In October 2014 we ran a crowdfunding campaign to fund the minimum amount of development time needed to deliver our new artistic app Karen.

Thanks to our incredible audiences, old and new, we successfully hit our target and then some. We are now deep in development, with the artists only coming up for air to eat lunch and – if they’re lucky – have occasional biscuit breaks. 

When they say crowdfunding campaigns are a lot of work, they’re really not lying. It exhausted all of us trying to ensure that we got every detail of messaging, targeting and reward decisions right. We spent hours sorting through our contact database and a long time editing our video. We spent weeks sweating when the number of backers slowed down; we did unplanned group cheers each time the Kickstarter app alerted us to a new backer and, if I’m honest, some of us did a little (big) weep when we hit our target.

Thanks to support from Arts Council England’s Catalyst scheme we were able to spend time thoroughly researching and planning the campaign. We engaged with fundraising consultants Clare Norburn and Victoria Ireland, to advise on the initial strategy.

We learnt a lot from this experience and wanted to try to squeeze it all into a guide that would help people who are about to embark on a similar endeavour. The relevant cells of our kickstarted brains are compacted into these 28 pages.

We’ve no doubt the landscape of crowdfunding will change, what once worked may not in a few years and every campaign will need a fresh focus. What we do hope is that this guide will be a good place to start for anyone wondering if crowdfunding is for them.

Good luck and do let us know how you get on.

Blast Theory

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