The Playgoer: What's New in Self-Producing

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's New in Self-Producing

A new website, Kickstarter, helps people raise money for "creative" projects. No "charities" or "causes" allowed--but it doesn't appear to rule out nonprofit 501(c)(3) endeavors under certain circumstances.

It appears to be a kind of social networking site that allows you to solicit direct contributions (of all sizes, small and large) but not as charitable donations. You must offer something in return--e.g. free stuff, extra access, parties, etc.

I'm only just discovering it, but the main advantage would seem to be--the potential for building mass "micro-donor" support while also publicizing your project on a high profile web "platform."

I notice some FringeNYC shows are already using it and here are some more theatrical projects nation-wide.

Any of you out there looked into this yet?  Upsides and downsides?

In related news, NYTimes.com has been promoting this book about how to start a theatre company in today's impoverished and overcrowded urban markets--featuring a weeklong Q & A with the author and readers.

3 comments:

CultureFuture said...

People I know have been using it for a while, but there's a lot of work going on in Kickstarter, as well as the similar site IndieGoGo. IndieGoGo has the advantage that if you're fiscally sponsored through Fractured Atlas, you can offer the tax deduction that donors so richly desire, minus the value of any perks they get.

Our tiny organization has had more success through these kinds of campaigns than through any other source of funds.

If there are downsides, we haven't come across them. It's just a tool -- if you use it right, you can get people excited about your project and contributing in a way that they never would have before.

RLewis said...

Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been around for a couple of years now, but others are popping up like wildfires:

http://meblitz.com/
http://www.gofundme.com/
http://peerbackers.com/

There's a good comparison of Kick' vs Indie' in the comments here: http://mattschulte.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/kickstarter-vs-indiegogo/
and here as well: https://www.x.com/community/ppx/devzone/blog/tags/angel

John West said...

I had no idea that such websites existed, what a great idea. I'm sure even more of these websites will pop up as the idea spreads. Micro-donor support will definitely help some of the smaller production companies which seem to be struggling in times like these.