Crowdfunding

The new buzz word these days in economic development is crowdfunding.

Truth be told, my “daytime” passion and (steady paycheck) involves running a business association (Chamber of Commerce) while utilizing my professional background in economic development to help accomplish those goals. Ok, I wont go off on a tangent about my job, but I do want to discuss crowdfunding as I find it fascinating.

I became aware of the growing use of crowdfunding a few years ago through the Kresge Foundation. In one of the seminars, the CEO of RocketHub, Brian Meece, based out of New York visited our group to discuss how we could this valuable tool to raise capital for projects. Meece commented that in order to have a successful campaign, you needed three things: a strong project, an existing social network and a creative rewards system.

Artists around the world have been the innovators in using crowdfunding and now we are seeing entrepreneurs engaged in the art of capital raise campaigns. Much has been written about this tool and the pending legislation to regulate this tool.

For me, I am using Kickstarter. One of the early adopters of crowdfunding and one fo the most popular websites. There model is simple. You pledge an amount that you wish to obtain, assign it to a length of time for the project to be public and provide great incentives to get folks to contribute. They get a percentage of your intake, but it also allows strangers to take part in your fund-raising efforts. It is an exciting process to watch and you get a sense of how important your project can be to people. I had one backer write the following:

“I’m happy to help! I really want to see this project come to fruition. I believe that the diaspora Armenians of my​ generation do not appreciate our musical culture enough, and so this could be one way to increase exposure (along with preserving the art)”.

Kickstarter offers me some insight to my current campaign which I find interesting. For example, the most popular incentive I am offering is at the $50 level and at the time of writing this blog, I am 46% away from reaching my goal.

All artists should consider using Kickstarter or other similar websites when working on a project. It is a great way to get buy-in and create buzz.

Check out my Kickstarter project at: http://kck.st/1efHMnk  

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