5 COMMON SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION MISTAKES
Have you ever been so excited to go somewhere you haphazardly threw on an outfit only to realize later that your shirt definitely does not match your pants? Yeah — we’ve been there too. Coincidentally, we’ve witnessed a similar occurrence in the crowdfunding world with users who rush to publish their scholarships. While we may not be experts in fashion, we do know a little something about crowdfunding. In this post, we’ve rounded up the top seven scholarship application mistakes users commit – and how to avoid them – so you can create a solid scolarhsip and be on your way to success.
Let’s dive in!
#1: Rushing the Project Creation Process
Of all the scholarship application mistakes we’ve witnessed, rushing to publish a scholarship without taking time to plan it beforehand is the biggest. The pre-launch preparation time is essential to set realistic goals, create a well-developed scholarship description, as well as a clear call-to-action.
- Setting Unrealistic Goals
Setting a realistic financial target is tricky business. We’ve seen scholarship set high, unrealistic goals as well as projects with low, albeit more attainable goals when they could have aimed higher. Because the needs of each applicants are unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to determine an amount that’s right for you.Develop your Scholarship Description
Your Backers are the keys to your scholarship’s success so it’s important to develop your scholarship with them in mind. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how your scholarship is relevant to them and why they should support you. Pay attention to the way you structure your story so they can easily understand what you’re trying to accomplish. If your audience understands your objectives and the why behind your scholarship , they will support you.
- Create a clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
If focused too much on monetary goals, scholarship owners can fall short of communicating a clear CTA to their audience. A well developed CTA will inspire Backers into action. State how much money you want to raise and then ask your audience to donate.
#2: Not including a scholarship application video
This is another one of those big scholarship application mistakes you’ll want to avoid, and let’s face it – people are busy. A video is a great tool because it serves as a summary of your scholarship for those who don’t have time to read through your project. Videos are more persuasive than text, easy to share on digital platforms and can help you build credibility.
Your video should be short, concise, and with simple language that the general population can understand. An effective scholarship video also gives your application a personality and makes it more human. Many scholarship applicants underestimate the power of a human connection. People are more willing to support a scholarship when they feel they can relate to and trust the applicant. In the video, you should introduce yourself, your campaign, your objectives, and conclude with a clear CTA. A well thought out video will make it easier for you to attract more Backers.
#3: Not promoting your scholarship through social media
In the world of crowdfunding, no application ever promoted itself or became an overnight success. We’ve seen several great scholarship start off strong only to fizzle out by the end of the first week. Don’t let this happen to you! Like we said earlier – it’s important to plan your scholarship and this includes a promotion strategy. You’ll need to keep the momentum going to stay in the forefront of your Backer’s minds and to expand your campaign’s reach. Promoting through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube is one of the most effective ways to get noticed. Chances are, a majority of your Backers will be active on at least one of these channels. Take advantage of the power of your own social connections as well as the social connections of your Backers! If you’re not present and promoting on social media you’re missing out on opportunities to secure additional Backers.
#4: Not communicating with your audience
You are responsible for communicating with your audience throughout the duration of your campaign. People will naturally be curious about your project and will ask questions – don’t ignore them! These are potential Backers who are interested in your project and are likely trying to eliminate any doubts before donating. Likewise, if someone makes a donation, be sure to thank them immediately! Whether it’s privately or publicly on social networks, be sure to show your gratitude.
Moreover, After your scholarship has finished, don’t stop communicating with a Backer once they’ve made a donation to your campaign. This one of those crowdfunding mistakes that can be easily overlooked. Thank your Backers when they donate as well as at the end of your campaign as well, regardless if it was fully funded or not. You never know if you’ll need their support in again the future! You’ll also avoid appearing as though you’re only interested in their money. Who knows, a previously unknown Backer could open doors for new opportunities in the future or become a lifelong friend!
#5: Not updating Backers
Updates don’t have to be long or complex – a quick post, tweet or message regularly will keep your audience informed about your campaign’s progress and keep your momentum going. Don’t be afraid to get personal and address your audience directly! By doing so, you can keep your Backers engaged and address any questions or concerns immediately. When done properly, a motivated Backer may even surprise you by going above and beyond to ensure your scholarship’s success. The more you involve your Backers in your project, the more they’ll be willing to share it with their networks!
In the end, while the concept of crowdfunding is relatively straightforward, creating a successful scholarship application is a little less so. It requires time, planning, and consistent effort from the applicnat to achieve their goals. Before you jump in, you’ll want to take the time to define your goals and expectations. Once you have a clear idea of what these are, it’ll be easier to communicate your objectives to your Backers. Now that you know the most common crowdfunding mistakes users commit, you’ll be able to steer clear of them when creating your own scholarship. Ready to begin?