A tutorial recently has brought to light the need to fund my project – I can’t really survive using on just my part-time job, and I think I might need to pay for technical help at times too (although hopefully not too often). This has turned me to the idea of using crowd-funding to start my project going, hopefully to fund the 3 months of the residency (if I get it). I will be applying to start around Easter so that I can finish some other projects first and I think this would be the best time to try to raise the initial capital.
The idea of crowd-funding is that you ask a lot of people to donate a small amount of money to raise the total amount. Kickstarter is website designed to help people do this. Projects asking for funding usually offer an incentive to pledgers at different levels of funding; if you donate a $1 you will be thanked on their website and may get a digital reward too such as music or exclusive previews, at $1-$5 people will get this and little more, and so on. I will need to work out what is a reasonable amount to ask for and also research what sort of incentives are appropriate for each level of funding, and what these incentives could be! This is especially tricky as it is an online project so I think people will want (and may expect) something tangible and real.
I will be researching successful art projects and will try to make some realistic expectations of what I could ask of people. I will also need a solid plan to get the project promoted in order to get enough people to even think about donating (and after xmas too!)
If I don’t get the residency but I do get the funding? I will still be able to do the project but it would take longer as I wouldn’t have the support and exposure from working at the studio. I would also have to pay for most of the technical advice I would need and that would reduce the time I could afford to spend on the project.
I think this Kickstarter thing will be as hard as writing the application, if not harder but luckily I have a bit more time for it.
Note (3/12/11): a friend has pointed me towards Sponsume.org which is a more UK/European based crowd sourcing site. This might be better for my project as it could get exposure among more local sponsors, and the sponsorship money is asked for in £ or €