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Brambletenís Crowdfunding Chronicles Part IIa - Planning a Project

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Planning a Project and Who Backs Projects?

This, the second part in my ever so exciting blog series about what happens when miniatures companies try and get people to throw their money at computer screens shall hopefully look at two ideas Ė planning a project and backer mind-sets. This in turn will be split in to two sections, as the first bit has gotten a bit longer than I thought it would and so will be lopped in two, with the second part appearing tomorrow sometime.

Crowdfunding can be used by anyone Ė a start-up company putting out their first miniature or a company with multiple lines and a massive back catalogue. Whatever your situation, if you want to launch a campaign, you need to work out several things:

1) What is it that you want to achieve? Every project (at least for Kickstarter) must have a clearly attainable target. For example, your target could be to fund the casting and production of a single resin miniature or to produce a boxed game.

2) How much money do you need to do this? First of all, you need to work out the costs involved in the production of whatever you want to produce. I recommend having a look at Brettís great ďThe Cost of Art part 1Ē blog for more details on that. Also, you should make allowances for postage costs and platform fees. Postage costs can be covered by the backers adding them to their pledges which can inflate the current total to look like you are doing better than you are Ė If you need £1000 to produce something, you might hit that but still not be able to produce the model as a large part of that will have to go towards posting the model out to each person who has backed it.

3) Platform Fees should be accounted for in your total as best you can. Indiegogo, as far as I know, charge 4% for a campaign that is successfully funded plus a 3% card fee while their flexible funding fee is 9% (+ the 9% card fee). Kickstarter have fees of 5% of the pledge total, pledge processing fees of 3%+£0.20 a pledge (or 5%+£0.05 on pledges below £10) and then VAT on top of that (20% of pledge fees + processing fees, not 20% of your total).

4) An example of the above. Say you want to put out a PDF of a new rulebook. You need £10k to do produce this and since it is a PDF, there are no postage fees. You can then work out that if you put the PDF at £10 a copy, you will need 1000 pledgers. That means you will have a 5% fee (£500) followed by 3% (£300) plus £0.20 a pledge (£200) taking you up to £1000 in fees. Plus the VAT, meaning that of your £10k, Kickstarter are nabbing £1200. Thus, a new target figure of around £11.5k - £12k would be required to cover the fees as no calculation can guarantee what you will be paying up until the project is done and clear. Add in postage and it gets even more complicated as you get more people on board so you have to make a wider ranging estimate to stop yourself being out of pocket.

5) So, youíve decided what you want to do, and had a go at predicting what it might cost you to do so. Now you need to decide on the time length of the project. Kickstarter allows between 1 and 60 days for a campaign, but recommends 30 days. Some projects only need a day to fund to 100% - the latest offerings from Mantic and CMON hit their targets within minutes and smaller companies like Guild Ball and World of Twilight also hit their targets within 24 hours despite the difference in targets.

Generally, the most activity on a project comes within the first and last 48 hours Ė the first as people who follow the company on social media or through newsletters get messages saying it has launched and the last as people who have hit the 48 hour warning sticker that KS have get emails reminding them or backers go back in and see what has happened and see if they want to add any add-ons or update their pledge. This tends to make things rather hectic at the end. This curve also tends to mean that more time doesnít equal more money, but how you use the time you decide to go for does. Iíll look at campaign management further down the line in the series.

6) Delivery dates. How long will it take to produce all of the products you are going to send out? This might be something you are used to working out with new releases, but it might also be something on a much larger scale than you have ever tried before. Kickstarter says that it takes about a fortnight for them to get the money from everyone and to deduct their bit but then itís up to you to do what youíve promised people by the time you said you would do it. Get time frames from your suppliers, allow time for postage and in general be prudent. Sticking an extra month on to your time frame might save you a lot of hassle in the long run and if you can get stuff out sooner, that just makes people happy, even if it is to your internal timeline.

These are by no means all of the sections that you could plan around when developing a crowdfunding project and Iíll go in to others (such as videos and images) as the series goes on but these are some of the basics.

In the next section Iíll look at pledge levels, stretch goals and add-ons, as they all tie in to Who Backs Projects?


  1. Darklord's Avatar
    excellent info. keep em coming