The Big Issue : Edition 438
organisers to realise their dreams. Little wonder it’s a boom industry. “I think [that’s also to do with] high-profile artists who have run campaigns recently,” muses Kate Roseler from Perfectly Write Media Management, who in March worked with Toni Childs to help her raise more than $100,000 for an upcoming world tour. “Amanda Palmer, Wolfmother, Clare Bowditch...I think those names have made a difference to people’s awareness of [crowdfunding] and its viability.” The way crowdfunding works is quite simple. The project creator submits an idea to a site like Pozible, which vets all incoming ideas, and once it’s given the green light, the project is made public so that people can pledge money. If the project reaches its financial goal in the allotted time, all pledges are processed and the project is deemed successful. If a project on Pozible or US crowdfunding pioneer Kickstarter doesn’t meet its target in the time allowed, no funds are processed and the project is deemed unsuccessful. However, some crowdfunding sites, like ArtistShare, RocketHub and PledgeMusic, let the project creator keep whatever funds have been raised, whether or not the target has been met. In order to entice fans to pledge, project creators offer ‘rewards’ based on the amount pledged. For example, THAnKS To THe internet, independent musicians are in a better situation than ever before. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and iTunes have so empowered artist-to-fan connections that sharing music with the world has never been easier to master, from an artistic point of view. The latest in a long line of online resources – and potentially among the most powerful – is crowdfunding. It represents a way for artists to secure initial funding for their projects (via their fans, with the promise of a range of incentives) without having to take out a loan, apply for a heavily contested government grant or approach a not-for- profit organisation. It has levelled the playing field. “That’s why it’s become so popular,” confirms Rick Chen, co-founder and director of the first, and largest, Australian crowdfunding site, Pozible. “Basically, there’s a need in the whole sector – the whole market – for this to happen.” Crowdfunding has indeed become a very popular idea. In the past couple of years it has boomed, with Pozible a prime example. Since its inception in 2010, the site has helped raise more than $11 million (one million dollars in May 2013 alone), hosting upward of 3500 projects with an overall success rate of 58%. It has helped aspiring and established filmmakers, musicians, writers and event A new funding model is chAnging the wAy Arts projects Are supported, As long As they Are crowd-pleAsers. 30 THeBigissue2–15Aug2013 Net gain .