In virtually any field of entertainment or competition, the most rabid fans tend to be those who have a sense of personal investment in the people they’re cheering on. It’s the sports fans who weathered losing seasons, rain, and snow before getting to cheer their teams to championships. It’s the people who are a part of message boards and forums about a favorite TV show.
And it’s the investors.
There may be no more tangible way for a fan to support a group than by investing money into the cause. For an a cappella group, there are certainly investment opportunities—whether it’s funding the professional recording, mixing and mastering of a new album, putting money toward the travel for a tour or appearance at a far away competition, or sponsoring the special effects for a special show.
Kickstarter facilitates donations by allowing the solicitor to write about the goal, and set a level of money they need to raise in order to achieve that goal. If donors provide enough money, the project is fully funded. If the donations don’t meet the goal, no money changes hands. Groups offer incentives to investors to spur on participation.
The group that wants to use Kickstarter should think about realistic goals and base them around the actual needs of the project. There’s no point in getting greedy, but at the same time, there’s no point in not pursuing enough funding to actually accomplish what the group has said out to do.
Groups should also consider the incentives they will offer carefully. Are the incentives things that people will actually want? Are the incentives realistic and cost effective? In general, the best incentives for a cappella groups to offer are ones that will mean something to the donor that won’t really cost the group anything. A mention of the donor in your CD liner notes is an easy way to appease low stakes donors. Front row seats for one of your shows won’t cost you money, but will probably be a nice perk for a fan. A personalized performance for the donor, autographed memorabilia, or having your group record the a cappella voicemail message for someone may take a bit a bit of time but are nice low-cost returns that give your supporters something unique and special to hold onto.
Kickstarter is a fantastic way for groups to connect with their fans on practical level to raise necessary funds, while giving back something meaningful in return.