Posted By Anna
2 Girls 1 Conference

Leilani Kake and Ema Tavola were on a mission. They wanted to get to Canada to make sure Pacific Arts and South Auckland were visible, present + accounted for at the Pacific Arts Association Symposium in August 2013. They had some money to pay for flights and accommodation, but went to their crowd for help to find that final gap in their funding – and they did!

In just over 30 days they managed to raise over $4,000 (almost double their goal) through some awesome promotion, rocking rewards, news coverage, and great updates.

And – the updates didn’t end at the end of their campaign, once they had winged their way home they got in touch with us in the office to tell us how it had gone, share some images, and tips for new creators:

Leilani and I have arrived back safely in Aotearoa after a whirlwind, PledgeMe funded trip to Vancouver, Canada! We had an excellent time and both received great feedback from our papers. We both noted that having the investment from pledgers, family and friends made us perform with absolute ‘A’ Game, such a different energy from getting government grants or work place support – we loved it! FYI – I’ve published my paper here

I’ve attached five images. The ones of us doing our talks are so boring – they’re just in generic rooms. I’ve attached two from our one day off where we were able to score a ride to Grouse Mountain, a popular tourist spot where I finally got to see a bear! Seeing a bear was one of my cheeky jokes about what I was most looking forward to about visiting Canada 😉

There’s also a photo of a wonderful native artist, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who blew our minds and so we gifted him a ‘Real Talk’ t-shirt (the t-shirts we made as PledgeMe rewards).

So all in all, a fantastic trip. I’m also writing about the PledgeMe campaign in the context of the wider fundraising effort for an assignment for my MA Arts Management at AUT. [Ed note: Which we can’t wait to see]

What did you like about pledgeme?

The admin support and encouragement has made our PledgeMe experience just wonderful. The website is user friendly and unpretentious and the culture of generating support for really worthwhile projects was a wonderful context for us.

How did you find the experience?

The experience has been pretty heart racing! The pledges did not come consistently throughout our 25 day campaign, so on days when no one pledged, we had to really try and be positive. Then on days when lots of pledges would come in, we wished it wouldn’t stop! It’s just riveting! I was literally checking the page every morning as soon as I woke up! And I have told everyone I know how awesome crowdfunding is!!

The other great thing about crowdfunding is seeing the value of social media investment. I think it’s a fairly strong indicator of the influence and impact you represent in a community of often (certainly in the case of Twitter) people you have never met! I was able to mobilise probably a good 60% of our total funds sourced through Twitter relationships. It has made me revalue my Twitter output and the potential of communicating effectively to a community who have similar interests.

Any tips for newbies?

I think it’s about striking a balance between constant harassment of your networks and being able to articulate the value of your project from different angles.

I say crowdfunding, you say:

Plan, plan, plan! Be realistic, positive and believe 1000% in your project!

Check out their project here: https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/1062

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