So farewell, penguin. Metaphors, having served their purpose, should not hang around, especially when another one is needed.
My first campaign raised funds for my exhibition ‘Companion Pieces’ at no format Gallery, Deptford in 2018.
In this short post I want to summarise what I learnt from that campaign. This is not to suggest any kind of ‘do this to get that’ checklist, or imply that how I proceeded be used as any kind of template. My aim here is simply to share what I learnt to help others reach a decision about whether crowdfunding is right for them.
In our professional life the support we get from our partner, family and friends stands alongside that we receive from our peers. Such support is special and quite different in nature from the support given when someone decides to back you. The fundamental different is of course monetary. These two forms of supporter operate side by side. The first cheers you on, is there for you when you feel low, and provides honest feedback when asked, and sometimes even without warning! The second type of supporter, which crowdfunding reveals, is an enabler. Someone who understands what it is you re trying to achieve and is in a position to help you get there.
Are you thinking about crowdfunding for the first time? I suggest you would be wise to start by working out what it is you need help with. Not broadly, specifically. Write a short statement to describe what success will look like and what it will mean to you. Then work out the things you need to happen to reach that goal. What resources are involved? These could be materials, people, access or services but will be particular to your project.
You need to be clear on objectives and scope so you can get your message across to complete strangers. Do all this before rushing in to create a profile on a crowdfunding platform then start browsing those to see which one feels right for you.
Crowdfunding impels you. In advance, during, and after a campaign you need to commit to the plan you created and provide people who have backed you with regular updates.
And this is the point: crowdfunding is both matrix and mirror. What it tells you about others is finely balanced with what it tells you about yourself.