Crowdfunding – community supporting art

I. What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a system through which anybody can financially support any project you may currently be working on. You won’t find patrons or sponsors here, but rather you can ask for help from your core networks: your friends, family, your audience, anyone who wishes to help you with as small an amount as they want to. The secret lies in little sums adding up to a significant contribution. It is up to you whether you manage to let enough backers know about your project to collect the amount you need.

II. How does it work?

If you have a project (whether a performance, show, conference, festival, or anything else that requires investment) that you need funding for, you can make it public on StageHive – from that moment on we call it a campaign. You need to write a description of the project, upload some images, a video if you have one, any details which will inform your backers what you are asking money for, and why they might like to fund it. Then comes your most important task: you have to get your message to the most people possible, through all means available – on social media, your website, press, anywhere and everywhere where you may find potential backers. You will receive the pledges once your campaign period is over. Once you have completed your project, you will have to prepare a report sheet that shows your backers how you have spent the money they have donated.

Please keep in mind that you can only start a crowdfunding campaign if you have previously subscribed to the Pro, Deluxe, or Institution package. Before starting your campaign, make sure your current subscription will not expire before the end of your campaign period. Campaigns and projects which surpass the limits of Basic package will be deleted automatically.

And now let’s take a look at how your campaign page should look like!

III. Contents of the campaign page

1. Details of the project

It is important that your backers know who you are and what you are doing. Specify the name of your company or orchestra, the country where your project will take place and the expected completion date of your project and the type and/or genre of your project (e.g. opera, contemporary dance, cirque nouveau, conference, etc.). You have to provide the email address of the leader of the project or the uploader of the campaign so that your backers can contact you, should they have any questions or comments about the project.

It may be useful to include the names of the rest of the participants in your project –the name of any of your colleagues may attract further backers! You can only add participants who are registered users of StageHive.

2. Description of the project

Be sure that your description is informative and appealing as well. It should show exactly what the project is, why you feel it important and interesting, and which part of it has costs you would like to cover. Your description should be simple, straightforward and personal – don’t forget that your backers will also help for personal reasons.

You will need to write two descriptions: a short, catchy, couple of sentences which is the so-called lead, which will show on the listings, and a longer, more detailed one, which will appear on your campaign page.

3. The target amount to be collected

Specify the exact amount you wish to collect. You will have 21 days to meet your goal. During this time, pledges will appear on your campaign page, but won’t be received from your backers’ accounts, as transfer will only happen if you manage to get the full amount as specified on your campaign page by the end of the 21st day. If you manage to meet your goal, you will have an additional 15 days to increase the amount collected, during which any pledges made will be added automatically to the rest.

4. Pledges and rewards

On your campaign page, you will be able to specify the three different sums you expect your backers to donate – for instance, 5, 15, or 30 Euros. Your backers will have a possibility to donate an amount different to the ones you have previously specified.

You should offer an inviting reward for each of the amounts. For example, to those who donate 5 Euros, you may grant a dedicated photo of your team, or a ticket to your show to those who donate 10 Euros. For those who donate even more than this, you may for instance organize a personal meeting with the creators of the project after the show.

It may also help to indicate what a certain amount will help you afford, e.g. a pair of shoes for one of your dancers, breakfast for a speaker of your conference, and so on.

When specifying the total amount to be collected, remember that around 80% of your backers will probably come from your circle of acquaintances, your friends, your colleagues, your family. Try to estimate how much those you know are able and willing to support your work.

5. Images and videos

You should upload some good quality images, for these show a lot about the character and quality of your project. If you don’t have press-quality photos, you can download for free here, here and here some good quality original pictures to make your campaign page look really good. It helps a lot if you also have a video about your project; this may be a trailer of your project, or a video made specifically for the campaign, where you introduce yourself, your project, and where you explain what you are collecting pledges for. Be creative, it will make collecting easier! Don’t be afraid of asking – believe it, people will be more than happy to help, if your campaign page and your video are truly motivating!

6. News and updates

During the campaign period, you can publish updates on your campaign page, to keep your backers updated about the development of your project, to express your gratitude for their pledges, and so on. It is important that your backers see that you are working actively and enthusiastically on your campaign!

IV. Launching the campaign

If you feel your campaign page is ready, you will need to send it to a mentor. His job is to check that it fits the StageHive regulations, for example, it does not contain any discriminative content or elements of questionable copyright. You can find detailed regulation in English in the Terms of Use. In order to make your campaign successful, the mentor may also provide you with some advice. Don’t forget that the mentor’s task is to help you! Once the mentor finds everything in order, he will launch the campaign page, which then becomes public. And here comes the part of the campaign that requires the most dedicated work: fundraising itself.

V. Collecting

The most important rule in crowdfunding: the success of the campaign depends upon the effort of the participants. Post your campaign on Facebook, and not just once! The more times it appears on your feed, the more people will see it. Create a Facebook cover that displays your campaign. Ask your friends, colleagues and your audience to share it! If you happen to be giving an interview, talk about the campaign! Be sure that the link of your campaign appears on all available interfaces – and this applies to all other participants in your campaign. During the campaign period, post and communicate as much and as often as possible! Any news regarding your project should appear not only on your campaign page but on all available social media as well. StageHive provides the opportunity to raise funds, but cannot guarantee that you will succeed – that depends on you and your communication plan. Trust us – only your dedication, time and effort will lead to a successful campaign.

VI. Creating a report

Once your project is successfully funded, you are required to create a report sheet. This should take place at the latest one week after the date you previously set for completion of your project. Don’t forget that this is the precondition to launching a new campaign in the future on StageHive! Your report should contain a written documentation of your project, photos, and if possible, a video. Here you can show how you spent the money you collected, and you can also thank your backers for funding your project.

You should also contact your backers in order to deliver their rewards. When donating, your backers will be asked whether they wish to appear on a list of backers, and whether they wish to disclose their e-mail addresses. Clearly, you will not be able to contact those who have chosen complete anonymity, but you should not fail to contact those who left their addresses as soon as possible.
When you specify the amount to be collected, take into account that StageHive will hold back 10% of the total amount as commission, which allows us to operate our crowdfunding platform.

After a successful campaign, all pledges minus the 10% commission, will be transferred to your account within 8 business days following the last day of the entire campaign period, in one amount.

We also require you to use the logo of StageHive on all available online and print materials, leaflets, posters, and so on. Think of your future campaigns – the more people know about crowdfunding on StageHive, the better the system will work!

VII. The costs of the campaign and the StageHive logo

When you determine the goal amount of your campaign, please take in consideration that before making the transfer, StageHIve will deduct 10% of the total amount as a commission: this is needed to cover the expenses of operating our crowdfunding platform. 

In case of a successful campaign, all pledges minus the 10% commission, will be transferred to your account within 8 business days following the last day of the entire campaign period, in one amount. 

After finishing a successful campaign, please use the StageHive logo on all appropriate surfaces of your project! Think about your next campaign - the more people know about crowdfunding on StageHive, the better it will work!

Let’s get started!

And now, go! Plan your outreach and communication strategies, upload your campaign, and let fundraising get started!

We wish you good luck!

The StageHive Team