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How Not To Do A Crowd Funding Campaign!

posted May 21, 2013, 2:57 PM by Andrew Manzo   [ updated Jun 7, 2013, 9:41 AM ]

    I wrote about crowdfunding sites a few months ago. Looking at who should use them and under what circumstances. So when I received an e-mail the other day from the guys at BalconyTV requesting support on a fund it campaign to build a new website, I decided to check it out.

    For those of you who don't know of BalconyTV they started in Dublin about five and a half years ago with the premise of uploading a video to Youtube every day. Each video would feature a local or possibly an international act performing live on their balcony. In the last couple of years they have started opening franchises around the world and are now uploading videos from 23 cities worldwide. (That’s almost 2 hrs of video upload a day!)

They are asking their mailing list to help them raise $4K to build a new website. I see three flaws in how they are running their campaign.

Firstly they have given themselves only a few days in which to raise the needed money.

It has been proven that campaigns that imply a time restraint tend to have a better outcome. But this is in respect to limiting yourself to 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 months. By limiting the time to a few days, you decrease the amount of updates you can send without upsetting subscribers. If you are going to plan a crowdfunding campaign you should give yourself 3 weeks and update once or twice a week.

Granted with 20 hrs to go Balcony TVs campaign they had raised $1,891, but that’s usually from your closest friends and most loyal followers. Raising the remaining 52% is always harder.

Secondly, they appear to be asking for maximum amount that they need.

Luckily they are on IndieGoGo, who let you claim your funds even when the total hasn’t been reached. Whereas on Kickstarter and others, if you don’t hit your target you don't get paid. The money goes back to the funders and you wander off with your tail between your legs.

You should ask for the minimum you need to start your project. That way as long as you reach the target you can take that money. If you raise more then all the better.

Thirdly, their rewards are flimsy!

Crowdfunding campaigns work one the premium model. You give a little, you get little in return, but if you give a lot you get something unique and therefore worth more value to you. This is to encourage more people to donate more than they would otherwise be willing to.