How to fail at crowdfunding

It’s quite easy you know!

I was asked to look over a pitch for a documentary film which was already fundraising. The project owner was not attracting backers – though they had 12% or 14 the donations had stalled. I do look at all the pitches I am sent. Sometimes I share and sometimes I back them.

I won’t provide a link to this campaign as I’m sure the guy’s heart is in the right place and I don’t want to appear without one. There are so many campaigns that will fail for the same reasons as I am sure this one will.

Here is my feedback 

  1. You are asking for a stranger to support or share your campaign via a tweet without making that tweet personal or making contact beforehand.
  2. If you are asking for advice – it’s probably too late now. Did you ask anyone else to look over your campaign before you launched? You should have asked lots of people – who don’t know you or don’t make films.
  3. You’ve asked for a round £10,000 without any breakdown of costs.
  4. Did you see how much you could raise from your close social networks first – generally 40% of your target comes from people who know you well before looser connections come in. You have 14 backers – is that it?
  5. You should then have launched with at least 30% pledged immediately – and it’s not just me that says this.
  6. You have gone for an all-you-raise-you keep model. What will you do with the money if you don’t teach your target? Do your backers know you will keep the money?
  7. For a film maker the quality of your video is poor. Sorry.
  8. The video is over 5 minutes long – and it’s boring. Sorry again.
  9. The written pitch is unclear and rambling. Again sorry.
  10. There is nothing about you, your team or your track record.
  11. Your rewards are poorly thought out. They do not build a community of interest or value your backers. For £10 the backer gets nothing – not even a tweet (which is a very bad reward but at least it is one).
  12. Did you do any research?

 Again – sorry but yours is a case study in how not to crowdfund. I would use it as a case study but only with your permission.

One Response to “How to fail at crowdfunding”
  1. Mica says:

    This is a really useful list of don’ts. Do you have a list of dos - that aren’t the obvious opposite of these please?

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