(Credit: Article by Barbara Voerg)

I was working on an article on this topic when I came across this excellent article written by a colleague in NY. Couldn’t have said it better so I wont.

A few weeks ago, my son asked if I had any suggestions on how to raise additional capital for an independent film he had written and directed.

The project was already 90 percent funded and could go to final editing with the existing budget. However, an influx of a few thousand dollars would enhance some of the scenes and provide a small cushion for festival application fees and other unexpected charges.

Crowdfunding Candidate?

I suggested it could be a good candidate for a crowdfunding campaign. The producers concurred and their efforts resulted in successfully raising more than their initial goal of $10,000 in 21 days.

This is what we learned: rowdfunding is a great opportunity for certain projects, and there are many sites to work with. The challenge is finding the right one for your needs. With some sites, you can only keep the funds if you reach your goal. Others allow you to keep all contributions no matter how far from the goal you are at the end.

Commitment required

Creating a successful campaign requires a commitment. You can’t just post your campaign and expect satisfactory results without any effort. You want yours to appear on the first or second page of a search, otherwise you’ll be buried among thousands of other worthwhile campaigns and yours will be funded only by friends and family.

There are techniques for reaching this objective that you can pay for if you’re uncomfortable doing it on your own. Basically, you need to update your campaign as often as you can — ideally, multiple times a day. Post photos, videos and comments. Ask your friends and contributors to visit your campaign page often, spread the word through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and request comments from everyone. Three weeks is generally a good time frame for a campaign.

In preparing your campaign, select certain levels of contributions and associate a perk with each one. Remember, these contributors are not investing in your project. Offer them something for their financial support. Often, it is the number of contributions that successfully affect the position of a campaign rather than the total amount. In other words, 10 $10 contributions is more effective for placement than one $100 contribution. Also, use of PayPal rather than personal credit cards can make a difference.

There’s a cost

There is going to be a cost associated with your campaign. Customarily, it is a percentage of what is raised, plus a percentage to process the credit card payments. If you reach your goal, the fee is usually reduced. Make sure it works for you.

Bring every contact you have onboard. Don’t rely just on Facebook. Send out personal emails to your database of friends, relatives and acquaintances. Ask them to spread the word. Keep engaged with your campaign. Live and breathe it for the duration. And, of course, don’t forget your “thank you” at the end. Good luck.

Barbara Voerg is a certified business adviser for the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center. Article originally published on March 31, 2014. 

Want to read more about crowdfunding platforms? Check out this article!