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What rewards work best for crowdfunding?

In trying to motivate others to help you on the way to providing the world with an hour or two of peaceful distraction, I am curious to know what rewards offered at what donation level work the best.

I'm sure that the genre and content would play a part in this as well, so any that want to chime in, please indicate the type of film, the type of rewards offered and why you picked those items, and the price point you felt they each deserved and why, and lastly what worked the best.

What gets to people? I can ask all my friends for money, but if they don't see a reason other than charity for a pal, well that only goes so far. I went through this thread: http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=39742 (thank you rayw) and found a lot of interesting details. I'm sure there's no magic formula, but there should be at least a "what for why" ratio or something.
 
You have to think about what you would think would be worth the pledge/$$.

$10 - Special Thank You in the movie credits & a digital download of the film - Will work pretty good.

$20 level - A DVD is good. I found that most people paid the $20-25 level pledges for a physical DVD for my own kickstarter campaign.

After those initial levels you really have to start thinking outside the box. Try to be unique. Give them something so cool that it make them feel like THEY are getting the best end of the stick.

Give the people something they actually want.

The usual pledge rewards:

A T-shirt? Meh.. not really going to do it for most. A poster? Nope.. maybe for a hard-core genre fan or younger kid. The average adult doesn't have movie posters plastered around their house. IMDB credits? Not everybody knows and/or cares about IMDB. That incentive only works on select individuals who really think it'd be fun and/or to pad their imdb "resume".


The best pledge rewards I've seen are custom, donated from artists, and typically are very limited. They're above and beyond. The initial/low end pledges are going to be the main money-getters. It seems the majority of people want to spend $10-$35. Make it worth their while.
 
Frankly, I don't think it's the rewards that get people to donate. So far as I can see, it is mostly a combination of personal relationships, and a belief in what you're doing. The rewards are just a nice little thank you.
 
Frankly, I don't think it's the rewards that get people to donate. So far as I can see, it is mostly a combination of personal relationships, and a belief in what you're doing. The rewards are just a nice little thank you.

^^^ This.

One note for you though. Don't go spending too much money on your rewards. Your best bet is to look for items that have a low cost, but a high perceived value. For instance, I see lots of people offering t-shirts and/or posters. Unless you're already planning on making them and already have them priced, you might find yourself spending your budget on fulfilling the rewards instead of making your project. Hanging out on set or an invite to the wrap party won't cost you a lot, but could have a high perceived value to a potential donator.

Also, for your project, it's an idea to think from the perspective of your target audience. This will help you work out what they find important to them, as they will also fill your potential donators pool. Are they filled with people who care what their friends see, then their name in the credits may tickle their fiddle. Do they like to hub-nub with celebrities? Then if you have a name in your project, time at the after party or dinner with the stars might work.

If you're looking for a formula that fits all, you aren't going to find. Each project is different, appeals to different people. Some have mass market appeal, others cater more towards a niche.
 
Frankly, I don't think it's the rewards that get people to donate. So far as I can see, it is mostly a combination of personal relationships, and a belief in what you're doing. The rewards are just a nice little thank you.

That's assuming all of your pledgers are family, friends, and friends of friends. They may do it for the personal relationship. A small amount may do it because they believe in what you are doing, but just because they believe in what you are doing doesn't mean they will want to toss you their hard earned cash. It's about making them feel like they are getting something worth while in the end.

Cracker Funk - are you a "casual pledger"? Do you browse Kickstarter & IGG to look for projects to back? If you are, then I'd be interested in knowing what makes you decide to pledge money on projects (where you have no investment in) other than seeing those projects succeed. If it's not for the reward but rather just because you believe in the project, why not just pledge and decline the reward? (more money for the project and less money goes out in rewards) I'm guessing it doesn't happen that way... people want something for their $$.


I consider myself a casual pledger. Meaning, I pledge on projects where I don't know the campaign creator. What I look for is a GOOD reward and a good product. I don't care about personal relationships. The projects I tend to donate to are ones that have a large goal and a ton of pledgers. It's unrealistic to think you'd achieve a $35,000 on interpersonal relationships alone. The likelihood that you'll need a lot of pledgers is high. It has to be about the end product and reward.

If it weren't for the reward then why offer one? It's a token economy. Applied Behavior Analysis. It's why people pay for anything. To get something in return.

Projects that have high goals ($25,000+) cannot rely on personal relationships to meet their goals. It's a combination of having a product in the end that people want and giving them something comparable in value for their pledge or perceived as comparable.
 
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That's assuming all of your pledgers are family, friends, and friends of friends. They may do it for the personal relationship. A small amount may do it because they believe in what you are doing, but just because they believe in what you are doing doesn't mean they will want to toss you their hard earned cash. It's about making them feel like they are getting something worth while in the end.

Cracker Funk - are you a "casual pledger"? Do you browse Kickstarter & IGG to look for projects to back?
I consider myself a casual pledger.

It's a combination of having a product in the end that people want.

Thank you DeJager, this is what I was thinking too. Most of us don't have a family or extended network of pledger's able to accomplish the financial goals of a project in this realm. My interest is not in a "magic formula", but rather to see what might be more interesting to most people willing to pledge funds for "a" movie, no matter what niche/genre it might be in. When we see a commercial for a big screen feature and it looks intriguing, we all tend to "pledge" on the spot by saying "I definitely gotta see that..." and that's what the production companies get bankrolled on, it seems. Potential. So as an indie, what's the best "potential" we can offer in exchange for pledges, since we don't have advertising budget...
:)
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I am not a casual pledger like DeJager. Are you Mitchell? If you are
what rewards to YOU look for?

A “special thank you” doesn’t interest me - I’d donate $10 to $25
under your “I definitely gotta see that...” category. But the “thank
you” in the credits can’t hurt. It seems that offering a DVD for a $20
donation defeats the purpose - that DVD will cost you $2 to $5 to
make and ship reducing the value to you of the donation. But still
not a bad idea. I can't think of a reward that would make a difference
to me. I donate to a project I like and mostly to people I admire.

What draws you to donate?
 
This is interesting. We just launched our first Kickstarter campaign ever for our puppet feature we're trying to make. The most original thing we got is if someone donates $250 they get a puppet of themselves made and then a cameo in the movie. At the end of the movie's production, they get to keep the puppet. We thought people would love that idea. We'll see how much in about 30 days.
 
I can't speak for anyone else, but if I were pledging to someone else's campaign, I'd be very interested in things like behind the scenes or exclusive content features. I love seeing the nuts and bolts of how other people achieve their goals! I'd be just as happy getting it as a download link only... no need for a DVD or physical media item. There are plenty of ways to provide files over the internet at no cost to you aside from the time you spent making it.
 
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