€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

Putting Music in the Spotlight

Posted on Tuesday May 20th 2014

Album Artwork Mosaic

Here in Fund it towers we’ve spent the last couple of months burrowing away through data, to try and get a better insight into our fastest growing category… Music projects have been going from strength to strength, increasing by 40% in the last year alone and we want to share some of our findings with you. To do this, we’ve looked at all of the projects listed in the Music category; but music isn’t just about recording, so we’ve also looked at the music projects which crop up throughout the site, in almost every category, from gigs, festivals, videos, performances, art, books, fashion and technology. Since the first (Mr. Ebby Wires) successful music project happened on the site, music has become integral to the Fund it community. Music projects now make up over a third of all pledges on Fund it.

We know that pledges to music projects tend to be a little lower, and durations of music crowdfunding campaigns tend to be a little longer. A number of factors influence this. Notably, 60% of all recording projects on Fund it are for debut recordings, meaning a tendency to play it a little safer when crowdfunding. These types of projects reflect a younger audience demographic too. Notably, as 77% of those debut recording projects are successful, it shows that crowdfunding is a way for friends, family and fans to facilitate emerging artists to create the music they want to hear. But it is not just about the newbies though! More established artists using Fund it to record albums have seen almost a 100% success rate, showing that the direct-to-fan route can work at all points in your career.

An interesting pattern appears when we look at when Music projects are being funded. The autumn , particularly September and October are the quietest for music campaigns. December, March and July are the busiest!

As for where music projects are being successful, we see County Sligo punching above its weight, sitting in the top three counties – alongside Cork (second) and Dublin (first) – for amounts pledged to music projects. It’s clear that the musical routes are holding their own against population numbers, with Clare and Galway, which are steeped in music talent, coming in fourth and fifth on the list.

*Bonus *

We have been talking to several music project creators about their project progress, interaction with fans, and delivery of the rewards. Here’re some snippets of our interesting conversations. Want to know more? Click on this link to read the full blog post.

Julie Feeney: ‘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 works that I’ve been involved in.’

Mister Ebby: ‘The most fun reward was the backing vocal bit… the small crew of people who came along had a blast… we ended up sampling the two kids chatting.’

Aoife Scott: ‘Knowing that people believe in you is just an incredible feeling I would definitely consider crowd funding again.’

Chequerboard: ‘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.’

- Research and writing by: Effy Yifei Yu

Calling All Designers, Crafters, and Makers…

Posted on Wednesday May 14th 2014

                            MAKE IT logo

Here at Fund it we believe in great design, which is why we’ve teamed up with House and Home and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) to celebrate just that.  We want to help you bring that ideal product to market, and shine a light on beautiful design in the everyday.

If you’re a fan of excellent design for the home, you’ve experienced the ‘Aha!’ moment. It’s that little glimpse of joy you feel when you handle a product that makes a task you thought was already simple, even simpler. Either that, or it’s just too beautiful for words. It’s a product that shows the possibilities of good design and craft, proving that both are for everyone and that somehow, they just make life better. Within minutes, it’s in your shopping basket.

The House and Home MAKE IT Awards 2014 in association with DCCoI and Fundit.ie, is on the hunt to find just such a product. Not only that, but we have combined our industry expertise to help get the winning product to market. This is an open call to professionals, graduates and students in the Irish craft and design industry.

Have you got what it takes to
MAKE IT?

Click HERE for entry form!

AWARDS & PRIZES

OVERALL MAKE IT AWARD
(Sponsored by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland)
For a product that boasts intelligent design which combines form and function, innovative use of process and materials, commercial viability and addresses a gap in the market.

• €2,000 cash
• 5 one-to-one mentoring sessions with experts from the DCCoI design & mentoring panel
• 2 one-to-one mentoring sessions with Fund it on creating a crowdfunding campaign on Fundit.ie
• A photoshoot & feature profile in House and Home Magazine

THE MAKE IT: SMART DESIGN AWARD
(Sponsored by Fund it)
For a product created using new digital technologies i.e; 3D printing/laser cutting/etching/CNC milling and/ or other digital fabrication technologies.

• 2 one-to-one mentoring sessions with Fund it on creating a crowdfunding campaign on Fundit.ie, along with on going support throughout the campaign
• An opening pledge of €300 to get the campaign started from Fund it
• Profile in House and Home magazine

THE MAKE IT: READERSʼ CHOICE AWARD
(Sponsored by House and Home Magazine)
Voted for by the readers of House and Home magazine

• 2 one-to-one mentoring sessions with Fund it on creating a crowdfunding campaign on Fundit.ie
• Profile in House and Home magazine

* Winners may be eligible to win more than one category

We’re 3 Today!

Posted on Saturday March 22nd 2014

fundit3rdbirthday600px

We are out of the terrible twos!!! To all of you who make creative projects from Ireland happen, we want to say a huge THANK YOU for three fantastic years. Here’s to many more!

To help us celebrate, The Project Twins, who have been both Project Creators and Funders on the site, have made this fun and informative illustrated response to what’s happened in those 3 years. It shows just some of the amazing things that can happen when people come together and crowdfund.

And just in case you missed it earlier… THANK YOU from everyone at Fund it!

Development Update – Pagination

Posted on Thursday March 20th 2014

We realise we should be sharing some of the changes we’ve been busily and quietly making to the site, so that you can get a picture of what we are doing under the hood… Sure better late than never!

You might notice Fund it looking a little different from today, and performing a lot faster when you browse the site. That’s because we’ve introduced ‘Pagination’.

What’s ‘pagination’ when it’s at home?

When you browse through our categories or use the search function, the site will now show only 10 projects per page. At the bottom of the 10 projects will be these nifty buttons for getting you to the next 10 projects, and so on…

Pagination buttons

And Why?

It makes the time it takes to load pages lightning-fast! And it makes it easier to get around and search or browse through the hundreds of projects which have been live on the site over the last three years.

Projects will still be listed with the latest projects uploaded to the site showing first.

That’s it. Simple!

Getting a Head Start on your Crowdfunding Plans

Posted on Wednesday February 12th 2014

Running Fund it

Yikes! It’s started snowing. There we were thinking about summer… and what’s our favourite thing about summer…? All those great gigs and festivals  of course!

With your sofa floating out the door, and your hands frozen in their sodden gloves, what better time to think about those warm sunny days of music, theatre, street performance, dance, comedy and maybe a few drinks post performance(!)

Programmes are already filling up and performers will need to get their acts together (literally). So don’t leave it to the last minute to figure out how you’re going to pay for it all. Get ahead of the crowd and start planning your fundraising now. We’ve prepared a quick check list to make sure you have everything in order well in advance before the hazy days start melting away, and you’re panicking a week before the show without two cents to rub together…

Plan Your Budget: Rather than leaving crowdfunding until the end to try and make up the shortfall, plan it into your budget from the beginning.

Rewards You’d Want: Give as you would like to receive. A thank you is great, but it should be expected no matter how much/little people spend. Rewards that offer real value (whether that’s monetary or experiential) will entice funders to spend more money, making your job easier. Bring your funders along for the ride and offer them a piece of the action.

Venue Capacity: Think about capacity of the venue you are using when offering tickets and limit your rewards to ensure you don’t over commit.

Double-Up: People usually like to go to shows in pairs or groups. Why not offer a reward that offers two of everything? You could even make it better value to buy more, meaning you reach your target quicker.

Strike a Deal: Speak to the festival representatives to see what collaboration they can offer. Whether it’s tickets, merchandise or just support, they’ll be much more receptive if you’re the first person to ask.

Reward Delivery: Make sure you have enough time after your project finishes on the site to deliver your rewards. You don’t want to be sorting through this kind of admin three days before showtime! Get in early and give yourself plenty of time. You and your funders will be very glad you did.

Art and AV: You don’t have to wait until your promotional pics are taken and you have show footage to put in your video. The best images and videos are ones that are specific to your Fund it campaign. They catch the eye, make people know you’ve really thought about your funders, and engage the viewer with simple information and a sense of why this project matters.

Remember, you should ideally submit your project at least 3 months before your show/event date, so plan your submission now, what with early birds catching the worms and all that!

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald.

Here We Go Again! Running Your Second Campaign

Posted on Tuesday January 21st 2014

PB5; Cycling in Dublin 2013; The Scarlet Letter

A new year, new ideas, and you can’t help but get excited by the possibilities the year ahead holds. Having used crowdfunding in the past to get your creative dreams moving you are now in full flight towards your next project. So if you want to use Fund it for your second, third, fourth (you get it!) project, here’s some vital things to keep in mind:

(Newbies, listen up too!)

Get Organised
When preparing for your Fund it campaign, the most important thing is to get organised. Just because you’ve done it before, don’t get lazy with this stage and think it’ll all just fall into place. Having a clear plan in mind before the project goes live on the site will help ensure the campaign runs smoothly and will minimise the amount of time spent on promotion when that all-important clock is ticking! See here for top tips.

Keep in touch with friends
Your connections, particularly previous funders, are the most important thing you have when running a crowdfunding campaign. You can’t underestimate the power of the following you have generated from your previous project so don’t lose sight of your social media and email contacts when you’re busy working on your creative project. People love to hear about what you’re up to… no need for trade secrets, but regular updates will keep your friends and fans engaged in your work.

Be more creative
When describing your project, use your creative flair and present it in the most unique way you can. Your work is unique, so why follow a template to describe it? Don’t just rehash the description from your previous campaign, people fund projects that feel like thought has been put into them and that stand out from the crowd.

Give more
Reward your funders. It is absolutely vital that the rewards from your previous project have all been delivered in a timely fashion. There’s no incentive to fund another project if people feel the previous one isn’t complete, or didn’t live up to expectations. Take the time to really think about what your funders would love. If something worked really well last time, try it again, but don’t trot out the same rewards that people already have. A really thoughtful gesture that has your personality stamped on it is worth its weight in gold. Just try it!

Do something that scares you
The wonderful world of acting aside, no one likes being on camera. But do something that scares you and connect with your funders on video, and it’s amazing what can happen. In just 30 seconds you can capture hearts and delight the masses by showing them the passion you have for your project. Who could resist wanting to be a part of the magic?

Express yourself
In everything you do, express yourself. From the title of your project to the wording of rewards, be yourself and you’re bound to stand out. Let loose your enthusiasm and it will be infectious.

For independent artists, and those wanting to step outside the box, crowdfunding is a great way to connect with fans and bring projects to the people who really want them.

- Images above: ‘PB5 and Grimoir‘, the third Fund it campaign for The Poetry Bus; ‘Cycling in Dublin Summer 2013‘, Cian Ginty’s second campaign; ‘The Scarlet Letter‘, the second campaign from Conflicted Theatre.

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald.