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 WeLikeArtists.com 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 mashable.com 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.