Fund it in three-year partnership with Bank of Ireland to support the further development of Ireland’s leading creative crowdfunding platform

Posted on Monday September 28th 2015

Richard Andrew Michelle Dave Ailbhe BOI announce 1

Pictured at the announcement of Bank of Ireland’s three-year partnership with to support the further development of Ireland’s leading creative crowdfunding platform were Richard Kelly co-creator of the boardgame SMORGASBOARD; Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts & Co-Founder of Fund it; Michelle Darmody of Cake Café; Dave Tighe, Head of Innovation, Bank of Ireland; and Alibhe McDonagh, cellist with Trio Elatha. Richard, Michelle and Ailbhe have all successfully raised finance for their creative projects on

We’re delighted to announce we will be working with Bank of Ireland to further its support of Ireland’s entrepreneurs and creative sectors, which will in turn support vital ongoing development of was established in 2011 as Ireland’s first crowdfunding website for creative projects that, in its first four and a half years, has successfully hosted approximately 1,200 projects ranging across publishing, film, music, food, events, fashion, science, performance and more.

The investment from Bank of Ireland over the next three years will help us to:

• Invest in and develop the technology of the site, to future-proof for the changes that are taking place in the industry

• Continue to provide the hands-on moderation which has contributed to its success rate of 72% and higher

• Maintain the Irish owned and operated business model, ensuring knowledge, employment and financing remain in Ireland

• Continue to keep costs low for project creators and help support ongoing costs

• Expand the categories available for fundraising to include heritage, enterprise, community and social projects

• Expand its presence internationally and engage with new markets, leveraging the Bank of Ireland’s extensive network

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts and co-founder of said “Bank of Ireland was a founding patron ofBusiness to Arts 27 years ago and we are delighted that the company’s commitment remains strong as both our businesses have evolved. This three-year investment in Fund it will help us to develop the reach of the platform, leverage the assets we have and safeguard the future of a key funding tool for so many communities, artists, and projects in Ireland. We are really looking forward to working with the team in the Bank to support their work with the start-up and entrepreneur communities to create a crowdfunding opportunity to help develop talent in Ireland. The core concepts of crowdfunding are transparency and community engagement, so we’re delighted to be bringing in a new partner to Fund it that already know us well and believes in what we do, to help us support the growth and development of the site.”

David Tighe, Head of Innovation at Bank of Ireland, said “As a leading financial services company in Ireland, we are committed to supporting Ireland’s entrepreneurs and the wider communities we work in and we are looking forward to partnering with Fund it to support their ambitious growth plans. We have an extensive programme of activity ongoing to support entrepreneurs alongside the provision of finance including partnering with the Startup Gathering, a major new national initiative as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015. Taking place from 5-10 October 2015, the event will showcase our vibrant startup sector to an Irish and International audience with events taking place in five cities on the theme ‘Start, Scale, Succeed from Ireland’. Our partnership with Fund it is a significant addition to our ongoing support for startups.”

The partnership was announced today with support from entrepreneurs who have successfully funded projects in the past on the Fund it website, including

• Richard and Maggie Kelly, creators of the board game, SMORGASBOARD who raised €8,750 on the site from 113 people who supported the manufacture of their first games. SMORGASBOARD® is now on the shelves of over 80 stores nationwide including Avoca, Brown Thomas and Eason, and launched last month in 44 John Lewis stores throughout the UK. The game has now sold over 5,000 copies, manufactured at the Hasbro Ireland plant in Waterford.

• Ailbhe McDonagh, cellist with Trio Elatha who crowdfunded their debut album Trasnán on Fund it raising €2,595 from 47 fans. After the CD launch at the Sugar Club in Dublin and the subsequent launch tour of Ireland, it has received airplay on many Irish national radio stations. Trio Elatha, who comprise fiddle, cello and guitar, are going on tour in both Ireland and Switzerland in early 2016, and will use the CD to launch a U.S. tour in 2016/2017.

• Caroline Ryan and Jennifer Phelan, two of the artists who comprise Print Block textile print collective based in Dublin who raised €4,090 from 84 people. In June this year, Print Block Makes launched a range of five limited-edition hand screen-printed wool scarves available online and at Irish Design Shop in Dublin.

• Michelle Darmody of Cake Café raised €3,282 from 145 people who funded the design and first print run of The Cake Café Bake Book. Since the campaign, the book was picked up by Thames & Hudson who distributed it internationally, as far away as Australia. The book won an ICAD Award for its design by Niall Sweeney, and was featured at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival. It’s on its second print run.

We’re developing a critical path of developments which will roll out over the coming three years on

Our Top Picks for Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival 2015

Posted on Friday September 4th 2015

The Fund it community have been great friends and fans of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival since we launched four years ago. In that time €175,000 has been pledged to 59 Fringe projects! This year marks the 21st birthday of Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival, so for our top picks we’re turning it up to 11!

Oh! What A Lovely Rose!


Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 16 – 19

Remember to Breath


Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 7 – 12



Project Arts Centre, Sep 14 – 19

(Not) Belonging


Samuel Beckett Theatre, Sep 12 – 14

The Windstealers


Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 7 – 13



Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 15 – 19



Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 8 – 13

Harder Faster More


Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 9 – 13

It’s My Party Conference (and I’ll Cry if I Want To)


Smock Alley Theatre, Sep 14



Project Arts Centre, Sep 13 – 14

Stories Through Sound featuring Nina Perry, Crash Ensemble and Adrian Crowley

stories through sound

Spiegeltent in Wolftone Square, Sep 9

We’re extremely excited about this year’s festival and hope you get to see all these and lots more… Now get thee to a box office!

Fund it Turned 4

Posted on Friday June 26th 2015

We want to share this fab illustration that Project Creator and friend, Loreana Rushe, created to celebrate all the fantastic projects achieved through Fund it by our 4th birthday!


We want to say ‘THANK YOU!’ to 55,817 funders who pledged over €3 million to make 760 projects a reality in 4 years!

Hitting the Festival Stage

Posted on Wednesday June 17th 2015

Festival Flags

At this time of year things start heating up in Fund it Towers in preparation for our favourite activity – Summer Festivals! Although Ireland has more Festivals than you can shake a stick at covering every possible interest, unfortunately they don’t happen by magic. Huge amounts of hard work, creativity, genius, collaboration and funding go into every single one, and we’re delighted to be a small part of what makes so many events a reality.

So, if you’re taking to the Festival Stage this summer, here’s some advice for festival fundraising:

Timing Is Everything : The Performance category on Fund it has almost 20% more successful projects than any other category, and Festivals are a big part of that success. One of the best ways to make your project stand out in the crowd is simply to start your crowdfunding as early as possible.

Take the pressure off by being organised : Aside from allowing sufficient time for your project to be successfully funded – we recommend 3-5 weeks – you should definitely allow several weeks between the project ending and your Festival or performance dates. This gives you time to get all your rewards ready, round up your funders, and still have time for rehearsals!

Great visuals draw a crowd : You don’t have to wait until you have your official photography or footage of rehearsals before getting started. The best images and videos are specific to your Fund it project and show that you want to take your funders on this journey with you.

Park Festival

What people don’t even know that they want : Coming up with Rewards can be the hardest part of your project, but the earlier you start, the more creative you can be with developing really exciting rewards – things like inviting funders to sit-in on writing sessions; including a funder’s image in your props; bringing them in for brainstorming or movement workshops; using their name in a joke; inviting them to super-special exclusive parties; or any of the really creative things you want your friends and funders to be a part of!

We can help! Remember, our team of expert fundraisers are here to help you through the process before launching your project. So, get your submission in A.S.A.P. and make crowdfunding a fun part of the journey, not just a means to the (rapidly approaching) end!

Fund it Album Sales Make the Charts

Posted on Tuesday May 26th 2015

We’re celebrating the first two albums to have had Fund it rewards pre-sales counted in the Irish Album Charts!

Crowdfunding is always the very beginning of  a long and winding road for Project Creators, and we’ve been working with the Irish Recorded Music Association so we can continue supporting this journey for Irish musicians.  Talk to us to make sure you get your Fund it pre-sales counted!

Fight Like Apes, Fight Like Apes

fight like apes album

Fight Like Apes raised €20,687 from 501 funders, offering CD and download copies of their album in their rewards. The self-titled album was released on Friday, May 15th. If you weren’t one of the 501 funders, you can pick up your copy here:

Ríona Sally Hartman, Big Starving Thing

Big Sarving Thing album

Ríona Sally Hartman raised €2,415 from 62 funders for her debut album Big Starving Thing which was released last Monday, May 18th. Pick up a(nother) copy here:

Next stop, chart success! Keep bumping those numbers up folks, with Fight Like Apes already at No. 3, we want to see both of these in the top 10!

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!


Almost 56,000 of you have pledged more than €3,125,000 to 1,090 projects. That’s an average pledge of €56!

Pie Chart     Target         FUND_ILL_IRELAND           Globe

So, with a 72% success rate, over €2,900,362 was raised by successful Irish creators from 60 countries worldwide.


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


Posted on Friday January 9th 2015


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.


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*