It’s All or Nothing with us…

Posted on Tuesday April 14th 2015

mountain summit

Crowdfunding is the financing model of the people, of communities. But every crowdfunding platform has different terms and conditions and works a bit differently from the others.  It’s important to be clear on what works for you, so you choose the right one to fundraise for your project. Carefully think through all the implications before deciding.

Here’s some reasons why we champion All-or-Nothing fundraising, and why we’re not convinced that Flexible Funding is good for creative projects…

What’s the difference between all-or-nothing and flexible funding?

Fund it operates an All-or-Nothing policy – if you don’t raise 100% of your target in the time you have selected, then we take no money from your pledgors, and you don’t receive any funds.

This is a really GOOD thing. Seriously. It protects you and your idea. And, it protects your fans.

Consider the alternative.

Some crowdfunding platforms have begun to provide Flexible Funding, where the money is taken from your pledgers straight away. After the (much higher) charge per pledge, the project creator receives any money pledged to their project, irrespective of whether they’ve raised what they needed OR whether it’s enough to deliver the rewards they’ve promised their funders.

But I just need some money, so how would that be bad?

Say you’ve worked out that you need to raise €5,000 to record and duplicate your debut CD. If (using Flexible Funding) you raise €800 from 40 people giving €20 each to receive a copy of the CD – once your campaign finishes, you’ve now got a big problem. How will you fulfill those rewards? Will you have to borrow €4,200 from somewhere? How will you pay that AND the interest back? Or will you cut back on everything, make 40 copies of something inferior to what you’d hoped for, which leaves you artistically compromised and reputationally at risk because your fans were expecting much more?

Does this change fans’ behaviour then?

We’ve seen that only a very small number of Irish projects are proving successful on Flexible Funding sites, and raising the full amount that they need.

We’ve seen evidence too that audiences are holding back from pledging support, as they don’t want to be part of something that only a handful of people end up supporting.  As a funder, there is more incentive to pledge to a project when you are guaranteed only to be charged if the project creator will have the means to deliver their creation and your rewards.

This simply doesn’t happen with all-or-nothing funding, as everyone is part of a project succeeding, but is protected if it doesn’t hit its target. And you are risk free as you don’t have to deliver your rewards unless you raise everything you need to do so.

What does choosing Flexible Funding say about you, and your creative dreams?

The target chosen by a project creator represents the minimum amount they need to pull the project off and create their rewards successfully. By selecting to Flexibly Fund a project – what you’re communicating to your fans is that you don’t REALLY need that amount. That you’ll be happy to take anything. That your target is ‘best-case-scenario’. That’s not very compelling, is it? Where’s the ticking clock, the race to the deadline? Why would people jump on board and push the project to their network to help you get over the line in time – when really, there is no line?

As a project creator, by declaring your willingness to accept any funds, it undermines your credibility, your belief in your ability to achieve your goal and deliver the project you truly wish to achieve.

The psychology of targets encourages funders to rally around to help you reach your goal. If there is no consequence to falling short, there is much less drive to bring you over the line.

Still want to see the hard evidence?

Fund it’s success rate has always been above 72% – nearly 3 out of every 4 projects that go live are successful. We’ve seen of late that over on the flexible funding sites, as few as 1 in 10 projects is making anywhere close to its funding goal. That’s devastating, and it’s easily avoidable.

That’s why we think flexible funding is a bad deal for creativity. We hope you agree.

Fund it Turns 4!

Posted on Monday March 23rd 2015

Can you believe it?! It feels like only yesterday we were just a little nipper, and now here we are, four years old, and starting school!  Well kind of… We celebrated the end of our 4th year by getting out to meet so many of you around the country in our Crowdfunding Clinic Series, thanks to huge support from theIrish Music Rights Organisation. And we had so much fun doing it, thanks for joining us!

We’re looking forward to seeing what you have in store for Fund it in the year to come, but let’s take a minute to celebrate all the amazing things you’ve been up to so far!

FUND_ILL_FACES_1     FUND_ILL_MONEY     FUND_ILL_NETWORK      FUND_ILL_FACES_2 

Over 56,000 of you have pledged more than €3,169,800 to 1,081 projects. That’s an average pledge of €56!

Pie Chart     Target         FUND_ILL_IRELAND           Globe

So, with a 72% success rate, over €2,797,700 was raised by successful Irish creators from 60 countries worldwide.

THANK YOU!

Get the low-down on Crowdfunding

Posted on Friday January 23rd 2015

From Us to U

Fund it are holding a series of free introductory Crowdfunding workshops in Sligo, Cork and Dublin early this year. Our expert team of Fund it Moderators will be joined by experienced Creators to show you how you can tap into your network to bring your creative dreams alive!

Is it for me?
This is an introductory workshop for people with dreams who want to learn how to crowdfund them into reality.

What will I learn?
This workshop will cover the 4 phases of a crowdfunding campaign:
Phase 1 – Prepare Yourself
Phase 2 – Prepare your Project
Phase 3 – Running the Campaign
Phase 4 – Completion

When and Where?
Monday, March 2nd at 11.30am:
The Hawk’s Well Theatre, Temple St. Sligo. Map
Friday, March 13th at 2pm:
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Sharmann Crawford Street, Cork. Map
Thursday, March 19th at 5pm:
Irish Music Rights Organisation, Pembroke Row, Dublin 2. Map

Sign me up!
To book a place on one of the workshops, please email with your name and date/venue of choice.

We look forward to seeing you there!

We are delighted and proud to say that this series of workshops is generously supported by IMRO

IMRO-card logo.epsWhite Why Music Matters Irish Supporter Badge

Take A Bite Out of SMÖRGASBOARD

Posted on Friday January 9th 2015

_MG_8189

We spoke to Richard, one of the creators behind the increasingly popular SMÖRGASBOARD board game, to find out more about their journey after crowdfunding.

SMÖRGASBOARD – a board game for foodies launched on Fund it in June 2012, at a time when access to finance through traditional routes was virtually non-existent for small start-up companies. While researching the game and the market, industry experts all told them that SMÖRGASBOARD was too niche, that it could never work… But Richard and Maggie spent a long time developing the game and were convinced of its potential, they just had to figure out how to roll a six and get straight to GO. For them, crowdfunding was a new and exciting opportunity.

Not only was crowdfunding through Fund it a way to get the money they needed, but more importantly, it was a chance to test the water. By ensuring a certain number of games were already pre-sold before committing to go into production, it took a lot of the risk out of the venture. They could also communicate with funders throughout the campaign and get valuable feedback. This also offered the opportunity to share their story, for funders to become part of the family, and ultimately have a really strong connection with the finished game.

Their Fund it campaign didn’t just connect with individuals, it was an opening and a talking point for approaching prospective clients before production even began… Like when they went on a trip to Ballymaloe with a prototype under their arm. Darina Allen herself couldn’t help fall in love with Richard and Maggie’s story and agreed to stock the game then and there!

The relationship with retailers wasn’t always as easy to manage, however. Crowdfunding is not the usual way of doing business, so the process had to be explained and expectations on delivery times had to be managed. But it gave Richard and Maggie the opportunity to tell the story behind the game and create stronger bonds for long-term business. They generated between 20-30 stockists before their Fund it campaign ended, and with all of those early retailers still renewing orders, it was definitely worth it!

So where has their crowdfunding journey brought them? SMÖRGASBOARD formed a Ltd. Company last year and is now a profitable business for Richard and Maggie. They are also spreading their wings and you may just find SMÖRGASBOARD in a well known multiple in the UK soon! SMÖRGASBOARD – a board game for foodies was an early project on Fund it, when crowdfunding was brand new to these shores, so Richard and Maggie are considered pioneers by their peers. They have been able to impart their experience and their knowledge to others who wish to crowdfund board games, and would advise anyone to consider crowdfunding for their project.

_MG_8229

Here’s some tips from these pros:
~ Don’t underestimate how much time the campaign will demand – it needs to be a full-time job for those few weeks.
~ Use all the social media channels you have, including multiple accounts on the same platform.
~ Use as many media contacts as you can find – Radio gave them huge exposure, with pledges going through the roof after interviews and mentions!
~ Plan!
~ Keep the campaign short and keep feeding news and ideas out throughout.
~ If you’re funding for a product (rather than an event), have a launch night for all your funders – They can meet you and find out more about your product and in turn they’ll be the best advocates you could hope for. Funders of SMÖRGASBOARD still drop them a note to say ‘hi’ now and then.

Thanks so much to Richard, Maggie, and their son Tom and daughter Rose (the team’s trusty quality controllers!), for sharing their dreams, their business and their story with us.
Want your own copy of the game? Hop on board here!

So Here It Is… Some Moments We Shared In 2014

Posted on Monday December 22nd 2014

Crowdfunding is truly about sharing. Sharing the passion, the journey, the means, the art and the experiences. So we wanted to bring together some of these great moments and stories that we shared with you all in 2014.

Projects We Funded: A small taste of the projects that excited the team here in Fund it Towers:

In Ulysses Proteus Part 1Karen Egan's New album!To SpaceThe Chocolate Fairy Goes to the MarketMy First Book of Irish AnimalsLotos Eaters

Projects you funded: The projects with the most funders in 2014:

AtlanticThe Calvinists Debut Album King of LiesDrop Everything 2014Songs from the Lough Swilly DeltaiD by Blue Teapot Theatre CompanyNew Street Gardens Project

Projects most funded: The projects with the most amount pledged in 2014:

AtlanticOut Of Thin AirGIY's Grow HQ Atlantic: €32,079                          Out of Thin Air: €21,787              GIY’s Grow HQ: €21,564               Drop Everything 2014Daddy PigiD by Blue Teapot Theatre Company Drop Everything: €18,442          Daddy Pig: €12,515                    iD by Blue Teapot: €12,420

Share your story:
What better time than the brink of a new year to start putting those dreams into action?! At this time of festive joy and socialising, take inspiration from all that giving and sharing, and start your project today… after all, there’s no time like the present! (Pun intended, sorry). And if you need a little help, have a look here and maybe take a leaf from the books of some of these beautiful projects:

Ormindo by RIAM OperaFoxglove Album FunditThe Baltimore Watlz

Looking forward to the year ahead:
2015 promises to be an exciting year with the year of Irish Design 2015 and Yeats 2015 celebrations. If you have a project in these programmes, Fund it would love to hear from you.

We hope you have a very happy and inspiring Christmas and holiday season, from all of us here at Fund it!
*Andrew, Claire, Rowena, Margarita and Camille*

Get the low-down on Crowdfunding

Posted on Monday December 1st 2014

From Us to U

Fund it will hold a series of free introductory Crowdfunding workshops in Dublin, Cork and Sligo in the new year. Our expert team of Fund it Moderators will be joined by experienced Creators to show you how you can tap into your network to bring your creative dreams alive!

Is it for me?
This is an introductory workshop for people with dreams who want to learn how to crowdfund them into reality.

What will I learn?
This workshop will cover the 4 phases of a crowdfunding campaign:
Phase 1 – Prepare Yourself
Phase 2 – Prepare your Project
Phase 3 – Running the Campaign
Phase 4 – Completion

When and Where?
The first of the workshops will take place at 5pm on January 13th 2015 in The Liquor Rooms:
7 Wellington Quay
Dublin 2
(downstairs in The Clarence Hotel)

Sign me up!
To book a place on the workshop, please email with your name and artistic area of interest (e.g. film, music, design, etc).

We look forward to seeing you there and watch this space for details on more workshops in the series in the coming months!

We are delighted and proud to say that this series of workshops is generously supported by IMRO

IMRO-card logo.epsWhite Why Music Matters Irish Supporter Badge

 

€3 Million Pledged!

Posted on Monday October 20th 2014

It’s another momentous day here in Fund it Towers, as the counter has just clocked €3,000,000 in pledges! We have just two words…. WOO HOO!

It’s been so exciting to see things develop on Fund it over the past 3.5 years, with Project Creators being more ambitious and achieving higher targets all the time. Julie Feeney (who raised €23,045 for her album ‘Clocks’) held the record for highest amount raised for quite a while, but in the last few months alone we’ve seen three projects raise over €20,000 – Atlantic, Out of Thin Air and GIY’s Grow HQ – Atlantic is the current record holder on the site with €32,079 pledged. As artists and creatives become more familiar with what their network will get excited about, crowdfunding can represent a more reliable income stream. It’s great to see crowdfunding still accelerating – each million euro milestone was reached faster than the last, and we’re confident that will continue!

We had a little chat with one of our recent Project Creators to raise over €20,000, Daragh Muldowney, to get some insight into this growth in crowdfunding in Ireland. Daragh has had two projects on the site, ‘Jewellery Box – Ireland’s Hidden Jems‘, and ‘Out of Thin Air‘.

“With crowdfunding, creative projects that may otherwise have just remained an idea, now have a platform to raise funds. I’ve found crowdfunding creates a buzz and a desire from my audience to see the projects succeed, and people feel closer to the idea and a part of the creative process. My first Fund it project for a book and exhibition ‘Jewellery Box – Ireland’s Hidden Gems’ (€12,300 raised), was so well received the exhibition travelled from Dublin, on to New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Berlin and Dubai. Without Fund it there would have been no books – and the books that have been printed are works of art.”

Crowdfunding continues to grow as a source of income for creatives in Ireland. Having recently launched the 1,000th project on Fund it, it’s amazing to see a whopping 94% of those projects are still coming from first-time Project Creators. At the same time, a little over half (59%) of all pledges on Fund it come from first-time Funders, meaning there’s still strong growth in the number of people wanting to be crowdfunders; but it also shows the strength of the Fund it community and how willing Funders are to return again and again to keep supporting new projects.

So for the 53,000 pledges, from Funders both returning and new, we want to say a huge THANK YOU for €3,000,000 pledged. Here’s to the next 1,000 amazing and wonderful ideas, and the next €3 million pledged!!

The Final Countdown – The Last Few Days of Your Campaign

Posted on Friday August 1st 2014

Fund it Target Bar and 3 Days To Go

So here you are, only a few days left to your campaign, fingernails long bitten away, hair clutched firmly in your fingers, so close to the edge of your seat you’re about to fall off….

Don’t worry! It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings!

Many projects use the very last few days of a campaign to bring it over the line, and in some cases, even most of the way! You’ve done all the research, you’ve kept your social media updated and interesting, you’ve notified everyone and their Granny about your project, and made a really compelling case for support, so what’s left? We’ve put together a few tips for how to maximise those all-important last few days.

1. The Personal Touch

While your social media is still really important, you should put most of your efforts into one-to-one contacts from now on. Focus on the few key people whose name you’re surprised still hasn’t appeared on the list, and contact them personally. Make an upbeat, personal appeal, and sell your rewards. Don’t beg, and don’t just ask for general support. Think of the reward that person would like, or the price-range you think they’d like to support at, and sell the relevant reward to them.

E.g. ” Hey Jim, how’s Molly? Just letting you know our Fund it campaign ends on Tuesday, and the limited edition print I’m offering in the €50 reward would look absolutely perfect in that little space beside the door in your hall, above the table with the picture of Billy on it. I’d hate if you missed the opportunity to get it!” (Ok maybe not, but you get the picture).

2. Don’t Beg

You’ve heard it at every turn, but now it’s more important than ever. It’s so very tempting to spiral into a frenzied panic and just plead for help, but no matter how much this project means to you, you’re only likely to put people off with that tone. Your social media should be full of reminders of why getting involved in this project will be the best thing people have ever done, and of the amazingness that your project will bring to the world once it’s complete. You should definitely remind people of the looming deadline, but tip: “Tick Tock, Tick Tock” is not an appropriate tweet – they’re not on the clock, you are.

3. Use Your Network Effectively

You should separate your contacts into those who have supported and those who haven’t. Check the list of those ‘who haven’t’ from your closest friends and family. If they’re on it, ask yourself why they haven’t pledged yet? Are they broke? Do they hate your work? Did you just tap them for money 3 months ago? If you can confidently answer no to all, then it’s just a matter of pinning them down. Those who can’t support can still help by spreading the news, so don’t write them off if they’ve told you “thanks, but no thanks” previously. Ensure when they’re helping you out that they get across the All-Or-Nothing nature and the project deadline.

4. The Large Investor

Depending on your target, you may have been hoping for a significant contribution from one or more funders. If you’re down to the wire and relying on this support, it’s time to pick up the phone. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary. You need to ensure the funder knows just how important their contribution is, and the nature of the deadline that’s looming. Even if you have a sponsor who has agreed to bring you over the line by making up any shortcomings, don’t wait until the last day. Let them know that by putting in their support before the end, it encourages others to do the same, and will therefore be worth much more than just the money they put in.

5. Media

It may seem late in the game for this, but if you have any media contacts – bloggers, radio DJs, journalists – who can do you a favour with a short turn around, it’s worth it for the final push. Any media coverage you may have had earlier in the campaign will have reached plenty of people who loved your idea but just never got around to funding. By hitting that audience again, you can remind them before it’s too late.

It’s in our nature to leave things to the last minute, so don’t despair if your friends and network are doing the same. The hardest part of crowdfunding isn’t convincing people to part with their money, it’s mobilising the crowd, so keep up the good work ’til the timer gets to 0!

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald

Three Years of Music On Fund it – The Stats

Posted on Wednesday May 21st 2014

As you can see from our previous posts here and here, we’ve been doing some digging around to find out more about music projects on Fund it. And since pictures tell a thousand words, we’ve put together this infographic to share some more of our findings with you:

Fund it Music infographic

– Research by: Effy Yifei Yu

What Do the Music Project Creators Say…

Posted on Tuesday May 20th 2014

As part of our research into music projects, we spoke to 5 Project Creators to follow up on the progress of their current work, and to find out about their interaction with fans through their Fund it campaigns.

Mister Ebby

Mister Ebby’s first album ‘Wired’ was the first ever successful music project on Fund it.

‘The Fund it campaign helped create a buzz around the first record and a lot of people were checking out the music when it launched and ended up buying. Fund it was a focal point for the album and also a talking point afterwards.’

Following the release of his latest single ‘The Bay’, Mister Ebby will be releasing his second album ‘For Night Skies’ soon, which will be a shorter album of a set of instrumental pieces for solo piano.

Delivering his project rewards, Mister Ebby had good fun involving his fans as backing vocals on the album.

‘I was worried that it would feel like I was wasting time in the studio. But in the end, the small crew of people who came along had a blast. They got a tour of the studio, got to hang out and have tea before singing vocals on two tracks. One of them had his wife and two kids with him, and we ended up sampling the two kids chatting and using tiny bits of that on another track also, which the Dad was very pleased about indeed. Of all the rewards that required close engagement, that one was the one that ended up being really rewarding on all sides.’

julie feeney

Julie Feeney’s campaign for her last album ‘Clocks’ is still the most successful music project on Fund it so far. And she certainly hasn’t stopped since then.

‘I have been busy performing around Ireland, while preparing for the New York tour this year, the upcoming show ‘Different Lights’ at Vicar Street in September, and my performance at Cork Opera House in October. I finished composing my first opera ‘Bird’, but decided to recompose more after its second developmental stage. And also I’m starting to write my 4th album now!’

In terms of her project rewards, Julie is currently scheduling to fulfil awards to 3 remaining funders to deliver two Skype concerts and an international album delivery.

‘I have been meeting my followers frequently at live shows after the campaign, and I’m so grateful that they are supportive of all the work that I’ve been involved in.’

pat coldrick

Pat Coldrick has nearly finished his new album ‘City Jam’.

‘Only waiting for the CDs to be manufactured now, and the album will, I’m 95% sure, be released by the end of June this year.’

Pat already had an established fan base before the Fund it campaign and has been continuously communicating with his fans online. He feels Fund it definitely helped enhance their connection.

‘As part of my project rewards, I’ve so far delivered a private gig at a funder’s wedding, and am still scheduling for the other private gig. Besides that, I will also hold a gig at a restaurant, whose owner has supported my album through Fund it.’

chequerboard

John Lambert, aka Chequerboard, received great success with his album ‘The Unfolding’ released last year.

‘The album garnered lots of great reviews for which I’m thrilled, and also some music synch opportunities came about which has been a big bonus. My plan now is to start writing a new album. It can be a big undertaking to put out a body of work, so I tend to hibernate for a while afterwards to regenerate, and let new ideas form.’

Chequerboard thinks that his Fund it campaign has certainly brought him closer to his fan base.

‘There is a lot of interaction involved with trying to rally people’s support and in getting the rewards to people afterwards, which gave me plenty of direct contact with my fans. I definitely feel more connected with them as a result. The most pleasurable and important aspect of the process was the confidence it gave me in going forward and putting the album out. It’s an enormous boost to know people believe in what you’re doing and it gives you a lot of energy and momentum that might be difficult to muster otherwise.’

aoife scott

Aoife Scott has been very busy since her Fund it campaign last year, as she got an opportunity to go on a tour immediately after the campaign, therefore her album production was slightly extended. However, she’s back with good news!

‘The album is coming along nicely! I’m finished with the other music project, and after a year of being influenced by other artists, I have reshaped my album to reflect who I am now. I’m currently preparing for studio next month and I can’t wait for this whole part of my album! It is due to release this autumn.’

As one of the emerging artists, Aoife also told us about how it felt to crowd fund for her debut album.

‘It was a little bit stressful! Putting your future in the hands of others is a scary thing to do! But having faith that it will work out is the best part of managing the campaign. Knowing that people believe in you is just an incredible feeling. I would definitely consider crowd funding again, but maybe for something completely different! It’s a great way to connect with people and I loved every part of it.’

If you want to read more about our research in music projects, please click on this link to the blog post.

- Written by: Effy Yifei Yu