Everyone who sees a popular crowdfunding project, like Kickstarter’s Pebble watch, most likely thinks for a second about how it got to be such a big deal... Did they hire a publicist? Did it just go viral on social-media & the news? These questions have plagued us too! So, we did a little research, and we’d like to share it; here’s one story from one incredibly successful project on GoFundMe.
In a previous article, we took a closer look at the case of Igor Vovkovinskiy, America's tallest man (at 7 ft 8), who crowdfunded a new pair of shoes. The story began with Igor's struggle to find and buy a pair of shoes that would fit him (Size 26 to be specific!).
Prior to his crowdfunding campaign, the shoe companies he reached out to for help quoted him over $12,000 for a custom made pair, and even after a number of attempts at seeking sponsorship and attention from the press, no one would help him.
However, things turned around for Igor when he went directly to the crowd on GoFundMe, one of Daily Crowdsource's sponsors, and set out to raise $16,000 (for the cost of the shoes & the travel expenses needed to get fitted) .
Igor did not only raise $16K. In only 3 months, he raised $46K.
And, his success is no accident. Not only is his campaign for a great cause (to gain a feeling of freedom and normalcy, & to relieve his pain), but the press covered it like crazy. And, that's what we are going to look at below; from Igor's first few weeks to 3 months later...
Here's how it unfolded. (Fyi, the amounts & dates below are estimated from reading these articles and piecing together the information.)
March 20th: Huffington Post published their first article on Igor's campaign
March 26th: CBS Ran a story on Igor's campaign:
March 28th: Fox News ran an article & CNN & ABC
April 19th: Huffington Post ran another human interest piece :
April 20th (estimated): The Drudge Report linked to the story, then it really took off like wildfire....
All this influenced continued coverage on a number of big news sites (FoxNews, AOL, Yahoo, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc...):
April 25th: Daily Crowdsource Ran a story on how he had far surpassed his goal.
June 5th: The day this article was written
On top of the $46K, Igor scored, some other benefits from the project getting into the press including $10,000 donated for a custom wardrobe, and a $12,000 dollar pair of shoes given to him by Reebok.
Ironically, even though you'll find that every major news source ran a story on Igor, most even forgot to link to his donation page. It's hard to imagine what this means for his donation total.
It's obvious here that these news sources are nodes in a larger network of people who care, and it shows how powerful news sites are in spreading the word about a cause, in this case a crowdfunding campaign.
So, what can we learn from this?
For one thing, it shows that if you have a really good cause, like Igor, then you should take it to the people first & then to the press second. Then, if you can get news coverage, you will attract the support you need.