated with making and/or finishing your project. Also, take into account any physical rewards you're offering, their costs (plus domestic and international shipping), and any fees associated with Ketto and payment processing. Add it all into the amount you're setting as your goal.
For larger projects, you might want to consider funding in stages and running multiple fundraisers, each with a modest goal. Or, you can fund various separate aspects of the project.
A host committee is a group of people you are certain will contribute to your Ketto film fundraiser. Most likely, this group will primarily include your closest friends, family members, and any supporters of your prior work.
About a week in advance, reach out to these individuals. Let them know you're launching a Ketto fundraiser to help fund your next project, and you "want them to be among the first to join the team."
Notice, there was no mention of making a contribution. That's for the launch date. By having these people on board, they will be an extension of your "team" and could prove your strongest advocates as share your fundraiser with others.
Longer fundraisers don't necessarily mean you'll raise more money. The longer the fundraiser, the harder it is to sustain the needed momentum. Statistically speaking, fundraisers that run between thirty and forty days raise the most money.
Be sure to leave about three weeks between the end of your film fundraiser and the date you need your funds by, since processing and disbursement can take up to that long.
For even more fundraiser creation advice, check out Funding Tips
Launching a fundraiser is just the beginning. The next step is maintaining your fundraiser, and to do that you need to keep momentum going for the duration of its lifecycle.
Act one of any project is always the same -- it's the set up. We get a sense of the dramatic question. That question is: will you get the funding for your project? Here's how you answer "yes."
A soft launch is when you launch your Ketto fundraiser by quietly reaching out to your inner circle and securing their contributions within the first 48 hours. This is done so that when you announce a hard launch (telling EVERYONE you know, article and blog placement, etc.) people will see your fundraiser's existing momentum and be quick to contribute.
Act Two of a Ketto fundraiser is when the real hustle and flow begins. Gone are the opening night jitters. Here you execute your planned strategy.
First, activate your outer network. All the Twitter followers whose lives your tweets have enriched; every Facebook friend you regularly interact with; that email list of contacts you've compiled over the years. Get to them and get to them BIG!
Start with email outreach. Instead of sending out a single email "blast" to your contacts, compose a more personal and direct message (or use a mail merge). It should explain the project succinctly and not necessarily solicit a contribution, but rather elicit a reaction in your reader to want to be a part of your team and make this film with you.
Always include the link to your fundraiser at the end, but focus on the invitation, not the ask. You will quickly see the impact. Keep being social. How do you do this?
Try to land traditional press and PR. You'll want to draft a press release and compile a list of bloggers and influencers in the creative space who have an audience that might be interested in your story and your fundraiser. You can also reach out to newspapers, TV and radio. Please note: press only gets you more attention, and should not be relied on to convert page views to contributions. That's your job.
This is why it's important to seek out press and PR at the proper time in a fundraiser's lifespan, usually once the 30% mark is hit. Try to bring your fundraiser offline. Think of ways to spread the word in the real world. You could attend meetups or other events armed with a pocketful of fundraiser cards to hand out, each complete with your fundraiser's short URL. Always start a conversation first, then share your fundraiser's information.
Another way to further engage your crowd is a referral contest, where each of your funders shares your fundraiser to their networks either through tweets, a short link, or the Ketto "Share" tool. Whoever brings in the most people or, better yet, the most funding, is rewarded.
The third act is when we start to question whether or not our hero will overcome. People are watching. To convert those who haven't contributed, try creating a sense of urgency. This should occur when you have one week or less left in the fundraiser. If you push urgency with over a week remaining, you may be crying wolf.
It's also in your best interest to add new rewards. Twenty percent of repeat contributions are for rewards that were added after the fundraiser went live. You can also remove old rewards that haven't sold to help keep the fundraiser looking fresh.
Don't forget to post updates about your fundraiser. On average you should update every THREE days. Otherwise, you risk people forgetting about your project. Feed the beast! Post about fundraiser progress, new videos - anything your audience might be interested in. Be sure to call out any major funding milestone: Rs. 1,50,000, Rs. 3,00,000 . . . Rs. 6,00,000!
Always think outside the box. Running a "routine" fundraiser is boring. Don't be boring! Try a stunt in the closing days or hours of your fundraiser, such as dance-a-thons, live streams, or event parties. Often, spending a little extra for an event will deliver many times over.
What do you do when you hit your goal? If you've played your cards right, you'll hit your goal quickly. When you do, it's good to have stretch goals ready. These are additional goals detailing what you can do with more funding, which will entice your crowd to continue contributing.
Be modest, though. Hitting Rs. 3,00,000 and then stating you want to go for Rs. 1,20,000 to complete the project doesn't work. Instead, after you hit Rs. 3,00,000, set your first stretch goal at an easily reachable number like Rs. 3,60,000. Then set the next one at Rs. 4,50,000, and with your third one, go long and go for Rs. 6,00,000. Of course, this all depends on how many days you have left in your fundraiser.
This is the end. Your fundraiser has ideally reached its goal. If not, regardless of your funding model, you should update your crowd and thank them again. Remember, people get excited about rewards. If you believe there will be delays in fulfillment, let them know. People are surprisingly patient as long as they know they're going to have to wait and that you're making progress. It's of paramount importance to continue nurturing the relationships you've established with your contributors and followers through email and social media, as they're now your community. Ketto is all about community.
It's the most claimed perk level.
Search the site. Find films similar to yours, and look at their results. Figure out what they did right, and what they did wrong. Keep in mind that well-funded fundraisers take many funders, not just a high amount of funds raised. Rs. 3,00,000 raised from only 4 funders is not a well-run fundraiser.
Reddit AMAs, Tweetchats, Google Hangouts on Air, or even a YouTube live stream hosted by the Ketto video player.
Think of a brand or business that might go in for that Rs. 6,00,000+ "executive producer" perk just to have their name mentioned.
It exists in perpetuity and will allow you to continue updating your contributors all the way to the film's release.
Remember, no panhandling! You don't want to come across as desperate.
The more you nag, the less you bag.
Each tweet or Facebook post should either inform or be a direct call to action. Ambiguity breeds nothing worthwhile.
Stay in touch with Ketto. We're here to support you through the full lifecycle of your project. We also want to hear your success stories!