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Whether your ideas are large or small we have advice and resources to help you navigate the world of crowdfunding in every stage of your campaign.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Crowdfunding

Learn how to get your business idea off the ground and launch your crowdfunding campaign. From getting started to after your campaign, we've got you covered with this guide.

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FAQs

ATB BoostR is a reward-based crowdfunding platform for Alberta based businesses.

ATB BoostR was created by ATB Financial. ATB provides support and expertise to create and maintain a crowdfunding platform for Alberta businesses and organizations. ATB’s team of experts also offers participating business owners advice beyond crowdfunding. ATB does not provide financial contributions to businesses using ATB BoostR, nor does it make any guarantees about the businesses, organizations, campaign goals, or rewards.

Rewards based crowdfunding is an ever growing, alternative source of funding for businesses. It’s also the most popular type of crowdfunding. Businesses create a campaign on the platform for a set amount of capital to be raised, and in return for donations, the business provides various rewards. Rewards can be substantial, or as simple as a virtual high five.

If you are an Alberta based entrepreneur or business, you can raise money using the rewards based crowdfunding solution. Entrepreneurs will often crowdfund using BoostR to test their business idea, build a customer base, gain exposure or grow their business. Some notable businesses who’ve successfully campaigned on BoostR include:

  • Burgundy Oak furniture
  • Local Laundry clothing
  • Sugared and Spiced bakery
  • The Light Cellar superfood shop
  • Square 1 coffee cafe

Anyone from around the globe can become a member of the BoostR “crowd” and support campaigns on BoostR. If you want to become a BoostR (support a campaign), make sure you review the business or organization, its story, and campaign thoroughly before you contribute.

It costs money to start and grow a business. Some businesses don’t want to tie up their cash flow, pay loan or credit card interest rates, or they simply don’t fit traditional financing models.

ATB BoostR gives local businesses an alternative that puts them in control and helps deepen their relationship with their community and customers. Through BoostR, business owners can raise funds to launch or support their business growth. They can also benefit from marketing their business on a broader platform. It’s also a great way to test out a new business idea before officially launching it.

Creating and running a campaign does not cost anything but your time and involvement. If you are successful in meeting your funding goal, our credit card processor,Stripe, does charge a transaction fee of 2.9% of the total amount raised, plus 30 cents per transaction. ATB BoostR also takes a percentage of the total amount raised to help cover the cost of running the platform (3%). If you do not meet your fundraising goal, no fees are charged.

ATB BoostR’s rewards based campaigns use a fixed or all-or-nothing funding model. Businesses that run campaigns through ATB BoostR receive the money they’ve raised only if they reach their fundraising goal. If the business does not reach its goal, contributions are not processed. Find out more about how Stripe transfers the funds here. ATB BoostR does not store credit card information.

There are a lot of factors that play into setting your crowdfunding goal. Of course, every business could use some additional cash, but crowdfunding works best for businesses that have a specific and defined goal.

Our top 6 factors to consider when setting your goal:

  • What’s the main purpose of your campaign? It’s the compass for all your efforts.
  • Reference your milestones, their associated costs and which milestones are absolutely critical for you to reach your goal. What’s your minimum amount you need to move forward? Choose a goal that you can confidently meet and exceed.
  • How much will your rewards cost you (including shipping and taxes)?
  • Factor in the crowdfunding fee for the platform (6%) that’ll be taken off the total amount you raise.
  • Keep in mind how long your campaign can be. You’ll need to set a realistic goal to reach in a limited amount of time, or you won’t get any of the funds.
  • Generally the size of your existing social network is directly related to how much you can raise through crowdfunding. Consider how many of your existing fans will contribute and how much they’d be realistically be willing to pay. On average, 75% successful reward-based campaigns raise between $5,000-$10,000.

There are a lot of factors that play into setting your crowdfunding goal. Of course, every business could use some additional cash, but crowdfunding works best for businesses that have a specific and defined goal.

Our top 6 factors to consider when setting your goal:

  • What’s the main purpose of your campaign? It’s the compass for all your efforts.
  • Reference your milestones, their associated costs and which milestones are absolutely critical for you to reach your goal. What’s your minimum amount you need to move forward? Choose a goal that you can confidently meet and exceed.
  • How much will your rewards cost you (including shipping and taxes)?
  • Factor in the crowdfunding fee for the platform (6%) that’ll be taken off the total amount you raise.
  • Keep in mind how long your campaign can be. You’ll need to set a realistic goal to reach in a limited amount of time, or you won’t get any of the funds.
  • Generally the size of your existing social network is directly related to how much you can raise through crowdfunding. Consider how many of your existing fans will contribute and how much they’d be realistically be willing to pay. On average, 75% successful reward-based campaigns raise between $5,000-$10,000.

This can be tricky. You want your campaign to run long enough for you to get the BoostRs you need to reach your fundraising goal. But making a campaign too long could result in BoostRs not acting quickly (or not acting at all). The ideal campaign duration is 30-45 days. All campaigns will automatically expire after 45 days on the BoostR platform.

We highly recommend raising funds before you launch your campaign to the public. Campaigns that have some traction when they launch tend to have greater credibility and build momentum more quickly. Businesses launching on BoostR have the option to launch a “private” campaign for up to 7 days before launching to the public. Only people with a link to the campaign page will be able to see it. Ideally you would share that with your closest network of supporters—those people you are pretty sure will become BoostRs. Launching your campaign on a high note is critical to success. Campaigns that can raise at least 20% of their total funding goal within the first 1-2 weeks are 80% more likely to reach their funding goal.

No. ATB does not get involved in any individual campaigns. Your campaign’s success is entirely dependent on your ability to share your story, make BoostRs feel confident in your campaign, and offer something people value enough to make a contribution. If your campaign is successful, ATB Financial may help to promote your success through our marketing channels.

Good question! Every business is different, so there are countless ways to write your campaign story. Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • What is your business and how will it make my life better? Talk about why you started your business.
  • Who are you and why should I listen to you? Share your passion—show why you love being a business owner.
  • Be specific and transparent in your fundraising goals. Explain why you need the amount you’re asking for, and exactly how you will put this money to good use.
  • Why are you doing this business? Include some photos or videos of your business and the project you are seeking funding for. A video is required for all campaigns on ATB BoostR.
  • When can I expect you to follow through on your proposition?
  • Where’s all of this taking place? Avoid generalities. You may offer “great service,” but your competitors probably say that too, so be more specific about your achievements and qualities.
  • Keep it concise. Use simple language, be clear in your “pitch” and avoid rambling sentences.
  • As much as possible, “show” don’t tell. Try to incorporate video footage or imagery to get your message across, rather than just talking to the camera for most of your video.

Yes, all campaigns on BoostR must have a video and some images. Don’t let that scare you! The video can be something you create on your iPhone. Focus on conveying a compelling message, injected with some passion and authenticity. We recommend that you keep the video to 2 minutes max and try to focus on the story of your business. Introduce yourself as the entrepreneur or organization and make an enticing pitch to people as to why they should contribute to your campaign. Tell everyone why the money will be helpful and specifically how you’ll use it. In addition to simply talking into the camera, we suggest incorporating video footage or images relevant to your business or organization. Consider adding music or a bit of humour to help set the right mood (positive/cheerful/inspirational) for the video.

The primary source of BoostRs is people already in your network. They know you, your business, your employees, your industry or your community.

  • If you have a social network (even just a small one), ask your contacts to share your story, not just support your campaign.
  • If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s time to dive in! Create accounts and follow your friends, family, and colleagues. Social media networks take time to build, but this is a great opportunity to get started.
  • Tell your existing customers about your crowdfunding campaign face-to-face, and promote it in your physical location (if you have one).
  • Get support from “traditional” networks—the local chamber of commerce, trade association, your accountant, banker, etc.
  • Continue to update people on your progress throughout your campaign.
  • Consider updating your rewards to keep the story fresh.

You decide how many rewards of each type to offer, at what contribution level, and what restrictions to place on each. For example, if you are offering a T-shirt reward for $25, think about how many T-shirts you have or can have made and how much each costs you. Consider whether they must be picked up or you are willing to ship them. Finally, once supporters receive the shirt, will they feel like it was good value for their $25?

How you fulfill rewards will have an impact on your business and reputation. Consider staggered delivery (a voucher or coupon for product that can only be redeemed on particular days), or delayed delivery (T-shirts will be available for pickup 2 weeks after your campaign ends, giving you time to get them made).

Coming up with engaging rewards that are of value to your BoostRs is absolutely critical to your campaign’s success. Spend some time thinking through creative ways to design a diverse range of rewards that incorporate product, services or unique experiences for your BoostRs

Yes, absolutely! Adding and changing rewards can help keep your campaign fresh, and help you respond to what your community wants. As a campaign owner, you will have the ability to add or edit rewards throughout your campaign’s duration. You can also stop offering existing rewards, however once a BoostR has bought a reward you must fulfill it. Keep in mind though, too many rewards can be confusing.

No. Securities regulations do not allow anything that can be thought of as a security ownership in the business or its assets to be offered as a reward. Nor can a reward be similar to a loan repayment or cash.

A successful crowdfunding campaign creates revenue for your business similar to your normal operations. Be sure to talk to your accountant about how best to handle the revenue, deductions for expenses, and sales tax implications.

Yes, we use Stripe, a secure payment processor for all credit card information and payments. ATB BoostR does not store credit card information or share it with the business you fund on BoostR.

Only when a crowdfunding campaign ends and the business has reached its fundraising goal is your credit card charged. When you purchase a reward, your credit card is validated but not charged until the campaign reaches its funding goal. If a campaign does not reach its fundraising goal, BoostRs are not charged.

Your account will list the rewards you have purchased and the business will have a list of all the rewards they are required to fulfill. Expect to hear from them about receiving your reward, but remember some rewards have restrictions on when or how they are fulfilled. If you encounter any problems with your rewards, send us an email.

Rewards can only be redeemed for successful campaigns where your credit card is charged. Fulfilling rewards is the responsibility of the business that received the funding. Neither ATB BoostR nor ATB Financial can guarantee fulfillment. We suggest you take the time to make an informed decision before supporting campaigns on any crowdfunding platform. Read the company’s story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the business and its goals before you contribute.

No. Rewards or donations cannot be anything resembling a security such as shares, equity, revenues, interest, or loans.

No. Neither ATB BoostR nor ATB Financial can endorse any individual campaigns, so you should do your research before you contribute to a campaign. Read the company or organization's story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the organization and its goals before you contribute.

No. Neither ATB BoostR nor ATB Financial can endorse any individual campaigns, so you should do your research before you contribute to a campaign. Read the company or organization's story, check out the website or related links, and make sure you are comfortable with the organization and its goals before you contribute.