BNN Funding Offers Marketing Solutions, Organically

I first met Patrick Kitano, CEO of the crowdfunding services company BNN Funding, at a crowdfunding conference last year. My first impression was that he seemed a bit of an outsider.

Kitano has a lot of ideas that stray from the narrative of your average crowdfunding industry professional. For example, he doesn’t believe the current system of uploading campaigns onto crowdfunding portals is sustainable.

That’s because today’s model relies almost completely on DIY marketing. It’s a tough barrier for many individuals and organizations with a slim-to-nonexistent digital footprint, especially in the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors, the areas of BNN Funding’s focus.

For those who do pay for marketing support, whether it’s for expediency or as a desperate attempt to change the tide when a campaign stalls, the question everyone should be asking is whether these agencies actually can provide the type of dedicated and consistent promotion they promise, and a campaign needs, and how.

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This Valentine’s Day Show Some #CrowdfundingBackerLove

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Everyone’s always focusing on the needs of the crowdfunding project creator. Whatever they desire, there are multitudes of blogs and articles and expert tips to feed their creative juices and eventually their coffers.

But what about the people who make the project creators’ dreams come true?

Don’t they deserve some love? Don’t they give freely without any strings attached? Don’t they wait patiently wondering when and if the project they backed will turn into something tangible that will be delivered on their doorstep? Don’t they trust it will look as cool in person as it did online?

This Valentine’s week, in honor of the underappreciated masses who Tweet, Like, and +1 on behalf of all those campaign creators, selflessly widening their circle of support,  Tweet: #crowdfundingbackerlove.



Call it a run-up to Valentine’s Day for the crowdfunding community. Do your part and spread the love to backers everywhere.

To that end, here are some tips to make the lives of all the backers out there a little sweeter.

To Continue reading, please go to for this week’s installment of my Tip of the Week column.


The Art of Newjacking

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Newsjacking is a hack that holds great promise for today’s crowdfunder. It is a method of gaining exposure to your campaign by riding on the coattails of a breaking news story that has an organic connection to your own idea. The goal is to generate buzz for your campaign that you would never have been able to get on your own. Think of it as a form of cross-promotion in which you reap the benefits of someone else’s popularity.

This isn’t as opportunistic as it sounds. Well, maybe it is, but anyone who posts content, including commenting on social media about a current event, is already a newsjacker.

Hitching a ride to a relevant news story isn’t as much of a crapshoot as you might think. Want an example of newjacking? I recently newsjacked when I learned that Georgia Tech announced a study they just completed on how the language Kickstarter project creators use in their pitches affect whether people will open up their wallet or not. Since my crowdfunding focus is all about the importance of good storytelling, I jumped on it. Within 24 of reading about it I wrote this.

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Three Sites That Support Your Crowdfunding Effort

Each day seems to bring news of the launch of yet another tool, site, or market to aid and support a benevolent crowdfunding-industrial complex. It’s such a chore to keep up, I’m amazed I ever get any work done! Oh yeah, silly me. I guess that is my work.

Here are three sites worth a follow that help champion, promote and facilitate the crowdfunding ecosystem through education, and they do it inventively.

Forever Geek Kickstarter Store is new to the space. Up since November, it is a resource for geek fans that want to track down the geeky-cool indie products that have been funded on Kickstarter. Though they carefully research and catalog products in an array of categories, you can’t actually buy anything there. Instead there’s a ‘Buy now’ link that directs users to the site where the product can be purchased.

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Outsource Your Way to Crowdfunding Success

Technology, that doubled-edged sword, has simplified our lives, but it has also drowned us in details, with an endless parade of tiny tasks needing our attention.

Crowdfunding is devilishly full of details that are too much to handle for the average human trying to go it alone. It’s the reason many people decide crowdfunding is not for them — who has the time?

Well, thanks to technology, it’s now easy to get an assistant to help manage the minutia!


Virtual assistants (VAs) are a cloud-based way to outsource those menial, repetitive, and rote tasks, leaving you to keep your crowdfunding goal on track, big-picture style — which is to say, to greater effect and much more efficiently.

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Do You Know About These Twitter Functions?

Tip of the Week

One reason I like Twitter is because it’s so simple to use. But it turns I’ve only been taking advantage of its basic functionality. If you have been, too, you could be limiting who sees your campaign updates.

Leading Characters
If you want all of your followers to see your tweet in their timeline, you must to start your tweet with a “leading character” — anything such as a simple period (.) will do — and not an @.

By starting your tweet with an @ mention only you, the person you mention, and anyone who follows both of you will see your tweet in their timelines. It will also be visible to anyone who happens to view your profile. In other words, you will see the post in your timeline, but your followers won’t see it in theirs.

I learned that Twitter came up with the leading character for people who want to boost the exposure of an account that has few followers. On the other hand, those in the know intentionally start with @ to keep an exchange private.

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Written by Rose Spinelli

Multiply Your Reach with CrossPromote.It

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Like many early adopters, Serhiy Khvashchuk became fascinated with crowdfunding after successfully running his own Kickstarter campaign in 2012. He learned a great deal and then began consulting others to help them reach their goals.

The closest he came to finding a magic bullet for success is to cross promote with other projects in order to extend each campaign’s reach — a win-win proposition when done well. So, Khvashchuk put his newfound knowledge to practice and partnered up with Pavel Kachanov to launch CrossPromote.It.

This is not an entirely new concept. On its blog, Indiegogo encouraged campaigners to find partners. It makes a lot of sense, and I loved the idea so much I blogged about it myself.

What CrossPromote.It does, however, takes cross promotion to the next level. Six months in the making, what they have created is a deep data-mining tool that is superior to anything out there.

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Google’s New Hub for the Media

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Google has a new hub for journalists and reporters. Journalists have used Google News for years, creating custom searches for topics they follow. But this new website is a dedicated place where the media can learn, and have access to, a suite of digital tools that improve their news-gathering power and audience engagement across platforms.

What does this mean for crowdfunders? Well, if you didn’t know it already, Google+ can be one of the most powerful social platform for you and your project, business, and brand. If you’re not using it, start now so that the writers searching for information relative to your brand can find your latest posts, photos, and videos. This makes their work breezier, and the chances of your content appearing in their search increase dramatically.

From the looks of the site, Google has done a great job of guiding journalists through all the resources on offer. Reading up on their best practices will help you help the members of the press find you.

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Lights, Camera, Action! It’s The Crowd Funder Show

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One way to gauge just how tightly crowdfunding is weaving itself into the fabric of our culture is the recent “America Strong” segment on ABC News with Diane Sawyer.

The segment featured Debbie Sterling, the fetching female engineer who raised almost $286,000 on Kickstarter for a toy designed to lure girls into male-dominated professions. But the Kickstarter campaign that bankrolled her creation, called GoldieBlox, barely got a mention. The reporter said only that “she took to the internet,” to raise the capital — assuming the audience would know what that meant.


Another way to know crowdfunding is gaining in popularity is when the entertainment industry comes calling.

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Productivity Tools for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

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Crowdfunding rewards the organized and the prepared. In order for you and your team — yes, you should have a team — to run your campaign like a well-oiled machine, you will want to take advantage of the newest online tools that boost communication, interaction and output.

These three productivity tools will take your campaign from pre- to post-launch — yes, you should still be communicating with your backers once you’ve got their money — with minimal effort and maximum effectiveness. They all take a highly social approach, too, which will also keep your posse feeling happy, connected and, well, productive.

Continue reading my weekly column on here.