Collective financing or 'crowdfunding': a lifeline for creators



A promotional image of Verkami, one of the existing collective financing platforms in Spain. Verkami

Last May, the members of Riot Cinema, one of the youngest teams in Spanish cinema, were getting ready to start filming the science fiction movie El Cosmonauta . They had acquired two authentic space suits, had 120,000 euros and a Russian investor had committed to provide another 120,000. But at the last moment the foreign co-producer withdrew claiming liquidity problems. The project had to be canceled. Or not?

We launched a desperate campaign for fans to save the film “Then we launched a desperate campaign asking our community of supporters to help us save the film”, recalled on their website the Riot Cinema components, still amazed by “the passion and the commitment “ with which his friends and admirers responded to the call. In three days, the project received 131,000 euros that allowed the film to end and arouse the interest of the media for this new model of ‘micro-donations’.

The website Lánzanos , born only a few months before, was the platform in charge of managing the donations. “Dreams that remain in a drawer for lack of money? A new form of financing has arrived and it seems that to stay”, promisingly announced the site .

Today, only a few months later, the website conducts fifty campaigns of “financing by crowds” aimed at cultural initiatives. One of them is the music group Canteca de Macao , which has already managed to collect 41% of the 20,000 euros it needs to record a new album. To achieve this, the band would demonstrate “that things can be done in a different way,” their musicians point out. Lánzanos .com now works to extend the formula to startups (start-ups) that operate in other areas through a new tool called Seedquick.

Another way to access culture

But crowdfunding – the English term with which this mass financing system is known – “is not just a way to get money,” says Joan Sala , co-founder of the digital platform Verkami, one of the two pioneer sites , together with Lánzanos , of this type of services in Spain. For him, crowfunding is also “another way of consuming culture” : “It promotes a much closer relationship between the artist and his audience, the latter not only supports him economically, but also gets emotionally involved in his task. even thinks about the work of the creator when it is still in the process of elaboration, “he adds.

The ‘crowdfunding’ is, in addition to a way to achieve money, another way to consume culture One of the milestones in the curriculum of Verkami has to do with Jero Romero , exSunday Drivers . The musician asked his fans for 10,500 euros to produce his first solo album. He got it in record time, 24 hours. Also the fourth album of the singer-songwriter Cesk Freixas and some literary projects on the 15-M will see the light thanks to similar campaigns.

Of course, not all the projects that resort to these initiatives are accepted. The proposals must be well planned and have in advance a public , an interested community. “If not, they are useless”, warns Sala.

In general, projects have 40 days to collect the money requested . If the objective of collection is fulfilled in the foreseen term, the artist receives the money and pays a commission to the digital platform that has managed it and that oscillates between 5% and 10%. If the stipulated amount is not reached, donations are not charged to the ‘patrons’ who have wanted to contribute and the author does not perceive anything. The average of the donations is usually around 20 euros, but they can also be smaller.

Another aspect to take into account in this equation are the rewards that encourage donors . They can be special tickets for the concert of that particular artist, a special edition of his work, attend the recording of it, the name of that patron appears in the credits of the film … the formulas are endless.

With free DNA

Cultural products are not the only ones that can be part of a collective financing project. Goteo , the latest web of these features that emerged in Spain, brings together money for hardware projects, free software and, in general, any good idea with “open DNA”.

The Administration can distribute ‘watering capital’ and that citizens invest it As a particularity, donors can not only contribute with economic resources, but with their work , either proving the correct functioning of a recently created program, or helping its dissemination.

Public entities can also make use of this system, says Enric Senabre , one of those responsible for Goteo : “The Administration can invest in ‘irrigation capital’ (as they have baptized the economic contributions they receive) and distribute it among citizens so that these decide, among a range of projects, what to pay “. Among its star proposals is the ‘mobile node’, that is, a high capacity wifi unit for public spaces.

Kickstarter, the model

If in Spain the crowdfunding has just landed, in the United States it has been receiving more than two years of praise for the most reputable newspapers and participating in important financing projects. The American is, according to all Spanish sites , the model to follow . In its two and a half years of life it has raised more than 75 million dollars for 10,000 campaigns and 44% of the projects in which it intervenes achieve their goal. A triumph

  • Drip

    An explanatory graphic of the work of ‘crowdfunding’ or collective financing developed by the Goteo platform. (Drip)

    “> Dripping

  • Canteca of Macao

    The components of Canteca de Macao, in search of micromecenas. (Archive)

    “> Canteca de Macao

  • ‘Crowdfunding’ or collective financing

    A promotional image of Verkami, one of the existing collective financing platforms in Spain. (Verkami)

    “> ‘Crowdfunding’ or collective financing