One of the problems we ran into with crowdfunding The Switch - A Transgender Comedy is that our community's spending patterns are unlike most others. While most Kickstarters would exponentially grow towards a goal and then exceed it, often easily doubling or quintupling their goal, ours crested the minimum before the halfway mark, and then... dropped, then rose and then dropped again. So while your average Kickstarter that asked for $50,000 and hit that goal less than halfway through would go on to $140,000-$190,000, our donation graph waffled and settled at $62,500ish. People gave what they could, and we got what we needed, but that's it.
As near as I can tell, the determining factors seem to be:
- People were reducing their donations because most of us are flat broke and so won't give more money than the minimum. Under different circumstances, the people contributing money would be running a fundraiser themselves just to pay rent
- Following the above, because of the lack of money, and the reliance on social media, our in-community-fundraiser per individual rate is high compared to many other demographics. We also get asked for a large amount of online micro-volunteering: fill out this human rights survey, help me complete my project, sign this petition, argue with this bigot. It's like the annual Christmas charity fatigue, only it's year round.
What worked for us really well was in-person calls to action. Can you give us used stuff? Could you cut us a deal on rentals? Do you have extra food? Trans and Cis people and businesses both pitched in huge for those, and it brought down the cost of our shoot to where we could afford to finish it. We also found that asking "Can you show up and help out in person?" was, for trans folk, a "push" rather than a "pull" - it offered community contact and a sense of meaning to people who are often isolated and depressed, and people came out and volunteered their time. These don't work well when you're trying to drum up nationwide support, but for local community stuff, it's amazing.