Crowdfunding also known as fanfunding is the social network of fundraising… a tool to raise money for your next project by combining the resources of millions of potential investors. Does your next project need money? Instead of hitting up your relatives for a loan, consider doing fundraising online through Crowdfunding.
There are several funding platforms available right now: Kickstarter, ArtistShare, Indiegogo, Pledge Music, and GoFundMe. Kickstarter is the best known and largest, with more than 29,000 projects successfully funded so far. But, crowdfunding is not for the lazy or feint of heart. You have to put the work into creating the project, writing the proposal, launching it onto your chosen platform and then promote, promote, promote. After that, you will have to promote some more… get the idea? Promoting your project will make the difference between a successfully funded project and failure.
Obviously, not all sites are good for every Christian Band. Each bands projects and needs are different, so you need to carefully consider your options.
Here is an overview of the different Crowdfunding sites:
ArtistShare projects are by invitation only. To get invited you need to fill out a new artist survey. One primary qualification is that the artist should be in direct communication with no less than 2,000 fans. Questions on the survey are geared toward assessing your fan base as well as the quality of your art. They do not seem to do much with harder music styles, but if your music style could be played on NPR you have a great opportunity here. I could not find information about their fees on their website. But, other sites are saying that there is an initiation fee of $595 plus monthly fees starting at $12.95.
CLICK HERE for the new artist survey.
GoFundMe helps raise funds for individuals, organizations, and groups. It is geared towards personal causes and life events. This site has not been extensively used by artists, but if you are just starting out without a website or large fan base, this may be an option to look at. You can set up the fundraising page free – no money is charged until you receive donations. GoFundMe charges a 5% fee from each donation you receive. There is an additional fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction from WePay for each withdrawal from your donations. (This fee goes up to 4.25% for nonprofit charities).
CLICK HERE for “How It Works” videos.
Indiegogo is designed for anyone, anywhere, to raise money for anything. Musicians seem to love this platform; there are always quite a few music projects going on. If you promote your project well, Indiegogo helps to promotes it too. Indiegogo offers 2 payment plans: Fixed or Flexible. The fixed rate is 4% if you meet your goal, but you get nothing (all donations are refunded to the donors) if you do not. The flexible rate is 9% if you do not reach your goal and 4% if you do. There is also a 3% fee for credit card processing with either plan.
CLICK HERE for FAQ’s.
Kickstarter is a funding platform especially for creative projects. Projects do not include starting your business or raising operating cash. So, this is a good platform for launching your next CD but not for buying more equipment. The big catch is that it is all or nothing funding – you reach your goal or you get nothing (donations are not charged to the donors’ credit card until the goal has been met in the allotted amount of time). Creative rewards are offered to donors as incentives to give. Kickstarter charges a 5% fee on successfully funded projects plus a 3-5% credit card processing fee will be charged by Amazon.
CLICK HERE to go to Kickstarters project guidelines page.
Pledge Music is focused solely on musicians and music based projects. They offer fans a personal experience (called exclusives) with the artist in return for donations. They do ask for something that can be downloaded to donors but will fund anything your music career needs. This is an all or nothing platform – you don’t meet your goal, you get nothing. 78% of the projects meet their goals. Pledge Music has a 15% flat fee without any other transaction fees.
CLICK HERE for FAQ’s.
All of the above platforms are used by secular and Christian musicians alike. If you want a platform specifically geared to Christian projects check this out:
FaithLauncher is a social crowd funding platform for Christian inspired projects. They serve Christian filmmakers, musicians, artists, entertainers, authors, ministry leaders, entrepreneurs and other faith based projects. Faithlauncher has a 10% fee with no restrictions on meeting your goals (whatever you raise, you keep, less 10%). They also have extra help available (at very reasonable rates) to help get your project in front of as many people as possible with a high quality presentation.
One of the main advantages of Crowdfunding is determining if your next project has enough support to be successful. A project funded by a relative does not indicate that anyone else wants to hear it. But a project funded by many people creates interest in the project and gets your donors talking about what you are doing. The downside, of course, is that Crowdfunding takes a lot of time and work. Prayerfully consider what is best for your Christian music ministry.
Need more information?
Here’s the most popular book on Amazon about crowdfunding for musicians: