Crowdfunding Your Gospel Music Project: The Last Line of Defence?

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Entrepreneurs and the business world have turned to the world of digital project funding by plugging into social network platforms such as Kickstarter. For some it is the key to success. Is it an open door for the British Gospel community to access?

You are so excited about your next gospel music project, be it EP, single, or album, but there is a bit of a problem…no money!

A number of ideas flow into your mind as you experience a mental brainstorm. You begin to delete the least practical and cost effective one by one and two options remain. Firstly option, Olympic high board dive into an overdraft that would take you closer to bankruptcy. The next option is quite exciting, it’s bold, brilliant and innovative. You are going to have a crack at this crowdfunding thing. Piece of cake. Just apply to one of the established crowdfunding websites, set a fund target, offer a few incentives to encourage punters and watch the money come flowing in. You would easily reach your target, and beyond.

However, there is a slight catch. If you do not hit your target within the time set, to borrow a phrase from Ann Robinson, you leave with nothing. If leaving with nothing to you means a feeling of shame and rejection as well as the fear that the gospel community has cast you out into the wilderness, then it might not be for you.

I have drawn on the collective experience of individuals who have been a part of this digital funding journey and would like to put forward some wise words. A few thousand friends on Facebook and countless thumbs up when you post pics from your holiday adventures does not mean that this crowd will pledge. Approach your social media platforms with a campaign strategy, set a realistic target, and offer incentives that would encourage investment.

A busker friend I knew who successfully funded an album by this route offered free downloads and free private concerts to sizable organisations that delivered and pledged funds in bulk. Mr Generous even promised to place the names of funders on the album liner notes and credits.

The more unique and interesting your rewards the better the prospect of attracting investors within and outside your target demographic. Create a build up to your crowdfund kick off, set off a buzz. Have a party, prayer meeting, in fact approach the big launch with the same marketing principles as you would in the real world.

I am old enough to remember the Apollo missions to the moon in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was the countdown that was the most exciting part. Once the rocket took off neck strain soon set in and we switched over to Coronation Street until mission control broke the news that the moon landing was a success.

I digress, crowdfunding for the Gospel community has failed for some with, in my opinion, spectacular fashion. The community should come together to fund the music ministry project for it’s Gospel music front runners…hello???

On the other hand, Gospel artists should make no assumptions that they have a captive or guaranteed market because of mutual faith. In fact, the best and healthiest mind-set is to enter every project with enthusiasm, preparation, and the hope and belief mechanism of the Apollo moon mission generation. Not the journey, but the destination. If your rocket explodes on the way there or fails to take off at least you tried.

Please can I offer a disclaimer if I may. If after this article you think that crowdfunding is still your route to Gospel music success then embrace it…but not too tightly.

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Over to you

Have you had any experience with crowdfunding? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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