A Comparison of Crowdfunding Platforms

This year, we’ve dipped into the world of Crowdfunding our art with Project Mammoth. If you’ve missed it, Project Mammoth is a transmedia scifi sorry told through a web and print comic and a live-action web series.

Early this year we crowd-funded the print run of Volume 1, on the Kickstarter platform at 154%. More recently we used IndieGoGo for crowdfunding production of the Project Mammoth web series. indiegogologoDue to the high cost of film production and the fact that the majority of Crowdfunding campaigns for film don’t fully fund, we wanted a platform that allowed us to keep whatever we got, and IndieGoGo allows flexible funding. Running campaigns on both of the major platforms is certainly an experience and, in the end, we found a few differences between the two.

• Kickstarter is all or nothing. IndieGoGo allows you to choose from fixed or flexible at the start of your campaign.
• Once your campaign on Kickstarter ends – good or bad – it’s over. IF your IndieGoGo campaign successfully funds, you can continue your campaign with IndieGoGo’s InDemand.
• IndieGoGo gives more metrics, which is nice IF you make use of it, but their site is horrible for use on phones, resizing poorly with text links that are hard to utilize without zooming in.
• Even though backers essentially gave the same amount in each campaign, it took a lot more pushing and direct contact of potential backers to move the IndieGoGo campaign forward. They just don’t have the same name recognition Kickstarter does.
• IndieGoGo gives you a lot more in way of set up. Pictures for perks, the ability to add extra content, etc., but updates – which are an important part of a campaign staying current – were hard to find.
• Professionalism vs Vulnerability- I found that both are needed for success. Not only does your art have to engage your audience enough to make them want to back you, but you also have to look professional enough for them to belive that you not only can but will deliver what you promise. As if that’s not enough, I’ve found that a candid explanation of why you need the funds really increases the success. You don’t have to beg or apologize, but it doesn’t hurt to lay out the costs involved and remind people that you don’t have the cash on hand, or whatever your situation is.

Interestingly, if you successfully fund on Kickstarter OR IndieGoGo, you can use the InDemand platform from IndieGoGo, so if I were to do the web series campaign over again I would set a Kickstarter for the minimum amount I needed (or the minimum that any Web series campaign had reached), and then move to InDemand if the campaign successfully funds.

Ongoing InDemand campaigns require the same amount of energy that your short-term campaign does in order to continue to be successful. This is hard to maintain (which is why Kickstarter recommends 30 days), so keep that in mind when you determine your minimum with continuing on InDemand in mind. They also have to approve your InDemand campaign (which can take about a week) and you’ll have to set up yet another account if you first funded on Kickstarter so there’s down time and the slight chance of not receiving approval to keep in mind.

If you need an ongoing campaign or monthly income to proceed with your project and you have a lot of content available, you might be better off putting your campaigning efforts into a Patreon account instead.

You can check out the ongoing InDemand campaign for Project Mammoth and read the latest comic pages on the Project Mammoth website.