Secrets of running a successful crowdfunding campaign

Jai Ranganathan

What’s the secret to raising money for your science by crowdfunding? The secret is that there is no secret.

These #SciFund sea turtles know a thing or two about crowdfunding.

Just ask Lindsey Peavey. She’s a doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and she is taking part in the #SciFund Challenge. Her project, Turtles in the Deep, is doing wonderfully well. As of this writing, nine days after #SciFund projects went live, she has reached 80% of her $2,500 target. How did she do it? I spoke with her yesterday and this is what I learned.

Lindsey’s research and her #SciFund project focus on the fate of the threatened olive ridley sea turtle in the Pacific Ocean. From the beginning, she designed her project so that it would connect with a general audience. And she could put very specific faces on part of that audience: her family in Maine, far from the Pacific and the olive ridley. Could she connect her family (and lots of people like them) to a place they might never go and to a species they might never see?  If you check out Lindsey’s project, you’ll see that she more than succeeded in crafting a message that is personal, easy to understand, and extremely relatable, regardless of where you are.