Fund it Campaign Tips from Edvinas Maciulevicius

Posted on: Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 by fundit

Edvinas Maciulevicius ran a Fund it project to raise money for his documentary film ‘Our Mental Health‘. He exceeded his target in the first week, and in this blog post, shares his insights into how he made it happen!


Edvinas and the team working on ‘Our Mental Health’

For our Fund it project we aimed to raise €1,500 to produce a documentary film on the mental health of young Irish people. We hit our goal within the first week and raised over €2,000 in total. Here’s a few things I learned from running a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Social Media

Creating social media profiles for your project is a really effective way to build hype before the project even starts. To do this effectively, put out good content that’s relevant to your project, and bring value to people online. Use social media to build up an audience for your project and create a relationship with that audience before the campaign starts. You don’t want to be a stranger asking for a pledge when it goes live. You want your Funders to feel comfortable handing you money online and a reputable Facebook page can go a long way in helping them do so.

Continue the conversation when the project is up and running. I found that thanking people directly from your project’s social media page was a great way to reach a wider audience. Be sure to embed a link to your project every time you thank a Funder. This is a really effective way to reach friends of your pledgers’ who may not know about your project.

Put out weekly updates to keep the momentum going. Even after we had hit our goal, we informed our audience how the money that goes over the line would be put to increasing the production value of the film.

Rewards

Don’t be fancy, be smart. Initially we tried to get cool rewards such as branded hoodies and wristbands but it was a waste of time. Not only was it expensive but it was also impractical and difficult to organise. I don’t think anyone really wanted materialistic rewards. Funders were more interested in saying “I took part” than in wearing an elastic bracelet.

Try to give back non-monetary value for your most popular reward – in fact for all rewards if possible! Analyse your project and figure out the different ways you can bring value to a Funder without it having to cost you a lot of time or money.

For the ‘Our Mental Health’ project we offered our Funders an invite to the film’s premier event, a digital copy of the film as well as a mention in the credits, all for a pledge of €20. This brought a lot of value to the Funder without it having to cost us a cent. Arranging a venue for the premier was quite easy and free – whereas the other potential rewards that we decided not to go with, would have taken a lot of time and effort to deliver. In our case the €20 reward proved to be the most popular.

If needed, bring in a third party organisation to help you provide an experience for your generous Funders. People who back your project with a large sum of money will have a genuine interest in you and your project, so why not invite them to a dinner and tell them all about who you are, what you do and where the idea for the project came from. With a bit of hustle, it could be possible to arrange for a restaurant to contribute towards or even donate a dinner in return for some publicity.

In a nutshell – find out what is special about the project that you’re doing, and what is the most cost effective way to give some of that “specialness” back to your Funders.

Edvinas sharing his pro-tips with Claire FitzGerald from the Fund it team, Project Creator Kevin Callaghan and Lia Boyland from Bank of Ireland at the Fund it Wednesday event in the Bank of Ireland Workbench Cork, 2017

Spikes in Pledges

The first and last week of the project received the most pledges. This seems to be the case for a lot of Fund it projects – it may be good to keep that in mind when planning your campaign strategy.

Be sure to “salt the tip jar”. Inform close friends and family about your project before it goes live and get some pledges from the get go. Projects tend to receive a lot of attention in their initial week. By having some money in the pot your project will look more appealing to someone who may know nothing about it. People are more willing to put money towards a project if there is money already there.

We received a lot of pledges in the last week of our campaign long after we had hit our €1,500 goal. It’s the perfect time to create a sense of urgency and get more Funders. Use social media to announce the project is coming close to an end. Induce a fear of missing out.

Aim High!

The biggest piece of advice that I’d give to anyone doing a crowdfunding campaign is to aim high! That’s the only thing that I would have done differently. We hit our goal within the first week, which not only slowed down our momentum in gaining more Funders but also killed off a little bit of our own motivation. Ego, time and effort all came into play when we set a “realistic” goal for ourselves. But looking back on it now it was more of a safety net. If we had stepped outside of our comfort zone and aimed to raise more, we would probably have a higher quality film today.

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Meet the Pros – Fund it Wednesday, Cork

Posted on: Friday, March 3rd, 2017 by fundit

We’re really excited about our first Fund it Wednesday event of 2017! We have two brilliant Project Creators joining us at Bank of Ireland Workbench, Cork on 29 March, to share their insights and pro tips (reserve your free tickets here!)

Edvinas Maciulevicius

Edvinas Maciulevicius is making the documentary ‘Our Mental Health‘, and is an inspiration in how to make social media work for you in a positive way!

Ed and the team working on ‘Our Mental Health’

Ed: “The idea was to create a ‘Conor McGregor style’ promotional video – on mental health. I though it would be the only way to grab people’s attention on social media. And it worked! Creating a documentary film on mental health initially proved to be quite difficult. We knew that we needed to have some sort of credibility before we approached people. Although it’s more common now to talk about mental health, a year ago it still was a taboo subject and not everyone was willing to talk about their experience (just goes to show that already, Ireland has come a long way). So we decided to launch a Facebook page and it was flooded with people wanting to take part.

Four months down the line we had enough social media leverage to launch a Fund it campaign and raise a budget to create something that will hopefully change Ireland. Although our ambition is big our goal is actually quite realistic. We hope that this film will do two things – 1: encourage people to open up and talk about mental health; and 2: inspire people to be the listening ear to those that do. When you look at it in this simplified way, changing Ireland doesn’t seem so unrealistic. But we believe this small shift will have a snowball effect. And in the long run it will in fact change the course of mental health in Ireland.

‘Our Mental Health’ is due for release really soon!

Kevin Callaghan

Kevin Callaghan, sculptor

Our second speaker, Kevin Callaghan, some of you might remember from our Fund it Showcase last November. Kevin ran his Fund it project to raise money for a residency and solo show of is sculpture works at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork. He developed bespoke sculptures called ‘Condie‘ especially for his Fund it rewards, and they proved so popular, he has actually launched a separate enterprise selling the sculptures! Kevin has been working with the great team in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Cork on launching his new business (cond.ie coming soon).

Kevin Callaghan’s ‘condie’ sculptures installed in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Dublin for the Fund it Showcase last year

We can’t wait to see how Kevin’s career develops through his residency and new business. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to pick the brains of this successful artist and entrepreneur!

Sculpture by Kevin Callaghan; photograph copyright: Sylvain Deleu

We’re so excited to see what all your amazing ideas bring to the mix, so make sure you reserve your ticket!

Those details again:

Wednesday, 29 March
Bank of Ireland Workbench, Cork (map)
5.30pm – 7.30pm

See you there!

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Pro Tips from February’s ‘Fund it Wednesday’

Posted on: Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by fundit

Fund it Wed Galway 1A great crowd at Bank of Ireland Workbench in Galway for ‘Fund it Wednesday’ with Filmmaker Richie O’Donnell and Andrew Hetherington, Co-Founder of Fund it

A big thanks to Filmmaker and Fund it Project Creator Richie O’Donnell who joined us in Galway for ‘Fund it Wednesday’ with Bank of Ireland, to share the secrets of his success. Following on from his award-winning documentary ‘The Pipe’, Richie’s latest film ‘Atlantic’ turns the lens on fishermen in Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland, and the management of ocean resources in the North Atlantic.

Richie crowdfunded ‘Atlantic’ through two hugely successful Fund it campaigns which together raised over €40,000! He made crowdfunding part of Atlantic’s story, drawing in funders and supporters who were passionate about the issues explored in the film, which affect ordinary people and communities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here are some of Richie’s tips for success from the night;

Don’t underestimate the power of traditional media such as local radio, newspapers and television

Richie’s success was rooted in a lot of hard work and planning but he credits the media coverage he secured in helping the campaign to really take off. The project saw a surge in pledges after Richie appeared on Tonight with Vincent Browne, with pledges jumping from €17k to €21k within minutes of the broadcast airing.

The Irish Examiner, Irish Times, The Irish Skipper, Newstalk FM, Radio 1, Today FM and other local stations all covered the story and added to the project’s success

Design Rewards that don’t eat into your funds – utilise your skills and available resources to offer Rewards that have a high value to Funders but cost you little to deliver.

Atlantic’s higher-level Rewards offered Funders interesting, creative and exclusive experiences that were straightforward and inexpensive for Richie and his crew to deliver:

Atlantic Rewards

Keep in contact with your Funders

Your Funders have your back and are actively engaged in making your project a success, they will be the audience, promoters and ambassadors for your campaign and beyond.  Use Activity Updates to keep your supporters engaged, fill them in on what you’ve been up to and let them know what’s up next!

Atlantic premieres at Audi Dublin International Film Festival on 25 February, tickets are available here

Follow updates on Atlantic on Twitter at @AtlanticStream and on the film’s website – www.theatlanticstream.com

Thanks to everyone who came by Bank of Ireland Workbench on the night, we heard lots of fantastic campaign ideas that we are looking forward to seeing submitted to Fund it in the coming weeks!

 If you missed out on our crowdfunding clinic in Galway last week don’t lose heart! We’ll be touring the country with our partner Bank of Ireland to deliver more ‘Fund it Wednesday’ sessions throughout the year. Full calendar of events HERE.

– Written by Orla Basquille

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Take A Bite Out of SMÖRGASBOARD

Posted on: Friday, January 9th, 2015 by fundit

_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!

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What Do the Music Project Creators Say…

Posted on: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by fundit

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

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Putting Music in the Spotlight

Posted on: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by fundit

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 roots 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

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Some Great Projects You Helped Fund

Posted on: Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by fundit

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

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

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

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.

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How To Crowdfund A Fringe Show

Posted on: Friday, August 23rd, 2013 by fundit


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

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The Lonely Beast ABC

Posted on: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 by fundit

The Lonely Beast ABC app on iPad and iPhone

Caption: ‘The Lonely Beast ABC’ app on iPad and iPhone

While Chris Judge was creating the gorgeous illustration for our 2nd birthday, we had a chat with him about the success of his app.

Chris Judge, author of ‘The Lonely Beast’ children’s book, teamed up with IT developer and friend James Kelleher, and brother Simon Judge, to create ‘The Lonely Beast ABC’ app. The app, which was funded right here, is a bright, fun and interactive way for children to learn the alphabet.

The Beast takes the user through the alphabet with activities and sounds that can be tapped or moved, including a drum set and a xylophone that can be fully played. The gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations are simple and witty and entertaining for kids and adults alike. It’s no wonder this app has been getting so much media coverage, probably the most exciting of which has been its feature in the Apple TV ad.

The page featured in Apple’s TV ad ‘Together’

Caption: The page featured in Apple’s TV ad ‘Together’

The guys got a phone call out of the blue from an ad agency in LA to ask if they could use the app in Apple’s official ad campaign. There was a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing regarding the language of the app (they wanted the app to be developed in more languages so that it could be used in ads in more countries)… and then silence for 6 months.

Then just as suddenly as the first call, they were told that one page would feature in their TV ad and another in print advertising in English speaking countries. Chris tells me that they have seen an increase in sales in the States since the ad, but the kudos of being one of only 8 apps – out of more than 800,000 – chosen for the ad is the real reward.

Although the app was funded on Fund it, Chris was eager to point out the non-financial benefits of their Fund it campaign. The campaign presented them with a willing and engaged audience to test the app and also got advice from a wide range of parents and designers alike. He says the campaign had a ‘huge influence’ on the development of the app, and the finished product that you see today. In return for all of this invaluable advice and exposure, they ‘wanted to make the rewards really special’, to truly make it an exciting and inclusive experience for everyone.

This is certainly a success story to talk about! See Chris’s website for some fun, free Beastly make-and-do.

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Tell Us a Story

Posted on: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 by fundit

Storymap Logo

Storymap is the app that takes you on a tour around Dublin’s city centre through the insight and delight of local people. Listen to the stories or watch them being recounted on HD video as you get a new perspective of the streets, places and inhabitants.

Tom Rowley, one of the Storymap team, talked to us about the importance of telling a great story through your Fund it project.

As surely one of the experts on the matter, Tom told us the key to the perfect campaign video is to make an emotional connection with the viewer within a short period of time. You have to ‘foreground the human element’, by showcasing the people behind the project. ‘Put yourself in it and be yourself’. Don’t be afraid of it being unpolished, this just proves that you’re only human. People support people, so they don’t want a press release – think of the last time you told all your friends about an ad you saw on Youtube; now think of the last time you told all your friends about a great story you heard from a mate. Which happens most often?! The same goes for your video. The internet loves videos, and take it from Tom, people love to share a great story.

But of course, preparing your project to go live is only the beginning. Throughout the campaign you need to keep people engaged. Having an event in the middle of your campaign is a great way for people who’ve already funded your project to come and meet you in person, and of course, bring their friends. During their campaign, Storymap teamed up with the 10 Days in Dublin Festival to hold an evening of poetry, music and comedy, with all proceeds going to the Fund it campaign. Although he says the funding from the event wasn’t huge, it was a great way to promote the campaign and it gave them something fresh and exciting to talk about and share photos and videos from. Another trick to keeping things fresh is to make more videos throughout your campaign that you can share.

Once the campaign is finished, and you’ve successfully gathered all that loving generosity, the story doesn’t have to end there. Although crowdfunding was successful in generating their whole budget, Storymap got further funding from Enterprise Ireland and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature on the back of their success. They were able prove they had the backing of the public, the resilience to run a fundraising campaign and a clear strategy for their project. But the best thing to come from the campaign was that before, they had a fan base, but by the end of their campaign they had a group of fully engaged and willing participants in their project. They knew that when they launched their product, they had a great resource: people interested and happy to give valuable feedback.

Storymap have just launched their new app, and are already developing and expanding. Tom is certain that they will use crowdfunding again to fund future developments, not only because it’s a great way to raise funds, but because it’s a great way to raise profile. Having learned from his experiences, a key technique he will be using in future is to talk to anyone he’s sure will support the project, and ask them to make their pledge early. Getting that bar moving at the start of the campaign makes all the difference.

We can’t wait for the next chapter of Storymap. To learn more, check out these links:

siliconrepublic.com

businessetc.thejournal.ie

rte.ie

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Poetry Bus – Peadar O’Donoghue

Posted on: Sunday, January 27th, 2013 by fundit

Copies of ‘Poetry Bus 2’ fresh off the press.

Copies of ‘Poetry Bus 2’ fresh off the press.

The last of our January series of great projects from 2012 tells the story of the ‘Poetry Bus’ magazine, which has (so far) had three issues funded on Fund it. Peadar O’Donoghue shares some insight into his crowdfunding successes.

With each issue the magazine has evolved and so too have the Fund it campaigns. Peadar certainly keeps things exciting, fun and sometimes a bit ‘hairy’. His nerves of steel are evident from the progression of the campaigns. Starting with a target of €900 in 4 weeks, Peadar kept it brief from the beginning. The second project surpassed the target of €1,050 in a nail biting campaign of just 7 days. He upped the ante again for the third project, with a target of €1,950 in only 14 days. He enjoys the excitement and has found that with short campaigns the sense of urgency encourages people to fund it the first time they see it. But it’s not done by magic. Peadar maintains a continuous stream of contact throughout the campaigns to keep the pressure on. Humour and a bit of fun are key in keeping people interested and excited.

The Poetry Bus

As the ambitions of the Fund it campaigns grow, so too does the readership and the quality of the magazine. Peadar assures us the upcoming issue will be a massive leap forward. He is confident that this issue will make ‘Poetry Bus’ the finest poetry journal in Ireland. Many of the reasons that Peadar chooses to fund the magazine through Fund it are also its strengths as a publication. It allows the magazine to be more fluid, forcing him to think on his toes. The challenges make the magazine dynamic and allow for very current content as Peadar can respond to a submission usually within 2 weeks. One of the main attractions is that he feels the Fund it team are very approachable, it feels like a collaboration and community, rather than a ‘Gladiator battle for funding’. That’s not to say it’s all fun and games. Peadar works hard at building and maintaining a network, particularly through Facebook. Although there is an obvious fan base, as it is largely the same people funding each project, this also shows the difficulty of maintaining growth in his network and potential future limitations.

The surprising pledges are always ‘brilliant’ and it’s impossible to know what a Fund it campaign can unearth. On hearing about the ‘Poetry Bus’ campaign, well-known Scottish poet Kona Mac Phee donated a prize she had won, of a Ballymaloe cookery class, to be auctioned by Peadar. Furthermore, another well-known writer (who wishes to remain anonymous) won the auction.  The global reach of any online platform allows for international exchanges such as this, which is appropriate as ‘Poetry Bus’ has a strong international element, despite being grounded in Ireland. ‘Poetry Bus’ has contributors, readers and funders from right across the world, including Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and even North Korea. As Peadar says, ‘without the internet none of this would happen’.

The latest edition, ‘Poetry Bus’ Issue 4, will be available in January 2013.

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Encounter – Sinead Dolan

Posted on: Sunday, January 20th, 2013 by fundit

The ‘Slollywood’ Sign.

Continuing our January series of stories from last year, we caught up the team behind the short romantic comedy ‘Encounter. They explained that their project is not just a film, it is a community project which has given members of the Sligo community an opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences. It is also a project of integration and the film hopes to raise awareness of issues facing asylum seekers in Ireland. Now in the editing stages, the community group hopes to screen the film at the end of March 2013.

So how did the film project come about?

The New Sligo Film and Drama Group worked with Sinéad Dolan through the Artist in the Community Scheme, funded by Create and The Arts Council and supported by RAPID. During this project they wrote their first film script, ‘exploring themes of love, relationships, stereotypes and cultural clashes’. After writing the script, they looked to Fund it to secure funds to help with the filming costs. They were successful in exceeding their €3,000 target in just four weeks. Shooting of the film is now complete and Sinéad told us one of the highlights was the involvement of the wider community of Sligo in the making of the film and the Fund it campaign, who offered support, equipment, and of course pledges.

Painting by Joe Odiboh offered as one of the rewards for the Fund it campaign.

Caption: Painting by Joe Odiboh offered as one of the rewards for the Fund it campaign.

Although some members have moved away or gone back to college, the majority of the group are still in contact with each other. There are various levels of involvement in the editing stages of the film and there is still plenty of activity surrounding the project. The group changed its name to ‘Sabona Community Group’ (Sabona means Hello in Zulu) and were invited to join the Urban Peace Collective in Sligo, an umbrella organisation of community groups with an interest in promoting diversity, ending sectarianism and raising awareness of marginalised and minority groups.

Although Sinéad found it a little ‘stressful’ having to ask for money, she says the result was ‘brilliant’. Sabona were able to hire a professional Producer and Director of Photography who helped make it a bigger film than it would have been otherwise, and drive the group’s ambitions. Sadly the Director of Photography, Tony Kenny, passed away suddenly last May, which had a huge impact on the group and he is sorely missed by all. The film will be screened at a multi-cultural event which the group are organising and the film will be dedicated to Tony.

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Dance School Tardis – Deirdre Mulrooney

Posted on: Monday, January 14th, 2013 by fundit

Continuing our January series of inspiring Fund it stories from 2012, we caught up with dance historian, writer and documentary filmmaker Deirdre Mulrooney who raised over €4,000 on the site in October 2012.

Her documentary project was inspired by a 1943 film ‘Dance School’ by Liam O’Laoghaire of Erina Brady, a modern dance pioneer in Ireland, dancing and teaching a class of small children. The upcoming film, ‘Dance School Tardis’ (working title) will showcase clips from O’Laoghaire’s film and interviews with the children from Brady’s class almost 70 years on. This unique story shows how these women were creatively inspired by their early exposure to modern dance and Erina Brady’s unique philosophy.

Still from ‘Dance School’ (O’Laoghaire, 1943) showing Margaret Becker as a child

Deirdre told us how her Fund it campaign not only helped the film financially, but has a special place in the story of this film and these women.

Before the making of this film was possible, Deirdre first had to locate the children from the 1943 film. She began by writing a letter to the Irish Times, which was successful in capturing the attention of one of the dance pupils. Later in the year, O’Laoghaire’s film was screened in European Union House on Molesworth Street, in commemoration of the death of Ireland’s first modern dancer June Kuhn, and coinciding with the Dublin Dance Festival 2012. Deirdre met some of the dance pupils who came to see the screening. The most fortuitous discovery of one of the original pupils, however, was made with the help of social media and Fund it.

On the very last day of ‘Dance School Tardis’ campaign, Deirdre decided to unwind from the tense campaign and see an old friend at the yoga class she teaches. While chatting about the Fund it campaign, her friend asked for the link so that she could pledge and spread the word. Although it was the last day of the project, this turned out to be the most important contact yet. When Deirdre’s friend spread the link through her social media network, a woman in Berlin, unknown to Deirdre, recognised her mother as one of the children from the promotional video! The former dance pupil, now living in Leeds, was extremely emotional about seeing herself on screen after almost 70 years. She had in fact attempted to find out details of Erina Brady’s later career some years previously and was only too happy to hop on a plane to Ireland to be a part of Deirdre’s film; some of the money raised through Fund it paid for her trip.

63 people helped Deirdre raise 116% of her target… So how does she feel about her crowdfunding success?

Describing it as ‘hard’ to ask for money, she believes it was ‘worth it’, and not just for the money. The connections she made during the Fund it campaign were invaluable to her research.  Deirdre was contacted by several people who were researching parallel works or are interested in the area, and whom she believes wouldn’t have contacted her otherwise. For her, connecting with people, from as far away as the US and Canada, building an audience, and bringing the funders with her through the project development, were all what made it a great experience.

Deirdre hopes to screen ‘Dance School Tardis’ (working title) on International Women’s day, March 8th, 2013. You can keep up with the project’s progess on Deirdre’s blog deirdremulrooney.blogspot.ie.

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Kú – Episode 1 – Ralph Croly, BitSmith Games

Posted on: Friday, January 4th, 2013 by fundit

Still from ‘Kú: Shroud of the Morrigan’

Caption: Still from ‘Kú: Shroud of the Morrigan’

At Fund it towers we love hearing all the little details of the successes of projects and their creators when they’ve been on the site. To help get 2013 off to a bright start, we thought we’d update you on four projects that had inspiring stories to tell us from 2012, which saw 250 successful projects!  Our first project update is a story of how a Fund it campaign for ‘Kú – Episode 1’ helped pave the way for a successful start up business.

BitSmith Games, a small group of game developers, decided to create a touch-based adventure game for iPad, an area they believe is underdeveloped to date. Having been rejected for Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, they decided to try crowdfunding to give them the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills.

As well as funding the development of the game, the money from their campaign was used to visit the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. This was a hugely beneficial experience and after having the opportunity to discuss their project they took a whole new approach to the game’s development.

On returning from GDC they re-applied for the Competitive Start Fund. This time they were able to show external support for their game based on their Fund it campaign, which was a strong addition to their application, and helped them succeed in securing the fund. BitSmith Games are now in an incubator space for game developers in the offices of Digit, working alongside another gaming team BatCat. They have been able to grow their team, with the addition of new people and those who were part-time are now working full-time.

The biggest surprise for the group was the level of support they received. Thanks to a budding games industry in Dublin, and a great community atmosphere, ‘Kú – Episode 1’ reached 75% of their €2,000 target in a few hours! They reached 126% of their target overall which they account to people being really enthusiastic and happy to spread the word about their campaign.

The game can also be played entirely ‘as Gaeilge’ (in the Irish language), which has been generating a lot of positive feedback on the online entertainment platform Steam Greenlight, where users can rate upcoming games. The game has just been approved by Apple so expect to see Kú in an app store near you soon!

UPDATE 10/01/13 : ‘Kú – Shroud of the Morrigan’ was launched for iPad today and can be found on itunes.

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Still Films & Garry O’Neill – Where Were You?

Posted on: Friday, October 21st, 2011 by fundit

To coincide with the Darklight Festival 2011, we are bringing you up to date with Still Films & Garry O’Neill who came together as project creators for Where Were You? – a book and documentary film project which is a celebration of Dublin street style covering 50 years of youth culture.  It was one of the first set of projects that went live on Fund it back in March 2011.  The target for the project was set at €6,500 and the duration was 35 days.  182 funders pledged a total of €7,168 – 10% above their target.

We asked the team why they decided to use crowdfunding for Where Were You?

They told us that they were interested and inspired by the idea of crowdfunding from the start.  The concept matches the Still Films company identity perfectly; combining a ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos with alternative methods of funding, presenting, publicizing and distributing projects.  In particular, crowdfunding felt like the perfect match for Where Were You? – a project that not only reflects the interests of the wider community but documents those interests via personal archive and memories.

The project had a built-in following because Garry sourced the images and ephemera which make up the book by a public call for materials.  Still Films knew that crowdfunding would increase that following and widen their communication networks for sourcing materials for the film.  They hoped that as well as raising funds that they could also discover material for the film from personal archives such as homemade Super 8/cine/VHS footage, old fliers, posters, ticket-stubs and photos. They felt that they might even find potential interview subjects among their supporters on Fund it.

Crowdfunding generally has a special appeal for film projects because it offers a rare independence at pre-funding stage.  Still Films and Garry O’Neill felt that with a project like Where Were You? this independence is important and hugely beneficial to both the concept and content of the finished product.

For their campaign they offered 8 different reward levels on the website ranging from €5 to €5,000.  68% of their funders pledged €40 or lower, 29% pledged between €50 – €100 and 3% pledged €150 or more.  The most popular reward level was €20 with 78 people pledging this amount.

The project finished successfully on 26th April 2011. 6 months on, the rewards will soon be delivered to their eager funders (the book will be available to buy in shops on the 25 November). All good things come to those who wait!

How did they come up with their rewards?

It was important to the Where Were You? team that the rewards they designed were achievable and would not cripple the production of the film and the book in terms of manpower or financial output.  As a small company whose time is always stretched, there was a balance to be achieved between wanting to give their funders a real sense of involvement in the project and promising more than they could deliver. They built up their rewards based around the production calendar both for the book and the development of the film.  They were reluctant to promise too much in terms of time on set or involvement in the filming as this could have a negative effect on the dynamics and logistics of a shoot. The team is now looking forward to the launch of the book and for the main rewards to start kicking into action for their funders.

What issues did they encounter with fulfilling their rewards?

The team did say that they received some comments from people asking for more  production updates on the project.  They told us that they had difficulty in providing the manpower to keep updates on the project flowing as well as doing the research for the project itself and would keep this in mind for a future campaign.

They also offered a paperback copy of the book as one reward and are initially publishing in hardback, so the €20 funders have a wait before they receive their paperback edition next year.

Tell us about the marketing plan?

There were regular updates posted on the Where Were You? Facebook page throughout the campaign.  Several bloggers also wrote about the project and these articles were re-posted to the Facebook page too.  There was a mixture of newspaper coverage for both Fund it generally, and the Where Were You! project specifically, during March and April.  The busiest day for pledges for this project was 19th April – the day after the fantastic Una Mulally wrote a small piece in The Irish Times on Where Were You!

…and what was their plan for email, twitter & facebook?

The team devised a combined email, Twitter and Facebook campaign for the course of their Fund it campaign.  It was very important to them not to make the campaign invisible to the audience through over-saturation.  They made sure that all new updates contained some new piece of information to avoid repetition.  They also tried to keep posts and updates as short and simple as possible so that reading them would not seem daunting and time-consuming.

They devised a calendar which laid out when each of them would email, tweet or post about the project.  They were careful that there were intervals between their communications. They all tapped into as wide a personal network as possible, as well as using extensive company mailing lists and professional networks.  With Facebook, they chose the optimum times and days to post and made sure that each person on the team commented on every post so as to ensure it featured high on people’s news feeds.

Did they get any feedback from people on their Fund it campaign?

There is ongoing Facebook interest in the project and excitement as they get close to the book launch.  They also got content contributions for the book and film as a result of the campaign, which was a great bonus.

This year’s Darklight Festival will take place Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 October in The Factory, 35A Barrow St. Grand Canal Dock. Where Were You? (the book) can also be pre-ordered on www.wherewereyou.ie

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Case Study – THISISPOPBABY

Posted on: Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 by fundit

We’ve been watching THISISPOPBABY grow for several years now and seen them develop a large and loyal following online. When seeking potential projects to launch Fund it, we felt sure their followers would be keen to get involved with funding their productions. After chatting about another crowdfunding site we sat down with Phillip and Jenny to talk through our plans for Fund it and explain how it would work.

We talked about creating an account, writing an overview of a project they’d like to crowdfund, setting a target fundraising goal and coming up with a series of rewards to offer potential funders in return for pledging money to their project. They understood that if they didn’t reach their target before the end of the defined period, none of the pledges would be drawn down.  But, equally, if they exceeded their limit within the time frame, they could continue to fundraise knowing that they would receive at least 100% of their fundraising target.

They decided that ‘The Year of Magical Wanking’, (YOMW) which had had a brief outing a few months beforehand, would be the project to join our launch list. Philly explained that they “thought it would be less likely to receive Arts Council support, and the cost of remounting the show seemed like an achievable figure to crowd source. Neil Watkins is a popular and well regarded artist, and we knew that people would buy into his story.”

Magical Rewards

Developing unique rewards which will appeal to your funders can be a difficult task. We always say the more creative you can be with your rewards the better.

In THISISPOPBABY’s case, they wanted to give rewards that were “attractive but notional” explained Phillip. “We didn’t want the cost of issuing the rewards to reduce the impact of the pledge. We didn’t want to give tickets to the show. This was part logistic and part about valuing the play. Giving out tickets within a Festival context would usually mean we would have to buy the tickets which made no financial sense. On this occasion we wanted people to buy into the notion of Neil Watkins and THISISPOPBABY as artists. We wanted to engage them in the process, and in a way build the ticket buying audience as well.”

The rewards for YOMW eventually included everything from a magical hug from Neil Watkins to a special invitation to rehearsal room run through combined with two tickets to the production and tickets to an after show party. The rewards were set out at a variety of price points from €10 to €500, which meant that anyone could support it and get something pretty special and related to YOMW in return.

Magical Funders

“We weren’t sure which rewards would be popular” Phillip said. “We thought that maybe the invite to the rehearsal room would be attractive as it breaks down the wall between artist and audience. “ In the end, the €10 reward (a magical hug from Neil) was the most popular reward for YOMW. From the graph below, we can see that:

Over 35% of the 165 funders for YOMW selected the €10 reward.
The highest pledge made was €1,000 and the lowest was €5.
Almost 90% of YOMW funders gave them an amount between €5 and €100.
The average pledge was just under €40.

While the lower value rewards proved popular for YOMW, their campaign also highlighted the importance of providing ‘luxury’ rewards at higher levels which appeal to funders with higher spending capacity. 30% of the funds YOMW received were from funders who gave €150 or more.

Magical Campaign

Like all projects on Fund it, THISISPOPBABY’s campaign included a mixture of on and off-line activity. They primarily used direct email, their social media profiles and other media coverage to generate page-views and pledges to YOMW.  Phillip gave us a quick outline of their activity in each of these areas and we’ve plotted them on a time-scale in the graph beneath.

Email (c.2,000 subscribers) : For our launch email we included a competition for Electric Picnic tickets in this mail to increase the open rate (which it did). During the campaign, we each sent personal emails to friends and colleagues to tell them about the project, to ask for their support and to pass the info on.

Facebook (2,000+ fans) : We have more followers on facebook, and using Fund it statistics; we knew that more people clicked to the site via Facebook. We personalised our campaign here. We put up images and videos relating to the show, we ran competitions (including tickets to performances at the Abbey and Gate and a Rubberbandit t-shirt giveaway) and Neil Watkins wrote a note about his involvement with the project and Fund It.

Twitter (1,600+ followers) : We thanked as many people as we could by name on twitter as pledges came in. It was one way of crediting people immediately and it was a way of highlighting the fund it page without ramming it down people’s throats. Throughout the campaign we mentioned competitions and milestones on Twitter to our followers.

Other Media : We contacted the bloggers and journalists we knew personally, and took a punt by mailing the likes of Broadsheet.ie (who published our video)

Magical Lessons

Phillip says that their “lessons happened along the way”. “Striking a balance between hounding people and saying nothing was important. People only click your link when you repeat it AGAIN and AGAIN. It can seem aggressive sometimes, but you notice it more than others. Don’t be afraid to contact people – they won’t know about your project until you do, and most people are at least interested in hearing about the concept of crowdfunding.”

In the long-term, Phillip believes their campaign on Fund It has the opportunity to lead to a much greater engagement with their audience. They received queries directly and through Fund it about their campaign and are helping some of their friends develop their crowdfunding campaigns for the future.

If you would like to see the YOMW, you can see it at the 2011 Absolut Fringe in September in Dublin. Or if you are lucky, they’ve also been confirmed for the Cork Midsummer Festival since their Fund it campaign. Get your tickets before they are gone!

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