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Everything you need to know to prepare, manage and obtain your crowdfunding campaign.
This is one of the key aspects of all successful campaigns.
If you want to enable the PayPal payment method, you need to set up a PayPal account where patrons can make their pledges. You need to carry out these four steps on your PayPal account to ensure your patrons' pledges get processed smoothly!
Remember, PayPal generally charges a 3.4% fee plus a fixed charge of €0.35 per transaction. You can find more details of PayPal’s commissions here. If you need help setting up your PayPal account, call or email PayPal Customer Support. They usually solve minor issues quickly.
To verify your email account you need to link it to a bank account or credit or debit card.
In accordance with EU regulations, PayPal accounts can only receive up to €2,500. You can easily lift this limit online by providing the required documentation, which varies depending on whether you are a private consumer, freelancer, company, charity or government body.
If your account was opened outside the eurozone, you need to set it up to receive payments in euros:
Choose a high-quality, eye-catching image that captures what your project is all about (maximum 1.5MB).
This is another key part to all successful campaigns. You need to make a good introductory video:
Crowdfunding lets creators raise the funding they need to bring their projects to life thanks to pledges from their family, circles of friends, groups...
They do so not only to support you, but also to consume culture in a different way and enjoy the result of what they're helping bring to life.
You should look over your rewards and make sure you've remembered the following:
You're going to be working directly with your backers without the need for any intermediaries. This means you can offer them rewards at the same price they'd find in the shops or less, leaving you to plough the difference into your project.
Your rewards shouldn't appeal to people's disinterested support: they should be part of a two-way exchange.
Your patrons are your loyalest followers. It's not about seeing how much you can get out of them, but rewarding their loyalty with low prices and unique products and experiences. Don't forget that they're making the effort to support an idea long before it actually gets off the ground. Their backing at this early stage deserves a proper reward.
You can add additional or alternative rewards without affecting existing ones.
Use any pictures, models, designs or photos of the rewards you have in the description. If you don't have any, make some! A horizontal montage is best to avoid the description running too far down the page. Pictures are vital if you are offering T-shirts.
They might well be interested in presentations, private concerts, premieres, etc. Make sure they know they have this option of supporting you on Verkami.
You envisage that your show will be a success, but before it you have some production costs to deal with and you address the potential audience so that it can help you to cover them. How can you thank them for helping you onto the stage?
Of course, acknowledgements in the hand programme and some tickets for the preview, the premiere or any other performance are rewards worth providing (and if they’re cheaper than at the box office and in the front row, so much the better), but what else? Here are some ideas. You can modify them as much as you like.
For any level of reward:
For rewards between €30-€200:
Your home is his home... if anyone has a home
You've got a music project and want to reward your followers in the best possible way. Any ideas? An advance download of a CD, a signed CD, a ticket to a presentation concert or a list of acknowledgements in the booklet are just some of the commonest and most appreciated rewards. But there are lots of other things you can offer your eager fans that they'll only be able to get their hands on if they make a pledge, which should give your campaign a huge boost. Here are some ideas; you can pick and mix as you like.
For rewards between €5 and €50:
Made with love.
For rewards between €55 and €500:
Spend a bit of time.
For any level of reward:
Sharing is caring.
The number of festivals, cycles, cinemas, devices and other channels where your short film, feature film, documentary, series or video clip will be seen also depends on the people who will help you to construct the basis of the story you want to tell on the screens.
A special acknowledgement for your sponsors consists of offering them an online viewing or download of the film (and if it is before anyone else, so much the better), the physical editing on DVD or the inclusion of their names in the credit titles. But there are a lot more things which will make them unable to suppress their desire to contribute:
The dream of many mortals: being in a film
Friends are welcome
If you use more than one language, each text you've written will appear in its corresponding language.
Any pages in languages you haven't chosen will simply be displayed in the default language for your project.
The other language pages will be displayed as follows:
If you want to translate your page, you should do so before publishing the campaign, because afterwards you won't be able to edit the rewards.
For each language you add and translate into, you'll have a link to share your project directly in the language in question.
Make your project appealing and engaging and show how keen and committed you are by communicating with your patrons.
You can start to post on your blog as soon as your project has been published.
Every time you post something on your blog, your patrons will receive an email. An active blog also makes all those who take a look at the project feel involved with the campaign, which means they're more likely to make a pledge.
Try to illustrate each post with an image. A post with a picture is far more likely to be read.
To communicate with your patrons via email, go to your back office and underneath the fundraising bar you'll find a link that says "Contact your # patrons"
Clicking on this link takes you to your patron management page. From here you can email all your patrons or just certain patrons with the same reward. Simply click at the bottom where it says "Send email" and select the option you want. (If you hover the cursor over a patron, you can send them a personalised email).
If they reply to your email, their reply will go straight to the email address you're using to manage your project.
Projects get off the ground thanks to your closest online and offline circles, fans, friends, acquaintances, etc. Encourage your nearest and dearest to get involved right from the start and make a pledge in the first few days to kickstart the campaign, create a buzz around the project and set a good fundraising pace. If you've planned your project well and they like it, they'll be excellent ambassadors to help spread the word. It's key to kickstart the project and get the ball rolling so it can pick up speed.
The goal of creating a second objective to improve on or expand the current rewards is for all the sponsors you have so far to get involved in the circulation of the project to raise more money. If more is raised, they will receive something better or something more for the same amount they have already contributed.
For example, you can now make your book hardback and 15 pages longer, you can add some sheets onto the vinyl or the sponsors can receive an exclusive making-of for the film.
Review your budget and what the improvement proposed to establish the new objective will entail, with a good margin for each contribution if you succeed.
Remember that, having achieved the campaign objective, anything else you collect from now until the last day of campaign is secured.
So, if you don’t achieve your second objective it doesn’t matter, you won’t have the obligation to deliver what this expansion entails to the sponsors! :)
Announce the new objective on the project blog, so that all the sponsors receive a notification, on the campaign page and on your social networks. Turn it into a game with your sponsors, to see whether you achieve this new objective together and everyone wins.
Make it seen in the:
If you've raised any cash for your project because you've thrown a party, passed a collection box round at work or friends have paid you in cash, the best thing you can do to help reach your goal is:
Log in as the same user, "Direct pledges to creator", if you need to do this again.
Remember to take down all the details of everyone who pays you in cash so you can send out their rewards or return their money if you don't reach your goal.
Once you've published your project, you can add new rewards, for instance if someone makes a suggestion (provided this doesn't negatively affect anyone who has already make a pledge for the existing rewards), make changes or add additional information to your Detailed Description and edit posts already published on your blog.
If you want to translate your page, you should do so before publishing your campaign, because you can't edit rewards afterwards.
During the campaign, you can't edit or make changes to any rewards that people have make pledges for.
Once the fundraising campaign is over, it’s time to collect your patrons’ pledges.
Some problems may arise when it comes to collecting pledges: expired or cancelled credit cards, insufficient funds in accounts, PayPal accounts that haven’t been set up properly or don’t have enough funds…
Verkami will get in contact with all the patrons who have had payment problems and tell them what steps to take to sort them out.
We give patrons 10 days after the end of the campaign to sort out any payment issues and we send them two notifications. Most patrons with payment problems manage to sort them out in these 10 days. The number of pledges that ultimately can’t be collected is usually less than 1%.
Once these 10 days are up, or once all pledges have been collected, we close the campaign completely.
From this moment onwards, the link to solving payment problems is no longer active. If a patron tries to sort out a payment problem, they’ll be told to email the creator directly.
If a patron asks you how to sort out a payment problem, you can tell them to do the following:
If they can't sort their problem out from their user page
Tell them to email us at email@example.com
If it’s someone you know and they can pay you in cash
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us their name so we can tick this patron off as having paid.
This means they won’t appear on the list of patrons who have defaulted and they’ll keep on receiving news about the project.
Once the pledges have been collected and any payment problems have been sorted out, if you reached your funding goal* we’ll close the campaign completely and send you our bill, and the Crowdfunding Report on your campaign and transfer the money to your account.
The bill for our services is 5% of the total amount raised for the project + 1,35% as bank fee for the pledges made by bank card. The invoice will include the 21% VAT on the amount to be invoiced, if applicable.
The Crowdfunding Report sets out the campaign in detail: the amount collected, the final number of uncollected pledges, all the expenses, the amount collected through PayPal (if it has been used), your account balance and the total amount transferred to your bank account.
The amount transferred to the creator will be all the successfully collected pledges minus:
^ The funding goal has to be reached with the collected pledges. If the campaign falls short of its funding goal because some pledges cannot be successfully collected, we can’t close the campaign until this has been sorted out. Since this situation does not arise very often, and each project has its own characteristics, the project heads should meet with Verkami to discuss ways of closing the project.
You’ll receive the funds raised in two different ways, depending on how the patrons made their payment. Part of the money will be paid directly into your PayPal account at the end of the campaign, if this option had been enabled, and the rest will be paid into your bank account within 10 days of the close of the campaign.
Pledges made through bank card
Pledges made with a bank card are collected through the payment gateway and paid into a Verkami account.
We’ll transfer this money to the bank account you gave in your back office in the “Bank and billing details” section.
This money will be transferred within 10 days of the close of the campaign or sooner if all pledges have been successfully collected.
If you had enabled the PayPal payment option
The pledges made through PayPal will be paid directly into the PayPal account linked to the campaign. You’ll receive these pledges the moment the campaign ends.
You’ll see that PayPal has subtracted Verkami’s 5% fee from each pledge.
You’ll also see that PayPal has charged you whatever commission you’ve agreed with them, generally 3.4% + €0.35 per pledge.
You can then move the money from your PayPal account to a bank account.
The access to the form tool will be enabled once the campaign has ended. The form tool is specially designed to gather information on your patrons to send out their rewards as quickly and easily as possible.
You can access the form tool from the Dashboard of your project.
We recommend you send out the forms when you’ve got the rewards almost ready.
You can send out a form for each pledge level requesting the information you need from the patrons at that level: shipping address, name to be included in the credits, T-shirt size, etc.
Patrons who have made a pledge for different rewards will receive a separate form for each pledge.
Every three days Verkami will send a reminder to any patrons who have not yet filled in the form asking them to do so as quickly as possible.
When you want to send out the bulk of the rewards, close replies to the forms. Once you have clicked this option, after 72 hours no more replies will be received and any patrons who have not yet replied will receive an email notifying them that replies to forms are now closed.
Any patrons who try to access the forms once replies have been closed will be given your email address so that they can contact you directly to manage delivery of their reward.
Once replies to each form have been closed, you can download a handy Excel or .csv file containing all the replies to manage delivery of rewards.
We put together a handy Excel to help you manage the process of sending out the rewards. We recommend you download the definitive version once the project is closed and invoiced.
Once you've reached your goal, you can download it from your patron management page. You'll see an "Export to Excel" button for downloading a .csv text file with the following columns of information:
Once your crowdfunding campaign is over, your project enters a new stage. Now you can carry it out as planned and deliver the result to your patrons to close the circle.
But it is vital to keep your patrons informed while they are waiting to receive their rewards. Patrons love receiving updates on how the project is going, getting an exclusive angle on the process and hearing from creators in person.
This is all part of the crowdfunding experience and it’s what makes this form of getting involved in creative projects so special. Getting to be right alongside creators in the creative process would be unthinkable in traditional ways of consuming culture.
When your patrons receive their reward, it will be a far more intense experience, and one very different from traditional ways of consuming culture, if they’ve been up close throughout the whole production process. They’ll feel part of the result and they’ll help spread the word as ambassadors for your project.
As far as possible, record how things are going and share it with your patrons on the project blog. The rewards are well worth the effort!
Show how proud you are of the collective effort that brought your project to life by putting the crowdfunding logo on your CD, book, film credits, etc.
Use the following link to download a zip file with the crowdfunding logo in .png and vector (illustrator) format in English, Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician: http://vkm.is/LogoCrowdfunding
The following advice comes from professional experts in the field of taxation. This information is not provided for the purposes of aiding and abetting taxpayers looking to evade taxes and may not be used in the case of inspections by the tax authorities. It gives a general overview of the situation and does not cover all the particular features of each individual case. Your accountant will advise you what to do in your specific case.
Crowdfunding is a direct form of funding projects by adding together individual sums pledged by patrons, who receive exclusive rewards in return.
Legally, crowdfunding is viewed as advance payment for acquiring goods or services. Patrons are not giving donations, but paying in advance for goods or services they will receive in the future (eg tickets for a concert by the group they’re supporting)
In general no, because crowdfunding doesn't fit the definition of a donation. Patrons aren't giving something for nothing: they receive a reward for the funds they give to the creator of the project.
The money received in the form of pledges will be viewed as part of the creator’s earnings and the creator will have to pay income tax or company tax on this earned income, depending on whether the creator is legally a business or professional individual or a legal entity.
The creator of the project will have to collect and pay the VAT on their earned income to the tax authorities. The creator will be able to deduct the VAT paid on any expenses related to carrying out the project.
Patrons (be they legally a business or professional individual or a legal entity) who make a pledge as part of their business or professional activity can deduct the VAT paid.
If the money pledged is viewed as advance payment for future goods or services to be provided as part of a business activity, then yes, you will you will have to register as a professional businessperson to pay taxes on the income I receive through pledges.
The recipient of the pledges can deduct the fees paid to the crowdfunding platform as another expense arising from their business activity, either in terms of income tax (for business and professional legal individuals) or company tax (for legal entities).
If the patron is a legal entity or a professional or business individual who makes a pledge as part of their business activity, the pledge will be considered as a tax-deductible expense in terms of company tax or income tax, respectively.
If, however, the patron is a legal individual who is not a businessperson or a professional, they cannot deduct their pledge.