In this digital age, whether you dream of funding an independent movie or funding a funny YouTube channel, you're more likely than ever to find an audience who'll pre-pay some (or most) of your costs.
From deciding a funding route to go down to narrowing your pitch and keeping your funding pool happy, here are three ways to find video funding online!
Crowdfunding sites are usually the first port-of-call for raising collateral, whether crowdfunding for YouTube or crowdfunding a movie.
There have been hundreds of thousands of successfully-funded projects on sites such as Indiegogo, GoFundMe, TubeStart, Subbable, and of course, Kickstarter.
Some of the highest-funded video productions ever on Kickstarter include the Veronica Mars movie, which achieved 2.5 times its funding goal, over $5.7 million; and The Cyanide and Happiness show, who met their goal three times over ($750,000) to produce weekly cartoon clips.
Patreon is a more long-term route – perfect if you’re looking for ongoing YouTube funding options rather than a one-time monetary push, like funding a short film. It’s more predictable and reliable as your audience 'buys in' to your community, earning you much-needed funds so you can keep producing amazing content while engaging with your most loyal viewers.
Much like a social network, you need to be consistently active and offer frequent perks and incentives, which can range from exclusive video content, behind-the-scenes pictures, live hangouts or Q&As, and even personalized ‘thank you’ messages or shoutouts.
Finally, depending on your situation, funding may be gained via charitable foundations, local area grants, lottery funds, creative talent organizations, and independent production companies.
Whether you’re funding YouTube content, funding an independent movie production, or looking to expand your animation portfolio, there are lots of options in your local community that you might not have even considered.
Look into what local creative media funding options may be available.
Now… do your research
Find successful and unsuccessful funding campaigns from other content creators and filmmakers. Watch their pitch videos, scrutinize their crowdfunding methods. Is there a common thread between unsuccessful video funding campaigns? What would you like to emulate from a successful project? What would you like to avoid?
Remember, you’re also a viewer and backer yourself – just like the general video and film-watching public – so which video productions would you personally back? By answering all these questions, you will have a clearer vision of how best to reach your funding goal.
Whether you’re funding for an epic blockbuster movie or a weekly YouTube chat show, have a clear vision for why and how you’re hoping to raise funds:
- Describe your project
- Explain why you need support
- Disclose how you will use your funds
- Indicate how long production will take
- Tempt backers, pledgers, and funders with rewards they'll get in return
In saying that, don’t reveal everything. Give your audience or prospective funding pool a delicious taste of what you would like to create and leave them mentally asking for more.
Offer an incentive to cement their support and also get a little personal – if this is a lifelong goal or an idea you’ve been dreaming of seeing come to life, people will want to help you see it through. Appeal to their emotions.