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Inside Jobs: Kickstart Your Financing

Posted By Will Bryan, Monday, January 09, 2012


Nancy Goldman
Inside Jobs: Kickstart Your Financing
By Nancy Goldman, Ed.D.

KickStarter.com is unique way to fund creative ideas providing independent producers with a novel way to finance films. Called "crowdfunding,” Kickstarter.com allows creators to procure financial contributions online from multiple donors simultaneously.

The way it works is that a producer determines the total amount of money she intends to raise and how long it will take. This decision is critical because she must receive this total in funders’ pledges to be considered successful and to collect all the pledged donations. If the pledges total less than the goal amount, she gets none of the money.

PGA member Gayle Kirschenbaum raised $50,000 toward her feature documentary, My Nose: The Bigger Version, this way. One hundred ninety eight backers made pledges in denominations from $1 to $10,000. In return they received sundry incentives including family therapy, designer haircuts, and patron credits on the film. The more they gave, the more illustrious the incentive.

Here are excerpts from my conversation with Gayle in October:

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR FILM USING KICKSTARTER.COM?

This was a personal film which doesn’t fit the personality of a grant. I had to tailor it to fit me. I love communicating with the public. When I did an indie with my dog, I put up a website and a diary and newsletter and I had a contest. I love having direct contact with the public.

HOW DID YOU PUT THE CAMPAIGN TOGETHER?

I had 3-4 interns helping me: one for social marketing, one to find partners, and one for graphics. I knew that the campaign had to be in my voice so I shelved everything else for three months. I planned the video, campaign page, and one minute trailer. I came up with the new content.

WHAT HAPPENED?

We put up the campaign and I sent my first email to my email list. I raised $4,000 in 4 days. Then it was dead. I started a pity party. But that’s not a good place to be. It’s all about your attitude. I started listening to "The Power” by Rhonda Byrne. It filled my engine with positivity. I got into feeling gratitude and love. I could be grateful for what was coming in. It was a spiritual practice. I didn’t know how emotional it would be.

WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR PGA MEMBERS?

I am happy I made a higher goal. It’s the same amount of work as making a lower goal. I wouldn’t do it in the summer because people are on holiday. I would make it 60 days or 45 days [instead of 90 days] to create more urgency.

Think about what makes you special-the angle of why people would want to give. The key is to communicate gratitude. Get into the head of "What can I give the donors?”

I heard "Gayle, it’s a bad time” over and over. The fact is you’re dealing with more people. You’re building your community. I no longer feel bad about asking for money because it was a vehicle for me to give something to people.

Tags:  Inside Jobs  Kickstarter  Nancy Goldman 

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