As I have shared more and more about the FansRaise platform with many interested friends and colleagues, it is becoming apparent to me that (a) we are onto something very special and (b) crowdfunding might as well been tailor-made for bands and performing ensemble organizations.
Think about the reasons crowdfunding works, not just as a band fundraiser but for the performing arts as a whole:
- Booster organizations don't have to shell out any deposit to get started.
- There is no product to store, or inventory to manage.
- No need for elaborate "pick-up-points" to distribute items.
- No risk associated with having kids go door-to-door (please tell me no one is doing this anymore!)
- With nothing to deliver, campaigns can be planned, implemented rapidly, and wrapped up in a tight timeline so the group can move onto more important matters.
- When done correctly, your students take an active, hands-on role in an activity that drives accountability.
and this may be the most important:
Since crowdfunding takes place online, the organization can use simple technology to reach new audiences via email and social - then MAINTAIN CONTACT with those donors for future events, performances, functions, etc...
When you look at the typical crowdfunding sites out there (and believe you, we have!), some are great for projects ("Dude, help me pay for my demo..."), worldwide charities, etc. Some are massively large and valued into the several hundred of millions, and others are tiny niche providers. Some charge huge fees and give the fundraising organization a dedicated campaign director, while others are simply a payment processor and not much more.
Regardless of how you look at crowdfunding, and ultimately WHERE and which partner you select, the priorities in a platform ought to be (a) make money, (b) be simple/stupid/easy to use, (c) be completely integrated into social channels, and (d) have a system and workflow that understands the unique needs of a performing ensemble. Do not underestimate that last point, by the way!
When planning your band fundraising - choose your partner carefully!