Crowdfunding to fundraise and validate your ideas

I recently attended a DubWeb Festival founded by Mikael Thiery, French filmmaker and producer based in Dublin and co-directed by Erol Mustafov, Director of Videography Ireland, cinematography and editing freelancer.

Although the festival was mostly geared towards filmmakers, theatre producers and music makers, I felt there were certain elements which had a strong relation to marketing and fundraising principles through crowdfunding applicable for other kinds of businesses.

The talks by industry experts and award-winning series makers (see picture below) about crowdfunding were particularly interesting. Their pieces of advice were valuable for any start-ups looking to fund their businesses or their products and services’ launch.

crowfunding2

Crowdfunding is mainly used to fundraise for specific activities, campaigns or launches, and the talks were talking about this aspect. Consequently, this post will discuss the different platforms and ways to get your audience engaged and willing to support you financially. Nonetheless, please note that crowdfunding can also be used to validate your ideas.

But first thing first, if you want your crowdfunding campaign to be successful, you will need to make sure your audience is online and your product or service is suitable for that target market (language, culture).

Then you will have to work hard to create a buzz around it.

To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Create convincing and creative video and content pitches.
  2. Select the most appropriate crowdfunding platform for your audience. If you want to target niche audiences for film production, consider one of these: VRV for Fantasy films, Shutter, Patreon. Otherwise, the main platforms are Indigogo and Kickstarter.
  3. Understand how the chosen crowdfunding platform works. For eg, Indigogo is available worldwide. With it, you can either get the money only if you reach your fundraising goal or get whatever money you fundraise even if you haven’t hit your goal. If you use Kickstarter, remember it’s available in only 34 countries and you can only cash in the fundraised monies if you have reached your goal.
  4. Keep in mind the charged fees by the crowdfunding platform as well as the taxes you will have to claim as income (tax). Generally speaking, there is a 3-5 % processing fee + a 5 % fee once the fundraising campaign ends.
  5. Set a fundraising goal that will cover all your costs.
  6. Entice your audience to donate and become your fans by offering rewards. Some rewards may be posted (merchandising such as DVDs, T-shirts…), so keep in mind that these incur extra costs. If you want to keep these costs down, you may offer your donors free release of some of your web series’ episodes, for instance.
  7. Leverage your superfans by offering them VIP rewards to post out.
  8. Create a sense of emergency by offering special rewards released as the crowdfunding campaign goes.
  9. Get in touch with your existing network.
  10. Feed information on social media by sharing snippets of your story.
  11. Build awareness of your campaign by organising your own offline or online events. You could start by creating a big live event: live show, music video, tours/trip, podcast, free food/drinks night, special invites to parties. Any possible hooks to gather more fans will be valuable.
  12. Get in touch with PR companies for press releases.
  13. Think about sponsorship for further brand exposure. However, remember that these will not provide you with financial support (instead, you will receive gifts-in-kind and discounts) and may not care too deeply about your brand, while your fans from crowdfunding will.
  14. Network to find potential angel investors at conferences and conventions related to your type of business. For eg, for filmmakers, they could attend Comecon.
  15. Get your friends and fans to share your campaign.

 

‘The idea of happiness’ German film soundtrack by Fewjar music band

YouTube is, as usual, an incredible source of talented musicians and actors! 🔍😍

I was looking for interesting films to watch and discovering new music to listen to, and I came across this amazing ‘The idea of happiness’ German film soundtrack by Fewjar music band.

Zachary NelsonGerman film soundtrack 'The ideas of happiness' by Fewja band

First, let me tell you a little bit about the film soundtrack.

The selected soundtrack playlist comes from a Berlin-based band calledFewjar‘ playing in multiple genres such as Electro, the 80s, Rock, Progressive, Psychedelic, Crossover, Triphop.

You can follow them on their various social accounts by checking the links in their Youtube description below their videos. Now, sit back, relax, be patient and wait a minute for the first song to kick off fully!

Fewjar band regularly organises on Youtube live room sessions, where they play for you their songs live in their studio as well as occasionally bring guests to their recording sessions.

They can also play songs upon request if you notify them sufficiently in advance by commenting under their Youtube live videos.

Here are few samples of their live studio sessions, in which they connect with their audience.

What do you think about their music? If you liked it, download their songs from Itunes, Amazon or Bandcamp! 👍😉

Now, as you may have guessed, the film is also in German. But don’t worry because it is subtitled in English. Feeling relieved?😌 It’s a very well done psychological thriller. Although it’s not my film genre, I truly enjoyed it and hope you will, too!

If you liked it, support the film project!

Zeo, the filmmaker, has set up a crowdfunding page for all his film projects and is raising funds for them on a monthly basis: https://www.patreon.com/Zeo

You can give as little as $1 per month so you won’t be too much out of pocket!💰

You can also follow Zeo on different social media accounts that are displayed on his Patreon project page.

 

Fundraising gigs’campaign for abortion rights (IE)

For those who do not live in Ireland, you may not know that still up to today abortion isn’t allowed under most circumstances. Women are discouraged to abort regardless of circumstances and must travel to UK or other EU countries if they want to abort.

The gigs took place last Friday 10th March 2017 at Sin é pub, Dublin 1 and were organised by Bitches Brew & F-Festival celebrating women in the arts.

The purpose of this night was to fund raise for the Repeal movement and bring awareness of the Irish law in terms of women’s abortion rights.🔥👍 To get a better understanding of what this law entails and follow the campaign on social media, check these leaflets 👇

what is the eight amendment

reasons to fight for women's abortion rights and repeal the eight amendment

If you are living in Ireland or are Irish living abroad, sign up for this petition requesting the law to be reviewed and giving women the rights to abort if they choose to 👊:

https://www.artistsrepealthe8th.com/sign

The event gathered four bands, mostly girls’ bands playing various music styles such as pop, blues, roots folk, rock, hard rock. I arrived a little late for the event and also left early, so I only recorded two bands but I will share with you some videos of the other two bands I missed. Bear in mind that the venue is very narrow in width, so I wasn’t always able to film from the best angle. Apologies for this! For the YouTube videos I made, I have indicated underneath the respective bands’ Facebook fan pages if you’d like to follow them.

Which one you like most and why? Are you going to like any of their Facebook fan page(s)?

I will start to share with you a snippet I shared on my Instagram account:

And now full songs recorded or found on YouTube:

These are two Youtube videos I found of the other bands I have missed:

Various music styles benefit concerts to end homelessness

I attended the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Benefit concerts on Friday 20th January 2017 at Sin é pub, Dublin 1 (Ireland) to raise funds for homeless people in Ireland.

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Apart from contributing to a wonderful cause, I enjoyed discovering new bands and singers-songwriters 🤓!

The event is organised over 2 nights: Friday 20th and Saturday 21st January 2017 and has a different line-up constituting of 4 bands and/or singers-songwriters for each night. So, if you haven’t been to the first session, it’s still time to catch up the second one ✌️😉!

You will find the eventbrite online ticket link directly in the event’s description or you may pay at the door!

https://www.facebook.com/events/162589350888333/

Now, here is the moment you’ve all been waiting for 🎊, the live videos I took at the event 👏💝🎉! Apologises for the format, I should have filmed in landscape mode! Also, I haven’t filmed the last folk band ‘The Eskies’ as I ran out of battery. I’m sorry for this inconvenience. You will find the Facebook fan page link for each band/singer in the description under each YouTube video. To view the description, click on the YouTube title to open the video in a new tab. Enjoy! Tell us what’s your favourite act amongst them and why! If you have filmed them, too, feel free to share the link in the ‘comment’ box!

 

 

Music Without Borders – live concerts (2016)

First of all, before I start talking about the event I attended and sharing with you videos, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas ⛄️❄️!

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The charity event in aid of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) took place on Friday 23rd December 2016 at the beautiful and cozy Workman’s Club pub in Dublin (Ireland) 🔥. There was a fun and warm filled atmosphere to it and the live concerts were very good!

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If you’d like to know more about the event itself, check their event page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/653950094771897/ 

You will find Facebook and Periscope live videos on my fan page:

https://www.facebook.com/Fundraising.Music/?fref=ts

The music was varied. It started off with what I would call ‘ambiant music’ with Daniel McDermott playing at the keyboard and using other pre-recorded instrumental pieces. It continued on with a brand new Irish hip hop duet called ‘God Creative and Crimes Against’ and finished off with a folk and pop music band led by Conor O’Mally. Entry tickets and Conor O’Meally music CDs purchased by the audience went into the fundraising initiative for the charitable organisation.

Now, I’m sure you are dying to watch the Youtube videos, right 😜😉?! Here you go!

Did you enjoy these? Have you been to the event and want to share your own videos and pictures? If so, add them in the ‘Comment’ box below!

Want to watch a spooky circus project show?

Dublin Circus Project is a non profit organisation working to bring the circus arts to life in Dublin. They are based at Bannow Business Centre on Bannow Road, Cabra and keep expanding and buying new equipment. For this, they organise regular fundraising kickstart projects and perform live for you!

I attended their event on Saturday 31st October 2015 at Back Loft Gallery, St Augustine Street, Dublin 8.

For more information about the event and the circus centre, check out these links:

https://www.facebook.com/events/304036816386575/

https://www.facebook.com/dublincircusproject/info/?tab=overview

http://dublincircusproject.com/dublin-circus-centre/

Enjoy the pictures and video snippets below and apologises for the quality, flash wasn’t allowed to be used during the performance!

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Gig with DJs Dale Turner and Ras Rob in aid of Beautiful Gate South Africa charity

This is an event I have organised a few years ago to raise funds for a very actively involved charity doing great things for these vulnerable children and families and children orphans.

The fundraising music gig took place in Dublin at the Q Bar (now River Bar), Burgh Quay on Thursday 16th September 2010 and showcased Ras Rob and Dale Turner deejaying skills. The night was very successful with more than 80 attendants partying!

To listen to Ras Rob and Dale Tuner’s tracks, check out the below soundcloud mixes and video:

The gig has also been a success in terms of money raised for the charity Beautiful Gate South Africa. Indeed, we have been able to send 360 Euros via online banking to finance a week-long holiday club for 200 primary school children to do fun and educational activities run by teen groups who develop planning and leadership skills!

The staff from Beautiful Gate South Africa really appreciated your donations. To prove this, they have sent us a little report with pictures and a video, which you can see below:

“The children in Crossroads have always been fanatical soccer players, but with the recent World Cup, the enthusiasm is even higher than usual at the moment. Many of the junior (under 13) teams are run by older teenagers, and meet and train by the side of the road in drainage areas – even the local schools don’t have a grass playing area. Although the soil is naturally sandy, they dodge broken glass, old rusty metal faeces and stones, often playing in bare feet. The older boys who are the team coach/manager have had no coaching training, and ‘training’ is often an impressive word for a kick-about. Beautiful Gate has invested in a grass sports field that is safe and clean. It is used by local groups and schools for soccer, netball, and athletics, and we work with the teenage soccer coaches to help them learn about coaching and to become good role models for the younger boys.

This week our field is being used for a Soccer Holiday Club – 16 teams of up to 20 boys (under 13) arrive by 10 am every day to join in a session about life skills before playing their matches. The life skills sessions cover topics such as respect, responsibility and hygiene, and we link the topics with practical examples of behaviour on the pitch and opportunities to act as linesmen during the matches.

The soccer is taken very seriously – not only pride is at stake, many of the Bafana Bafana players have come from communities like Crossroads and have been able to escape poverty through their footballing talent. Few have the talent and luck to make a career out of football, but our hope is that all the boys will be able to build a better future for themselves, through the life skills they learn and through improved strength from the physical exercise.

 Best Wishes,

Andrea Harper

Organisation Support and Community Development Manager

Online Donations: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/beautifulgate

Please also check out below the Youtube video link and pictures” slideshow showing the children playing soccer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W79MpRTDaE

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Annual Dance Aware Event videos – Twisted Pepper, 15th August 2014

Dance Aware was a fun filled night of dancing, which took place at Twisted Pepper on Friday 15th August 2014. The annual event  showcased various dance styles from across the globe, such as Lyrical Hip Hop (mix of hip hop and contemporary dance), Traditional African Dance, Hula Hoop, Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, Polynesian Dance, Flamenco, Italian and Polish Folk Dances….

dance picture

The event was organised by Resham-Ka Tribal in aid of Aware. Aware charity helps people affected by stress, depression and mood disorders. If you would like to know more about this charity, either donate or raise funds for them, visit their website:

https://www.aware.ie/about/

If you would like to view pictures from the event, please check their related Facebook event page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/875813669099046/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

If you have missed the event or would like to see its live recordings, have a look at the 6 below Youtube videos:

Fundraising tips for dancers

Whether you need to need extra money for a worldwide competition outside your country, or for an intensive advanced training, or just for additional equipment at your dance school, sooner or later you will have to fundraise to pay for all these extra expenses.

dance fundraiser

If you don’t know where to get started, I’ll review few techniques you can follow to achieve your goals.

First of all, to create awareness about your event(s) and request funds, you will have to write a full event proposal (several pages) for your most important sponsors (eg Arts City Council) or an event sponsorship letter of proposal (condensed into a 2 paged document) for smaller sponsors (eg local shops, theatres..). Obviously, before getting into this, you will need to plan and market smaller local performances as well as know how much expenses you will incur.

Indeed, as you understood, a partnership with local authorities will be key to success. If for example, you plan to have several street performances to target your audience, you will need to request few weeks or months in advance the permission to do so at your local authority (eg City Council). For this purpose, you need to ring their offices and ask them what is the procedure (forms to fill) and what are the limitations (noise, timing, busking…). For each country, it will be a different process, so if you are unsure who to contact, I would advise you to do an online search with this type of keywords: “city council street performance permission (request)”. Here is an example of a simple street fundraiser with guys busking at the end of the show:

Secondly, if you plan to do flash mobs in shopping centers or airport, you will also need to request their authorisation. Here are few examples of successful flash mobs tactics:

http://www.hotcow.co.uk/Buzz-Blog/the-top-10-guerrilla-marketing-campaigns.htm

Thirdly, if you want to create buzz around your event(s), you need to market it both online (social media, video content, newsletters, fundraising profile on crowd-sourcing websites such as fundit, idonate) and offline (flyers, posters, radio interviews, press releases). Consequently, you may need to contact your local radio, press, student union… You will need to reach them out via email or phone before your event takes place. You will either email them the information about your event (anticipated attendance count as if the event already took place, date, time, place, type of event and purposes, a picture of the dancers) or schedule a meeting. Be aware that most public relations agencies will be more likely to issue a press release if pictures are clear and taken outdoors during the daytime.

Also, you may also organise events creating emphasis on audience interaction, like for example a dance game competition or simply an event not necessarily related to dance such as film night (dance film or else). You can find few more ideas at the below link. They aren’t necessarily dance related but you can apply the same principles to your dance fundraiser:

 

http://performingarts.about.com/od/Production_Management/tp/20-Essential-Fundraising-Ideas.htm

 

Finally, please remember to send a thank you note to all your sponsors via email or your crowd-sourcing profile, and to your audience on your social networks (eg Facebook fan page, twitter…). Of course, advise them about how much you raised thanks to their participation and how you invested their donations!

 

Best of luck! If you have any other ideas, please share them with us!