Are You Ready – Questionnaire
If you are considering raising money in Colorado through investment crowdfunding and would like to consider the services of Invest Local, please complete a questionnaire. Click on this link. Your answers will be reviewed to determine if you are ready to start crowdfunding or need additional preparation.
Crowdfunding is not a simple or quick way to raise money. It requires preparation and planning. And, it takes a 'crowd'.
Set forth below is a six step process to completion of an investment crowdfunding campaign.
Throughout each stage of the crowdfunding campaign, an organization should be engaged in crowd building. However, an organization may defer crowd building until after completion of the Planning stage and the organization has committed to conduct of a campaign.
Stages 1 through 4 enable an organization to ‘test the waters’, to learn more about crowdfunding and determine if it is a good ‘fit’ for the organization in terms of a capital strategy before committing to the full cost of setting up and conducting a campaign.
In Stage 1 – Survey and Education, it is recommended that an organization complete the free survey offered by Invest Local LLC at http://www.investlocalcolorado.com and review this white paper on Common Q&A on Investment Crowdfunding. In addition, an organization may attend one of the briefings or workshops on Customer Crowdfunding offered by the Colorado Capital Congress PBC. Information at http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com.
In Stage 2 – Financing, an organization may need to raise enough capital to cover the costs of conducting an investment crowdfunding campaign. This may be completed through an equity investment or loan from friends and family, from sale of convertible notes or from financing provided by community impact funds such as the planned Colorado Community Capital Demonstration Program. In some cases the financing will be a bridge arrangement that must be paid back out of the money raised through the offering.
In Stage 3 – Planning, an organization will develop a Camapign Plan to complete an investment crowdfunding capital campaign. The organization will identify ‘stakeholders’ within the 97% of the population who are non-accredited investor candidates that may invest in the organization because they care about its potential success. This activity should focus on your current and future customers: elevating them from purchasing products and services to become investors where they can act to promote the organization within their networks to increase your sales.
With this information, the organization should craft a series of investment packages that include benefits (product/service discounts, status enhancers and preferences). These packages may be tailored to different classes of investors (crowds) with different investment motives. Packages should be designed to offer a high level of value to investors that encourage immediate investment. The benefits package is then combined withsecurities that offer classical returns on investment (interest, royalties and profits). Different crowdfunding options should be reviewed that will create new customers and improve the brand of the organization leading to new sales. This approach aligns time and money investment in raising capital with the organization’s primary activities and improves the probability of success of the organization. Finally, a list of list of crowdfunding action items is created along with a budget and a schedule for implementation of the list. The Action Plan should include use of qualified contractors that may fill any gaps in the organization’s management to complete the Capital Campaign.
In Stage 4 – Crowd Building, an organization will identify and collect contact information from Support candidates. An organization may start with existing customers as well as any social media followers. It may be necessary to engage in an active marketing program to create a large enough group of candidates to assure success of the campaign when launched.
In Stage 5 - Plan Implementation, the organization may implement the Action Plan on its own and/or may engage contractors to complete all activities necessary to build its crowd, obtain regulatory approval and prepare its Capital Campaign.
Common activities within Stage 5 include:
- License and implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Creation of an offering memorandum or proposal
- Preparation of regulatory disclosure documents
- Preparation of promotional programs and materials
- Retention of service providers to support campaign
In Stage 6 – Capital Campaign, the organization may manage the Capital Campaign on its own and/or engage contractors to promote investment in its organization, handle investment transactions and coordinate investors.
For crowdfunding campaigns conducted under the Colorado Crowdfunding Act, Invest Local is required to charge a flat fee. The amount of the fee may vary, but it is projected that the average fee will be $5,500.
An organization may arrange for an escrow agent through a specialty service or their financial institution.