We’re hard at work seeking financing for CENTS, and one of
the ways we plan to raise money for our budget is through Kickstarter. For
those of you unfamiliar with the site, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website
where creative projects, like films, can launch campaigns to raise money.
Project creators set a fundraising goal and a time limit, then reach out to
their networks to raise money in exchange for rewards. The most popular
Kickstarter donation amount is $25, and contributions average $70 across
campaigns. Rewards for films can range from digital downloads of the finished film to being background talent in the film and tickets to the premiere.
It’s All or Nothing
The key to Kickstarter is it’s “all or nothing.” You have to raise your total goal before your deadline or you get nothing. Zip. Zilch. Squat.
So, why would you choose Kickstarter to crowdfund instead of Indiegogo, a similar crowdfunding site without the “all-or-nothing” requirement?
After researching crowdfunding for two years, we have discovered that Kickstarter’s “all-or-nothing” approach creates a sense of urgency that leads to successful campaigns. When someone backs a Kickstarter campaign, that person becomes invested in the success of the campaign itself. As a campaign gets closer to its deadline, backers become a powerful network to find more support for the campaign to push it over its goal. Kickstarter campaigns are successful not just because of the financial support of backers, but also because of the efforts of backers to help a campaign reach its goal in the final days of the campaign.
Successful Kickstarter Campaigns Rely on Personal Emails
More importantly, how backers share information about a Kickstarter campaign makes a big difference. Posts to Facebook and tweets on Twitter are great and spread the word, but the most effective tool for getting a friend or family member to contribute to a Kickstarter campaign is through a personal email. We're not talking about spamming your contact list. We mean reaching out one-on-one to a friend or relative to share your passion for a Kickstarter campaign and to convince that person to join you in supporting the campaign.
We know we delete a lot of mass emails that show up in our own inboxes, but we always open an email from a friend or relative. This is the power of connection that we hope to harness to make our Kickstarter campaign successful.
Do the Math
Our story CENTS involves a mathematical plot device that we think is also a great hook for our Kickstarter campaign. In the film, our protagonist Sammy uses a geometrical series as the basis for revamping the school penny drive. This series follows the riddle of giving one penny on the first day of the month, then doubling the amount of pennies from the day before for each successive day of the month. The way Sammy seeks to accomplish this goal is to ask kids to donate a penny a day for the rest of the month plus get them to convince one person every day of the month to do the same thing – hence, doubling the amount of pennies collected every subsequent day.
So, for our Kickstarter campaign, we’d like to ask everyone to consider a contribution in dollars equal to the amount of days left in the campaign, and we would like everyone to reach out to one individual personally via email each remaining day of the campaign to convince them to join for a dollar a day for the remainder of the campaign plus invite a friend a day, and so on.
For example, if you join our 31-day campaign at the beginning, we encourage you to contribute $31. Then, we hope you will email and convince one friend the next day to join the campaign and contribute $30. The next day, we hope both you and your friend will each convince two more friends to join the campaign and contribute $29. And so on.
Of course, you can always contribute more than a dollar a day, and we’ll have rewards at higher dollar amounts to entice higher contributions! But what is most important to us is we hope that you actively help us throughout the duration of the campaign, not just make one contribution and forget about us. We can’t do this without your help and your friends’ help!
We launch in December, So Why are We Telling You in October?
We’re telling you about our December Kickstarter launch in October because we need our friends and family to get ready and excited for this campaign now. We want to have a strong launch, then work hard for the duration of the campaign to keep the momentum going. This is the time to look at your email contact lists to see who you think will be passionate and supportive of this campaign.
Also, by the end of this campaign, if we’re really successful, we all may need to dig deep into our contact lists to find someone who has not already been contacted by a friend to join the campaign. Those overlapping emails, though, are still great because if a mutual friend receives multiple requests to join our Kickstarter, that mutual friend is more likely to join than if he or she only receives one email.
We will only be successful with your help. Can you please email this blog post to one friend now to get them ready for our Kickstarter campaign?
Thanks for your ongoing support of CENTS. We’ll keep you posted on our progress with the campaign as we get closer to launch.