AniFem CEO Amelia here, with an exciting announcement…
Today we enter the two-week pre-launch period for our first ever crowdfunding campaign!
The campaign will go live on Indiegogo on Saturday 1st December.
Check out our pre-launch page, where you can give your email address to receive campaign updates: animefeminist.com/crowdfunding
(Also, if you click on the “WATCH THE VIDEO” button over the header image, you can see AniFem’s first ever video!)
Most successful campaigns raise 30% of their target in their first 24 hours after launch, and the full amount within two weeks.
In other words, we need your help with this. We really need your help.
We’re always keen to be transparent here, so let me just tell you straight out how I’ll try to bring you on board.
1. Bring you into my vision for AniFem
This crowdfunding campaign is to raise money for less-than-exciting reasons: addressing some fundamental shortcomings that have lasted far too long.
However, fixing these is essential for AniFem to become a comprehensive hub for feminist fans of anime and manga.
Imagine what that could look like.
- A searchable, nuanced review database offering smart recommendations
- A curated, ethical online shop, with feminist-friendly goods available to fans around the globe
- A niche news service focusing on stories that risk being sidelined by more mainstream outlets
- Bilingual interviews with underrepresented industry players
- Downloadable, printable resources for parents, teachers, and librarians
- Live events, in both anime-specific and more general spaces
This list is not exhaustive.
Members of our community have suggested all of the above, even volunteering to help. Our core team is experienced and passionate, with a strong track record. All we need to make this vision a reality is money and time.
But it needs a solid foundation: an attractive, well-built, fully accessible website.
This is outside the scope of our Patreon income. It needs to be paid for in a lump sum, which we can only gain through our 1st December crowdfunding campaign.
2. Explain what needs to change behind the scenes, and why
By my standards, AniFem will be a financial success once we can sustainably hire employees – and treat them right.
Right now we run off minimum wage freelance work, paid by the hour or the item. This is acceptable given our current resources, but hardly the status quo for a feminist organisation to relax into.
Moreover, I have no intention of trading one set of minimum acceptable circumstances for another. I don’t just want to offer a salary; I want to offer comfort, security, and fulfilment. That means comprehensive healthcare, real paid holiday, solid legal protections, the works.
Doing this right will cost us more money per month than we currently make in a year.
The reality is that we can’t get to this point from Patreon income alone. To support a single employee in an inexpensive part of America, our $2,000 monthly income needs to be closer to $10,000 a month.
Reaching $2,000 a month was challenge enough. Hoping to increase our patronage five-fold – let alone ten-fold or twenty-fold – is optimistic at best.
This means we need to cultivate other ethical sources of income. At this stage, we’re big enough that we can – and must – start exploring other funding options alongside Patreon.
To open as many doors as possible, we need a professional, stable, scalable website. Which we can only pay for through our 1st December crowdfunding campaign.
3. Be open and honest – even when it’s unflattering
It’s no secret that I threw together our current version of the website.
I say “threw together” as if it were quick…
Despite constant tech support from paid services and intensive handholding from more knowledgeable friends, that experience resulted in three days of downtime I’m sure at least some of you remember, and a website with serious flaws.
The reason I, a complete amateur with zero background in web development, took on our website’s migration and redesign is because we couldn’t afford to pay professionals to do it.
Now I believe we can.
This is why I’ve taken a leap of faith, contracting a well-respected designer and developer in our community to overhaul our website. They will rebuild animefeminist.com from the ground up, making it fit for purpose and as future-proofed as we can get it.
They will also ensure it meets necessary accessibility standards, which our current website does not.
My able-bodied privilege-blinkers are the reason for that, and I can only apologise to members of our community affected by this.
I also need to apologise to everyone who has been waiting for transcripts of our podcast, Chatty AF, since it began over 18 months ago. This is entirely my fault, another long-standing issue I intend to make right now.
Through the 1st December crowdfunding campaign, I plan to raise enough to transcribe all Chatty AF episodes to date. With the backlog clear, we could keep on top of them weekly from 2019 onwards.
Transcripts plus a redesigned website should make us as accessible as we can be – and ready for our next steps as an organisation.
At two years old, Anime Feminist has reached a fork in the road.
We have two choices:
- Simply optimise what we have, aiming for modest goals requiring a relatively small income increase through our existing business model. We’d achieve them by our third anniversary next October, call the whole thing a success, then settle into maintenance mode.
- Aim high. Figure out how to get there and trust our community will support us.
With this campaign, we’re aiming high. If it works out for us, that’s what we’ll continue to do. If it doesn’t…
Cross that bridge if we come to it. And I’m hoping we won’t.
On 1st December, we’ll be asking for a large amount of money. I’m still working out the exact number as I finalise the perks we’ll be offering, but it’s safe to say it’ll be a five-figure sum.
Public support will be the key to our success, and the next two weeks will be crucial for promoting our campaign.
We’ll need a lot of help. Your help.
Our community has a track record of stepping up for us, and we want to give you everything you need to do just that.
Over the next two weeks, the best way can help is to share anything we put up about the campaign. To make sure you can do that without feeling spammy, we’ll be offering new announcements, posts, images – even videos, for the first time ever!
Please share everything you can in this two-week period. I can’t emphasise enough how important this time will be, or how grateful we all are for your support.