Forays into crowdfunding

Until recently, I hadn’t done any crowdfunding. I was aware of it, but there was too much other stuff keeping me busy. Then, one evening on the One Show, I heard all about a project called Chicken Town – a not for profit social enterprise designed to help local people in Tottenham by providing a healthier (and tastier) alternative to fried chicken and chips, subsidising lunch time offerings to local children and providing training and employment (paying local living wage) to locals.

It sounded brilliant so after a few google searches, I managed to find it on Kickstarter and made my pledge. The target was £50k and I must admit, I was doubtful at times if they were going to make it or not. The publicity on the One show was brilliant, but, the One show didn’t give any links or a definite “call to action”. I’m sure a lot of people watched and thought “that sounds great”, but as they weren’t given a website link or an emphatic call of “please pledge your support”, they did nothing about it. A bit of a missed opportunity.

Getting closer! If you’ve not yet pledged support for @CHICKENT0WN now is the time!

One of the features of the Kickstarter website is that you can set reminders so you are emailed when a project has 2 days to go – this means a lot of projects will see a rush of donations in those last two days as people are notified and (finally) get their wallets out.

They made it, with 700 backers pledging a total of £55,000 (their goal was £50,000). It was exciting and I followed them closely as the deadline came and I became more nervous that they wouldn’t make it. Phew. I am really excited about Chicken Town and can’t wait to hear about its progress. I shall also be making a detour to Tottenham next time I am in London!

Card games

As I had by now set up a Kickstarter account etc, i thought I would look and see what other stuff there was that I could get involved in. I was interested in physical board/card games, based in the UK (so I wouldn’t get stung on postage and most pledges say “ships to USA only”). I stumbled across this – Lords of War game:

It looked fun, professional (lots of funny videos on how to play the game), they had had previous success and I could get a game for a pledge of £13 as well as any extras that were unlocked, whatever those may be ( there were a lot!). The Kickstarter was to hep them raise money to get a new expansion deck printed, but you didn’t need this to play the game and I decided to do without it this time (maybe if they do a KS for Templar & Undead expansion pack, I will jump in!).

I tweeted about this a lot and there are now a few people I follow because they responded and joined in with me on the tweeting. Kickstarter also has a comments section (that only those who have pledged can post on) which was very busy, giving a real sense of community – and you could also spot people from twitter on there.

The Lords of War staff themselves also gave frequent updates as emails and as tweets for fans to retweet and spread the word:

It was all very exciting and really fun. LoW had set up numerous stretch goals (the funding asked for for the project to go ahead was £8,000) at £9k, £10k, £11k, £12k etc as well as at numbers of backers (250 and 500 – didn’t think we’d get to 500!). As well as providing more bounty for faithful backers (and getting people like me to up their pledges as I realised I was getting free booster cards for sets I didn’t have!), this provided opportunities for them to tweet, get publicity and reinforce the message. LoW also had numerous card game shows and conventions and stuff going on at the same time which of course all helped spread the word.

The campaign ended with £22,845 of the £8k target raised with 559 backers pledging support. Made me feel excited and part of something – which is what Crowdfunding is all about really.  I am now sitting by the postbox, awaiting my cards….


I posted a comment on LoW hoping that they would be doing a through analysis of stats (depending on what they get from Kickstarter) to work out what worked and when the big jumps in pledges came in. Someone posted me to a site called kicktraq which basically shows you stats and pledges over time. A really useful, fun site. So lets have a look.

Lords of War stats
Lords of War: Fantasy Battles -- Kicktraq Mini
They averaged 18 backers and 17 comments a day, with an average £ of £737.
148 people pledged on day 1 and then the next highest jump was 2 days (71) and 1 day (60) before the close (it actually closed at 8:45am on May 10th which is probably why there weren’t many on the 10th itself). I love that it shows you data on comments too.

Chicken Town stats
Chicken Town - Tottenham -- Kicktraq Mini
They averaged 24 backers, 1 comment and £1,855 a day. Nearly £10,000 came in on the penultimate day (April 22nd) – told you it was a bit nerve-wracking at the end there!
Chicken Town appeared on the One Show on April 10th – but this day only saw 14 backers and just over £1000 and the 11th was just 6 and £120. I think the One show definitely could have done more to help.


But what a fantastic adventure for me.


One response to “Forays into crowdfunding

  1. Excellent article!


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