How to use Crowdfunding

It seems like a great way of getting significant funding for your project and, if you read the headlines, several people have had serious success.  

Some groups have such successful crowdfunding campaigns that they over fund!  Others reach dizzying numbers which are sometimes in the millions (and why they hit the headlines).  Star Citizen, a video game, is listed as the most well-funded crowdfunding project to date.  It isn’t really an art project but it does give some indication of what is possible.  They originally set their goal at $500,000 and actually raised an eye-watering $76,100,597 ! 

But not all of them are successful and it has a lot to do with how you put your funding campaign together and what you do with it once it is running.

Here at we have helped fund a few projects which have caught the eye of our editor.  These were small amounts: £10, 20 50 here and there and they won’t change the world, but that is the whole point of crowdfunding - lots of relatively small amounts from lots of relatively large numbers of people.

From our own experience we know that campaigns need to get their incentives right and make sure they have the correct ‘value’.

One project we helped fund was to raise money for the installation of work in a group show of 4 artists in London.  To Fill A Void took raised £435 from 27 backers.  In real terms, a tiny campaign but, they raised the money they needed which allowed the show to take place.  Interestingly their original goal was a modest (£250) so they over funded.

Like most of these campaigns, they offered incentives and, in this case, just one.  For a £10 pledge you would receive a limited edition print made especially for the exhibition.  That made it an easy choice for the funder - £10.00 for an original limited edition print is really reasonable and you also have the added knowledge that you helped artists do something they are passionate about.

Another we funded recently was for an arts festival in Lincoln.  They also offered a single incentive:  For a pledge of £5.00 you received - their thanks.

It seems they had originally started offering a much lower starting pledge of £1.00 but no one responded.  There appears to be a perceived value here and one Pound is just too low.

To be honest, had we not known some of the people involved with this project, we would not have funded it - that isn’t really an incentive.  We gave more that the requested £5.00 but that is just because we had an ‘emotional’ connection with the project and knew what it was about.


It seems that much of the success for these projects is making sure you connect with, or bring with you, an audience who will take part.  According to Fundable, 24-to-35 year olds are more likely to participate in crowdfunding campaigns and men are more likely to back a campaign than women.

So, before you select your crowdfunding platform and launch your campaign, take a look at these useful expert views “5 experienced crowdfunders share their best campaign advice” over on for tips on what to look out for, and how to maximise, your project.

For some of the more popular crowdfunding sites, take a look at other articles in our Funding section.

  • Published in Funding

Gjetting Creative

No - it isn't a 'typo'  - Gjetting Creative is a site founded by creative director Jon Angelo Gjetting, based in Denmark.

It's main subheading is "Inspire, develop & celebrate creativity" and it does that from a professional standpoint.  There is a wealth of inform action here which will have particular resonance with people starting their own creative activities, the creative entrepreneur, the culturally creative and artists (of all persuasions) who can gather advice from a broad range of postings.

The site specifically segments items into The Business and The Science of Creativity - which is a curious 'take' and throws up some stimulating observations.  You will also find items on 'The Creative Life" - which, unlike some of the less successful sites online - it includes information which might just act as a stimulant for your own ideas.

This isn't your normal 'Art/creativity' site and is valuable because of its slightly 'different' view of what creativity might be.  Beautifully designed, lots of white (we like white!), clearly presented and well written.  Bookmark it for a 'distracting dip' when you need 'another view'.  We do!!



creative, visual culture, science, support

Artist Funding to See 2015 Venice Biennale

Now in its second year a-n The Artists Information Company will be supporting artists to attend the preview of the Venice Biennale. There is a VERY short deadline ( 25th February ) and this is only open to a-n members, but is well worth a look.   Almost worth becoming a member just for the opportunity to be in with a chance - a-n also offers some exceptional advice and information for artists so is well worth the membership anyway.

The artists bursaries are for a £400 contribute towards the costs of attending the 56th Venice Biennale, including the preview period of 6-8 May 2015.  The bursaries are exclusively for emerging to mid-career practitioners who hold an a-n Artist membership.

More details at:

  • Published in News


Crowdfunder is based in the UK.  In 2012 it merged with and describes itself as the UK's leading reward-based crowdfunding platform.

They raise 40k in just six days, have helped the youngest crowdfunder ever, at only seven years old, raise money for his cookery book and got more than 5000 children planting trees in their schools with Fruitshare.

With Crowdfunder, like most of the other providers in this field, you select a target amount to raise and, a deadline.  Pitches for funding projects are split into two distinct sections; the target amount needed and rewards which are offered to potential funders to entice them to take part.  They give you advice about what to offer for different amounts related to the type of project you are trying to fundIf the project reaches its target, it becomes the responsibility of the project organiser to make sure all rewards are distributed to funders.


Crowdfunder -  5% + VAT (6%)

Payment processing - 1.9% + £0.20 per pledge (the backer pays that)

GoCardless charge 0.5% on all the amount raised with GoCardless (the project owner pays this)


If you want to fund one of the projects you find on Crowdfunder, you register for free, open an account and deposit funds into it using PayPal or a major credit card.  Support can then be given to any number of projects on the site.  Their average pledge is around £50.00.

The site is open to a wide variety of different projects ranging from creative to business.

  • Published in Funding


Started in 2008, IndieGoGo is a US-based crowd funding service for creative, charity or entrepreneurial projects which want to raise money to realise their ideas.  What is different about this one, compared to some of the other online services, is that if you don’t reach your intended funding goal, you still get to keep whatever funds have been pledged.

We first became aware of IndieGoGo via a post on twitter from UK filmmaker Jeanie Finlay who was using it to try and raise $5,000, to fund the post production of ‘Sound it Out’, a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, UK.

She already used IndieGoGo to fund the original film shoot and then used it again to complete the post production.  

Interestingly, the film was commissioned by SideShow, an artist-run series of exhibitions and events in connection with the British Art Show 7, which took place in Nottingham, UK in 2010.

Funding on IndieGoGo works by offering VIP perks for various amounts of support.  You could, for example, support ‘Sound it Out’ with as little as $5.00 and get  “our love forever and the warm glow that you have supported an INDEPENDENT FILM about a unique shop.”  For $10 you would have received an “Official Thank You” on the film’s website, Twitter and Facebook.  If you gave $25.00, you received “A mystery vinyl 7” record (on completion of film), special Sound It Out badge and stickers plus an online thank you on the film’s website / Twitter / Facebook.”

You could even go up to a donation of $2,000.00 which makes you an associate producer with credit on the film, tour of the shop, private screening, signed copy of the DVD and a mystery vinyl.  Interestingly, a US soldier, serving in Iraq, who is a music fan keen to be involved with film, found out about the project via a facebook page and made a single donation of $2,000.00

Any incentives offered are decided by the project organiser and clearly give visitors a ‘push’ to hand over their support and all-important cash.


If you reach your target

Indiegogo - 4%

Payment processing - 3-5%

Fund transfer fee from US to outside the US - $25.00

If you don't reach your target

Indiegogo - 9%

Payment processing - 3-5%

Fund transfer fee from US to outside the US - $25.00

So you will receive whatever you raised less the fees.


IndieGoGo has members in 224 countries and you can post a project for funding from any country, as long as you have a bank account.  They have around 15 million visitors a month so you get exposure for your project.

  • Published in Funding


People always need a hand and is no exception. So, we asked people we really wanted to work with to act as our advisors.  All of them have supported creative activity; some by buying or showing art, others by teaching, mentoring or simply being remarkable artists and designers. Here they are, brilliantly knowledgeable in an eclectic mix of disciplines and fields. They keep us relevant and useful (we hope).

They have been asked to do three things: 1. Shout when we do something stupid, 2. Point when they find something interesting and 3. Revel in the knowledge that they are part of a project which wants to be nice to artists.

Andrew Pepper   Nottingham
Andrew Pepper is the founding editor of His work with projected light, installation and holography has been shown in exhibitions world-wide. He is a senior lecturer in fine art, has contributed to several professional practice modules at UK universities, directed two international art funding organisations and has lectured at art colleges in the UK, USA, Norway and Germany.


Jonathan Ross is a collector and director of Gallery 286, London. He has built the largest collection of creative and display holography in Europe and has curated several exhibitions in the UK and USA. His gallery regularly shows pieces from his collection as well as artists working with new media, paint, sculpture, kinetic art and photography.
S Mark Gubb is an artist based in Cardiff and is represented by the Ceri Hand Gallery in Liverpool. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, is a visiting lecturer in Fine Art and an advisor to a number of UK art directories and projects, including the steering group that established a-n's Networking Artists' Networks project (NAN). He works across a range of media incorporating sculpture, video, sound, installation, print and performance.

Sarah McNicol is the founder of Internet Guru Ltd a start-up  tech company concieved to deliver new types of learning products. previously Sarah was Head of Antenna, a digital media centre dedicated to supporting new and established creative individuals and companies.  Before that she was the Hive operations manager at Nottingham Trent University and co-wrote the very successful HiveStart to... course for final year students, across the University.  She also ran her own architectural glass company for 17 years.  If anyone knows how to encourage ‘creatives’ - Sarah does.

Tracy Cordingley is a product designer and senior lecturer at the Nottingham Trent University.  She has worked across a wealth of different design disciplines from furniture and product design to new media and graphics. Her main interests lie in the changing inter-disciplinary boundaries of the product design discipline and the effects this is having on traditional working methods, relationships and practice models.
Arthur Brown is a graphic designer and was managing director of the Cooling Brown Partnership, which has been responsible for some of the most successful illustrated reference books published in recent years.  As the senior creative director of the partnership, Arthur oversaw the design and layout of their projects and has worked with publishers in the UK, Australia and USA. 
Phillis is our newsletter robot and keeps us advised about all things e-mail. She can even tell who bothered to open our messages - all very Big Brother.  She is silicone-based, has a 200MHz processor and is ICANN compliant, which means she will always unsubscribe you if you ever want to leave the mailing list. If you have not done so already, subscribe now, so that she can send you a welcome message.


Margaret Benyon is a pioneer in art and technology, having studied as a painter at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and then moving on to work with lasers and holography.  She was awarded an MBE by the Queen for her contribution to the arts in the UK. She now lives in Sydney, where she worked as an Honorary Professorial Visiting Fellow at the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales for three years.
Peter Schulberg is director of the Eco-LogicalART Gallery, which has made a name for itself reclaiming the massive vinyl movie billboards which Hollywood sends off to landfill and encouraging artists to work over them to produce new work. The gallery regularly showcases these massive works on the billboard above the gallery which is seen by over a million people each month as they drive past the site on Pico Boulevard.
  New York
Arthur Fornari is an artist and arts consultant based in Brooklyn. His autobiographic works have been exhibited in key exhibitions in the USA and Europe. He directed New York’s Museum of Holography public programmes, has contributed to services at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and knows a great deal about 'presentation' having spent a long career producing speaker support corporate presentations.
    Hong Kong
Sydney Dinsmore is an artist and curator.  Her work with Melissa Crenshaw has been shown internationally and she directed Toronto’s Interference Gallery for several years. She curated numerous exhibitions at Interference, as well as a number of key survey exhibitions in Canada and America.
  Osnabrück, Germany
Helen Koriath is an art historian, writer, curator, professor of art history at the University of Osnabrück, specialising in contemporary and 20th-century art. She previously worked in the department of media arts at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and is now Dean at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover as well as professor for art history.
Janet Harling   Härnösand, Sweden
Janet Harling is an artist and educationalist.  She studied fine art at Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, and moved to Sweden, in the early 80's, to teach English. She lectures at the Mid Sweden University where she teaches teachers to teach art and is involved in a broad range of creative disciplines and educational techniques.
  Trivandrum, India and London, UK
Kaveh Bazargan is an optical physicist and director of River Valley Technologies based in London and Trivandrum, India. He may seem like a strange choice for involvement in an art project like this, but he has supported many social projects (such as his staff and families in India) and built a successful business using open source software, trust and a passion for being better than the 'big boys'.
  • Published in About Us
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