Every crowdfunding campaign should plan for at least one stretch goal. For obvious reasons it infuses the campaign with more cash. This enables better and higher performance for the company, cause, or product on the outset of the campaign. Stretch goals also provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose as it signals a close of the base goal and directs attention to the extra features, tweaks, and/or improvements to that base. But how does one go about selecting a proper stretch goal?
I will walk you through the stretch goal process of my crowdfunding campaign for a charity in Vietnam.
We knew from the get-go that we wanted to raise enough money to donate 300 backpacks with school supplies and build a restroom for students in a rural community in northern Vietnam. This would cost $11,000 but we didn't want to set the goal too high as it could scare potential donors away. We also wanted manageable numbers in the beginning of our campaign.
Our calculations indicated that we would need $15 per backpack or $4,500. Indiegogo and bank fees would add another 9% to this number, $4,905. So we rounded this figure to $5,000. The restroom would cost us $5,500 to build ($6,000 after fees). In total it would cost $11,000.
We elected to set our goal at $5,000 (only the backpacks with school supplies). We clearly wanted to do both and saw the two as inseparable but by working backwards we were able to identify a manageable base benchmark to set as our crowdfunding goal and an accompanying stretch goal that was worthy of the stretch.
Noteworthy stretch goal
Up to this point the backpacks were the status quo of our past efforts of this new charity. Thusly it became our campaign's base goal, 300 backpacks or $5,000. The sustainable element, building a restroom, would be a noteworthy stretch goal. Noteworthy can be defined as anything that exponentially adds impact to your product or cause.
In our case, those who donated during the stretch goal phase knew that their money was paying for something that would last many years after the campaign. The donors could really connect with the project knowing that in Son La, Vietnam their donation contributed to a cement structure for school children to use the restroom rather than the previous option of "picking flowers" in a field adjacent to the school house.
When potential backers view our campaign page and see that the goal is beyond 100% fulfilled and that we are now advertising a construction project they feel excited to donate to this "new" cause.
Under promise over deliver
We baked into our equations the highest possible fees from Indiegogo (9% vs. 4.5%) and since we exceeded our campaign goal of $5,000 our fees became the latter (fees have since changed). This saved us a few hundred dollars. We earned another nearly $200 dollars by exceeding our end goal of $11,000.
With these extras we approached our local partner tasked with construction of the restroom to solicit a final donation to the cause proposing that we build a second smaller restroom at a different school that likewise did not have a facility. They inclined!
The end result is that our backers were rewarded with a surprising second construction project. A true win-win for all involved.
We recently visited the schools last month to deliver the backpacks with school supplies and to inspect the restroom constructions. It was a very rewarding trip for us and our backers who made it all possible.
Stretch goals can and should be fun and rewarding. Let me know your thoughts about stretch goals. Please comment below with what worked for your campaign.