Crowdfunding Options Dilemma

Posted on Posted in Production Notes

I will be running an online crowd-sourced fundraiser later this month for my documentary.

There are two funding models I can choose and I would like your input. I can’t succeed without your help. Some of that help will come from you generously pledging money, but most of the help I receive will be in you promoting the fundraiser to your network of contacts, friends, family, associates, friendly strangers on the street, and pets with credit cards.

Here are my two options

  • “Flexible” – Any money pledged for my documentary before a chosen end date I get to keep.
    • If I set a goal to raise $20,000 and I receive $19,999 dollars in pledges when the fundraiser ends, I keep $19,999, minus fees.
    • If I meet or exceed the goal, I keep the money, minus fees.
  • “Fixed” – I do not receive a single cent unless I meet or exceed my goal.
    • If I set my goal to raise $20,000 and I receive $19,999 dollars in pledges when the fundraiser ends, I get zero dollars, and no one is charged any money.
    • If I meet or exceed the goal, I keep the money, minus fees.

If I were to do a “Fixed” campaign and not meet my goal, it would be detrimental to the film as I will be forced to find employment so I don’t run out of money and become homeless.

This is not an exaggeration, I have about two months of living expenses for the month of December and January, when I aim to end the campaign. This fundraiser is critical to my being able to finish the film. If I don’t meet my goal there’s a large chance I may never finish the film.

I’m having great difficulty making this decision because of the advantages and disadvantages between Kickstarter and Indiegogo. On Kickstarter, it only offers a “Fixed” option, and I can give people rewards for pledging. On the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, I can offer financial backers both tax-deductible donations AND rewards, like DVD copies of the film upon release.

This is made possible through a partnership between my fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas and Indiegogo. Being able to offer both to potential backers is really cool and an advantage over Kickstarter. Another advantage are significantly lower fees so that I can keep more of the money raised. But, if I choose those advantages, it has to be a “Flexible” funding model, not “Fixed”.

I am torn between the two because while the Indiegogo advantages are great, I feel like the “Fixed” model is a powerful way to motivate others in promoting the campaign. I have experience with “Fixed” campaigns, and was successful with my first Kickstarter. Based on these two fundraising models, do you feel more motivated to help me fundraise if I were to choose the “Fixed” model? I am unsure which to choose and would like your opinion.