A bust.

Morning cakers, just to keep you updated I believe today is the last day of our Crowdfunder campaign and it didn’t work out for us. I have actually tried to withdraw the campaign before now, but I couldn’t seem to work out how (more of that later).

I always knew that a network would be very hard to fund: there wasn’t a quick win (i.e. it was for up to 2 yrs of funding for speakers, travel assistance, marketing). A network can continue with or without funding. And we are very new.

But I thought both the writing of the pitch, and the hope of funding, would refine what I wanted to achieve with this gathering of Creative sorts, and be good PR and marketing. Crowdfunder also advised me it was a “great idea” and the sort of thing they wanted to support.

And in the beginning, with lots of RT’s from different folks (including people from this network and some ‘slebs), our profile was indeed raised! However, we just didn’t get the support we needed from Crowdfunder, and myself and others who worked hard to make this much talked about June 3rd launch, were very disappointed by lack of support, media coverage, marketing and other opportunities. There were also major technical issues on the site, twice (possibly three times) they had to intervene because the site wouldn’t let me sign in, edit, etc. Which made updating, very difficult.

After an email from them several weeks in, asking what they could do to help the campaign, I wrote with some concerns. Including how they invited some but not everyone to the only press coverage they organised in the entire month.

I spoke to three other projects, who were also pretty angry that much had been made of the ‘Cornish Campaign’, but that “nothing had really been achieved”.

They did reply to my email, and said essentially we had to do the work, they had 40 or so projects and had to give equal time to each, but that they accepted they should have invited everyone to the launch.

Unfortunately, the tone of the email was pretty dismissive, including the suggestion that we hadn’t been doing any work to promote our campaign. And I’m sorry, but they didn’t give equal time to all. We (and these other projects) were never project of the week and we never got RT’d unless we @ them into our tweet), for example. All quite small stuff, but as someone very good at marketing and communications, I can tell you the devil is in the detail. If you’ve told people there will be a big launch and lots of media coverage, I would argue you have to deliver on that. You also need a rolling programme of ‘favouriting’ each and every project in rotation.

In the end, there were a couple of people who wanted to donate, but I told them not to as we came to the end of the campaign, because even with their contribution we would not have made the target. Perhaps they might like to donate independently.

Is it disappointing? Well, yes. There was always a chance that it would capture someone’s imagination and we would get funded. It’s also a shame that a lot of work came to naught, in part because there was no big launch or publicity of any sort. I’m personally grateful that this network seems to appeal to a lot of people, and new connections have been made, however, and this was an opportunity which I grabbed but which didn’t work out. C’est la vie!

It’s important, for fairness, to highlight that other projects can and do get funded, and some exceed funding! So clearly it is a process that does work for some.

Perhaps this will be taken as sour grapes. Although I was careful to write a constructive email before the campaign ended, to illustrate what I thought was inconsistent and ineffectual support, and I was only answering a direct question.

Thanks must go to Samphire Gallery, who offered a very special one-off print, as an enticement to our £100+ donators.

If you’re doing a campaign, let me know. We can highlight it on here and offer some other support and I hope the campaigns that have featured on here, smash their targets!

Onwards! 😉

* as of today, none of the Cornwall Crowdfund campaigns have raised the full amount. One project has raised 69%, and most have a few days left, but a lot of projects have raised very small amounts… *

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Bona to varda your Dolly old eek.

Well, back in the land of the living. The Royal Cornwall Show was great but I needed several days to recover! I also really, really, REALLY hated that bloody robot. Yes I’m scared of robots and don’t care who knows it! (Well, maybe just a little bit…)

So we meet again on the 4 July. (Cowboy hats optional. Can you hear me over the blare of cheap cultural stereotyping?!) This time all the way down in Falmouth at the fabulous Dolly’s tea room.

I was specifically asked to do a Falmouth meeting, so please spread the word. Share and tweet this, drop an email to people who might be interested, run through the streets of Falmouth with only a sandwich board and a cheeky grin if you must!

Once again, I can offer three people a lift coming from Liskeard. Let me know! If you have space in your car, post a note here, please.

I’m also looking to highlight particular projects, so let me know: work in a new gallery, working on a big project, have a film or website to publicise, anything you like, lets whack it on here.

Remember, this isn’t just about meeting, but promoting our work. Nothing to small or too large!

Finally, we are not doing well with our Crowdfunder campaign. No donations yet. I am a little disappointed but genuinely not surprised. I have been told by two people they will be donating, and if people can afford it, I’m really very grateful. Samphire Gallery have also confirmed that they will offer a very special one-off print for the £100+ donators. Thank you so much for that.

We are just not attracting the support and attention needed really to make a splash. But fear not cakers, we will continue, unbowed and undaunted. Where there is cake, there is hope!

Until the next time…