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Using Crowd Funding to Fund Arts and Crafts Projects

Risk Free Funding for Tiered Rewards

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I've blogged frequently over the last couple of years about Kickstarter, which is a funding platform for creative projects. Just recently I've seen funding projects for an arts and crafts website,a wedding gown related book and personalized origami-like figures.

I've received many emails asking for more information about Kickstarter. So, I figured it was time to flesh out my blog postings with more information about crowd funding, which is the generic name for Kickstarter and the like.

Introducing Crowd Funding

Crowd funding is when a group of interested individuals and companies band together to collectively pony up the cash to bring a business or creative idea from the drawing board to fruition. I was trying to explain the concept to a friend of mine and she thought the concept sounded similar to the television show Shark Tank.

After having the Shark Tank concept explained to me, the general idea is similar, with a different execution. With crowd funding, the funds come from many rather than just one investor. And it's the nature of the beast that you probably will never come face-to-face with most if not all of your donors.

Explaining Kickstarter

While there are many different funding platforms out there, the general concept is pretty much the same across the board for all the platforms. Kickstarter is one of the most popular for the arts and crafts creative type projects. The process starts with Kickstarter by you pitching your project to them.

At present Kickstarter only accepts the following types of projects: art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. As an artist or crafter, your potential project is sure to fit into one of the acceptable categories.

For a 5% administrative fee, Kickstarter solicits donations for a specific arts/crafts project with an agreed-upon deadline for accepting donations. If you reach or exceed the amount needed by the deadline, everybody who pledged to the project will have their credit cards charged - if you come up even $1 short, no one's card is charged.

Applying to Kickstarter

Like writing your arts or crafts business plan, applying for Kickstarter status is not a task to take lightly. Before you get started, I recommend you read through the steps in the Kickstarter school. After running through the steps, you may be enthusiastically rolling up your sleeves to start your application. Or you may think it is too much work for too little refund. In that case a bit of reading has saved you a lot of time.

Considering Your Rewards

Rewards are what you offer your investors in exchange for pledging to your project. An article I read while researching crowd funding mentions that it could be a very effective vehicle for already stable arts and crafts businesses to offer new products to their existing customer base at a discount. In other words, by funding your new arts and crafts project, your customer can pre-order the item at a discounted price.

In any event, to attract funding from other than family or friends, you have to make it worth the investor's while. For example, the cute foldable origami project running at present offers one foldable origami figure including worldwide shipping for a $10 donation. As of the date of this article, the creator has exceeded their funding goal by $6,000 and the project still has 16 more days to run!

For more information, check out this article about crowd funding by Time Magazine Business. Another great resource is Crowd Funding Websites.

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