Monday, June 25, 2012

Crowd Funding



Sure, I could do porn, (shoot it or edit it. Not star in it… what were you thinking?), or some soul-sucking corporate job where I go to an office every day , (been there, done that). But what I really want to do is make something that helps people. I’ve produced a few short films aimed at a youth audience, highlighting the dangers of cyber-bullying, and bullying in general. I’ve done school related short videos on special needs & technology. I volunteer and have for a few years, both in schools and in youth related organizations. I like to help. I want to work on projects that are good for kids, good for humanity and good for my soul.

So, I’ve written a play.

I’m working on developing this project that will re-enforce the need for tolerance between peoples. It’s a stage play that I plan to film like a TV show, and make it available to every school district I can reach. Issues of racism, bigotry and ignorance will be explored in a kid-friendly, thought-provoking way. And, and this is the really cool part, the story will be told, in many ways, through different styles of dance. It’s a heady project and I’m equal parts excited and terrified.
Excited because I have rounded up some of the most talented people I know to be a part of it. Terrified because it’s going to be expensive to produce, and the returns could be great… or non-existent.

So, I’m looking to crowd fund it. But where to go? Kickstarter seems like the obvious choice, but there are others. IndieGoGo, GoFundMe and more. They all charge fees that seem fair and equitable. They all have pros and cons, and I’m hoping to get your expertise, in the form of comments below, to shed some light on it.

Kickstarter.com seems like the right choice. There are lots of projects that get funding through this site, and there are some hugely creative things going on there. Since they limit their scope to creative projects, it seems like a non-brainer.
IndieGoGo is another site that focuses, a bit more broadly, on funding creativity. I like their option for a flexible vs. fixed campaign.

GoFundMe.com is another that has risen to the top of my investigations. They offer ongoing funding opportunities and open-ended campaigns.

All of these ideas rely on my ability to get people that I already know to contribute and fund my project. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo seem to have more name recognition, which could conceivably bring me supporters and patrons that I don’t personally know.

It comes down to a few things:
Most of the people I know volunteer as well, in the same causes. Sure, they could contribute a few bucks here and there, but they don’t have more or less than I do. I’m going to run out of friends and family pretty quick.
The other aspect of all of this is that these sites seem to be too good to be true. I can raise how much? Really? Wow!

So, I ask you… do you have any experience with these sites? What pros and cons have you experienced? Share with me your knowledge, wise person!