Knowledge Centre Blog

Crowdfunding Tips from Dublin Fringe Festival Project Creators

We talked to three project creators from the Dublin Fringe Festival to find out why they chose crowdfunding as a means of funding and to try and get an insight into their campaigns. Here’s what they had to say.

The full version of this post was originally published on the Fund It Blog, available here.


Oisin McKenna – PETTYCASH

For Oisin McKenna of PETTYCASH, project creator for ‘GRINDR/ a love story’, crowdfunding just made sense. For small, up-and-coming or lower profile artists and organisations, crowdfunding can be the most accessible funding option.  Digital marketing is a big part of the PETTYCASH ethos, so crowdfunding seemed a very compatible match. Another advantage, although not a deciding factor, was the publicity it brought in advance of the show, getting people talking about it and creating visibility.

Most important element of project: It was vital when submitting the project that the whole thing was high quality, nothing was just thrown together. The project represented a strong product indicator for the show.  The video was really important. It had to be a fun, creative work in itself, while being representative of the piece it was describing. The rewards were important too.

What worked: Making sure social media posts were about activities, and not just asking people for support. When fatigue set in in the middle of the campaign they started being less creative with the posts and the decline in shares and retweets was noticeable. By talking about what they were up to, the pledges started rolling in again.

Would you do it the same again? The campaign was really successful, so Oisin reckons they would just tailor any future campaign to the project at hand, without changing tack.  They would use crowdfunding again if it was appropriate for the project, but having run a campaign, would explore other options before returning to the crowd too soon.

 

 Aonghus Óg McAnally – Although Rise Productions

Aonghus Óg McAnally, project creator for ‘The Games People Play‘, has always been a great advocate of supporting Irish theatre. Although Rise Productions are an award-winning company, they have been turned down for Arts Council funding a number of times. Due to the theatre podcasts they created in 2011, they have a very engaged network, which lends itself to crowdfunding.

Most important element of project: As a regular funder on the site, Aonghus was fully aware of the importance of rewards. ‘The Games People Play’ offered a wide range or rewards, from a copy of Gavin Kostick’s script to a performance of the award winning show ‘Fight Night’ in your house.

What worked: Utilising the ‘other half’ of his network. The members of the theatre community, while very engaged, are frequently bombarded with crowdfunding requests, and may even have a crowdfunding project of their own to concentrate on. So thinking about ‘other networks’ was key. Aonghus has a really strong connection to the GAA, many of whose members would come to his shows. The support from the GAA was enormous, and made all of the difference.

Would you do it the same again? This project received such generous support, that to do it again, it would have to be quite different. There are only so many times a person can tap the well, so future crowdfunded projects would be smaller, more suited to concentrating on ticket pre-sales.

 

Rose O’ Reilly – We Are Islanders

Rosie O’Reilly from We Are Islanders is creating a unique art installation, ‘4/704’, as part of this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival. This is Rosie’s first large scale installation, so State or corporate funding would be difficult to get. We Are Islanders have always relied on funding from individuals and supporters so crowdfunding online is just a different platform for something they’re already used to.

Most important element of project: The story. The installation tells the story of a bigger issue which Rosie was well aware would be the most interesting thing for the We Are Islanders’ network, so getting that story across well was vital. The image by Des Moriarty was also important for their publicity campaign.

What Worked? Strategy; An initial e-mail was sent to 30 key people who Rosie knew would not only support the project, but would act as ambassadors for the campaign. Getting a GIF in LeCool on the day the project went live was key, as the readership is huge and very relevant. The name written in sand was a really popular reward and has generated great excitement as it is unique, special and makes funders feel like they’re a part of the project.

Would you do it the same again? The project was a great success so future strategies wouldn’t change. This project was presented in a different incarnation from the Re-dress project – even though they are related, Rosie thinks crowdfunding works best when presented as a one-off. She would use it again herself in another context, for a project that needed public support and involvement.

 

 

 

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