Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

Crowdfunding experiences and observations...

(I posted this as a comment to an off-LJ call for crowdfunding information, experiences and resources, and it seemed a shame to let it slip away there... so I am reposting without any particular attempt to clean it up, for now. I think there are the bones of a good article here, but it may not even be relevant by the time I have a chance to refine it...)

Here are a few links to things I've done:

Kickstarter Clues: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1444069.html
My experience crowdfunding four coloring books by accident.

The Complete History of Sketch Fest: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfesthistory.php
This project is one of the few I went into deciding I couldn't afford to invest a lot of work into it for free. All of the (rather extensive!) web programming is paid for through donations and a percentage of artwork sales. Activity is lively, and sales are brisk, so it continues to support itself nicely! (As well as being awesomely fun and inspiring.) This is pretty much a log of site improvements as they get funded.

Chopping Block Master Post: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1143338.html
This is an overview with links to the various projects (15!) I was running at the end of 2010, broken into things that were working and things that weren't. I should do an updated version of this one of these days soon!

Abstracts for Curtains: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1213361.html
A painting crowdfunding project I ran in 2011 to fund curtains for the nursery.

Sea Monster Month Crowdfunding 2014: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1448256.html
A fun crowdfunding project for a sea monster scale chart.

Sea Monster Month Crowdfunding 2013: http://ellenmillion.livejournal.com/1373367.html
Crowdfunding a series of sea monster art cards.

Some general thoughts: People like to get something for their support. Lots of people donated a little bit more to have something they could hold in their hands, and could be coaxed to higher levels with more rewards. People like Good Deals. People like to feel like they are supporting something specific, like earning money towards curtains for the nursery, or towards medical or vet bills... but hopping from crisis to crisis is a great way to LOSE supporters. One-shot campaigns to create something specific do better, too. People like goals, and to feel like they've helped MAKE something.

I like the Kickstarter platform a great deal, but it's a Big Deal. For smaller projects, I'll still do them independently. I've also just started a Patreon account: http://www.patreon.com/ellenmillion - It's still in baby stages, but I rather like the concept. The site itself still needs serious work; browsing to find new projects is painfully stupid.

A site that collects various crowdfunding individuals and links to their current campaigns (via patreon, kickstarter, independent projects) with good search features and timing triggers (ie: campaigns with end-dates time out) would be a HUGE boon to the community. It's taking all of my self-control not to leap in and build one.
Tags: crowdfunding, kickstarter, patreon, scaly scaly capitalism

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