We did it! My Indiegogo Campaign for Roller Derby Saved My Soul was a total success! A big huge thank you to everyone who shared and/or contributed to the campaign. Over the next few weeks, I will be updating you on what's going on with the show, but until then here are a few thoughts on my crowdfunding campaign:
- There aren't any start-up costs involved with creating an online crowdfunding campaign. It's easier than holding an in-person fundraising event and people can contribute from all over the world.
- It is so easy to share the campaign. I had widgets on my website and in my email signature. Links were being shared on Facebook, Twitter, and folks even wrote blog posts about the subject.
- Unlike other crowdfunding options like Kickstarter, even if you don't make your projected goal, you get to keep all the money raised.
- The campaign collected email addresses and personal information from everyone who contributed. Though I won't be abusing this privileged information, it is nice to have a means of reaching out to people who were interested in the show.
- You can only contribute through your credit card or Paypal. Quite a few people I know were not comfortable using those methods and would prefer giving a cheque. I happily took those cheques, but they unfortunately don't count towards my final total. (Side note: I'm still waiting on a few payments and will share my true final total later on.)
- If your campaign doesn't need help building momentum, Indiegogo will totally promote it for you. As great as it is that some guy who works for The Oatmeal raised a shit ton of money for a Tesla Museum, he really doesn't need the extra help. His site has over 1 Billion (with a B) page views. He's going to do just fine. His campaign has currently raised over 1 Million dollars. On the other hand, my campaign aside, I have some friends who were trying to raise $2000 to take their wonderful little show to PEI. They unfortunately didn't even crack the $500 mark.
- The fees can get pretty steep. Both Indiegogo and Paypal take a percentage cut from your campaign, which is also probably why they help campaigns that already have momentum because it means a bigger cut. I agree that there should be some kind of fee, but let's be honest here. In the spirit of full disclosure, here's how much money I actually raised:
- Amount Raised: $5,000.00
- Amount Disbursed: $4,086.44
- Disbursement Calculation: Amount Raised by Credit Card: $4,388.00
- Indiegogo Platform fee (9.0%): $394.92
- Payment processing fee (3.0%): $131.64
- International wire transfer fee: $25.00
+ Goal Completion Refund (5.0%): $219.40 = Net Credit Card Funds: $4,055.84 US
Actual amount transferred to my account in Canadian dollars: $ 3,931.28
- Disbursement Calculation: Amount Raised by PayPal: $612.00
- Indiegogo Platform fee (9.0%): $55.08
- Estimated payment processing fee (3.0%): $18.36
+ Goal Completion Refund (5.0%): $30.60 = Net PayPal Funds: $569.16 US
Actual amount transferred to my account in Canadian dollars: $ 514.24
ACTUAL AMOUNT RAISED: $4,445.52
On a $5000 campaign, I paid $554.48 in fees. Is this unreasonable? I don't know. There is a strong possibility that I would not have been able to raise this money otherwise and, like I said, there should be a fee for the service. That said, if you decide to run your own crowdfunding campaign, go into it with your eyes open. About 10% of what you raise will not be going into your activity or event. Using my little example above, if the Tesla Museum project raises over $1M, Indiegogo pockets $100,000. And there's their incentive for promoting that campaign and not yours.
After all that, would I do it again? Probably. I think I would look into other options than Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Kickstarter also isn't an option if you are Canadian and I would pay closer attention to the amount of fees being charged. If anyone knows of any other crowdfunding sources, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.
That said, these days it feels like everyone and their dog is holding some sort of fundraising campaign online. Remember how Groupon and its ilk was such a big deal last year and these days you barely hear about it? I can see user fatigue becoming an issue in the near future. But don't worry, something else will come in to take its place. It always does.
But that's a worry for another day. Today is a day for gratitude and celebration. Roller Derby Saved My Soul: coming soon to a theatre near you!