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Cause Marketing and Your Crowdfunding Project

In its April 2013 issue, Fast Company reviews the numbers at the alpha crowdfunding site Kickstarter and they’re crazy: 86 million unique visitors, 2.2 million of which actually backed at least one project to the tune of $274 million in 2012 alone. That’s almost twice as much money as the National Endowment for the Arts spent in the same year.

But as the number of projects have gone up it’s gotten harder to be conspicuous in the crowd. And everyone’s pretty well gotten the memo that you need to use video. Fast Company says that in 2012, 82 percent of the projects used video to tell their story.

So how do you stand out before a crowd of would be funders? One option is use cause marketing. That’s what Shethinx did for its Kickstarter project. Shethinx makes women’s underwear treads that narrow middle-ground between functional but dull granny underwear, and pretty but impractical fashion underwear.

Shehinx used Kickstarter to launch the company. And aside from the technology of their underwear, they used a BOGO approach that benefits the Uganda-based organization AFRI-pads. AFRI-pads makes reusable cloth sanitary napkins for women and girls. And, as I’ve noted in the past, without effective sanitary napkins, schoolgirls in the developing world miss a lot of school because they stay home during their periods.

Buy a pair of Thinx and they’ll donate enough money to manufacture 7 AFRI-pads, which will be given to those in need.

Shethinx generated $64,000, 130 percent of their goal on Kickstarter. Without testing the idea in some kind of A-B test, you can’t conclude that Shethinx wouldn’t have worked without the cause marketing BOGO. But I gotta believe it helped.

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In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

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