So just who are Boosted and how does it work? If you missed our recent workshop, here are some of the ins and outs of how to run a successful fundraising campaign.
Boosted is a local all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform focused on supporting the arts and art-related endeavours throughout New Zealand, and helping people and projects to go international. Since launching in 2013, Boosted has helped raise over two million dollars for the arts.
Projects are listed on the Boosted website with a clear financial target. If someone likes the look of a project, they can boost it and donate as little or as much as they like (publicly or anonymously, and the amount you donate is never published). The projects themselves can also be for as little or as much as needed, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
If a project hits its target, the artist or arts group gets the money (less Boosted’s 10% admin fee) and the donors can get a tax credit (33% for donations $5 and up). Win win.
As arts grants are increasingly becoming a rarity, crowdfunding is one way to take control of your project's funding, to build your networks and to gain support in a way you can't with traditional funding means. Encouragingly, 83% of Boosted campaigns listed reach their target.
Step 1: Register
Head to the Boosted website and register your project title, synopsis, art genre and region (keep it national, you never know who will be interested). One this is approved, you can then edit the details and add updates, photos, videos etc.
Step 2: Describing your project
Once registered, Boosted staff provide a one-on-one campaign strategy session and ongoing support. But, as you know your project best, the trick here is marketing your story.
Your story should give an overview of the project and the people involved, describing how it's unique, and how it contributes to your career, mission or vision. Aim to inspire and paint a picture in people's minds. Consider the tone of your story (do you want to be endearing or humorous?) A great way to structure your content is in four parts: who you are, what your project is, why it's important and what being able to complete the project (with the help of all your amazing supporters!) will mean to you (or for your career, community, audience etc). You want to, succinctly, tell the whole story from beginning, through to completion and off into the future.
3. Telling everyone
Successful Boosted campaigns rely on donations, and behind those donations are people who want to support what you are doing. This means investing some real time into planning your campaign.
First, identify who your audience is and who is already a part of your network (friends, family, colleagues, past supporters, fans) and who you can reach out to (friends of friends, industry professionals, related organisations). Gather those emails, rope friends and family into helping spread the word and think about what media channels you can approach to cover your story.
Never forget the strength of a good email, phone call or face-to-face meeting. Social media is a great way to share and promote what you're doing, but try to contact people individually whenever possible. A personal touch makes all the difference.
Keep updating your campaign! Share content! Let people know who you are, what you’re doing and how you’re going. Some of your supporters may be new to the arts, so updates can be a great opportunity to share some behind the scenes insights.
How much do I ask for?
This is all about budgeting. Identify what you need, get some quotes, set a budget and go from there. On average, Boosted donors give $50 each, so another way to approach defining your target is to consider how many people throughout your networks will be likely to donate.
How long should my campaign run for?
The Boosted team recommend month-long campaigns. On the first day, you should aim to reach 10% of your target, and be at 30% by the end of the first week. Expect a lull in the middle of the campaign and ever underestimate the allure of a deadline to get people donating.
Can I offer freebies?
Unlike Kickstarter or PledgeMe, Boosted does not operate on an exchange system. With the recent law changes, gifts can only be given to supporters if they have no financial benefit or advantage. The definition of what that means is a little tricky, so it is best to steer clear of gifts altogether. The reward for Boosted supporters is seeing a project completed, that’s the result. Boosted is a charitable organisation, so the no reward system is what enables donors to claim tax back.
And if you don’t reach the target?
Then, sadly, you won't receive any of the donations. The money goes back to the donors and only successful campaigns have to pay the admin fee.
If you are interested in starting a Boosted campaign or would like to see the incredible range of projects listed (and perhaps start becoming a donor yourself?) head along to www.boosted.org.nz.
Thank you to the Boosted Team and Dominic Hoey for hosting the workshop (and for sharing your notes with us).