Crowdfunding Hints & Tips

Crowdfunding is increasingly popular among artists as a way of raising money by getting friends, family and contacts to co-invest in the development of your projects. It enables you to raise anything from a few hundred pounds upwards in a relatively short period of time (depending on how many friends you have and how generous they are!) Usually with crowdfunding you have to offer ‘rewards’ in exchange for investment, and these can be staggered according to how much money the individual invests so as to encourage people to consider giving higher amounts: for example, you might offer everybody who invests a credit in your publicity but offer different levels of thanks / visibility of credit for higher investors, a free programme to anybody who invests £10, a signed poster to anybody who invests £25, and a ‘meet the cast and team backstage’ event to anybody who invests £50. (See the links at the end for some examples.)

Most people have probably heard of Kickstarter but there are a range of other crowdfunding platforms on the internet which help create a professional-looking campaign, and collect the money on your behalf. You’re advised to do your research before going ahead as they tend to specialise in different sectors so not all of them will accept creative / artistic projects. In addition, different platforms apply different rules and take variable amounts of commission. For example, some only accept campaigns from organisations (not individuals), some ask you to set a deadline for raising your target, some won’t allow you to take the money unless you reach your stated target by the deadline.

There’s a general guide to sites here. (It’s sponsored by GoFundMe, so probably not impartial!)
crowdfunding.com/

According to this the ‘top three’ platforms for creative projects are:
1. GoFundMe
2. Kickstarter
3. IndieGoGo

It’s also worth looking at a platform called Patreon which supports an ongoing commitment from donors – essentially they become your patron.

Top tips for a successful campaign:
•    offer something concrete as a reward to investors
•    make the campaign relatively tight, time-wise (less than a month is good)
•    build support before you launch
•    look professional but friendly
•    set low goals

Links to more detailed advice:

Taking IndieGoGo as an example:

Search:
indiegogo.com/explore?filter_title=community+arts#/search

Successful:

Partially successful:

Before You Get Started:
support.indiegogo.com/hc/en-us/categories/200252377-Before-launching-a-campaign

Fees etc:
support.indiegogo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204456408-Fees-Pricing

Many thanks to Troop member Fay Roberts for her input into this article.