How To Blow Past Your Crowdfunding Goal Using Female Empowerment

Forbes | Geri Stengel | Aug 11, 2016

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Glass ceilings are breaking – a major political party in the United States has nominated a woman for president. Still more ceilings need to be shattered and they need to stay shattered.

Two women have written a book encouraging girls to break those ceilings – Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women. It includes tales of women who changed the world, including an astronaut, chef, tennis player, engineer, painter, architect and judge. A must-have for the nightstand of every girl or young woman you know.

Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo are founders of Timbuktu, which combines imagination and technology to help children discover the world. They needed funding for portrait illustrations and to print the book. “Raising money was increasingly difficult [in 2016], even with having successfully raised angel financing and being well connected,” said Favilli.

Instead they turned to the crowd – the people who would want to buy the product. Their goal was to raise $40,000. First, they blew the roof off their goal by raising nearly $700,000 on Kickstarter. They followed with a campaign on Indiegogo that raised more than $900,000. Indiegogo InDemand allows you to continue to raise money even after the campaign is over.

Favilli shared their lessons learned from the Goodnight Stories for Rebels Girls campaign.

The path to the American Dream may be lined with crowdfunding

With rewards-based crowdfunding, you’re seeking funding from the people who want your product, not from funders who don’t have a clue as to why your product will be the next best thing since sliced bread.


You don’t have to pay interest like you would on a loan. Nor do you have to give up a piece of your company as you would with equity financing from angels and venture capitalists. You do pay fees to the platform and credit card company as well as paying marketing expenses. Funders are getting something tangible in return for their money. Most typically, they are getting a discount on the product.

You get critical insights from customers into the features that resonate with them. “We used it as a customer discovery tool,” said Favilli. You build relationships with early adopters of your product who provide feedback on it. They are also more likely to forgive imperfections in your product or a prolonged manufacturing cycle.

These customers will also spread the word about your product. “People shared our campaign a lot, most especially on Facebook.” They encouraged sharing by giving away three digital ebooks for free.

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