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Kickstarter Questions
Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 3:28 PM on 01.13.13
->> Hey everyone,

So one of my personal projects this year is producing a long-form documentary.

I have a concept and people interested in helping and going to go through Kickstarter to fund it.

Any tips and tricks for making a successful campaign on there?


~ Nic

p.s. I'll post the project once I get it up and running. I think it's going to be cool.
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Tom Frick, Student/Intern, Photographer
Narragansett | RI | USA | Posted: 4:24 PM on 01.13.13
->> Hey Nic,

I have not worked with Kickstarter, but I did run a successful fundraiser on IndieGoGo last year. It's the same premise and almost the same exact format, just for different goals. I set up a project to raise funds for the University of Rhode Island Men's Swim Team. Kickstarter, at the time, did not accept 'Sports Teams' as viable projects - So that's why I went to IndieGoGo.

But a couple things I have learned about these CrowdFunding sites:

- Create a short, but very precise video on why people should support you. Words on a page are nice, but people want to see the product that they are contributing to.

- Make sure you factor in the fees the website will take. On IndieGoGo, the fees differed whether you met your 'goal' or not. (lower fees if you made it, higher if you didn't)

- Don't skimp on the 'Perks'. It may cut into your funds a bit, but if all people are getting is a pat-on-the-back for donating, you will lose support.

- Don't forget to update! Even if it's just a photo or two from your ongoing project - People want to see that you're actually making progress.

- Make your goals/perks are realistic. Don't set a goal of $50,000 if your project only requires $5,000. Likewise, don't give away $500 worth of 'Perks' for a $50 donation.

- Check the end-date of your project and know the waiting period for the funds. Make sure you're not in a time crunch and need the money ASAP - These are small companies that deal with great sums of money. It takes time to process all of the credit cards and receive the final sum.

Final thought, don't bank on CrowdFunding for your number 1 source of funds. If it's successful, GREAT! But I've see some awesome projects die due to lack of visibility on these sites. A lot of times people get overwhelmed with the amount of crap/scam projects and yours will get lost.

I hope these helped a bit - It was actually very easy to get the funds after the project was over. Again, I used IndieGoGo, so Kickstarter might be a bit different.

Good luck! And please post your project once it's up.
(Here's the link to my old project
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 5:12 PM on 01.13.13
->> Nic, while I have no first hand experience with it, the delightful and talented Jenna Isaacson Pfueller used Kickstarter to help fund a photo project a couple years ago. You can reach her through her website
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 8:26 PM on 01.13.13
->> Thanks guys. I have no clue how to raise funds for this...
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Shawn Cullen, Assistant
San Diego | CA | | Posted: 9:10 PM on 01.14.13
->> Nic,
SS member Tim Mantoani used Kiskstarter as well to help fund his book, Behind Photographs.

He maybe a good source to answer your questions.
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Michael Chen, Assistant, Photographer
Saratoga | CA | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 01.15.13
->> Nic,

An old colleague of mine, the late Jessica Lum, may she rest in peace, used Kickstarter to fund her thesis project, Slab City Stories.

I like how she was very to the point about what she was doing, and why she needed some funding from people like us. The fact that she already had some sample images and stuff to share demonstrated her commitment to the project and that it wasn't just some flight of fancy.

If I recall correctly, she simply pitched it to all of her contacts she had made; friends, family, colleagues, etc. She was pretty in your face pitching the thing, keeping the thing a topic of daily discussion on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail.

Of course, it helps if you have an established group of friends and colleagues who believe in you (as Jessica did) that can help sell you to backers who may not be as familiar with you and your work.

What I took away from this was that if you believe in your project and project your confidence when pitching it, your backers will come.
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Andrew Wheeler, Photographer
Capitola | CA | USA | Posted: 3:13 PM on 01.16.13
->> Nic....

I would also suggest chatting with a CPA as well, because here in CA (or anywhere else for that matter) the income *may* be taxable...

Just a thought...
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Thread Title: Kickstarter Questions
Thread Started By: Nic Coury
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