Well, now that I have your attention, read on.

Cash Money

Nathan Gibbs via Compfight

As an independent theatre producer, I constantly find myself paying for my projects out of pocket. Yes, I have received grant money in the past and I do believe they still offer much needed help to artists. However the process to get them can be lengthy, the competition just keeps getting tougher, the pool money available often seems to be shrinking, and at the end of the day, after jumping through all the necessary hoops, you're still not guaranteed a dime. (That said, for more information and tips on grant writing, please see some of my previous posts here and here, as well as my podcast series with the Ontario Arts Council.)

What's a poor artist/producer to do?

Well, if you've been anywhere near the Internet in the last year or so, chances are good that you've heard about Crowdfunding.

According to the knower of all knowledge (i.e. Wikipedia):

Crowd funding or crowdfunding describes the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowd funding is used in support of a wide variety of activities, including disaster relief, citizen journalism, support of artists by fans, political campaigns, startup company funding, movie or free software development, inventions development and scientific research.

Now, you might not have been aware of the term "crowdfunding," but you've probably heard of the multiple platforms out there that perform this very service. I'm talking about the Kickstarters, the Indiegogos and the GoFundMes, among others.

So, you just pick a crowdfunding site, put in your brilliant project, send out a tweet and BLAMMO! Now you can just kick back and watch all that glorious moulah roll in, right?

Well, not quite. While I personally find crowdfunding to be easier than writing one grant application after another, it still involves quite a bit of work.

From choosing the platform that's right for you, having a financial goal in mind, creating perks, leveraging your network and fans, making campaign updates that don't annoy the heck out of everyone you know & following through on your promises, developing a successful crowdfunding campaign requires a lot of careful planning and considerations.

Please feel free to join me on March 25th at 6:30 p.m. for Theatre Ontario's So You Need Money For Your Project: Crowdfunding for Artists and Arts Organizations to find out how you can create a campaign that best suits your individual or organizational needs.