Online funding for artists

2010-09-15 09:16
Cape Town - Cash strapped artists with big dreams can now turn to online websites like Kickstarter to bankroll their creative projects.

Using a fundraising platform called "crowdfunding", Kickstarter links creative people, whether they are artists, writers, musicians or journalists, with the general public and potential financial backers.

Current projects on the site range from a documentary film about economic hardships in Iceland to a comic book called Neutron Girl, with some asking for as little as R35 from donors to others requesting more than R35 000.

Kickstarter offers a webpage on which artists can pitch their ideas to the public by using text, audio, visuals or video, as well as give links to related websites, and social networks.

According to their Twitter page, more than 200 000 people have backed projects on Kickstarter and over a million people have visited the site in August.
Backing a book

While most projects are from the US, two South Africans have turned to this website to bankroll their dream of publishing a full coloured photographic book documenting local cyclists.

Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler have already raised R107 220 in an attempt to turn their Bicycle Portraits project into a book.

By asking people for a pledge, "the readers are in effect funding the book", said Grobler. "(They) are involved in the process and the story behind the book, because we share everything with them."

According to Grobler, they had to send a pitch to Kickstarter, which was "basically a description of (our) concept", before they were allowed to use the site. "They don't want too many projects on the site," he added.

"There are different tiers of pledging," he said. People can contribute as little as R10 or up to R35 000 or more to the book.

Tangible mementos

In return for their financial contributions, patrons receive tangible mementos in return.

Bicycle Portraits' financial backers, who give R380 or more, will each receive a copy of the book once it is published.

Those who pledge R10 717 or more will receive a limited copy of the book signed by the authors, a large photographic print of one of the images from the book, and their name will appear on a special "acknowledgements" page in the front of the book.

However there is a catch to the using the website. Their all-or-nothing approach to fundraising differentiates Kickstarter from similar websites.

Project creators need to set a deadline, which may not exceed 90 days, and a target minimum of funds to collect. If a project fails to reach the set target, no funds are collected.

Using Amazon's payment systems, backers' credit cards are only charged if the target minimum is met.


Engelbrecht and Grobler need a further R11 723 to meet their second deadline, which ends on Thursday.

While Grobler described Kickstarter as a good fit for their project, he said one of the drawbacks were that you had to have a US bank account to use the site.

On the plus side, the site enables artists to see in real time the commercial viability of their project before they invest too much time or money in it. "We are testing the waters for (Bicycle Portraits)," said Grobler.

"It also helps to get the word out there, because the site gets a lot of traffic," he added.

To visit Kickstarter's website, click here.

Follow Petro on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    internet

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!


I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It is time to explore. Some of you will literally go on holiday while others may need to find other outlets to quench your more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.