Flamenco NOW on choosing the right rewards
We spoke with producer Anne-Louise Rentell about her MATCH crowdfunding campaign for Flamenco NOW.
Flamenco NOW, Anne-Louise Rentell’s first crowdfunding campaign, raised money to support the premiere season of two new contemporary dance works – FORGE by Annalouise Paul (Theatre of Rhythm and Dance) and BUSH BAILANDO by Pepa Molina (Pepa Molina Company).
Tell us about your campaign and any unexpected results.
The most successful rewards were those set at $250 and below. Pledgers of larger donations did not claim rewards so associated reward costs were saved. Introducing a new reward of a ticket purchase late in the campaign helped push us over the target of $7800 at the eleventh hour.
An extensive and laborious campaign targeting Spanish and Jewish groups/corporations did not secure financial support (save $100 from the Jewish Women’s Association) but did bring significant in kind sponsorship: Glebe Cellars (specialists in Spanish wine) donated Sangria to our closing night Fiesta; Duet Entertainment Group donated double passes to Diego el Cigala’s concert at City Recital Hall and ballroom dance show Burn the Floor at Enmore Theatre as incentives to donate to the campaign.
The biggest learning was in contacting the corporates and discovering a general reticence towards sponsorship through the crowdfunding campaign. However, there was interest and support and a lot of benefit in making the connections, even if there were no funds, and these conversations did translate to tickets.
For this campaign we had set up the larger campaign rewards (workshops and performances) with the corporations in mind but didn’t pursue the corporations until we had launched the campaign.
Was there any part of the campaign that you would do differently?
Next time, we would contact them prior to the launch so that any information on potential corporate sponsors would be to hand. The amount of time taken contacting and following up on these conversations during the campaign itself would be less arduous and we would also be aware of what was possible in terms of sponsorship and would be able to set up our rewards on offer accordingly.
Also, the process of contacting corporations this time around opened up other opportunities to pursue but with no time to do so – such as corporate entertainment whereby pledges for flamenco performance rewards through talent/entertainment agencies may have been fruitful. But these conversations needed a lot more research and time to put them in place.
Similarly, some of the conversations with Spanish and Jewish corporations, organisations and groups relied on cold-calling and doing a ‘hard sell’ on the phone. This process very rarely bears fruit and in this case we did have some success – free tickets, free Sangria, and a small donation of funds – but I imagine the conversation will be easier next time around having now had the initial communications.
How do you plan on engaging with your supporters in the short-term future?
Both artists are taking the work further post the premier season at Dance Bites. Pepa Molina is already seeking a regional tour of Bush Bailando through Arts on Tour and Annalouise Paul is pursuing interest from national and international presenters for Forge.
This is possible because of the support generated by raising the artists’ profiles in the broader arts and private sector, encouraging investor confidence in the artists’ upcoming work and potential for corporate partners and audiences to continue to engage with and support the work of these two artists.
The campaign has provided a clear access point for future approaches to potential private sector partners such as the Spanish Chamber of Commerce (La Camara) who may see a greater benefit in supporting work that has a longer life and a broader geographic/audience reach.