by Creative Director, Jim Aikman

We all know that crowd-sourcing is a necessarily evil in filmmaking, especially when dealing with passion projects. But crowdfunding campaigns are time consuming and a total roller coaster. So here are 15 ways to build a successful crowdfunding campaign.

1. Keep the Kickstarter video short (about 2 minutes).
2. Have all of your promotional and campaign materials prepared before you launch. Press releases, videos, images, contacts, etc. You will not have much time to prepare this stuff once the campaign is actually launched and managing it becomes a full time job.
3. Do a "soft launch" where you open the campaign before you've begun your outreach. Personally reach out directly to 30 donors that you know you can count on for donations - friends, family, etc. These donors “prime the pump” so that when you announce your campaign on social media, potential donors get the impression that the campaign has already been successful and healthy, and therefore more attractive to donors that want to be sure their investing a successful project.
4. Post frequent updates and previews.
5. Expect a dip in contributions during the middle stretch of the campaign, and be prepared to post daily during that time.
6. Push REALLY hard at the end of the campaign, when the urgency of the campaign encourages what is sometimes the largest contributions.
7. Find a sponsor or donor that will match contributions during a certain time period.
8. Make sure each email you send out asking for money is personalized - don't spam people.
9. Make sure you fully understand the selling points of your project - what about it will make people want to be involved the most - and exploit it.
10. Know your audience, but don't be afraid to appeal to more than one.
11. Consider going with A shorter fundraising window, which can be more successful and save you a lot of time.
12. Get as many people and organizations as you can to share the campaign on their channels, and make sure they have all the materials they need the share, carefully prepared by you, including instructions about how to do it.
13. Present a reasonable budget proposal ($x $y $z in pre-production, production, post, etc) so investors can see that you know what you're doing.
14. Before and during your launch, set up as many press appearances as you can - appearing on radio shows, social media pushes, etc.
15. Don't forget the "Stretch Goal," the period after you've hit your primary goal when you can often pull in a lot of additional funds based on the momentum of your project. At this stage, you can ask existing donors to consider adding 10% to their existing contribution "to cover credit card transaction fees and other costs."