Based on what the Duhks’ say in their campaign description, they view this as a success.
Even though we haven’t reached our goal of $70,000, we are doing GREAT. We are finding alternative ways of making things happen, and everything is falling into place beautifully.
Based on what Indiegogo says, they would also call this a success.
We don’t quantify the percentage of campaigns that are successfully funded because even if a campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal, it can still be considered a success.
The Duhks are happy with their results but I would say it was not a success. IMHO, The Duhks left money on the table.
They even allude to this in their campaign description:
I am a musician and a performer. I’m pretty good at graphic art and merch design. I am not a professional crowd-funder. In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before. If I could go back in time, I would have set our goal at $10,000, never mind what we actually need to get this off the ground, because PERCEPTUALLY, it looks like we haven’t raised that much money.
It wouldn’t surprise me if they could’ve hit forty or fifty grand had the campaign unfolded differently.
But instead, it appears they did what many do: set the campaign goal equal to the recording/production budget, choose flexible funding, and proceed without a thought…
That’s a problem and I’m going to tell you why.
7 Ways Flex-Funding Will Hurt Your Crowdfunding Campaign
There are several ways that Flex-Funding can sabotage your campaign. Most of them have to do with the psychology of your audience and how they’ll perceive your campaign. But, perhaps surprisingly, the first few reasons actually start with you!
1) Positivity vs Negativity
Joyce Marter wrote a great article for the Huffington Post a few months back called “The Psychology of Success”.
Here are the most important points:
Open yourself up to prosperity. Cognitive psychology suggests that our thoughts precede our feelings and behaviors. Be mindful not to constrain yourself with self-limiting beliefs. As Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.”
Discover the power of intention. Wayne Dyer says, “Our intentions create our reality.” Identify the primary intentions of your life, write them out, and live by them.
Practice positive thinking. Understand that positivity attracts positivity through the laws of attraction.
Flexible Funding is implicitly the opposite because it implies an expectation of not being successful.
Even though doubt, fear and negativity may not overtly come through in your campaign, they will compromise it by affecting you, by creeping into your campaign language and by subtly influencing your audience.
2) The Campaign is Sabotaged By Your Own Doubt, Fear and Negativity
Flexible funding is another way of saying, “I’ll take what I can get.”
That is drastically different from saying, “I’ll do whatever it takes to reach my goal.”
If you choose flex-funding, you are basically conceding and throwing in the towel before you even start. Think this won’t apply to you? Consider an example:
Let’s say you have a $6,000 campaign goal and that you’ve raised $3,000 three weeks into the 4 week campaign.
If you have an all-or-nothing goal, you are damn sure gonna find a way to raise that last half of your goal. (I have seen many, many campaigns do precisely that, doing half or more of their fundraising in the last 3-7 days of their campaign.)
Now what are you going to do if you face the same situation with a flex-funding campaign? Do you really think you’ll work as hard?
Think about the economics of the situation.
In the flex-funding campaign, your incentive is basically 1-1. Each additional dollar you raise gains you a dollar.
But in the all-or-nothing campaign, your incentive is 2-1. To raise $3,000 additional, you’ll really gain $6,000 because if you don’t get the last half, you don’t get the first half!
When you hit $4,000, your incentive is 3-1 and it just gets bigger until you hit your goal!
All-or-nothing clearly sets up a stronger incentive for you to work hard and reach your goal.
The incentive to work and achieve your goal matters both to you and your audience because, as the Duhks imply, perception matters. The remainder of this list will demonstrate why.
3) Flex-Funding Campaigns Appear Desperate
It may not be intuitive but flexible funding appears more desperate by conveying that you are focussed on getting any money you can from whoever will give it.
This is different than all-or-nothing which forces you to be focussed on the outcome of the campaign from the very beginning. In other words, being focused about the outcome of your campaign is different than being desperate to get any money you can.
4) Flex-Funding is a Momentum Nonstarter
One thing that flexible funding clearly does is take away any sense of urgency that your campaign may have.
It’s not as important for your campaign to hit significant benchmarks like 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% funded because you are going to keep the money you raise no matter what.
It changes the dynamic of people pitching into the cause or jumping on the bandwagon. They don’t get the chance to celebrate the little victories with you because the importance of hitting the benchmarks has been diminished.
So in the early and late stages of your campaign, when you’re likely to get most of your pledges, your audience won’t be as affected by the momentum that you build toward your benchmarks, goal or stretch goals.
Closely related to this lack of urgency and momentum is the next reason:
5) Flex-Funding Misses Out on Scarcity
Dr. Robert Cialdini discusses the principle of Scarcity in his widely read book, The Psychology of Persuasion, written about six psychological phenomena that influence people’s decision making.
The Scarcity Principle states “that opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited.”
It is a core tenet of modern-day marketing. Ever heard something like “Don’t wait, this offer won’t last. Buy Now! Only the first 11 viewers will be able to buy this recycled car headlight solar yard lamp!”
All-or-nothing invokes scarcity because if the goal isn’t met, the project doesn’t happen. (At least in theory.)
In contrast, flexible funding signals that the project will happen with or without the audience’s involvement.
6) Flexible Funding Weakens Social Proof
Flexible funding would be fine if each individual made their decision to pledge solely based on their individual perception of the campaign’s value and merit.
But people don’t work that way.
When making a choice, an individual takes into account all of the information that is available.
This includes what other people have done.
In The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Cialdini also discusses the principle of Social Proof which states that:
…one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct… We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
In other words, we are more likely to do something we see other people doing. The more people we see making a certain choice, the more likely we are to mimic that choice.
Now, let me ask you this, which crowdfunding campaign do you think has more social proof: the campaign that hit 25% of its goal or the campaign that hit 180% of its goal?
I’m not trying to trick you.
I would say the campaign that hit 180% of its goal demonstrates greater social proof.
Now, which of these progress bars do you think demonstrates more social proof?