SA Crowdfunding Blog

Monday, 24 September 2012 09:53

Using crowdfunding for the arts

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Crowdfunding, which is an offshoot of crowdsourcing, is one of the latest and most effective ways of getting money for art projects, but the usefulness of this process extends way beyond just money. To understand how and why crowdfunding should be used for the arts, it is important to know what the process is all about first.

What is crowdfunding?

In simple terms, crowdfunding is the process of getting money from the general public for funding an art project or work of art. This method of raising funds can be used for anything from painting to music, and even films. In the last few years, crowdfunding has been used for helping many artists get the necessary money to use their skills and talents and create some great pieces of art. This method is not limited to South Africa either; it has been used successful across Europe, U.K., and the United States as well.

The reason for the emergence of crowdfunding is quite obvious. When it comes to art projects, banks and financial institutions are not very likely to provide a single source of capital because there is no surefire way to evaluate the project for its profitability.

In the case of music and films, popular producers are less likely to help out a new artist on the scene unless they are exceptionally talented and have been able to pique the producers’ interests. While there are several talented filmmakers and musicians out there, only a few are lucky and resourceful enough to get the backing of a producer. Even if they find a producer, the artist would most likely have to sacrifice a certain amount of their artistic freedom in return. As a result, the final film or music that is produced will not be a complete creation of the artist’s vision.

Irrespective of whether it is good or bad, the artist knows that the final product is not their own. Crowdfunding provides more freedom to the artist, allowing them to explore their potential fully and see their vision turn into reality in its entirety, with the good and bad sides.

Why use crowdfunding

One reason for the popularity crowdfunding has already been explained above; it helps the artist gain more freedom over his/her vision. Of course, another obvious reason would be the fact that it saves the artist from debt. Using bank loans, credit cards, or any other large source of money puts the debt on the artist’s shoulders. If the final art project fails to recover the amount that has been invested, you will find it very difficult to pay back your dues. 

Crowdfunding, on the other hand, does not involve crippling debt. Since the funds are raised through a number of small contributions and donations, the debt incurred is minimal. In most cases, a simple incentive in return for the contribution is more than enough. This incentive can be anything from free clips of a film, a personal performance, or a free copy of the album. The incentive you provide is completely up to you, and you can work on the project without any worries.

How crowdfunding goes beyond just money

Now that you know what crowdfunding is all about and why it is slowly gaining popularity, you are in a better position to understand how the process goes beyond just monetary requirements. A successful crowdfunding process involves in-depth connection and communication with your fans, friends, family, and public. You need to find out people who are interested in your idea and will be ready to fund you for it. 

When done properly, you can create strong bonds with many of these people and contributors, as well as spread the news about your idea. In other words, you get to connect with your audience, which is undoubtedly one of the most essential aspects of being a successful artist.

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