How long does a crowdfunding campaign last?

quanto dura una campagna di crowdfunding

In life the answer to many, too many questions is “it depends.” The same applies to the question “How long does a crowdfunding campaign last?” that gives this article its title. We could, in fact, answer it simply by reporting the average length of campaigns and the minimum and maximum limits imposed by the major platforms, but that would be an incomplete answer.

Those who want to launch a crowdfunding campaign and need to organize their time horizon need to be aware of all the variables that determine the duration of a campaign and know that the commitment required by crowdfunding begins long before and ends long after the campaign itself. To understand the extent of the activities that revolve around this operation, you can read the article in which we delved into all the steps to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

The first mistake to avoid in order to avert a failed crowdfunding campaign is precisely underestimating the time and effort required. Indeed, it should be emphasized that crowdfunding is not a marginal activity to be carried out in one's spare time, but rather an operation to be treated as a real additional line of business for the company.

The average duration of a crowdfunding campaign

Let's start with the most certain and definable data. An average crowdfunding campaign takes 45 days. Platforms usually offer timelines ranging from 30 to 90 days, although some can go up to 120 days.

The fastest campaigns are lending crowdfunding campaigns, while equity crowdfunding campaigns tend to be longer, because they have higher financial goals and because they require more challenging involvement from investors, so the decision-making process is slower.

Except in special cases, it is not very effective to run very long campaigns, because it is difficult to keep the focus high for long and to avoid getting bogged down in inertia after the momentum of the first two or three waves of investment has worn off. Moments of inertia are there in almost every campaign, but they become shoals from which it is difficult to navigate away if they come after two or three cycles of inertia-push, when news to communicate is scarce and the herd effect has waned.

A better option is to structure the campaign into multiple offer periods: you can close the campaign after 30 days and then reopen it later with a new offer period of another 30 days, for example. This strategy is useful to create anticipation in the audience again, involve newly acquired investors in promoting the campaign, reorganize the communication, and restart with more momentum.

The timing of crowdfunding platform selection

To calculate exactly how long the company will be committed to the crowdfunding campaign, one must start from the time when the campaign is still just an idea.

In order to crowdfund, in fact, you must submit your project to an authorized crowdfunding platform and pass selection. We have devoted an article to tips on how to pass the selection of platforms, so here we will focus only on the timing.

To present yourself to a portal with a good chance of success, you need to prepare detailed documentation (business plan, pitch, company certifications, financial statements, etc.): this activity can take about a month. Even better if the company is also able to present evidence that there is already an audience interested in a potential crowdfunding campaign: to do this, you need to spend time talking about the project to your audience-if you already have one-and gather explicit feedback. This time will vary depending on the responsiveness of the community.

The duration of the actual selection, on the other hand, obviously depends on the platform: usually one receives the first feedback within a few days and, if it is positive, a final response within a month, after a more thorough analysis.

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How long does a crowdfunding campaign last: the preliminary steps

Once you have passed the selection process, you need to spend the right amount of time preparing the toolbox for the crowdfunding campaign.

This is the phase we call Onboarding. At this stage, if you have not already done so, for equity campaigns you need to make any changes to the articles of incorporation to define the terms offered to investors and produce the capital increase and offering memorandum at the notary.

For all types of crowdfunding, this is the phase of preparing communication materials, communication channels, and software to manage and automate marketing and sales processes. This is also where the rewards to be proposed as fundamental levers for investment are built.

The duration of the onboarding phase can vary between 2 and 5 weeks, depending on the starting level of the company.

The other preliminary phase is what we call Precrowd, and it is crucial to the success of the campaign. In this phase you start all the operations prepared earlier, beginning to promote and communicate the project and interact with potential investors just as if the campaign had already begun. The only difference is that no money can be raised yet, but instead expressions of interest are collected.

The duration of the precrowd phase is highly variable and it is crucial that it is not pegged to a fixed limit: it must last as long as necessary to gather enough expressions of interest to launch the campaign with a large investor base already certain. Each company and each project is unique: with an already solid and involved community and an experienced team at hand, it is possible to conclude the precrowd in a few weeks, while for those starting from scratch and with few resources it can take up to months.

The post-campaign duration

When you close a campaign successfully, it's time to celebrate. But it does not mean that the crowdfunding campaign is really over! In estimating how long a crowdfunding campaign lasts, post-campaign activities must also be considered.

First, it is necessary to wait for confirmation of all subscriptions after the withdrawal right period. Then, the platform will have to forward the information to the bank where the escrow account was opened to collect the capital-there will be technical time for release. Even the more technical part of investor communications, regarding the shares due to each investor based on the paid-in capital, is usually handled by the platform that hosted the campaign.

The company, for its part, must file the list of new members and prepare post-campaign communications. All the bureaucratic steps described so far can take up to about a month, while the post-campaign communication can take forever!

The key part of communication to investors is the first few months after the campaign: the thank-you messages, the goals to be achieved with the capital raised, and the step-by-step implementation of those goals. To make the work done with the campaign really worthwhile and the community thus created profitable, however, long-term communication needs to be taken care of, cultivating relationships with investors in a way that makes them an asset for all future projects of the company (including subsequent crowdfunding campaigns!).

In conclusion, a really useful concrete answer to the question “how long does a crowdfunding campaign last?” is: a few months to a year, and then continue to cultivate the results forever.

Do you need support in preparing a successful crowdfunding campaign and seeking potential investors for your project?

Turbo Crowd can accompany you throughout the process, from organizing the precrowd to closing the collection, developing effective and innovative marketing strategies to best promote your campaign.

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