Creating a Great Film Fundraising Campaign Page
Creating a campaign page for your documentary, narrative feature, short film, or web series can be intimidating. Your hopes to get the funds to complete your dream project ride on its success. Will it be able to convince friends and strangers to donate to your project?
Fortunately, the WeDidIt fundraising platform that From the Heart Productions offers filmmakers supplies a great deal of tools to make your page stand out and get noticed. You can choose fonts, colors, add images, and add videos. You can add links to your social media and to other websites.
The Main Image
The photo image or frame displayed on the video you choose for your fundraising campaign page should be compelling and interesting. It’s the first thing people see when they view your page. You want it to be inviting and intriguing to encourage people to learn more or watch the video. It should give a flavor of the tone or content of the film.
Primary Call to Action
This is your project’s headline. This is where you need to have a short description to quickly communicate what your project is about. You’ve got to make it clear to anyone who reads it what you want to accomplish. As Kickstarter says, “If you had to describe your project in one tweet, how would you do it?”
As Indiegogo says, “Your campaign title and short description are like the headline and subhead of your project — make sure you include everything someone needs to know for them to want to contribute.”
Secondary Call to Action
Next, include a longer direct call to action. It will let your donors know what they will accomplish by donating to your project. Use action verbs like “Donate”, “Provide”, “Support”, “Fund”.
For example, “Donate to bring laughter…”, “Support to bring awareness…”,” Fund to stop violence…” Or, “Your tax-deductible donation will help…”
Design and Appearance
The overall design of the page should be in keeping with the subject matter and theme of the film. If it’s a horror film, then the look of the page should complement that. If it’s a comedy, the look should be lighter and humorous.
These are recommended sections to follow your calls to action. It would be great if sections were separated by an image header. The image header should carry through the theme of the film.
If not an image header, then it’s good to break up the page with photos of scenes already shot, or what you hope the film will look like using third party images, or shots of the filmmakers, or just graphics that fit the theme, etc.
Per Indiegogo: “Do use images in between sections of your copy. Illustrating parts of your story will not only help your contributors connect with what you have to say, you’ll hold their attention better by breaking up big blocks of text.”
This is a one sentence description of your film. It’s more effective when it has irony. How to create a log line is outlined here: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/loglines
This is 3 paragraphs or less of the story of the film. Do not try to introduce us to characters in a feature, just tell us the actual story of the film. For a documentary, tell us the benefits. How does this film make a contribution to society? Make it short and make it a story they can remember and repeat. Here is how to write a sticky story, one people remember: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/sticky-story
Why You Are Making This Film
Will it change the world? Bring an injustice to light? Make people laugh? Share details about yourself, your team, and important events or incredible people that shaped your project. Most important, be sure to highlight your personal connection to the story.
You could also mention or create a section about what makes the film special. Does it have an all women crew? Does it have female filmmakers? Is the money from the film going to help a cause or a person? Why are you making this film? We want to know that you will be able to last for several years it may take to finish your film.
Why You Are Raising Money
Be specific. Do you need money for postproduction? Finishing funds to get into a festival? Are you trying to make a trailer to show to large investors?
Tax Deductible Donations
If you have not mentioned that you are working with From the Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 top rated non-profit, and that donations are tax deductible, this is a good place to put that info.
Who is making this film? Director, producer, writer, DP, etc. Good place for pictures and brief bios
Here is where you’d break down where the money is going. We recommend you create a pie chart showing where you are spending the money. You can color code the areas of your budget for salaries/photography/sound/transportation, etc.
We suggest you ask for money you need to make the next part of your documentary, rather than the full budget. For a feature, you will need to ask for the full amount. Documentaries usually raise funds, then use the funds and then raise more.
WeDidIt allows you to offer perks to donors. Include pictures of your perks. Personal items are often more popular than tee shirts. Some offer a hand drawn caricature for $100, another, a poem just for you.
One filmmaker said, “where would you like to be?” He then photo-shopped your picture and put you there. This photo then went on Facebook and that increased his donations from friends of the donor. Give perks that can be shown or discussed online. This brings in new donors and more audience for your film.
You can include links to Facebook, Instagram, and other social content pages pertinent to your project. Your goal should be to have people follow you or learn more about the project. This is a great way to donors and potential donors on board and receiving updates on your film.
However, any links you put on your fundraising page will draw people away from your fundraising page. So, if you do add links leading to your social media pages or other websites, make sure these social media pages provide content relevant to your project or you as a filmmaker.
Make sure you’ve got info and links on these sites that will lead back to your fundraising page.
What to Avoid
Too many landing pages rely on very long paragraphs, with very few images, too small of a type face, and lack any variation in fonts or colors. This often makes them boring, even when content is valuable, and difficult to read. The result is no money is raised.
They often tell us nothing about what the film is about, why it’s being made, why it needs to be made, and who is making it. Also, often lacking is where the money will go and how precisely it will be used for the production.
You want to make it clear to anyone who visits these landing pages what they are seeing, why they need to donate, and be so excited that they share this page with others. Your page needs to be clear about the message, the purpose, and what the project is about.
The copy should be concise without huge paragraph blocks. The type-font should be large enough to read. Use color and bold lettering to highlight key points.
Break long text into sections with sub-headings. Separate sections with images. Images are great centered in the middle of the page. But not so many images as they overwhelm the page.
We believe it is best not to use too many images and videos. Although using images might seem like a way to make your pitch more visually interesting, using too many of them can be distracting and take attention away from your story. The visual media you choose should complement your written text, but not overwhelm it.