I’d like to try crowdsourcing to fund my short film. How do I set a goal that I can actually reach?
Considering the fact that almost 50% of Kickstarter campaigns fail to reach their goal, you’re very smart to do some serious thinking and planning long before you launch your campaign. Figuring out your fundraising goal means finding the sweet spot between an unattainable ”hail mary” goal, and an amount that’s too low to actually allow you to complete the project.
A few things to consider when choosing your fundraising goal:
How much do you really need?
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. Your real budget is the lowest possible amount that would allow you to not only complete the project, but to deliver all of the rewards to your backers on time and as promised. In other words, if you absolutely need $15,000 to complete your project, you can’t set your Kickstarter goal at $15,000. You’ll also need to figure in expenses for Kickstarter and Amazon Payment fees (8-10%), producing and shipping rewards, the cost of backers who go AWOL when it comes time to process their payment, and last but not least, taxes. Getting all of this outlined on paper should be the first step in creating your campaign. This is not the place for guesswork.
How big is your reach?
Running a successful Kickstarter campaign is ultimately about connecting to people you know and rallying the troops for your cause.
How many people are on your mailing list? How many people have subscribed to your blog? How many friends and family members could make a pledge to your project? How many Facebook and Twitter followers do you have that might be interested in supporting you?
Do you have media or blog contacts who might be willing to support your campaign by writing about it or otherwise spreading the word with their readers or mailing lists? If so, now is the time to draft a list of all of these people and start contacting them about your project. In some cases, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and start contacting them individually, one by one.
Once you’ve taken the time to create an airtight fundraising budget and you’ve figured out how many people you can reach out to for funding, you’ll have a much simpler time choosing a realistic and attainable funding goal for your campaign.