The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is reshaping daily life. Although so much is changing globally, BackerKit’s mission remains the same. We’re here to provide the creative community with tools to bring their projects to life.
The successes of the creators we work with are felt throughout our company. Just this week, more than 42,500 people supported the tabletop game Frosthaven (sequel to Gloomhaven) raising over $6 million in a matter of days (with 27 more days to go). In a time like this, it’s particularly important to celebrate those wins and continue to help creative people pursue their passions — it’s what motivates us.
We are developing ways to better serve creators and backers during this difficult time — whether that’s in a customer support capacity, by producing helpful content, or by simply updating everyone on what we’re seeing in the crowdfunding community at the moment. We also remain dedicated to supporting and encouraging independent creators through The Creative Fund.
That being said, we know it may be hard for creators to focus on doing what they love right now. But if you or your team can move forward with your project safely, responsibly and effectively given the current “shelter in place” and social distancing guidelines, you should go for it. It is still possible to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign during the coronavirus outbreak.
Your backers are out there
People are still showing up and supporting new projects. Just a few of the recent success stories we’ve seen: The Impossible Table raised $15,284 with 235 backers, Dungeon Master’s Advice Dice raised $19,045 with 753 backers, and Beast Masters Duel: Tree and Tide raised $5,617 with 88 backers. GoTouch Beam surpassed its $15,000 goal, and raised $74,508.
Right now, there isn’t a significant change in crowdfunding activity. We’ve been tracking daily pledges on Kickstarter since March. The charts below show that the amount of money being pledged on the platform is fluctuating, but there’s no consistent or discouraging decline happening.
Manufacturing, which slowed down during the early days of the outbreak, is ramping back up. So, if you weren’t going to launch your crowdfunding campaign because of the affect coronavirus is having on manufacturing, know that things are improving. Our friends at Panda Game Manufacturing resumed work in early March after a one-month shutdown. They are also taking all of the necessary precautions to keep their facility and staff safe and healthy.
Now is the time to be creative
Crowdfunding as we know it today was born during a time of economic decline — Kickstarter and Indiegogo were founded during the Great Recession. It’s in these challenging moments that we need innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists most — your work inspires us. What’s more, pursuing a project that is important to you can be mentally beneficial and gratifying during hard times like these.
There are also new opportunities emerging for creators as the crowdfunding community responds to the coronavirus crisis. Kickstarter, for example, has started Inside Voices — a program that invites people to launch smaller projects from home. This is a great way for new creators to test the waters, and launch their first campaign.
We’re more connected than ever
You don’t have to navigate this situation alone. There is an abundance of digital resources at your disposal to help you launch. The information and support you need to face many of the logistical challenges that arise is out there, from Facebook communities where you can go to ask questions and draw inspiration to webinars offering expert crowdfunding strategies. Social media has also obviously made it easier for entrepreneurs to find an audience for their products and build communities that can help get projects funded, even in difficult times.
Best practices always help
If you’re wondering if you should launch your crowdfunding campaign during the coronavirus outbreak, remember that there really is no “perfect time” to begin, irrespective of the global situation. But you can always take comfort in best practices. Although the current global situation is unprecedented, there are steps that you can take to give your project the best shot at being funded.
First and foremost, engage your community. Having a strong email list of backers who are prepared to pledge on day one is important. Whether you’re using Kickstarter or Indiegogo, getting your community to pledge early not only creates great momentum for your campaign, but it also can get more eyes on your project.
As you’re working to mobilize your community, BackerKit Launch can help. Our email marketing and analytics platform was specifically designed for crowdfunding, and makes it easier for you to draw in previous backers to get them to pledge to your new campaign. It also helps you predict how many people will be there once you hit the launch button.
Your project deserves to be seen. If you have the means and the drive to launch now, we encourage you to do so. Regardless of the decision you make, we can get through this by leaning on our community and supporting each other.