Providing funding and getting funded is part of the community at RISE Startups. We use an all-or-nothing funding model. If your project doesn’t reach its goal, then funds don’t get collected, and no money changes hands. This minimizes risk for RISE Startup innovators.

Think about it… people are expecting a $20,000 investment for a ribbon cutting ceremony or new cooking ranges for your food truck and you only end up with $2,000. Our strategy of “all-or-nothing” funding makes it easier for backers to pledge to your project with confidence that the innovator will be able to get their ideas off the ground.

For innovators, the funding goal should be the minimum amount you’ll need to deliver what you promised and fulfill all rewards. Here are some critical tips to getting successful funding for your ideas, projects and businesses:

Figuring out a budget

From our experience the best way to get funded is to have a solid understanding of your expenses. Evaluate every possible expense — even less obvious ones, like paint and paper napkins. For larger expenses, research the best price. Total EVERYTHING up. It’s okay if the number is bigger than expected: even if your innovation feels simple, it’s best to make sure every step is accounted for.

Tweet, Like, Share, Repeat

The RISE Startups community and its channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Discussion Group, The RISE Blog) for “marketing” your innovation is a great way to share your ideas with new people or existing connections. Still, most of your support will come from your core networks, and the people most familiar with your work. Consider the audiences you can tap into, from friends and fans to online communities, and make a conservative estimate of how many backers you can realistically bring in.

Don’t forget the padding

If your project or innovation is successfully funded, we’ll apply a 3.5% fee for our efforts to bring your project to life. For the time being, RISE Startups is waiving additional fees for our payment processors. More than anything, you’ll want a little padding in case of unexpected costs, delays for customized rewards or emergencies.

Every innovation needs a goal

Your funding period can last anywhere from one day to six months. Statistically, though, our research and feedback shows projects lasting 30 days or fewer have the highest success rates on other crowd funding sites. Shorter periods of time demonstrate higher confidence, help motivate people to fund your idea, and let you drive to a goal to spread the word through the various channels.

“Boom-How do you like them Apples!”

Nothing is better than when your idea explodes. Unexpected success can be a nice problem to have. But when you designed a budget to make 50 of something, it’s tricky to suddenly have 1,000 pledges! If you feel like you’ve hit your limit, you can always cap your rewards. You can also stagger release dates — cap the original reward at a number you can handle, then add more with a later delivery date, so you don’t have to do everything at once. Let backers know in advance that the demand might affect your schedule of delivering rewards.

Sure, ideas that spread win. But ideas that don’t get spoken always fail.” – Seth Godin