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On the other hand, a realistically generous target is also important, as last minute troubles can stretch the envisaged budget to its limits. Elizabeth suggested that, with the benefit of hindsight, a higher target might have been helpful for her.


There may be some embarrassment about seeking funding as Sarah noted, it can feel awkward to ask individual people for money. Because of the social-networking aspect to crowd funding, both Sarah and Diana found that it’s often people you know who will be aware of your pitch and contribute, which may or may not make it harder to ask for help.


It’s also a lot of hard work. Small businesses and artists will be well- used to the slog, but crowd funding requires extra effort in terms of organising and promoting the project, through online and face-to- face networking. If you are relatively shy, this is also daunting, but as Sarah observed, it’s necessary to ‘make the


71 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


pitch work’.


Finally, crowd funding is in its infancy. Sarah suggests that there is some suspicion about crowd funding, perhaps making it more important for people to use dedicated websites and services which lend an air of structure, stability and transparency.


That said, the success of numerous crowd funding projects – Elizabeth’s being an excellent example, as the target sum was well exceeded before the due date and the film’s production is now close to completion – demonstrates that this model can work brilliantly. Hearteningly, Diana hasn’t just expanded her business, she found the validation and confidence to become a full-time artist. Something as simple as crowd funding can make all the difference in turning dreams to reality.


Further Reading and Resources Elizabeth Schuch’s project: www.winter-thefilm.com


Elizabeth’s pitch: www.kickstarter.com/projects/ thewinter/the-winter-the-first- greek-feature-film-by-melanch


Sarah Drew: www.sarahdrew.com Sarah’s pitch: w w w. c r owd f u n d e r . c o . u k / investment/recycled-jewellery-to- saatchi-gallery-672


Diana Parkhouse: www.badgersbadgers.co.uk Diana’s pitch: w w w. c r owd f u n d e r . c o . u k / investment /diana-parkhouse- artist-425


Reuters: Small UK businesses seek crowds as funding alternative (21 February 2012)


Top crowd-funding sites: • www.crowdfunder.co.ukwww.kickstarter.comwww.indiegogo.comwww.rockethub.com


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