Launching a crowdfunding campaign is exhilarating and, as it turns out, a 24/7 job. When I made the decision to launch the Good News Reuse™ Pi Pan campaign on IndieGoGo I found so many bloggers via Google, who gave amazing tips to guide us through the process. I am grateful to everyone who shared their experiences and vowed to do the same for others, after the ride. I hope you can benefit from the things I did right and the things I could have done better.

Other than the obvious – deciding which crowdfunding site is best for your project, video, written campaign/project content, perks/rewards - here is the Checklist my Intern Darya & I set up on Google Docs to run our campaign. We use IndieGoGo lingo like campaign and perks. In parentheses are post-campaign comments.

Pre-launch:

1. Organize email addresses into groups for mailings. Add potential customers, influencers. Determine which friends and family will be “evangelists”.
        (Groups were categorized by best friends & family, including evangelists and friends, which included potential customers. Double check so you don’t include contacts in more than one group.)

2. Set up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other Social Media accounts.
        (6 months+ or as much in advance as possible.)

3. Twitter – attract followers who will love the concept.

4. Facebook – campaign to get LIKEs.
        (6 months+ or as much in advance as possible.)

5. Continue to Like/Support projects on IndieGoGo. Become familiar with the way the process works.

6. Engage with followers via Social Media.

7. Sign up for a Social Media management site like SproutSocial.  
        (You can manage all of your social media accounts from one spot, schedule posts and track those who are mentioning you. I’m loving SproutSocial.)

8. Create an email signature with links to social networks.
        (Links to your campaign to be added later.)

9. Start a blog and back date if necessary.
(Be the expert on your topic/concept.)

10. Identify and develop a list of relevant targeted media outlets for press releases – local and other newspapers, online publications, blogs.
        (Find out what their lead times are and any special requirements and plan accordingly.)

11. Contact high school and college alumnae, town newspapers, gyms.
        (And anyone else who cares about you.)

12. Create a spreadsheet with all media info – name of publication, contact, email, tel, lead time.

13. Make business cards and include campaign web address.
        (I like Mini Moos with customized photos, although we like to go paperless and did not do this.)

14. Write a Press Release and submit to media according to their timelines for publication. 
        (Follow up via calls and/or email. It’s amazing how much buzz you can get from even one publication. For samples, our press releases are posted on our company blog and you can see the list of who published it under the Good News section of our site.)

15. Identify bloggers, germane to the topic, who might write about the campaign and help spread the word. Write comments on their existing posts to build rapport.

16. Identify and follow celebrities using social media who might take an interest in the campaign.

A few days prior & up to the day of launch:

1.   At least 3 working days before launch, submit Press Release to PRweb ($80). Best days to send out are Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
        (PR Web will critique your Press Release, which was very helpful.)

2.   Draft posting for blog and as an Update on campaign website. Have it ready for day #1.

3.   Post campaign video on YouTube.

4.   Create a Facebook event.

5.   Draft a personalized email about the launch to be sent morning of launch.

6.   Draft a second personalized email specifically for evangelists.
      (A version of the above, but more specifics on how to help with the campaign – via social media, emails.

7.   Send email to all groups announcing the upcoming campaign. Include links to campaign and all social media.
      (BCC (blind carbon copy) for privacy reasons.)

Day of launch:

1. Add a campaign link to email signature - as soon as have link.

2. Update all Social Media sites to include campaign info.

3. Post launch blog on website.

4. Add IndieGoGo campaign widget to website.

5. Add campaign link to Google chat, Skype, Instant Messaging.

6. Email all groups - remember to BCC.
        (Make it easy for them to share – give them a bullet point list with your campaign url and all social media urls.)

On-going

1. Post on Facebook and Twitter every day, all day!
        (Much easier to do with SproutSocial. Post about anything you’re interested in, not only about the campaign. Mix it up with articles related to your topic and personal.)

2. Email blast updates about the campaign once a week.
        (I would have liked to do twice a week but felt my audience would appreciate fewer emails.)

3. LIKE and support other projects on IndieGoGo.

4. Re-tweet Tweets.

5. Blog regularly.

6. Reply to all emails, comments, postings and Social Media DMs. 
       (There will be a lot!)

7. Stay current on relevant blogs and news. Post comments to engage.
     (Bonus...you make new friends.) 

8. Post updates on your campaign at least once a week. 
    (Can add new videos, photos, etc.)

As you can see, it's a ton of work but a lot of fun, especially if you love social media. I do even more than I did before. One of my environmentalist activist idols, Laurie David, found our campaign via a Tweet by TakeOutWithout.org about an article in  Treehugger. Laurie David contacted me, matched the funds we had raised so far on our campaign, and asked me to challenge others to do the same. It was a dream come true. Truly amazing to have support from someone I admire so much!

Our campaign ended up all over the world via Google news. I saw Tweets in Italian, Bulgarian and Slovenian linking to online articles about Good News Reuse™. We've received product inquiries from hotel chains to individuals. We've received press from some of my favorite blogs: Treehugger, EcoFabulous, Earth911 and more. I've made many new friends who share our vision. 

We didn't end up raising all of the funds we need to manufacture the Pi Pan...yet...but I'm optimistic that we will attract investors with all of the positive energy surrounding our campaign. There is so much buzz right now about our reusable pizza box...it just has to happen!

 
 
Hi Everyone,
This is the last day of our campaign on IndieGoGo...we're in the final countdown. It ends tonight at 11:59 pm pst. We can't even begin to tell you how appreciative we are for your support of Good News Reuse™ and the Pi Pan! 

5,000 people have viewed our story and it has been posted via Google news in Italy, Australia, England, Bulgaria, Hungary and China. We presume the viral link has touched tens of thousands.

We would like to extend a Big Thanks to Laurie David who ramped up the campaign last week by matching the funds we'd received and for challenging others to do the same. Thank you so much to all of you who have given, and we would be grateful if you could forward this message today and ask your friends to please join you in supporting the launch of Good News Reuse™.

With heartfelt thanks,
Susan

IndieGoGo Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsReuse
Twitter: @goodnewsreuse, @sslopes
 
 
Good News Reuse™ has only two weeks to go on IndieGoGo. To each of you who have donated, posted a link on Facebook, tweeted, sent an email to your friends: THANK YOU!!!

There’s good news: close to 1,500 people have viewed our crowdfunding campaign and are now aware that cardboard pizza boxes are causing a negative impact on our environment. We’re excited about that! We know this is just one of many waste issues in the food and beverage industry, one of many that Good News Reuse™ would like to tackle. Great news: one of our key customers, who’s waiting for the Pi Pan for school deliveries, contributed to our campaign this week.

While the number of viewers increased, we lost some momentum in the number of funders. We’d greatly appreciate your help so we can catch up this week, move closer to our goal, and return to the top of the home page on the IndieGoGo website. Please comment, contribute anything you can, and tell your friends about our campaign. It’s quick and easy.

(Bonus: Eligible contributions will go towards the MiiR one4one initiative – providing clean water to those in need for an entire year.)


Campaign on IndieGoGo: http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsReuse
Twitter: @goodnewsreuse, @sslopes

 
 
Hello,

This is the third week and the third update. Good News: we had great momentum last Tuesday, thanks to you, our amazing supporters!…so great that we landed at the top of IndieGoGo’s home page as a Featured Campaign!

The number of hits on our campaign moved us up to this highly visible, coveted spot. I want to THANK YOU for your contributions, your visits to the campaign, and your forwards to fellow environmentalists and foodies to get us there.

Here are the stats to date:

• 854 Visitors to the campaign.
• 689 Referrals to the campaign.
• 48 Funders!!!
• 41 I Choose to Reuse bumper stickers will be distributed to help spread the word.
• 29 Trees will be planted.
• 21 People in need will receive clean water for an entire year via our partnership with MiiR and their one4one initiative.
• 21 Days remain in the campaign.
• 4 More press releases published online.
• 2 – Our position on IndieGoGo’s Small Business campaign section.
• 1 – Our target number to be the top campaign on IndieGoGo.

We are truly grateful for your referrals. If you have (or know) students who are active on Facebook, please send them our link. Contributions, starting at $5, are much appreciated.

We would love to get back on the home page for more exposure and to continue our efforts to spread the word about the importance of reusing.

Thanks!!!
Susan

Good News Reuse/IndieGoGo Campaign:http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsReuse
Twitter: @goodnewsreuse, @sslopes

 
 
Just posted this update on our IndieGoGo funding campaign. Now I'm looking for a college student intern to spread the word. If you know of any eco-conscious, pizza loving students interested in running a project, please let me know!

Hi,

Once again…huge thanks for your support! We gained some momentum this week and it moved us up in the ranks. We had the most supporters yet…16 on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning IndieGoGo had sent an email to all their subscribers with Good News Reuse as their featured campaign! At random (or maybe not) the email pictured our own Mechanical Engineer Intern – Shiv and my beloved niece – Marielle, in her bridal attire.

The word is spreading…we’ve gotten press by Packaging Revolution, Yahoo News, American Banking & Market News and YouTubeBlogger. A lot of tweets and Facebook action from pizza people and environmentalists like Zem of EcoFabulous. 

Next step is to engage eco-conscious, pizza loving college students to make this campaign viral. If we can attract 13,000 students across the nation to spread the word and give just $5, we’ll achieve our goals – to educate about the importance of reusing and to fund the Pi Pan protoype. 

If you have any suggestions on contests and other ways to motivate colleges to participate, I’d appreciate it. And please tell your friends about the campaign.

Thanks!!! 

Susan
 
 

Okay...this is the absolute last revision for the press release, after my heading was rejected by PRWeb. Oh well, I am new to this. The next time I post a Press Release it will be a fresh idea, I promise.

Good News Reuse
everyone can use good news

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Good News Reuse™ Set to Launch First Reusable Pizza Container Made from Sustainable Materials to Replace the 3 Billion Cardboard Pizza Boxes Thrown Away Every Year

Good News Reuse™ has developed the world’s first reusable pizza container made from sustainable materials to replace the 3 billion single-use cardboard pizza boxes thrown away in the United States every year.

Mill Valley, CA September 19, 2011        

We throw away over 3 billion single-use cardboard pizza boxes in the United States every year. Good News Reuse™, a Mill Valley, CA start-up, has a sustainable solution – the world’s first reusable pizza container made of thin, food-grade stainless steel, reusable over 1,000 times.

To fund the idea, Good News Reuse™ founder Susan Lopes has launched an online campaign on IndieGoGo. She is counting on community support from environmentalists and pizza lovers to raise funds to launch the Pi Pan, a reusable pizza box.

IndieGoGo is a “crowdfunding” website where entrepreneurs can raise seed money for innovative ideas. Visitors to IndieGoGo can contribute as little as $5 or up to $25,000 or more, and are rewarded with perks. Good News Reuse™ has set its goal at $70,000, the minimum needed to fund Pi Pan prototypes and samples. The campaign runs until Monday, October 17, 2011.

“I chose IndieGoGo,” says Lopes, “because you can spread the word quickly to a lot of people. Our company has a strong educational message - the importance of reusing. IndieGoGo allows you to promote your brand and message, not just a specific project.” In keeping with the company’s long-range mission, Good News Reuse™ is partnering with MiiR’s one4one initiative. Eligible contributions to Good News Reuse™ will provide clean water to people in need for an entire year.

The patent-pending Pi Pan is made of commercial food grade stainless steel and is as thin as a reusable water bottle. It is BPA-free, does not contain other unhealthy chemicals, and is reusable for 1,000+ times.

Good News Reuse™ believes that the introduction of reusable products in businesses, institutions, and schools will make a huge impact on resource conservation. The act of replacing single-use products provides an opportunity to create life-long healthy habits, particularly among young children.

“People are always shocked to learn how many pizza boxes we throw away every year, enough to circle the earth 26 times. They are also surprised to find out that food-stained pizza boxes are not recyclable, only commercially compostable. Pizza boxes are crowding our landfills,” says Lopes, “but we all love pizza so help us change the box!”

About Good News Reuse™: 

Good News Reuse™ is a start-up dedicated to reducing waste in the food and beverage industry. Good News Reuse™ designs sustainable solutions to replace single-use disposables with reusable products. 

Once profitable Good News Reuse™ will donate at least 1% of annual sales to nonprofits working to protect the environment and promote environmental awareness.

Links:

IndieGoGo Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse?a=204267&i=emal

URL: http://www.goodnewsreuse.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsReuse?sk=wall

Twitter: @goodnewsreuse

###

Contact: Susan Lopes * susan@goodnewsreuse.com * +1 415 265 5776

 
 

I will post updates on our campaign http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse?a=204267&i=emal and here until the campaign ends on October 17. That's only 32 days from now!!
Update #1:Hi Everyone,

THANK YOU for your contributions and emails of support!!! It is day 4 of the campaign and I wanted to give an update.

It’s been an exhilirating process with a lot of firsts…video, website, IndieGoGo campaign, press release and now promotion, sharing and more sharing. I’m happy to report that our momentum is building each day Day 1: 2 donors, Day 2: 4 donors, Day 3: 5 donors!!! THANK YOU and let’s keep it going!

For those of you have offered to contribute, I hope that you will do it today so we can continue to grow our supporter base. Please give as much as you can. As the number of donors is also important because it increases our visibility on the IndieGoGo home page.

The best part of this experience has been the sharing. I’m in touch with old friends and making new ones. Your LIKES are much appreciated and they help spread the word.

Yes…the money will fund the Pi Pan launch and my fingers are crossed that it will happen. I am also hopeful that everyone can help get the word out – make it viral – continue to LIKE our postings and email your friends, students, colleagues. Spread the word that it is important to REUSE!

THANK YOU!!!

 
 

Today we launched our campaign on IndieGoGo! At last!!! Here's the link if you want to check out our video and the scoop on  our first reusable product, the Pi Pan. http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse?a=204267&i=emal 
We would greatly appreciate your support.

The Pi Pan is a reusable pizza container that we designed after learning that Americans throw away 3 billion (yes billion) pizza boxes every year. 

Today I also wrote my first ever press release. Hopefully you'll be reading this again and again as the word gets out.

Good News Reuse™ launches a funding campaign on IndieGoGo for a reusable pizza box
“everyone can use good news”

Good News Reuse™, a start-up devoted to reducing waste in the food and beverage industry, has spearheaded an online funding campaign on IndieGoGo. Founder, Susan Lopes, is counting on community support to raise funds for their first product, the Pi Pan, a reusable pizza box. With enough backing, Lopes will launch the Pi Pan, which was designed to replace the 3 billion cardboard pizza boxes thrown away in the USA each year.

IndieGoGo is an online “crowdfunding” website where entrepreneurs have an opportunity to present their ideas to a supportive community to raise seed money. People can show support by contributing as little as $5 or up to $25,000 or more, and be rewarded with perks from the creator. Good News Reuse™ has set their goal at $70,000, the minimum amount needed to fund the manufacturing of the Pi Pan prototype and samples. There is a 34-day fundraising window and the campaign ends on Monday, October 17, 2011.

When asked why we opted to launch on IndieGoGo, Lopes stated “You can spread the word quickly to a lot of people and, our company in particular, has a strong educational message to get out to the masses. IndieGoGo also allows you to promote your brand, not just a specific product, in a transparent way. We are excited to announce, from the onset, that we are partnering with MiiR’s one4one initiative for some of our perks. Each contribution for a reusable water bottle will provide clean water to a deserving person for an entire year. This is in keeping with the company’s long-range mission to give back to environmental causes.”

To learn more about Good News Reuse™ and the Pi Pan visit our campaign at:
http://www.indiegogo.com/GoodNewsReuse?a=204267&i=emal 

The patent-pending Pi Pan is made of thin commercial food grade stainless steel and is as thin as a reusable water bottle. It is reusable for 1,000+ times. It is BPA-free and does not contain other unhealthy chemicals.

Good News Reuse™ believes that the introduction of reusable products in businesses, institutions, and schools will make a huge impact on resource conservation. The act of replacing single-use products will also provide an opportunity to create life-long healthy habits, particularly among young children. Ultimately, Good News Reuse™ wants all pizza lovers to have a reusable Pi Pan and it will be available for purchase on their website.

“People are always shocked to learn that we throw away 3 billion cardboard pizza boxes every year in the USA. That’s enough to circle the earth 26 times. They are also surprised to find out that food-stained pizza boxes are not recyclable, only commercially compostable. That ends up being a lot of waste in our landfills,” says Lopes.

About Good News Reuse™: 
Good News Reuse™ is a start-up dedicated to reducing waste in the food and beverage industry. Good News Reuse™ designs sustainable solutions to replace single-use disposables with reusable products. 

Once profitable Good News Reuse™ will donate at least 1% of annual sales to nonprofits working to protect the environment and promote environmental awareness.

Learn more about Good News Reuse™ at http://www.goodnewsreuse.com.

Contact:
Susan Lopes
susan@goodnewsreuse.com

 
 
It's the eve of the launch of our campaign on IndieGoGo. It's exciting, scary, and fun...at last our product will be unveiled and hopefully the word will spread quickly on the importance of reusing. Darya, my summer long Intern, Jeff, and I have been busy. We created content for this website, a cut sheet, a video, the campaign, etc...all leading up to this launch. 

I had hoped to spend a chunk of time writing a gushing blog of appreciation to everyone who's been so supportive throughout this process and post it today. Please know that this will be coming soon. I created a Thank You section on our website...also coming soon.