Why You Need the Crowd
Vann Alexandra Daly is a Miami-born, New York-based crowdfunding producer who gives life to art she believes in. Alex was recently named the “crowdsourceress” for her expertise in crowdfunding. Over the course of a year, Alex has raised millions of dollars for clients including Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmakers and Neil Young. She has served on panels at distinguished film festivals and universities and consults Knight Foundation art grantees. In addition to her crowdfunding successes, Alex is a producer for the feature length documentary Cocaine Prison, which has received support from the Macarthur Foundation, Cannes Film Festival’s Fonds Sud Cinema, Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Latin America Fund, Bertha BritDoc Journalism Award, and more. Her other films have been selected by the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance and Tribeca.
What's so special about crowdfunding is that it's not just a one way exchange. It's democratic; it's collaborative. Crowdfunding allows for an open dialogue between the project creators and their backers. And the special part about it is that both have something essential to offer and share.
The project creators offer a product, a pitch, and rewards while the backers offer the capital to make it happen. But beyond money, backers also offer their suggestions, concerns, and expectations as consumers. This might be more important than the funds themselves. Does the public want to see your vision realized? Why or why not? What’s holding back someone from pledging? If you’re attentive to your community, they’ll tell you.
While the open exchange allows creators to fine tune and develop a better product, its also uniquely beneficial to the backers. It gives them a place to have their voice heard, allows them to make suggestions, ask questions, and express opinions about what is important to them as consumers. Imagine if corporate conference rooms opened up their product development meetings to the world and listened closely to what people wanted: that's crowdfunding.
And there’s urgency to it. With only 30 days to raise the funds the project creators have further incentive to engage with their community frequently and efficiently. Plus, the discussion is public and transparent. This is good for the backers, because it holds the project creators accountable for doing what they say they will do. And by being responsive these same creators can prove themselves reliable and build credibility.
When approached correctly the process of crowdfunding can be much more than a single transaction. It raises funds, but also exchanges ideas and inspiration through engagement. And that's priceless.
Image credit: Trueffelpix/Shutterstock
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