Fund it Showcase

Posted on: Saturday, November 5th, 2016 by fundit

– We wrapped up Fund it Wednesdays with a Creator Showcase

We have now finished the incredible journey of Fund it Wednesdays with Bank of Ireland for 2016. On 2 November, we returned to Bank of Ireland Workbench in Dublin for the last Fund it Wednesday, and to celebrate, we launched a Showcase of some of the creations made possible thanks to all of you, the Fund itcommunity!

Here are some photos we took to tell the story


A great turnout on the night – thanks to everyone for coming down.

Performance on the night by Patrick Freeman


We had a screening of the award-winning Breathe, directed by James Doherty

Thanks to Creators Mark Cullen of Pallas Projects and Aoife Coyle representing Sarah McGahon Millinery


Artist-Run Europe


Docklands Print Commission: Colin Martin, Mojo Creations, Fermata, The Little Book of Sham


Artist-Run Europe, Cherry Blossom Fall, Beyond Leaving


Kevin Callaghan

Thanks to all the Creators who took part in the Showcase, and we’ll see you for more Fund it Wednesdays with Bank of Ireland in 2017!

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Funding a Project

Posted on: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 by fundit

The design and ease of use of Fund it has always been at the centre of what we do. We tried to make sure Funding a Project would be as easy as pie, but, hey, things can always be easier! So that’s why we’ve made this step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

1. Creating a Fund it account

Like all websites which take payments, we must capture some basic information to ensure your security, and so Project Creators can deliver your Rewards. If you’re new to Fund it, click the ‘sign up’ link in the top right-hand corner of the page, as you must be logged in to fund a Project.

log in or sign up with mouse

You will be asked for your date of birth to prove you are over 18 years of age – see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for details. Enter your email address and create a password for your account.

sign up with arrow

You can choose whether you want to receive the Fund it newsletter, then you must agree to Fund it T&Cs and click ‘create my account’.

2. Finding the Project you want to fund

Use the ‘browse projects’ button at the top of any page to find a project you like.

Browse with mouseYou can also choose a Category you’re interested in, or if you have a project in mind, search for it in the Search bar.

3. Start funding

Once you’ve found the Project you want, you can fund it right away by clicking the ‘fund:it’ button under the image…

browse-fund-it-with-arrow

Or if you want to see all the details, click ‘read more’ and go to the Project page.

Once on the Project page, just click the green ‘fund:it’ button on the left panel under the image or video.

project-fund-it-mouse

4. Choose your Reward

To choose a reward, just click the button beside the amount you want to pledge…

choose-reward-with-mouse

Of if you’d rather pledge a different amount, enter the amount in the ‘define your own amount’ field

define amount with arrow

If you want to support but don’t want a Reward in return, just tick the box.

You can choose whether to make your pledge public or anonymous, then tick the box to accept Fund it Terms & Conditions.

fund-with-arrows

Click ‘fund this project again’.

5. Confirming your pledge

This page will show a summary of the pledge you are about to make. Click ‘fund this project’ to proceed, or click the ‘edit’ button to make a change.

confirmation-with-mouse

6. Enter your credit/debit card details

Enter your card details on the secure Hosted Payment Page processed by Realex Payments, and click ‘fund this project’ again.

card-details

6. Pledge complete – browse for other projects 

Congratulations! Your pledge is now complete. Check out the other projects recommended for you!

landing-page

Happy Funding!

 

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Crowdfunding Clinics coming to you in partnership with Bank of Ireland!

Posted on: Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 by fundit

Hello world!

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Posted on: Sunday, July 31st, 2016 by fundit

Crop Fund it Creator Handbook

Get the details! This extensive handbook has everything you need to know about how to make your Fund it Project a success!

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Your Crowdfunding Toolkit

Posted on: Thursday, July 14th, 2016 by fundit

Today Bank of Ireland & Fund it are announcing the launch of a series crowdfunding tools extensively discussing all aspects of crowdfunding and how to successfully raise funds through the site.

Here at Fund it, we’re all about helping you succeed at crowdfunding. With our team of professional fundraisers here to help you every step of the way, we’re so much more than just a platform.

Fund it Facts and Community

To help spread our knowledge as far and wide as possible, we decided to create this handy Crowdfunding Toolkit with the headline pointers you need to follow to fund your dreams into reality. We will be releasing an extensive Crowdfunding Manual, with all the details of everything you could ever need to know about how to crowdfund too, which will be available on Fundit.ie soon, but download the Toolkit now.

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Rewards

Posted on: Friday, July 8th, 2016 by fundit

FundIt_Facebook-04 Cropped

Want to know more about how to create great Rewards? Here’s all the information you need, plus some great tips and examples!

Do Projects have to have rewards?

Yes. Projects have the highest chance of success when accompanied by a series of considered, desirable rewards. Good rewards reflect the creativity, passion and energy of the project. This can often prove the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project.

What type of rewards should I offer?

A well-designed set of rewards can really help a project on its way to success. Think about the motivation of your funders and build your rewards around this.

Here are some tips for designing your rewards:

· Rewards should be cost effective. Use your skills and available resources to offer rewards that have a high value to funders but little cost to you. These often offer added value goods (e.g. signed copies of books) or experiences (allowing fans to sit in on the bands recording time) as opposed to monetary value.

· Rewards should be deliverable. Plan in advance to make sure you deliver what you promised.

· Rewards should be desirable. While there is an element of goodwill, people want to receive a unique experience or sought-after product.

· You need a range of rewards and we would suggest 5-8 options to get people involved at different levels. The most common reward costs are the €25 and €50 rewards and as such we recommend offering rewards at these levels. A higher average pledge is associated with a higher success rate with the small percentage of more expensive pledges accounting for a large portion of the overall value (as shown below). This stresses the importance of offering attractive rewards at higher price points.

· Some practical advice:

– Make a list of each possible expense for each reward level and come up with a total.
– Be very clear in listing what each reward level entails.
– Including everything from the previous reward level plus something additional is a common approach.
– Not all rewards have to be different amounts. If you want to get many pledges at €60 provide a few packages available to pledges at this cost.

Are there any rewards that I cannot offer?

Rewards cannot be financially incentivised, this basically means no equity-, ownership- or securities-based rewards.

You must provide something more than just a thanks. We feel a thanks should come as a standard with any contribution and therefore does not constitute a reward in its own right.

Other than this, barring anything illegal or offensive, you can be as creative as you please when offering rewards.

Can I put a limit on the number of rewards that I have?

Yes, creative rewards are often only feasible in limited numbers and this is perfectly fine.

Take inspiration from some of these top rewards:

Rewards Image 520

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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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Getting Ready – Preparing for your Crowdfunding Success

Posted on: Thursday, January 28th, 2016 by fundit

collaborate create

The true key to crowdfunding success is Preparation.

Preparing your Network: Before launching your project, you need to build up your network and organise your contacts to be sure that from the minute that clock starts counting down, you have people eager to click that Fund It button!

Preparing your Project: The next step is getting your content together. You want your story to be so compelling that no-one could be left uninspired to join you! You will also need to have fantastic rewards that really drive funders to jump on board, creating a strong community. If you’re looking for pointers, try the Hints & Tips here.

Preparing your Timeline: We are always here to help and we spend time with every Project Creator perfecting their project before it goes live. So remember to factor in time for this when you hit the submit button. One of the most important things to remember is to allow time for delivering rewards. Don’t leave yourself floundering in a rush to deliver tickets, or still with CD packs to deliver 6 months later!

Here’s what a typical timeline looks like:
Preparing Network: Minimum 1 Month
Moderation with Fund it: 2 Weeks
Campaign Duration: 6 Weeks
End of Project and Contacting Funders: 2 Weeks
Preparing Rewards: Minimum 2 Weeks
Total: Minimum 3.5 Months

So get the ball rolling and get your Project started today!

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Fund it Wednesdays at Bank of Ireland: How Crowdfunding Could Work for Your Start-Up or Idea

Posted on: Monday, January 18th, 2016 by fundit

FundIt_Facebook-05

Bank of Ireland are partnering with Fund it, Ireland’s leading crowdfunding site for creative ideas, to host Fund it Wednesdays, monthly talks taking place throughout Ireland in 2016.

These lively discussion sessions will aim to give you all you need to know about Crowdfunding as an alternative way to unlock funds for a startup through engaging with your customers, fans or social media followers.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Fund it, will be joined by a previous Project Creator on Fund it to talk about crowdfunding, the benefits and pit-falls, and what you need to know about the domestic and international sites to make a decision on which one is best for you.

The first of these drop-in Workbench Sessions will take place on Wednesday, 27 January, from 5.30-7pm in Bank of Ireland, 1 Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2 (map).

Refreshments will be provided on the evening and all our welcome to attend.

For more information contact:
Claire FitzGerald, Fund it

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Hitting the Festival Stage

Posted on: Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 by fundit

Festival Flags

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

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

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

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

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

Park Festival

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

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

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It’s All or Nothing with us…

Posted on: Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by fundit

mountain summit

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

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

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

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

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

Consider the alternative.

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

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

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

Does this change fans’ behaviour then?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still want to see the hard evidence?

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

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

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Get the low-down on Crowdfunding

Posted on: Friday, January 23rd, 2015 by fundit

From Us to U

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

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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

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Get the low-down on Crowdfunding

Posted on: Monday, December 1st, 2014 by fundit

From Us to U

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Final Countdown – The Last Few Days of Your Campaign

Posted on: Friday, August 1st, 2014 by fundit

Fund it Target Bar and 3 Days To Go

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

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

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

1. The Personal Touch

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

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

2. Don’t Beg

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

3. Use Your Network Effectively

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

4. The Large Investor

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

5. Media

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

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

– Written by: Claire FitzGerald

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Getting a Head Start on your Crowdfunding Plans

Posted on: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 by fundit

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.

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Here We Go Again! Running Your Second Campaign

Posted on: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by fundit

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.

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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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Easy Image Editing

Posted on: Thursday, August 1st, 2013 by fundit

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

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Guest Blog – Shimmy Marcus

Posted on: Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by fundit

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbyQxxTvlaQ

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: Shimmy Marcus

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The Power of Great User Profiles…

Posted on: Friday, November 9th, 2012 by fundit

Your profile is a really great way to get more involved with Fund it and engage with your potential funders. Signing up to Fund it will automatically generate a basic user profile, so if you are thinking of running your own Fund it campaign or funding projects regularly, you should enhance your profile and allow people to find a little more information about you. By doing so, you will add a more personal touch, generate trust in you and your project and show your audience that you are an engaged part of the Fund it community. People really do look at user profiles, so why not make the most of it? Tell your story, upload a snazzy pic, and share the love by supporting and engaging with projects that feature on the site and interest you!

Stray Lines Profile

How to create a killer profile…

1. When you sign up for an account or log in, select the ‘my account’ button

2. Choose the ‘Personal settings’ option, which will bring you to your user profile

3. Choose a square photo – It’s great to have a really eye catching photo, or one that really speaks volumes about you.  If it’s not the right size, it will display stretched and distorted and might make you look silly. The recommended settings for your photos are 500px X 500px (square) and less than 1MB. To upload the picture, select the ‘edit profile image’ button.

4. Add your weblinks – Another great opportunity to allow people to find more information about you/your project and encourage them to support your cause, is to put links to relevant social media sites, personal websites, blogs, or group sites on your profile page.  Remember, your URL will be shortened to the domain name. eg.  twitter.com

5. Alias/Company/Organisation Name. As well as the contact details you entered when signing up, you can fill in plenty more information. The first of the goodies you can add is an alias. This is not just for caped crusaders, but is great for groups, bands, organisations and companies too.  This will be the name used on your profile, and as both a funder and a project creator. You have a maximum of 30 characters… so be concise!

6. Permalink. A permalink is a specific URL that points to a user profile on Fund it that remains unchanged indefinitely. By filling this in, you create a personalised and meaningful URL instead of a random generated number. Type your alias or own name at the end of the ‘http://www.fundit.ie/user/so people can find you easily and you can use it again and again for new projects. REMEMBER to think carefully about this as once done, it cannot be undone.

7. Your County – If you are based in Ireland, you can select the county you are based in. For project creators, this is always a good way for getting local support!

8. Your biography – This doesn’t have to be your life story, but give people a sense of who you are, and why you’re passionate about creativity. This is the first thing people will look for when they view your profile, so don’t leave it out! This really lets people know that you’re interested in telling your story, in the creative community, and getting to know your funders. Although there’s a 500 word max, about half that amount is usually plenty. Here’s an example. Amy de Bhrun who recently funded her project ‘Life at The United Solo Festival NYC’.

9. Update my details – The last, but definitely not the least, on this page is the ‘update my details’ button. Don’t forget to save your changes by selecting this button at the bottom of the page.

When you have done this, start sharing the love! By supporting other projects, even with the minimum amount, you learn how to use the site and become part of our community. Those you have supported are more likely to support you in return, and use their networks to spread the word if your project is something they are excited about. REMEMBER the projects you have funded will show on your user profile unless you have chosen to fund the projects anonymously. By supporting other projects, you show that you believe in the practice of crowdfunding, are passionate about seeing creative projects happen , and that you have tried and tested Fund it for yourself.

– Written by: Claire FitzGerald

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Guest Blog – Una Mullally

Posted on: Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by fundit

It seems entirely fitting that our first Guest-blog on Fund it should be written by our first ever pledger (and now, multi-pledger!), the journalist and broadcaster Una Mullally. We asked Una to give some advice to prospective project creators from the point of view of the seasoned pledger – what works, what doesn’t, and what just down-right annoys! Over to you Una…

Our first pledger and now multi-pledger Una Mullally

STARTING OUT
While I generally fund projects that attract my own interests, be it across theatre, music, visual art, film or whatever else seems special, the projects that especially attract me or grab me outside of those genres are ones that when you first click on them, it’s obvious that those driving the project have made a real effort. This comes down to three things for me; the text outlining the project, the campaign video and the rewards.

Although many people won’t want to read a thesis on what the project is and why those behind it want it funded, I like to see a comprehensive outline on the impetus for creating the project, who is involved, whether there’s a specific goal (like an album or a festival to perform at), what is actually being funded (studio time? Production costs? Material?), and a breakdown of where the money is going. Sometimes I read project outlines and they appear quite vague, so a comprehensive breakdown of where the money will go is really appealing. Not only is this a transparent process, but it also shows that those running the project have already thought about how it’s going to work. It also gives the funder an insight into how much creative endeavors actually cost to see through.

A decent video is a must. It doesn’t need to be a full-on production or a preview of what’s in store, but it should outline quickly what the project is, why it’s exciting and why it should be funded. For most people, this will be their first introduction to the project, so it needs to be impactful. I definitely think that the people behind the project should appear in the video too. They should be speaking directly to potential funders and explaining why they should part with their money. If this doesn’t work visually throughout the video, tack it on to the end. It adds a personal aspect to it that gives a further insight into the work and who’s making it.

Sometimes I don’t even consider the rewards – maybe I’ll have reached a decision whether or not to fund something before I even get to that point. But nevertheless they are crucial. The less rewards there are, with a limited scale of financial commitment, the less likely I am to fund it. If there’s a wide range of figures, from a fiver or a tenner up, chances are it’ll swing me. And the rewards need to be creative. They don’t necessarily need to have a material kickback, so stuff like bands playing gigs in your gaff, or a director cooking dinner for you, things like that make it fun, interesting, and show the artists’ commitment to getting their work up and running.

If I see a campaign that has 20 rewards, I’ll know they’ll have put the effort in. A few rewards feel just lazy to me. You have to think of creative and innovative way of making people part with their money. What would you spend a tenner on? How would you feel more involved in a project? I think considering people spend often substantial amounts on Fund it, there needs to be an allotment of ownership to the funders. This is why offering incentives like production credits and so on work. Funders don’t just want to throw money at things, they want to be a part of it, during and after the project has come to fruition. For some funders, having their name on credits or an album sleeve is the closest they’ll ever get to creating a piece of art, and that’s why they seek that sort of participation and multiple-ownership.

DURING THE CAMPAIGN
I suppose there are three main stages when the pledger should be contacted by the project creators. The first is the obvious one of a ‘thank you’ for funding. The second should be activity updates on the site (which are emailed automatically to funders) before the project has been funded to let the funder know how close they are to reaching their target. I’m not the biggest fan of emails that say “tell your friends to fund us to.” As a pledger, when I input my credit card number and click the button, I’ve already done my job. I might tweet about it afterwards to let people know if I think it’s a particularly interesting project, but it’s not the pledger’s obligation to spread the word further. They’ve already done their job by giving you money, the rest of your job is to replicate that action, not outsource the responsibility for it by calling on the pledger to tap their own personal networks.

Then there’s the third stage of informing the funder that the target has been reached and they’re about to get working on it. At this point, the funder should be informed when they’ll be getting their reward, and reminding them of what it is.

‘If I see a campaign that has 20 rewards, I’ll know they’ll have put the effort in. A few rewards feel just lazy to me’ – See Julie Feeney for a great example!

POST-CAMPAIGN
There is nothing that would turn someone off from giving money again or feeling like they were ripped off, than if the campaign stops when the target has been reached. While you don’t have to fall over yourself with gratitude, I cannot stress the importance of keeping your funders in the loop with what’s going on. After all, they are the ones who made it happen.

The first obvious one is delivering rewards. If these are long-term rewards (like a copy of a book when it comes out, which might take a while, or tickets to a performance that is still in the works) that’s fine, but remind your funders how and when they can access these rewards or when they will be delivered.

The second is continuing to involve funders in the creative process. Email updates talking about how recording or rehearsing or filming or building or whatever is going are essential. I like as much detail as possible, so describing the first day of filming for example, or talking about who has come on board, or the logistics of putting a show together are interesting to me. They make me feel as though I’m getting an access all areas or backstage version of the creative process, which enhances the feeling of involvement.

Everyone knows that creating something can be a long and arduous process, but it’s important to keep the people who got you there in the loop. Giving little previews of what’s happening; photos, videos, and that kind of thing also enhance this.

The third thing is letting people know when things are just about finished. Emailing and describing the final days of the project or the final preparations enrich that timeline from the Fund it page to the realization of a project. Letting people know that things are just about to kick off is fun, because it also adds to the excitement of remotely seeing a project finally come together.

The fourth stage is about game time. Even if people haven’t earned rewards to get a free EP or tickets to the play, let them know that it’s out there, that they were the ones that made it happen and that the project is now live. And in the aftermath, thank people again. Whatever the creative endeavor is, once it’s out in the world, it’s important to remind pledgers that it wouldn’t have happened without them.

AND FINALLY…
Don’t take the piss. Don’t fall off the earth in terms of communication once you’ve got money from people. Follow through on rewards. Deliver what you’ve promised. Be friendly and excited and grateful in your communication. Don’t send updates that seem ‘mandatory’, like emails that are just a few lines that are a gesture to what’s going on rather than proper details. Updates like that just read like “I was told to do this” rather than “I’m excited to tell you what stage we’re at.” Make people feel like they’re a part of the process, that they’re actually a collaborator in it, not just a contributor. This is not charity. You should not feel entitled to receive funding. At the same time, there is an incredible appetite out there for people to give money to projects they believe in and that they believe are worthwhile. But the people funding you are doing something as worthwhile as what you’re doing: one doesn’t exist without the other. Naturally, you need to do it properly the first time around and leave a residue of positive sentiment in case you want to hit them up again!

*Una Mullally waived a fee for this contribution to our blog.

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Thinking of running a Fund it project?

Posted on: Thursday, February 9th, 2012 by fundit

Part 1 – Preparing the ground

Because of the high success rate of projects on Fund it, at first glance, crowdfunding might look like an easy way to raise money. Yes, some projects reach their targets in just a few days and a handful of lucky creators have even reached their target in a matter of hours! This always causes great excitement when it happens, but (reality check!) this is very much the exception to the rule. Running a project is hard work, and projects DO fail on Fund it, so it’s definitely worth committing as much time as you can in preparation before you go live. If you heed the following sage words of advice, we hope you’ll have a successful and much-talked about campaign!

We’ve followed all the successful projects to date and put together the following pointers to help run the perfect campaign – one that experiences a speedy initial rally of pledges at the start, followed by a steady climb and then a final rally as deadline approaches. The recipe is a great idea/project, an engaged network of people to talk to; a steady flow of fresh and newsy information about your project and a well thought through set of rewards priced to get you to your financial target.

Review your social network – prior to going live on the site, and preferably before you submit a project to Fund it, you should review your contact networks (personal/organisational email lists, Facebook fans/friends, Twitter followers, etc) to make sure they are up to date and engaged.  These communication channels are likely to be the primary resource you use to tell your story and invite people to pledge to your Fund it project, so make sure that everyone you know that you think might be a potential pledger is in there!

Maximise your network – when you have done a good job of tidying up your network, it’s time to examine those lists to understand how best these people can support you.  Are there people on those lists who would be willing to help you spread the word about your project (especially those with large social networks themselves)?  Perhaps you know a blogger or a journalist with an interest in your project or field of creativity? It’s worth contacting these people in advance of going live on Fund it to tell them what you’re planning to do and ask for their help.  If you get their agreement, don’t just leave it at that – be specific about what you’d like them to do, and when.

Think smart – even if you don’t have any or many influential people in your network, you should identify people who might have an interest in your field of creativity.  Contact them and explain what you are planning to do, and how it might be of interest to them.

Do the sums – you need to be confident that you can get to your campaign total. Be mindful of the value of the ‘main’ reward in your campaign – the one you feel most people will select. If you want to raise €1,000 and it costs €10 to download the album you are recording, then you need to be confident that there are at least 100 people in your network that will definitely pledge that. The reality is that the average pledge amount on Fund it is higher than that (between €40 and €50), so this gives you a bit of latitude to work with, and really attractive higher value rewards will help drive people to pledge higher amounts. However, you may well find that only about 10% of people in your network pledge to your project, so it’s important that you plan how to engage people who don’t know you or your work in the project and get them to pledge.

Start the conversation – when developing your Fund it submission, you should get in touch with a few close friends/followers to ask their advice on your pitch, your video, whether the rewards are appealing, etc.  Often, you will be able to get valuable feedback from this, which you can include in your project before submitting (this will help reduce the time it takes between submitting your project and going live).  Some Project Creators have even started an online discussion about their project before going live, soliciting feedback on pitch, rewards etc. One of the great benefits of doing this is that your friends might suggest new ideas or offer you some great rewards which you can offer to people that support your project.

Keep the conversation going and keep it fresh – have a think about all the different things you could talk about in relation to your project. You’ll see yourself that it can get very boring if projects are only communicating to ask for money or to say what % they are at. The most interesting projects talk about the progress of the project itself, more detail about what they hope to achieve, some information about the people involved. This is worth working out in advance so it always sounds fresh, newsy and interesting. This is where you hope that others will share the facts to their own networks.

Talk through your project as much as you can before submitting it. Once a project goes live, things cannot be changed!

Our best advice…before submitting, spend time getting your network organised!

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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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‘Top Tips’ for New Project Creators – learn from others’ mistakes!

Posted on: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 by fundit

We want to make life as easy as possible for new project creators on Fund it, so we asked those who have had projects successfully funded on the site what they’ve learned, and what their top tips are in relation to running a crowdfunding campaign on Fund it.  We reckon they know what they’re talking about as they’re all speaking from experience.

Here’s what they said so far:

• Prepare your project pitch with the passion and enthusiasm it deserves

• Keep your message clear and use language that is simple and to the point.  Potential funders should understand what the project is about in the first paragraph of text, so don’t waffle!

• Upload a short video, it’s a great communication tool. Some of our funders said our video made their mind up to support our project

• Build a small margin of error into your funding target to cover credit card transaction failures

• Set aside the time to plan and run your marketing campaign both online and offline. Treat the campaign like a full-time job, and make time to keep working on it. If people see you working hard on your campaign, they’re more likely to take you seriously and will assume you will work just as hard to make your project happen

• Ensure that all the people involved in the project are on board to promote it to their contacts and networks – the bigger your target, the bigger your network should be

• Consider hosting some mini-events during your campaign to remind people of the time left and the amount still to raise

• Remember that the publicity generated during the campaign can be very valuable..  It can help to build your audience by reaching out to new people, and also raises awareness of micro-philanthropy for the creative sector. Remain enthusiastic and positive throughout your campaign.  There will be highs and lows, but don’t stop until you reach your target

• Be creative when communicating with your network.  Rather than just posting the link to Fund it on social media platforms, think about including other interesting links or information in your daily posts to engage people

• Emphasise the ‘all or nothing’ policy of Fund it

• Prepare well – not just for your Fund it submission, but also how you will promote it once live.  Know what you will be doing to promote it the first day it goes live, and everyday thereafter

• Be polite – you’re asking people to give you money in advance of getting their reward

• Deliver your rewards as promptly and professionally as you would like to receive them; you never know who you are dealing with!

• Listen to the Fund it team’s advice; they know what they’re talking about

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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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Seven Deadly Sins to AVOID when Submitting a Project

Posted on: Thursday, April 21st, 2011 by fundit

SLOTH – Crowdfunding isn’t a doddle! Before submitting your project to Fund it, take sufficient time to look at other projects on the website, read the FAQ’s and the Terms & Conditions. You need to allow plenty of time to learn how crowdfunding works, to develop the perfectly written proposal, to work out your fundraising target, to craft a series of rewards and to produce a video that will attract funders.

GREED – Work out your fundraising target carefully! Your peers will know how much it costs to publish a book/produce a CD/create an event etc. If you are not realistic with your budget, people may question whether your target is the actual amount you require.

PRIDE – Take pride in creating a quality submission and the fact that you are considering using Fund it as a way to raise funds. Ask your friends, fans and followers if they would be willing to support your campaign before you submit your project to the website, so you have a ground-swell of support to get you going right away. Remember, Fund it does not provide the funders for your project; you will need to get your network to support your idea.

LUST – Make your rewards as creative and desirable as possible, and choose your price points carefully. If your rewards are attractive, creative and good value, you will be more likely to reach your fundraising target quickly. If you are having difficulty developing your rewards, consider asking your friends/fans/followers for ideas, or how they could help supply rewards for your fundraising campaign.

ENVY – Is good in small doses! You should have a good look at the projects that have been successful already on Fund it and take time to learn from their campaigns – both what worked, and just as importantly, what didn’t work. Don’t be afraid to approach other Creators that have been successful on Fund it or other websites, to ask them what to look out for and avoid.

GLUTONY – Most people have more than one great idea that they’d like to seek funding for. If you are considering submitting more than one project (either at the same time, or in quick succession) ask yourself ‘who will support this project?’ If you are going to ask the same people to support more than one project, they may experience fatigue with your request for support quickly.

ANGER – Don’t shoot the messenger! Please don’t take offence if we have some ‘straight-to-the-point’ comments about your project. We have a team of moderators who are very familiar with the cultural and creative industries and have spent a lot of time understanding what does and doesn’t work in crowdfunding. If they spot something that you have omitted in your submission, or something they feel won’t be successful, they will let you know by phone or email, and where possible they will make recommendations. However, please be aware that we are receiving a large amount of submissions and it may take us time to get to yours.

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