Not too long ago, we had to be realistic about our goals. We had to put that coveted foreign university degree out of our minds and forget about taking the rest of the year off work to volunteer abroad and live with the locals. We never saved up enough to fund the care of a wild animal or a child’s education. And training to compete in a sport we were passionate about? That dream was tossed aside before it even had a chance to settle in.

But ever since the onset of the crowdfunding India platform, our modest incomes aren’t a hindrance to our ambitions and dreams anymore. Countless urban youth turn to crowdfunding to afford their education or volunteer experience abroad, and to train in different sports for competitions.

What are the benefits of sports crowdfunding?

As early as 2008, sport clubs and organizations in the west began turning to crowdfunding platforms for commercial funding. Sportspeople and athletes did the same, as sponsors were extremely difficult to come by. They started thinking of creative ideas for rewards-based crowdfunding, like offering free lessons to major donors. This way, fans had something exciting to gain from their donations as well.

Impact Guru, a top crowdfunding India platform, partnered with Epic TV to aid 12 athletes who came from low income backgrounds in their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Prior to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, scores of crowdfunding campaigns were run by athletes to help afford their training, air travel, gear and diet. This happened right before the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games as well, where athletes ran campaigns to afford their warm weather training camps. Sports crowdfunding became so popular, that sponsored athletes were often seen receiving less funding than the athletes who had run successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Another valuable benefit that comes with crowdfunding India is the PR it generates. Running a crowdfunding campaign allows upcoming athletes to establish a bigger presence on social media, get more exposure, and bring attention to their talent. This can even lead to sponsorship deals.

Tips and tricks from athletes who ran a successful campaign

  1. Figure out how it works. There’s more to crowdfunding than simply raising funds. Take time to look up successful fundraisers. How should you be writing your story? What social media strategy would work best for you? Who’s your target audience?

  1. Choose meaningful rewards. Your backers are your fans. The kind of rewards you offer could multiply the number of donors by a large extent. Should you be offering lessons? A chance to accompany you to an event in their hometown?

  1. Become social media savvy. Your backers will want to be constantly updated on how you’re progressing. They want to know the athlete they’re supporting has a great image and is active. They’ll want to know the kind of events and competitions you’re attending.

  1. Invest your resources in getting good imagery. Get pictures and if possible, a short video made of your cause. Make sure you get access to images taken at events as well. Building a portfolio is important if you’re hoping to grab attention from sponsors. It’s impossible to get people to support you if they can’t attach a face to the name.