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Crowdfunding with PleaseFund.Us

PleaseFund.UsCrowdfunding with PleaseFund.Us - community manager Ben Hamilton talks to us about the platform, with tips and guidelines.

With the big screen adaptation of Veronica Mars making headlines all over the world, crowdfunding is in the news now more than ever as a method of raising the financial backing needed to produce projects across a wide range of genres including feature films, documentaries and charity campaigns.

Crowdfunding is also known as crowd financing or hyperfunding.

UK-based PleaseFund.Us (PFU) is, so far, a relatively small crowdfunding platform, but with anything between 10 and 300 campaigns running at any one time, they provide a busy hub.

At the moment, all payments are made in GBP via Paypal or GoCardless but they are currently developing a system to accept multiple currencies which will pave the way for international backers to donate.

A project owner is then able to decide which currency their campaign is listed in, and it will work the same as it does for international backers donating to a project listed in GBP. PayPal automatically converts the currency into the one the donor registered their PayPal account to. This system should be in place from late April 2013.

Among some of the projects currently using PFU to raise financial support are creatives, individuals and organisations from Poland, Russia and the USA, as well as Ireland and England.

PFU’s model is that of all nor nothing, reward-based. That is to say, no investors will spend any money unless/until the campaign has been successful with targets reached. Other types include the equity model, whereby a company offers shares, a scheme used by Crowdcube. It’s important to do your research and find the type of portal that best fits your project.

Below we highlight some valuable advice from Ben Hamilton, community manager at PleaseFund.Us, on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign on the PFU platform.

What Makes a Good Project?

  • There are no strict rules here, Hamilton assures us. Some seemingly hopeless projects have achieved their targets, and others that appeared to become certain hits have floundered.
  • Make a compelling video pitch. Treat it like a movie trailer, giving a face to your campaign. You need to strike a balance between getting your personality across, while not dominating the pitch.
  • Try to create original pledges, providing imaginative rewards. They don’t necessarily have to be expensive, just try to think outside the box.
  • Remember: you can also try to raise money for one specific part of the process, eg editing.
  • Be passionate about your idea. You can’t expect others to invest in you if you are not 100% committed yourself.
  • Try to provide examples of your work.

When promoting your project, make sure you take full advantage of the incredibly wide net that social media provides. Do your research, find people who can really assist your campaign, celebrity tweeters, bloggers etc. Keep your momentum going, letting out interesting pieces of information a little at a time.

Remember: A crowdfunded project guarantees you an audience, all with a genuine desire to see the final product. It cuts out the middle man in the filmmaking process, and ensures that, as creative, you won’t have to compromise any of your vision just to please a financier. Your film could be the next Veronica Mars.

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