Crowdfunding in Canada – Lessons Learned on Wrap of Fundchange

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By Ideavibes

ideavibes

As previously announced, we have wrapped up Fundchange and will be focusing on our crowdsourcing platform which is soon to be relaunched.

I thought it might be helpful for other Canadian start-ups interested in this space to hear what we learned over the past 2 years launching and running Fundchange which was an initiative of Ideavibes.

Here we go - lessons learned:

  1. Be careful what claims you make. We thought we were the first crowdfunding website for charities and non-profits in Canada when we launched in 2010 - but the Small Change Fund very forcefully told us to stop saying this (amazing how a cease and desist letter throws you off your game). We didn't know their project fundraising site had all of a sudden become a crowdfunding website.
  2. When working with large partners, it is helpful to make regular updates an important part of the agreement - no matter how busy people might be.
  3.  Inertia and habits are VERY hard to change. We didn't understand how stuck charities and non-profits in Canada are in their old ways (even if they aren't working), and how averse to change and risk they are.
  4. We tried to boil the ocean - not possible for a start-up or even a partner like TELUS. We knew the conversation around social media had to change in Canada if businesses - governments - and charities are to communicate with Canadians and we tried to do do much of this on our own. The belief that no one over 40 is on social media is WRONG.
  5. Banks and service providers like PayPal, etc. need to stop treating Canada like a 3rd world nation. I know we are only 30mil people but come on - there is no excuse for launching products and services in the US and then Britain before Canada.
  6. When launching a start-up - don't stray from Stephen Covey's mantra of 'keeping the main thing - the main thing.' My bad - did that and given our limited resources, caused us much grief.

There are a few others but these are the main ones I wanted to put out there.

Paul Dombowsky

 

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