59 Days Left To Go—what are the Odds?


Second day of the campaign, and finally I send an email notification to those on the studio’s invitation list. Something tells me this should have happened yesterday.

With no supporters, YET, I can’t help but begin to dread my odds. In an attempt to assuage the dread I have done some digging, only to discover it is justified. Before I delve, though, first I’ll mention the statistic that helped me tuck down doubts and launch ‘Studio: Key’—Pozible’s 56% success rate with 7,287 projects launched since it began in 2010. Being on the right side of 50% by another 6% helped me get over the line.

Now the crunch. Trust me to find the statistic I dreaded, first.

Chris Dyson from TripleSEO tells us that ‘around 12% don’t receive a single pledge‘. That’s hard. Admittedly, these statistics are generally American based from platforms with an average crowd funding success rate below 50%. Nevertheless, if we plug 12% into Pozible’s terms, it means 874 of my fellow artists in Australia didn’t get that first pledge.

Numbers are difficult to make qualitative meaning of when only compared to other numbers. So cast your thoughts back to the last time you were at a crowded exhibition opening and felt the pinch while you patiently waited at the drinks table for your turn. If we say an average exhibition opening garners 200 people, then over four exhibition-openings’ worth of people you rubbed shoulders with, returned home after a glass of wine with their heads down and hopes dashed. If you are one of them, I feel for you—especially as, with 59 days to go without a first pledge, I dread I will be joining you.

On this Sally Outlaw, co-founder of Crowdfunding Academy and author of ‘Cash from the Crowd’, makes the blunt point: ‘if you’re not going to get the buy-in from your own inner circle—the people who know you and most believe in you—why would you expect strangers to get behind your venture and give you money?’ This is a tough one I will return to in another post another day. Suffice to say, if you are a long time art practitioner in Australia, you can’t keep going back to the same pond you drained years ago.

Jason Graf from Business News Daily tells us, ‘Even securing just one pledge increases your chances of reaching your goal by nine percent‘. Also, ‘If you secure 20-30 percent of your desired funding, it has been shown that you are 90 percent more likely to reach your goal‘. My question here is, 20-30% by when? Half-way through, three-quarters the way through?

Well, no, before! David Pricco from Crowd Expert explains ‘Before your campaign goes live, ensuring you have some initial funding guaranteed dramatically improves your chances of success. Crowdfunding is as much an endeavour in psychology as it is finance – if your potential audience sees some momentum to your project, they are far more likely to get involved, and help you reach your goal‘. It seems you always need a silent backer. I strongly suspect, though, those who turn to crowdfunding do so, because they don’t.

Brij, of fbEducator, distills advice from Slava Rubin, Indiegogo CEO, into the following statistical points: On average, successful campaigns will cross their target fundraising goal on Day 36; and If you have 4 or more people on your team, you’ll raise 70% more money than if you only have one person.

Frankly, reaching my goal by day 36 is impossible, especially as I am the only person on my team, which makes me 70% less likely to raise as much. In answer to my earlier question, though, the point here is that, ‘you’re 5x more likely to hit your target if you can reach at least 25% of your overall goal within the first week‘.

Blast, darn statistics. I am on day 2 of my first week with 0% of my goal reached. Needless to say, the odds aren’t looking good.