Burning Man fundraising tips
June 2, 2016 · Tips & Insights

Burning Man Crowdfunding and Community Building


Burning Man fundraising tips

The time has come and playa fever is upon us. It’s when we dust off our bikes, wake up early for build days, and bring everyone together to embark on a new creative project. When it comes to bringing these amazing installations, camps, and art cars to life you need creativity, community, and funding. Crowdfunding has permeated throughout the Burning Man community. As a burner myself, I’ve seen firsthand how some campaigns, like The Temple of Promise, thrive and others decline. Below are my top 5 strategies to help your Playa project excel.

1. Community Outreach Beyond Your Camp

It’s important to understand that it takes a community to grow a larger community; however, with Burning Man projects everyone in the community is using similar fundraising channels and hitting up similar networks. It’s important to start growing your network beyond your Burning Man community prior to campaign launch. You want to avoid donor fatigue. A way to do this is to create a buzz around your project with outside organizations or partners. Dr. Brainlove showcased at South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Bay Area Science Festival, and the Exploratorium’s Cognitive Technologies Exhibit after the burn and made new contacts in preparation of their launch for Dr. Brainlove 2.0.

2. Perk Offerings

Offering perks that are hyper local to the playa is a great way to bring your closest community together in unique experiences. However, it’s equally important to offer general types of perks for those that are unable to join on the playa, yet still want to participate and support your campaign. Backers tend to contribute because they’re passionate about your project, they want a physical perk, or they want to participate in an experience. Offering a variety of perks that touch these motivations is advantageous. On Indiegogo, you can add new perks throughout the lifespan of your campaign as well as offer special secret perks for a subset of your community.

3. Goal Setting

It’s important to think of your campaign as a segment of your overall funding vision. In order to cultivate momentum you need to execute on a strong launch and aim to reach at least 30% of your funding goal within the first few days. You can be transparent in your pitch text as to how much the project is going to cost, but be clear to communicate that this campaign is helping to reach a specific milestone of the overall project budget. The 747 Project is a great example of effectively breaking down your funding milestones and adding stretch goals throughout the campaign’s lifespan.

4. Timing & Disbursements

As they say, timing is everything. Many playa projects are underway when their campaigns go live. Costs incur as build days move forward, however it’s important to note that your campaign funds are not disbursed until 15 days after the campaign comes to a close. We tend to find successful campaigns run 30-45 days. Take this disbursement schedule into account, make a timeline, and work backwards to ensure you have funds available when you need it the most.

5. InDemand

You’ve done all this work and the campaign is coming to an end, now what? Good news, Indiegogo InDemand allows you to keep your campaign open indefinitely so you can continue raising funds, engaging with your new community, and updating them on the project progress – on the playa and beyond! You could even re-energize the campaign for next year’s build, rather than starting at ground zero. La Victrola is excited to continue fundraising through their Indiegogo campaign as they tour the project throughout the United States after the burn.

Explore our Burning Man campaigns and let us help you fall in love with your next creative adventure.

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