Crowdfunding has become a useful tool for entrepreneurs and art professionals to launch new products, develop their business, or see creative ideas come to life. I've been fortunate over the past several years to work on a variety of campaigns that combined have raised over $330,000. My strategic approach is largely based on leveraging new media tactics in a digital space that emphasize openness and transparency, along with direct engagement to strengthen relationships while building engaged communities.
From the start through reward delivery, I’ll be there to guide you throughout the process of your campaign. It all starts with discussions about your project, audience potential, and identifying outreach channels. From there we outline and begin constructing the assets that make up the fundraising campaign: pitch video, project description, rewards, messaging structure and schedule. Once the campaign launches I’m there to help get messages out and to adjust strategies as needed. Post-campaign, I can help with reward delivery and to ensure all your new funders are kept happy. It’s more than just raising money, it’s just as much about building your consumer base too.
You’re up to running your own campaign and creating the video assets, great! Getting someone else to give your campaign a thorough examination before you launch can be extremely beneficial. I can provide insight on any of the items listed in the infographic above.
Statistics show that campaigns with videos have a much higher success rate than those without. The pitch video can be a fast and effective way to introduce your audience to you, your brand, and your project. In a society where attention spans are decreasing rapidly having a video is an essential tool for making a strong introduction. Plus it’s shareable!
This documentary film follows members of the native Rapanui community on Easter Island as they battle the globalizing effects of a booming tourism industry. Mama Piru leads recycling efforts and organizes coastline cleanups to reduce trash piling up on the island, but she struggles to get her community to participate. Musicians Mahani and Enrique build a music school to reunite their divided community. They find an alternative construction material - local trash. But, their dream to provide free classes means they struggle to make ends meet. Sergio, the first Rapanui governor and archaeologist, embraces the advantages of development by building new businesses.
With the film in the latter stages of post-production, we devised a plan to leverage the filmmakers existing personal and professional networks, as well as a far-reaching Facebook video campaign targeting individuals with concerns for the environment, the oceans, and plastic pollution. In total we were success in garnering the support of 249 backers that helped us to surge past our initial to become 117% funded by the end of the campaign.
Bim Bam Boo was created in 2015 to combat the little known fact that in the US we flush 27,000 trees down the toilet everyday in the form of toilet paper. To address this issue they created a paper made from bamboo, the fastest growing plant on the planet that's also hypoallergenic. The company also came to learn that traditional toilet paper may be the root of UTI’s, yeast infections or generalized irritation “down there”.
I was hired on to run the Kickstarter campaign for the company, which if successful would become the first ever toilet paper funded on the website (many have tried and failed). After a series of pre-campaign experiments testing various audiences and messaging strategies we honed in on a key demographic that we targeted extensively throughout the campaign. We primarily leveraged assets featuring the 27-year old President of the company, Zoe Levin, because she possessed a personality that resonated very well with our core audience. Raising $10,000 through $20-$25 donations was a new kind of challenge, and with a die-hard approach we we're able to surpass our goal in the required amount of time with 221 backers pledging to the campaign.
Located in North Minneapolis, this non-profit provided an opportunity to help foster community in the city I grew up in. The motive behind the Kickstarter campaign was to raise money to develop their youth leadership program, which was designed to help connect young people to food in North Minneapolis. They accomplish this through maintaining a number of community gardens, by teaching culinary skills at Kindred Kitchen, through hosting community meals at Breaking Bread Cafe, and by catering neighborhood events.
With a coalition of top local chefs supporting the campaign, I devised a plan to include several of them in our pitch video to help bring name recognition to the project and to tap into their specific audiences, while also showcasing the passion of the youth leaders who were already involved with the group. Striking this balance was essential to the success of the campaign because it allowed us to gain the awareness of a variety of different communities who came together to support this project through a coordinated email, social media, and web campaign. I also created a series of supplementary videos to give more detail into why specific chefs were supporting the campaign, and to highlight the work the youth group was already doing on a regular basis.
In total we raised over 120% of our $50k goal through the support of 352 backers.
The sister-brother duo behind this company had been making their meat-free meats in a community kitchen and selling them from a six-foot table at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market when they hired me on to devise and run a Kickstarter campaign to help launch their vision of a vegan butcher shop.
Through a heart-felt pitch video, along with an aggressive social media campaign where we created and shared multiple videos each week, we were able to become the most successful vegan campaign in Kickstarter history with a total of 715 backers. The campaign was featured by most major local news operations in Minneapolis, and upon completion became a monologue joke on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon that I spun into a meme that became a catalyst for the rapid growth of the company that eventually brought them international acclaim and landed me the role of Chief Marketing Officer, and later Vice President of the company.
The Epic Of Hershey is about a young boy who lives in the homeless shelters of New York City. The film stars Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated actor Eric Roberts and is directed by NYC filmmaker Douglas McGinness. I managed the campaign remotely and together we raised $36,053 for the film, and an additional $16,557 for No Kid Hungry. This fundraising total put our project in the top 1% of short film campaigns on Kickstarter.
As part of a $1 million dollar renovation of the 18 year old cafe, I was hired to run the Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 with zero experience fulfilling this kind of role.
- Successfully raised 112% of our intended goal through 980 backers
- Upon completion the project was the 3rd most funded restaurant campaign in Kickstarter history
- Helped to secure over a dozen earned media mentions including articles in EATER, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, City Pages, Heavy Table, MSP Business Journal, Mpls/St Paul Magazine, and more
- Campaign received the endorsement of notable celebrity television personality and chef, Andrew Zimmermn
- Sole creator of eight videos to support the campaign, including one that featured well known Minnesota musician Jeremy Messersmith