The Dumbest Advice I've Ever Read About Fundraising - BrianaDragon Creations

The Dumbest Advice I’ve Ever Read About Fundraising

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Posted by / August 11, 2015 / 1 Comments

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Computer Keyboard Confused - Image: Public Domain, MorguefileA friend of mine suggested that I try a site called Patreon today. It’s a fundraising platform for artists and creators. I set up an account, then went looking for tips and advice on making a successful campaign. In my search, I came upon this golden nugget:

Don’t make it sound like you need money. Make it sound like you’re already successful, popular and have money. It’s best if you sound like you’re already wealthy.


I had to head tilt at the stupidity of that little jewel right there. If they’d said to not be whiny or needy or pathetic, that would make sense. If they said to make it more about your passion for your art than your need for cash, that would make sense. Telling people to make it sound like they’re already successful and have money is just dumb. If I was looking at a fundraiser and it sounded like the person already had success and money, I wouldn’t give them anything. I’d go looking for someone who sounded like they actually needed it. But maybe I’m just crazy in thinking that fundraisers are supposed to be for people who have a need, not people who already have stuff and just want more.

Of course, that was just the last straw for me in a day filled with lousy advice from the internet. The first thing I saw that annoyed me was the tip on gaining popularity and fans: “Get active on social media.” Of course, no one ever says what that really means. I, and many other people, try to share our work, talk about our day, show people what we do, but it doesn’t help us. So what is the secret to this “active” that will get us all popular? No one ever shares that.

Then there’s “Interact with your fans.” Well, that’s not such bad advice, it’s actually good advice. However, there’s a catch. You can’t interact with people if they don’t interact first. I can and do respond to people when they leave comments on my social posts, and every once in a blue moon it even sparks a conversation. The thing is, most people just click Like or +1 or whatever and move on. It’s hard to have meaningful interaction with people who don’t have anything to say.

Another Patreon related one was “You’ll need to be popular and have a large following for your campaign to work.” Well, if I was already popular and had a large following, I’d most likely be getting sales, have money, and not need a fundraiser. People need to raise funds because they don’t already have enough people paying them for what they do. That’s kind of the whole point, unless it’s someone just trying to fund a larger project.

Another one I almost forgot was: “Have funders already lined up before you start your campaign. No one will give money to someone who doesn’t already have support.” Excuse me? Again, I must be crazy, because I’d think that if someone doesn’t have support yet, they need it more than someone who already has some. When I was doing well last year and I was donating on GoFundMe, I always gave to people who had few or no donations. I figured they needed it the most.

Sometimes I swear that popular people don’t actually want others to be popular or successful, so they make these vague “tips” posts that don’t have any real information, just to depress people. Maybe they think they’re actually helping even though they’re not providing any useful information. I don’t know. All I know is that it’s bloody annoying. I wish people would just share real information, and actually help others.

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One Comment

    Theresa Dillman Lennox Wiza

    Your post reminds me of the time I wrote a newsletter and sold advertising on it. One advertiser complained that nobody ever called her about her product, and I had to explain to her that not everybody needed the types of clothes she made, because not everybody had plastic geese on their porches. What she taught me was that not only do I have to give people what they want, but also that I need to find people who want to buy what I’m selling or read what I’m writing.

    Sometimes it just takes time. As more and more people get Internet accounts, the likelihood of more and more people finding you increases and if you offer what they seek, they’ll tell their friends and so on and so on. I write several different blogs, but the one that gives me hundreds of reads is the one where I give away free crochet patterns. Posting on Pinterest really helps, too, because one day, I had 3,000 reads! Not a great way to make a living by giving things away for nothing, but I’m hoping that someday, I’ll make enough money to sustain me.

    In the meantime, I would suggest that every time you post something that includes photos of things you’ve made, Pin It! Pinterest wants to make sure that you’re not just selling things, though, so make sure you Pin other things too!

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