GoFundU LogoGoFundU

A 5-week intensive series aimed to walk businesses through major aspects of developing, launching, and benefiting from a crowdfunding effort for starting a business, growing a business, or creating resiliency during a challenging time.

GoFundU is meant for small businesses, or aspiring entrepreneurs and will cover five main topical areas. Individuals who attend the entirety of at least 3 of the 5 workshops may be eligible to receive up to 2 hours of one-on-one technical assistance in the development of their own crowdfunding plan (a $350 value) pending total participant numbers. This program is free to participate in thanks to the support of the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, and will be conducted in a hybrid format. Participants can attend in-person at the Berkshire Innovation Center (vaccine and mask required), or via simulcast on Zoom.

Registration is required. Questions and more info: economicdev@1berkshire.com

Session #1 – Introduction to Crowdfunding

What is crowdfunding anyway? What are the options in terms of platforms? Is it right for my business?

February 17th, 2022 | 5PM-7PM

Crowdfunding is an exciting way to engage your audience and fund a particular project, venture or opportunity. Join us to learn the basics of crowdfunding campaigns. This session will provide you a high level overview of what they are, how they operate, and the diversity of options that are out there for you and your business. Whether you are a new entrepreneur looking to start a business, or you’ve owned your business for 40 years and need to figure out some non-traditional financing to overcome challenges in the current economy, we will give you some critical information to help see how crowdfunding can be an option for you.

Session #2 – Developing the Value Proposition for Your Business and Your Contributors

Crowdfunding isn’t just about you getting money, it also provides a level of mutual benefit to your contributors.

February 24th, 2022 | 5PM-7PM

An effective crowdfunding campaign describes how campaign funds will be used to add value to your business, and how campaign backers will benefit from being involved. For some, this is the benefit of feeling good about what their dollars are helping to do. For others, the benefit comes from the tangible “thing” that they receive as a return on their contribution. This workshop will tackle both how to tell the story and emphasize the impact that their dollars are going to make, and to help you structure contributor awards and levels that will attract more contributions but not meaningfully diminish the funds you are raising.

Session #3 – Best Practices to Maximize Dollars and Impact

Building momentum for a successful campaign begins months before a campaign launches.

March 3rd, 2022 | 5PM-7PM

It isn’t just about the money, it’s about building a community, establishing a following, projecting an identity, creating a buzz, and sparking a movement. Learn about some of the best practices that you can put into place to not only maximize the number of dollars that you garner from your campaign, but also how you can maximize the impact of both the dollars and the peripheral benefits of the crowdfunding model. You may be surprised how valuable a failed crowdfunding campaign can be…

Session #4 – The Tax Benefits and Liabilities of Crowdfunding for your Business

How do crowdfunding contributions impact your taxes?

March 10th, 2022 | 5PM-7PM

Are there benefits to crowdfunding over other financial models when it comes to tax benefits? Join us as we discuss some of the important nuances of crowdfunding, how different crowdfunding tools might impact you in varied ways, and how you can prepare so you don’t set yourself up for unnecessary risk and tax implications when using crowdfunding.

Session #5 – Campaign Mapping and Getting Prepared

It’s time to get prepared and plan for your crowdfunding journey!

March 17th, 2022 | 5PM-7PM

With best practices, understanding of impact, and tools in hand, now we need to map out a campaign bound for success. In this last session we’ll pull the information and strategies of prior sessions together and look into building your timeline template so that you can chart your own productive crowdfunding campaign. It’s time to go fund you!

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