We’re 3 Today!

Posted on Saturday March 22nd 2014

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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.

Top 5 Projects of 2013

Posted on Monday December 30th 2013

2013 has been another great year here at Fund it with 209 projects successful on the site. Like any proud parent, we love all of our babies equally… but to finish the year, we thought we’d recap on the top 5 projects, which had 1,914 amazing funders from all over the globe and had over €93,000 pledged to them.

Drum roll please….

No. 5 ‘Our Union Only in Truth’ by Garrett Phelan & Temple Bar Gallery & Studios

In April, 114 people pledged €15,895 to create Garrett Phelan’s rooftop artwork ‘Our Union Only in Truth’ at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. The work has become a landmark here in our neighbourhood of Temple Bar.  templebargallery.com

No. 4Pat Coldrick’s Second Album ‘CityJam’

Earlier in December, 202 people pledged €16,590 to help classical guitarist Pat Coldrick create his second album. Having the support he needs, Pat plans to go into the studio in January and stay there until the album is released next summer! A treat we are sure will be worth waiting for. patcoldrick.com

No. 3The Joinery

In March, 520 people pledged €18,740 to support The Joinery and the delivery of its 2013 programme. After a wonderful year, the Joinery, their funders and audience are looking forward to an exciting year in 2014. The team are busy working on rewards, including the highlights of 2013 which should be with funders in a few months time. thejoinery.org

No. 2Fight Like Apes

In May, 501 people pledged €20,687.39 to get Fight Like Apes next album out in 2014. With the album now recorded, mixed and mastered, excited fans can expect the release very soon. If you can’t wait for it, you can get a little taste of what to expect here. fightlikeapesmusic.com

No. 1‘Granby Park’ by Upstart

In July, 577 people pledged €21,926.00 to Upstart to transform ‘Granby Park’ into a city centre haven of creativity. Although the park was temporary, the creativity involved and its benefits have continued. The Upstart team continue to work on the toolkit, creating a template for others to build similar community parks in the future, so watch out for great spaces near you in 2014. upstart.ie

We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store and from all of us here at Fund it, Happy New Year!

Some Great Projects You Helped Fund

Posted on Thursday December 12th 2013

The rush of a Fund it campaign can seem like a whirlwind of activity, and once that bar moves up to 100% and the clock stops ticking, project creators breathe a sigh of relief. But that’s just the beginning… as funders hold their breath in anticipation of the magic that is to come, the artists begin the real work of creating. At the end of a (sometimes) long road, a creative gem is born into the world. We’ve rounded up just a few of those great successes from 2013 which wouldn’t have happened without you:

2ha – An Archizine for the Suburbs

Now four issues into their six issue monthly publication, 2ha, archizine for the suburbs is enjoying continued success. Despite its niche subject matter, the successful Fund it campaign ensured a large number of subscribers to the archizine, and that following has piqued the interest of some media heavyweights. The Irish Times picked up on the Fund it campaign, Totally Dublin invited the zine’s editor to write their ‘Entry Level’ piece on Suburbia and Le Cool invited them to speak about the future of Dublin in their tent at Body and Soul. Having submitted the second edition of 2ha for consideration, it is now touring with the International Archizines Exhibition World Tour.

As the focus of the archizine has developed from the local Dundrum suburbs to Irish suburbs in general, 2ha continues to receive subscriptions and sales from around the country and even around the world.

How to be Happy

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The feature film How to be Happy has been enjoying unprecedented success at film festivals during the year. Completing their Fund it campaign in February, the film sold out two screenings at the prestigious Galway Film Fleadh – the only film to be screened twice. Tickets for the first screening sold out in only two days, but reviews spread fast and the second screening sold out in just twelve hours. A similar performance was seen at the Cork Film Festival, which featured a still from the film on the cover of their programme. The balcony had to be opened to try and accommodate demand - again, a unique privilege for a rapidly sold out screening.

So how did this student film generate such excitement? The stellar cast is an obvious advantage, with Brian Gleeson in the starring role. But there was more to it; the enthusiastic and dedicated team involved in this film is its driving force. Their coordinated effort allowed them to raise €11,135, 111% of their target, in just four weeks. With almost 270 funders, they had a ready made audience of people eager to see this film. If you weren’t one of the lucky few, you might have another chance to catch this film in the near future. Keep an eye on theirfacebook page for some announcements this week.

Chequerboard: The Unfolding

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Some things are worth waiting for, and the new album from Chequerboard is definitely one of them. Almost a year ago John Lambert, a.k.a. Chequerboard, asked the Fund it community to put ‘wind in his sails’ and not just fund, but inspire and encourage his third album, The Unfolding. The funders were crucial for John’s creativity, as it gave him the push he needed knowing so many people believed in him enough to buy this album in advance. He spent nine months carefully constructing his newest creation.

Funders’ patience was duly rewarded when, at the end of September this year, the album was released to critical acclaim. With numerous interviews and reviews in the Irish Times and across other media such as entertainment.ie, The Irish Mirror and The Irish Independant, this group of fans and friends helped create one of the greatest albums of the year.

These Halcyon Days

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Deirdre Kinahan’s latest play has travelled to the four corners of Ireland, New York and the Edinburgh Fringe festival and has been winning hearts and awards everywhere it goes. This play is about hope and how the connection to another person can give us new life, and it seems apt that These Halcyon Dayswas made possible by the support of the community.

These Halcyon Days is a beautiful new Irish play which is going from strength to strength thanks to the always superb performances from Anita Reeves and Stephen Brennan. It received numerous glowing reviews in New York and picked up the Fringe First Award in Edinburgh Fringe.

These great cultural experiences and additions to our lives couldn’t have happened without the belief and support the Fund it community continue to give. Why not check out the next best thing, currently in the tender stages of development, over on the site now.

38,000 pledges bring us to 2 Million euro

Posted on Monday September 16th 2013

Infographic for Fund it statistics

How To Crowdfund A Fringe Show

Posted on Friday August 23rd 2013


Dublin Fringe Festival 2013 brochure with Fund it projects marked

For Dublin Fringe Festival projects, getting into the programme is not the final challenge. Funding means the show can go on! This year 16 fringe projects raised over €49,500 on Fund it, which is up from €48,300 raised by fringe projects in 2012. We spoke to three project creators to find out why they chose crowdfunding as a means of funding and to try and get an insight into their campaigns.

GRINDER a love story

For Oisin McKenna of PETTYCASH, project creator for ‘GRINDR/ a love story’, crowdfunding just made sense. For small, up-and-coming or lower profile artists and organisations, crowdfunding can be the most accessible funding option.  Digital marketing is a big part of the PETTYCASH ethos, so crowdfunding seemed a very compatible match. Another advantage, although not a deciding factor, was the publicity it brought in advance of the show, getting people talking about it and creating visibility.

Out of the crowdfunding platforms available, several people in the PETTYCASH network had run projects on Fund it before, so it was the platform with the most visibility and recognition within their peer group. Oisin felt it was also more likely to attract ‘browsers’ – people perusing Fund it would be more likely to be interested, than those browsing a huge international site.

Most important element of project: It was vital when submitting the project that the whole thing was high quality, nothing was just thrown together. The project represented a strong product indicator for the show.  The video was really important. It had to be a fun, creative work in itself, while being representative of the piece it was describing. The rewards were important too.

What worked: Making sure social media posts were about activities, and not just asking people for support. When fatigue set in in the middle of the campaign they started being less creative with the posts and the decline in shares and retweets was noticeable. By talking about what they were up to, the pledges started rolling in again.

Would you do it the same again? The campaign was really successful, so Oisin reckons they would just tailor any future campaign to the project at hand, without changing tack.  They would use crowdfunding again if it was appropriate for the project, but having run a campaign, would explore other options before returning to the crowd too soon.

The Games People Play

Aonghus Óg McAnally, project creator for ‘The Games People Play‘, has always been a great advocate of supporting Irish theatre. Although Rise Productions are an award-winning company, they have been turned down for Arts Council funding a number of times. Due to the theatre podcasts they created in 2011, they have a very engaged network, which lends itself to crowdfunding.

Aonghus never went abroad to train, and believes that the Irish don’t have to go outside our own country to achieve what we want. Fund it, as a domestic site, was the obvious choice for him.

Most important element of project: As a regular funder on the site, Aonghus was fully aware of the importance of rewards. While the promise of a hug is great, he feels the more tangible rewards are really what a funder’s looking for. ‘The Games People Play’ offered a wide range or rewards, from a copy of Gavin Kostick’s script to a performance of the award winning show ‘Fight Night’ in your house (which someone did go for… in London!).

What worked: Utilising the ‘other half’ of his network. The members of the theatre community, while very engaged, are frequently bombarded with crowdfunding requests, and may even have a crowdfunding project of their own to concentrate on. So thinking about ‘other networks’ was key. Aonghus has a really strong connection to the GAA, many of whose members would come to his shows. The support from the GAA was enormous, and made all of the difference.

Would you do it the same again? This project received such generous support, that to do it again, it would have to be quite different. There are only so many times a person can tap the well, so future crowdfunded projects would be smaller, more suited to concentrating on ticket pre-sales.

4704 We Are Islanders

Rosie O’Reilly from We Are Islanders is creating a unique art installation, ‘4/704’, as part of this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. This is Rosie’s first large scale installation, so State or corporate funding would be difficult to get. We Are Islanders have always relied on funding from individuals and supporters so crowdfunding online is just a different platform for something they’re already used to.

Rosie was involved in the ‘Re-dress’ Better Fashion Week’ project, which was successful on Fund it in 2011. Given the connection between We Are Islanders and Re-dress, their network were already familiar with the Fund it site and the crowdfunding process.

Most important element of project: The story. The installation tells the story of a bigger issue which Rosie was well aware would be the most interesting thing for the We Are Islanders’ network, so getting that story across well was vital. The image by Des Moriarty was also important for their publicity campaign.

What Worked? Strategy; An initial e-mail was sent to 30 key people who Rosie knew would not only support the project, but would act as ambassadors for the campaign. Getting a GIF in LeCool on the day the project went live was key, as the readership is huge and very relevant. The name written in sand was a really popular reward and has generated great excitement as it is unique, special and makes funders feel like they’re a part of the project.

Would you do it the same again? The project was a great success so future strategies wouldn’t change. This project was presented in a different incarnation from the Re-dress project – even though they are related, Rosie thinks crowdfunding works best when presented as a one-off. She would use it again herself in another context, for a project that needed public support and involvement.

Thanks to you, twelve theatre pieces, two dance performances, an art installation and a series of events will take place as part of Dublin Fringe Festival this year. Here’s where you can catch them:

Decision Problem; Figure It Out; Kitschcock; The Games People Play; The Churching of Happy Cullen; 4/704; The Far Side; Fit/Misfit; Pondling; Exit Strategy; Grindr / A Love Story; The King’s Feet; The Secret Art of Murder; Cuomo; AnimusRites of Passage Evolving Our PastRites of Passage State of The Nation; Rites of Passage Tour Guides to the Future.

PS – Its not just Dublin you know, there were another 5 projects successful on Fund it for Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year too!

Morning and Afternoon; Brace – Fionnuala and Skeffy; Solpadeine Is My Boyfriend; The Paper Princess; These Halcyon Days.

Markers for Fund it Projects in Dublin Fringe Festival brochure.

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald

Easy Image Editing

Posted on Thursday August 1st 2013

Images and videos are two of the most useful and engaging tools you can use on the internet. Now that Fund it is on Pinterest, it’s more important than ever to make your image stand out. But, we know not everyone spends their time honing their skills by touching up photos for the perfect Facebook profile; so for the less tech-minded creator, we have put together this very basic tutorial to help you get the most out of your image on Fund it.

The Tools:
Like anything, first you have to have the right tools. Never use Microsoft Office Word for images. Although it can do some image editing, it is made for documents not images, and will be more difficult in the long run (the clue is in the name: Word). The Microsoft Office Suite comes with Picture Manager. This is a very basic image editing tool and is very easy to use. We will use this tool for our tutorial as most computers will have it.

Open your image in Picture Manager and click Edit Pictures in the toolbar. A selection of edit options will appear on the right-hand side.

Size Guide:
All images on Fund it must be square. If your image is rectangular, it will show squashed, which looks really bad. But how to make it square?

Crop vs. Resize:
Take this image

To make this image square, we will need to cut away the edges, or crop it. If we were to resize it, the edge pixels from the image would not be removed, they would just be squashed in to make them fit.

Cropped Vs. Resized Image

Above: Cropped Vs. Resized

Pixel Size:
Ideally your image should be 500 x 500 pixels to look its best on Fund it. Choose an image where the smallest side is at least 500 pixels. When you choose ‘Crop’ from the right-hand sidebar, the pixel size will be shown at the bottom of the sidebar. You can click and drag the ‘handles’ of the image, or you can use the number dials to get a more accurate crop.

Once your image is square, click OK and click ‘Back to Edit Pictures’.

Compressing an Image:
Compressing an image refers to the file size and not the physical or pixel size of your image. Files must be less than 1Mb to be shown on Fund it. Once your image is square, click ‘Compress Pictures’ in the sidebar. The original file size of your image will be shown at the bottom of the sidebar.

If your image is larger than 1 MB, click the Documents option. If the Compressed file size is shown as less than 1,000 KB, it will be small enough for Fund it. Click OK, then ‘Back to Edit Pictures’.

Making Your Square Image Smaller:
If your image is more than 500 x 500 pixels, you can make it smaller, but you should never try to make your image bigger as this will make the image look grainy. Choose ‘Resize’ from the edit sidebar.  Type 500 into the ‘Custom width x height’ boxes.

Click OK.

File Type:
Now that your image is the right size, it needs to by the right file type. Like most websites, Fund it can only accept .jpg or .JPEG files. To make sure your image is the correct file type, click ‘File’ on the top toolbar. Then choose ‘Export…’ from the dropdown menu. A sidebar will open on the right-hand side. In the dropdown menu labelled ‘Export with this file format’, choose the option ‘JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg)’ and click OK.

That’s It!
You now have the perfect image for your Fund it project. All of these functions are available on all basic image editors, including iPhoto.

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald

Guest Blog – Shimmy Marcus

Posted on Friday May 3rd 2013

Shimmy Marcus is the multi-award winning director behind the short film RHINOS which was nominated for the Irish Film and Television Academy awards earlier this year. Shimmy has taken time out of his very busy life to give us some insight into his experiences of running a Fund it campaign.

shimmy marcus

Caption: Shimmy Marcus in action

One of the most liberating experiences I have recently had as a filmmaker has been financing my new short film through crowd funding. Unfamiliar with the process at first, the only knowledge I had was anecdotal, but with some research I quickly realised that there was huge potential and rewards, and not just for the investors!

As anyone who has ever tried to make a film knows, quite often the biggest hurdle is the first. Where do we get the money to make it? The great advantage I quickly discovered through Fund it was that not only do they provide a platform to raise funding, but through this method they also inadvertently help create a strong platform from which to launch the finished film.

Before even a single frame has been shot, through Fund it a huge sense of awareness of the film is immediately created which not only helps to grow an enthusiastic family of investors eager to track your progress, but also to spread the word and promote the film. To help drive traffic towards our funding campaign for RHINOS we launched a Facebook page and through it and other forms of social networking we regularly promoted the Fund it page through updates, news bulletins, quirky videos, blogs, and constant reminders of our progress.

Caption: Promotional video released during the Fund it campaign

By the time we finally reached our funding target we had already built up a strong database of supports eager to track our progress and support the film in a variety of ways from helping out on the shoot to assisting in various other ways. Fund it not only became an avenue for financing, they helped create a following and audience. But first, we needed to win their trust.

Early on we realised the most important part of the Fund it process is the creation of a strong and attractive promo video that would entice people to invest in the film. I watched a great many promotional videos on Fund it and other crowd funding websites and realised that these videos were how I would inevitably judge the quality of the finished films who were seeking funding.

Bland, unimaginative, and poorly shot promo videos rang alarm bells. If they can’t even make a decent promo video, why would I think they could make a decent film? Your promo video is the main clue to what your potential end product will be like and a strong quality promo speaks volumes about the imagination, style, and professionalism of the team looking for funding. If you can’t be bothered to make a good promo video, why should I bother to invest in you? Just waffling into a camera telling me how great your film is going to be is just lazy and uninspiring. So with that in mind, my strongest piece of advice is to put as much time and effort into writing, developing, shooting and polishing your promo video. You only get one big chance to grab potential funders’ attention and impress them enough to part with their hard earned cash.

I said at the start that I found crowd funding incredibly liberating. The reason is that through this method I have 100% artistic control of my work. There are no funding applications to be judged by panels, no funding bodies who want power of final cut, or who insist on telling you who to choose as your cast and crew. Every creative choice and decision is yours alone to make. This has recently been cited by Hollywood actor and director Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State) as his primary reason for financing his latest feature film through crowd funding. The only responsibility you have is to your art, to producing the best possible work you can, and in doing so, rewarding the trust and faith the funders have put in you.

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Caption: Zack Braff’s campaign video

It is also important to work out exactly how much money you need and what exactly you need it for. There’s no point spending all your money on the shoot if you have nothing left to finish it or even promote it afterwards. So think very carefully in advance what it is exactly you need the money for and target your pitch towards that. Be practical, not greedy. With this new indie spirit of financing, crowd funding need no longer be an afterthought, or a get out of jail Plan B. With sensible and prudent budgeting, there’s no reason why Fund it can’t be your first and last port of call to finance your film.

- Written by: Claire FitzGerald