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I am an editor of a online journal that is meant to be a social hub for the secular humanist, atheists, brights, freethinkers, and alike in Israel. The site is in Hebrew, and we have a Facebook page with 1600 followers. We would like to take this site to the next level, hire a professional editor, and pay for the writers to motivate them to create high quality material for our site. We also intend to use the money to finance events for the community.

Normal costs for a part-time editor for a site of our type is around 3000 ILS a month ($850 USD), and a reasonable payment for an article would be around 500 ILS ($140 USD). So we would need a yearly budget of 50000 ILS ($14,000 USD) for our site if we want to hire professional staff.

Is there any benchmark number of people in such a community which is the minimum required for a successful crowdfunding campaign?

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Is there any benchmark number of people in such a community which is the minimum required for a successful crowdfunding campaign?

Some studies on crowdfunding:

After reading those papers I offer this advice:

You'll probably want to obtain more followers first. If you need ₪ 50000 (Israeli New Shekels) for the first year and each follower donates an equal amount (an unlikely example) that's only 31.25 each (U$8.51).

The current business model is that everyone gets something for free, while it's difficult to predict how many would want to pay if it's only 10% (which seems optimistic) then you want those donators to come up with ₪ 312.50 (U$85.10) each. Look at it from your own point of view: There's a great website somewhere, how would you feel about shelling out ₪ 400 (U$100)?

It is my opinion that you would want ten times as many followers. That gives you a larger network where the group has much greater access to more people whom might also be interested and reduces the investment (or more accurately donation, the giving away of money) by tenfold.

The less you ask for and the more you offer (at this unidentified website) the greater proportion of people whom would be willing to chip in, ask for a lot (and what you offer isn't clearly great) and the donors will drop considerably; requiring an even greater expectation of each interested person.

Many campaigns rely on the "angel in the cloud" where someone comes along at the last minute and makes a sizeable donation, pushing you over the top. Needing that from the start seems like a recipe for failure.

You can obtain more accurate statistics by polling your readership. Ask how much each is interested in donating, example amounts: 0, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, more. Once you establish the interest in paying and how much you might expect you'll have some numbers on which to base your decision to proceed with a crowdfunding campaign (you don't want a bumpy road or to lose inertia).

At the moment it would seem that the readership, or more precisely membership (you don't know the engagement level) of 1600 people is too low for the amount of funding you feel that you require to get the ball rolling. Perhaps encouraging qualified authors to write for the exposure that they would receive (rather than financial rewards) might be the route to go, to improve your site and increase the readership.

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