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Old April 5 2014, 04:40 PM   #1
Loken
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Crowdfunding Best Practices

I think there needs to be a thread on best practices for crowdfunding as the number of Kickstarter and Indigogo campaigns starts picking up.

Here is what we have so far:

SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS

Star Trek Phase II Indigogo 10/26/2012 $ 7,705

Star Trek: Renegades Kickstarter 11/26/2012 $ 242,483

Star Trek: Renegades Indigogo 9/13/2013 $ 132,555

Star Trek: Continues Kickstarter 11/6/2013 $ 126,028

Star Trek: Axanar Kickstarter 3/31/2014 $ 101,171


FAILED CAMPAIGNS

Star Trek: Excalibur Indigogo 5/23/2012 $ 2,055
($ 75,000 goal)

Star Trek: Equinox Indigogo 3/03/2014 $ 256
($ 230,000 goal)

There are also small campaigns that were looking for $ 1,000 or so I am ignoring.


WHAT MAKES A GOOD CAMPAIGN?

So in preparing the Axanar Kickstarter I indentified a few things that made the Renegades Kickstarter successful.

1) Great Teaser/Trailer with known actors in familiar roles.

The teaser had Walter Koenig as Chekov and Tim Russ as Tuvok. Simple but established the legitimacy of the production.

2) Marketing

Articles in both geek and mainstream media is necessary. Renegades Facebook page was only at 13,000 Likes or so when they launched their second fundraiser. So having a huge presence isnt necessary (especially the way Facebook is making it harder to reach your fans).

3) Cast

Having a good cast adds legitimacy.

4) Good perks

People want stuff, so put a lot of thought into your perks.


Now, from the success of the Axanar Kickstarter, which did not have the benefit of a cool trailer, I would add the following:

1) Stretch Goals

Set stretch goals and have perks when you reach them.

2) Transparency of costs

We got SO MUCH positive feedback for letting everyone know the SPECIFICS of where our money was going. People loved that. Because donors are getting tired of black holes, where producers just raise money with no budget. And I don't blame them. People had confidence that we would use the money well, and we looked like pros. So even with no shot footage, we got $ 101,000.

3) Lots of Work

We had so much art prepared. Great VFX scenes from Tobias Richter, lots of concept art. You could look at our page and be blown away by our preperation. This is important. Show people what you are capable of.

4) Meaningful updates


Use the updates and give people good information, not meaningless fluff.


I hope this starts a meaningful conversation.

Alec

Last edited by Loken; April 5 2014 at 09:38 PM.
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Old April 5 2014, 06:33 PM   #2
USS Intrepid
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Equinox has also just cancelled a Kickstarter for (IIRC) $220,000, and are planning a third go with a target of $20,000 for a short of some kind.
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Old April 5 2014, 07:06 PM   #3
MikeH92467
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

I really think the big keys are making it clear where the money will go and spelling out the difference hitting the stretch goals will make. Certainly the perks are important for a lot of people, but I don't care what the perks are if I'm not convinced that the money isn't going where it should.
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Old April 5 2014, 07:10 PM   #4
GSchnitzer
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Loken wrote: View Post

The teaser had Walter Koenig as Chekov and Tim Russ as Sulu. Simple but established the legitimacy of the production.
I'm looking forward to seeing Russ's take on the role.
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Old April 5 2014, 09:03 PM   #5
Loken
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Please keep this thread on topic about Crowdfunding.

If you want to talk about the actors or CBS please do it elsewhere. This thread is for Best Practices of Crowdfunding. Something important to a lot of productions and in need of discussion.
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Old April 5 2014, 09:34 PM   #6
lurok
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

I think he was just pointing out it should be Tuvok instead of Sulu.

I thought the Horizons fundraising promo was impressive also, as tommy clearly outlined what they wanted to raise and specifically how it was going to be used.
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Old April 5 2014, 09:37 PM   #7
Loken
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

MikeH92467 wrote: View Post
I really think the big keys are making it clear where the money will go and spelling out the difference hitting the stretch goals will make. Certainly the perks are important for a lot of people, but I don't care what the perks are if I'm not convinced that the money isn't going where it should.

I agree 100% Mike. We did that exactly with Axanar, and in our updates, keep doing it. I have gotten so much positive feedback from donors about it. And we will be sending out our budget as well.

I think Renegades, which has raised $ 865 as of now, after almost 2 days of their THIRD fundraiser, is struggling. Their first raised $ 242,483, their second $ 132,555. Typically you are expected to finish a project that you run a campaign for on Kickstarter. I think going back to the well a third time is an issue for most donors since Renegades raised so much already.

And ultimately, it is the lack of transparency and accountability that is an issue I believe. And it is something that is becoming more and more of an issue for multiple Kickstarters.

Alec
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Old April 5 2014, 10:51 PM   #8
Loken
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

lurok wrote: View Post
I thought the Horizons fundraising promo was impressive also, as tommy clearly outlined what they wanted to raise and specifically how it was going to be used.
Yes, Tommy is very focused on doing it right. We spoke about his Kickstarter at length and I know I will be donating.

Alec
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Old April 5 2014, 10:54 PM   #9
Peach Wookiee
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

How is Facebook making it hard for people to reach their fans?
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Old April 6 2014, 02:36 AM   #10
Loken
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Peach Wookiee wrote: View Post
How is Facebook making it hard for people to reach their fans?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag

READ THIS:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/03/the-filtered-feed-problem/

Your facebook post only reaches about 6% of your "Likes".

This is all pretty well known if you do the research.

Alec
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Old April 6 2014, 03:39 AM   #11
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

a couple thoughts and an asterik.

- In choosing between KS and Indie....folks need to remember that "Kickstarter" states they are only to be used to fund "WHOLE" projects, not "pieces" of projects. So if you are established already and just need money for an episode, or for new costumes etc... you technically aren't qualified to run a Kickstarter and need to go with Indiegogo. (Though they haven't pulled any of the "disqualified" campaigns down yet. I think a bunch of someones need to complain loudly for it to happen, so you can take a chance and probably be fine. Technically, the "VFX Kickstarter" for Renegades, for example, violates their policies. But I don't see it coming down - they don't seem to care what their policies are.) Indie also has less fees and more "fine print bonuses." They have a lower public profile though.

- another key to running a successful CF is to keep meticulous business records of how the money is spent. This may seem like an "afterthought"...but if the IRS takes all your money in taxes, it's not really successful in the end. That DOES include sending W-2s and 1099s to people you pay. It also means proving any trips are business related...including call sheets for actors you fly in.

and the * - "Phase II" actually reached 200% of their goal in 10 days. (some of the donations were private.) So, short term campaigns for small goals are very feasible.
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Old April 6 2014, 05:00 AM   #12
T'Bonz
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Loken wrote: View Post
Please keep this thread on topic about Crowdfunding.

If you want to talk about the actors or CBS please do it elsewhere. This thread is for Best Practices of Crowdfunding. Something important to a lot of productions and in need of discussion.
I don't recollect hiring you as a mod.

Starting a thread does not give one ownership of said thread. IF there is a problem, the appointed mod will take care of it.

And Loken, stop butting heads with MY appointed mod or I'll boot your ass clean to Rura Penthe. I have been lurking in here (surprise! I sometimes lurk to get a feel for a forum) and I'm getting real tired of seeing that happen. It's not the first time, but it had best be the last time.

Don't bother emailing me either. Not interested in a discussion.
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Old April 6 2014, 01:51 PM   #13
Loken
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
I don't recollect hiring you as a mod.

Starting a thread does not give one ownership of said thread. IF there is a problem, the appointed mod will take care of it.

And Loken, stop butting heads with MY appointed mod or I'll boot your ass clean to Rura Penthe. I have been lurking in here (surprise! I sometimes lurk to get a feel for a forum) and I'm getting real tired of seeing that happen. It's not the first time, but it had best be the last time.

Don't bother emailing me either. Not interested in a discussion.
Oh so there is no need to keep thread's on topic? I seem to remember Greg saying it was. My apologies.
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Old April 7 2014, 07:10 AM   #14
Maurice
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

I believe T'bonz's point was that only mods get to tell memebrs to "stay on target", and that the rest of us aren't authorized to do so, let alone do it to a mod. I'm sure she'll correct me if I've misinterpreted.
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Old April 7 2014, 01:53 PM   #15
JarodRussell
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Re: Crowdfunding Best Practices

Aaaaaand the thread got derailed (by the green and yellow ones, which is ironic and funny).


I still don't see where the lack of transparency and accountability is supposed to be in the Renegades fundraisers. I think examples for those claims would be good and helpful.
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