What happens if we don’t meet our crowdfunding goal?

By: Amelia Cook November 22, 20180 Comments

On 1st December, we’ll be asking for a large amount of money through our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

“Five-figure sum” large.

Given our following, and our track record in raising funds and support, this is actually an achievable amount. This campaign is a risk, but one that should pay off.

If it doesn’t though, there will be some fallout for AniFem – not all of which may be visible to you.

  1. The money we will raise already has a priority order… and it’s not the one you might choose.

We’re raising money on Indiegogo in part because it allows us the option of “flexible funding”. This means we take home any money we make even if we don’t meet our target.

Here’s how that would break down.

The amount we’re asking for divides roughly into thirds, covering the costs for:

  1. Creating and running the campaign
  2. Our website’s complete overhaul
  3. Transcripts for the first 75 episodes of Chatty AF

In that order.

In other words, if we make just a third of our goal, we have only not lost money on this campaign.

That’s it.

We’d be no closer to fixing the fundamental issues we created this campaign to address – and there’s no way around it. Creating and running a campaign with perks costs more money than you may realise, and those costs have to be paid whether we raise the rest of the amount or not.

And if we fall short at all, it’s the deaf members of our community who get left behind.

This isn’t what we want. It isn’t what you want. The only way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to raise 100% of our goal.

If we don’t…

  1. It would drain our Patreon for months.

Our commitment to a well-designed, accessible website and podcast transcripts wouldn’t end with a failed campaign. If we don’t meet our goal, we just have to keep allocating Patreon money to the work until it’s complete.

As you can see on our Patreon page, we’re already budgeting to the wire. Not only would AniFem be unable to do anything new, we could even struggle to meet existing commitments.

And there’d be no chance of a bail-out because…

  1. We’d be unable to raise a lump sum for any purpose.

A failed crowdfunding campaign is a black mark on future crowdfunding campaigns. That reputational damage becomes an extra obstacle to a successful raise.

If we’d already failed to raise a five-figure sum and suffered the consequences without that obstacle in place, why would we take the same risk against even worse odds?

Falling short on this campaign means writing off crowdfunding for the foreseeable future. Without the option to crowdfund, we would effectively be unable to raise large sums of money in one go for any purpose, no matter how good an idea we had.

You might wonder why we couldn’t raise this money another way, but…

  1. Our credibility would take a hit, making it harder to cultivate additional income sources.

Crowdfunding campaigns are, by their nature, very public.

Crowdfunding sites are high traffic. Search engines love high traffic websites, and boost their results. Our campaign’s outcome will show up in simple google searches of our name for years to come – for better or worse. Potential partners finding a failed campaign could easily hold a negative impression of us for some time.

And they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, because…

  1. Falling short of a crowdfunding goal is like a vote of no confidence from your community.

As mentioned in our previous post on crowdfunding, at two years old we are at a fork in the road. Path one leads to optimising what we have. Path two means we aim high and trust in our community.

Through crowdfunding, we’re experimenting with path two. The outcome of this campaign will, in very stark terms, make it clear which path we should take overall. If this risk doesn’t pay off, it may mean there’s just not enough support for our work, making our longer-term ambitions unfeasible.

Much better to know now, when we’re just fixing cracks in our foundation, than when we’re undertaking something new… but it would be a bitter pill to swallow, all the same.

In 2019 alone, AniFem could:

  • open an ethical, curated online shop (and sell the much-requested T-shirts!)
  • increase the wages of all writers, editors, and administrators to be more in line with market rates
  • start reviewing manga releases and anime films the way we currently review season premieres
  • host live events at more conventions, in more countries
  • develop video content, making feminist analysis of anime more widely accessible

We could accomplish so, so much in just the next 12 months… but we can’t do any of it if our Patreon income is derailed, our ability to raise more money restricted, and our community demoralised.

That all said…

  1. Success means exactly the opposite.

A successful crowdfunding campaign is likely to boost our Patreon as we attract new attention. With such public evidence of our community’s confidence in us, we could more easily cultivate other income sources, or even crowdfund again, this time for more exciting, experimental projects.

So yes, this campaign is high-risk… but it’s also high-reward. Success will open a lot of doors for us, all of which make it possible for us to offer you even more.

The highest-risk time of all is that first day, when our campaign launches on Saturday 1st December.

To rephrase then, success in that first day will yield the highest rewards.

Specifically, we know from crowdfunding data that reaching 30% of our goal in the first 24 hours makes it more likely we’ll reach 100%. To achieve that early success (and breathe a sigh of relief!), we’re asking everyone who possibly can to support us in that first 24 hours, if only for $1.

(Please note that while the lowest tier in which you get perks is $10, any smaller donations will add up and help us exactly as they do on Patreon.)

If you can help ensure our campaign is a success, especially in that first 24 hours on 1st December, please visit our campaign pre-launch page and register your support now!

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

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