Environmental initiatives have been performing very well in crowdfunding platforms. Browse the most funded sections of those websites and you’ll spot lots of green projects. That’s because they share all the common features of a good initiative:
- They usually have a good story behind it – appealing to popular subjects like “save the children”, “help the world” or “don’t harm the environment” with a twist of technological innovation.
- They are emotional – many people identify with them on an emotional level and thus are more willing to take action on the campaign, either by funding it or spreading the word about it.
- They offer memorable reward to those who fund it – effectively turning the campaigns into something like a “group buying”. That makes the perks and products offered appealing to the public.
Let’s analyze two interesting success cases.
Case 1: Solar Roadways
Take a look at the now booming campaign of Solar Roadways, a project that aims to build resistant solar panels on roads and highways to produce energy and has raised more than US$ 2 million from nearly 50 thousand funders as we write this article, surpassing by far the US$ 1 million goal.
They are still on research and development, asking for funds to install the panels on airport parking lots, Amtrak train stations and other places where the pavement could be replaced by the panels, helping to achieve two different goals at the same time. Even so, the story is very appealing. It’s that perfect mix of “save the Earth” with a good technological innovation.
However, most funders won’t just throw their money at a well intentioned project without a guarantee of something in return right? That’s why they offer some nice good perks, popular souvenir items like shirts, hats, bags and magnets.
Case 2: FlowHive
Also on Indiegogo we have the enormous success of FlowHive. They aimed very low, just US$ 70,000, but have managed to rise an amazing US$ 12 million plus, money enough to allow the authors to retire.
The product looks very simple, a method to extract honey directly from an artificial bee hive (the FlowHive product itself) without the need to process it or to disturb the bees. They marketed it to beekeepers, but it’s actually something that can be done right on the backyard of any home.
But it’s a breakthrough technology with a strong environmental background. They even featured one of the catch phrases that we used in this article, “help the world”, in their campaign. It’s the type of thing that gets promoted and shared everywhere, a key to attract people wanting to fund it.
The benefit? Guess what, FlowHive itself, with all the items included to extract honey, except for the bees, of course.