Kickstopper? When crowdfunding campaigns can’t get started

Creative types are flocking to Kickstarter, GoFundMe and other sites to fund their dreams, but what happens when no one buys into their ideas?

If you’re plugged in to the news, it’s doubtless you’ve seen some of the splashy headlines about successful Kickstarter campaigns in recent months.

In March, the creator of the popular but long-defunct TV show “Veronica Mars” used the crowdfunding website to raise an astonishing $2 million in one day to make a movie based on the series, ultimately raising more than $5.7 million for the project. And less-famous creatives can also hit the big time with the online donation tool — from unknown filmmakers who presented at Cannes to tech startups hoping to rival industry giants like Google. The site allows users to raise money for projects in any creative field, such as art, design and technology.

But what about the Kickstarter campaigns that don’t make it? Only about 44 percent of fundraisers on the website reach their goal, according to Kickstarter.

Though setting up a website to raise donations sounds simple, gathering thousands of dollars with an average donation of about $75 is no easy task, Brian Meece, CEO and co-founder of the crowdfunding website Rockethub, said.

“There’s a lot of people who think, ‘If you build it they will come’; that they create the website and wake up with $100,000,” Meece said. “That’s not the case.”

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN WITHOUT FUNDS

Among the Kickstarter campaigns that seemed destined to go back to the drawing board was “Burn Your Brain 2013,” a proposal to build a giant, interactive brain that would go up in flames at the annual Burning Man festival. The project was on life support as of this writing, with a total of just four donors having contributed $50 toward its $420 goal two hours before the campaign was set to close.

Others that didn’t quite make it include a bid to release a 1953 recording of a Connecticut church’s organ music, and “Sato,” a comic book about a corporate assassin. Unfortunately, “Sato” had no samurai skills when it came to collecting money, having raised a mere $13 of its $100 goal with just minutes left in its campaign.

Meanwhile, the head-scratcher short film “Necrophilia: A Love Story,” easily surpassed its goal of raising $10,000, pulling in a total of $11,361 with more than 100 backers.

THE PAYBACK

According to Meece, there’s a simple formula for success when launching an online crowdfunding campaign: Having a great idea as well as a network of core supporters, and offering donors something in return for their support.

“I always tell people, ‘No one likes to be the first one dancing on the dance floor.’ If you get your core supporters involved, it helps make strangers more comfortable,” Meece said.

RELATED: Kate Hudson joins Zach Braff in Kickstarter movie

Justin Kazmark, a spokesman for Kickstarter, stressed communicating the idea and donor rewards as key to a successful campaign. In the case of a film, for example, donor incentives could include a DVD of the completed movie, or the chance to write a small part of the script.

“Projects that reach their funding goal tend to have compelling videos in which creator outlines clearly the project they’re working to bring to life, and thoughtfully crafted rewards that draw backers closer to the creative process,” Kazmark said.

BEAT THE CLOCK

Unlike Rockethub and other online crowd funding websites such as GoFundMe.com, Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing fundraising approach. Fundraisers who reach their goal receive the donations (of which Kickstarter takes 5 percent), and those who don’t walk away with nothing, a lesson Kickstarter users sometimes learn the hard way.

Jessica Lowry, an Austin, Texas, resident whose project to create an urban design tool to make streets more pedestrian-friendly topped out at $2,717 of her $25,000 goal, said she would set a more realistic target if she were to use Kickstarter again. Rather than looking at what she would actually need to complete the project, it would make more sense to set a smaller goal and undertake multiple fundraisers, she said.

VIDEO: Comedian uses Kickstarter funds to write jokes in the sky

“I read in an article that when you hit 30 percent of your goal you have a 90 percent chance of reaching it. That’s the part I really didn’t understand,” Lowry, 34, said. “I think it’s baby steps in understanding how you can experience success in a manageable way.”

Despite failure, Lowry and other Kickstarter users who did not reach their goals said they took away positives from the experience. Scott Crosby of San Diego, who hopes to launch “Business & Brews,” a TV show where entrepreneurs chat over some suds, said he was not disappointed after his Kickstarter campaign only raised $3,206 of its $22,000 goal.

“Although we didn’t reach our goal, it kind of proved the concept for me because of all the support from friends, from strangers,” Crosby said. “I don’t take the lack of funding as a lack of support.”

What Crosby did not expect was how many people weren’t familiar with the concept of crowdfunding, he said.

“One thing that I didn’t anticipate was having to educate people about crowdfunding and Kickstarter,” Crosby said. “A lot of people had never heard of it, so I had to answer a lot of questions.”

If he had to do it again, Crosby would start by gathering his list of potential donors and doing the leg work on educating them about the donation process before launching the campaign, he said.

“Because really, once you launch, the clock is ticking,” he said.

RELATED: Are Hollywood millionaires ruining Kickstarter? Let’s ask the Internet …

Post fundraising flop, Crosby is now moving to “plan B” — to go ahead with shooting a pilot for the show, which he will try to pitch to local and national TV stations, he said.

The visibility of a Kickstarter campaign can also open new doors, Lowry said. During her fundraising effort, people who were willing to volunteer to help make her project a reality reached out to her, including a software engineer and someone who offered to help her design press kits. Lowry’s now taking the next “baby steps” to get her project off the ground, launching a new campaign on GoFundMe.com with a goal of just $1, and seeking out more volunteers who don’t mind working for free, she said.

“I’m not going to abandon what I intended to do because I didn’t raise the money on Kickstarter,” Lowry said.

Source: By Magdalene Perez of MSN News

HEADLINE NEWS

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news [...]

NPRAfter Outcry, Crowdfunding Site Patreon Backs Off Plan To Raise ...NPRThe popular crowdfunding service Patreon has backed off plans to change its payment structure, after widespread, vocal and passionate opposition from creators and their fans. Last week, the site announced it woul [...]

ForbesCrowdfunding Do's And Dont's From iFundWomen's Karen CahnForbesDuring our conversation, she was transparent in sharing that her first software company, VProud, failed because she “did everything backwards” and spent too much time trying to perfect the product. “Pe [...]

TechCrunchHow hate speech crowdfunding outfit Hatreon crept back online ...TechCrunchIf you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you're probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech. Fortunately there's Ha [...]

EntrepreneurWhy Some Small Business Owners Are Turning to Crowdfunding to Save Their CompanyEntrepreneurMany owners of beloved local businesses, especially in pricier cities, have been forced to swallow their pride and appeal to their customers in times of crisis -- a process streamli [...]

Times of IndiaPT Usha takes to crowdfunding to run schoolTimes of IndiaCHENNAI: Legendary athlete PT Usha, called 'Payyoli Express' by her fans, has taken to crowdfunding and raised Rs 20 lakh to train budding girl sprinters and runners at her school in the hope of turning t [...]

Crowdfund InsiderNew Investment Crowdfunding Platform Launches in North Carolina as Full Stack Platform Including Intrastate NC ...Crowdfund InsiderUnder NC PACES, or “North Carolina Providing Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Small business Act,” crowdfunding legislation, issue [...]

ChronicleLiveNo need for banks as North East businesses turn to crowdfundingChronicleLiveCrowdfunding has developed a reputation for helping weird and wonderful projects become a reality. But while creative projects have utilised crowdfunding for some time, more and more North East bu [...]

Crowdfunding For French CastlesNPRYou too can own a French chateau, in part, anyway. Romain Delaume, CEO of Dartagnans, tells NPR's Scott Simon about a crowdfunding effort underway to preserve La Mothe-Chandeniers. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: What if I told you that for about $60, you cou [...]

TechCrunchFormer Gawker employees are crowdfunding an effort to buy Gawker.comTechCrunchWhile Univision acquired most of Gawker Media's sites last year (and renamed them as the Gizmodo Media Group), the deal didn't include Gawker itself. In fact, BuzzFeed reported last month [...]

CFB Finance

Marketwired

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |