Krita 2018 fundraiser Retrospective
boud at valdyas.org
Tue Oct 16 10:19:01 BST 2018
We've just completed the 2018 Krita fundraiser. Here's a bit of an
evaluation. Since there are at least two thing that I think are important for
KDE, I'm also includeing the kde-community list.
We've just completed the 2018 Krita fundraiser.
* During the fundraiser there was much pulling of hair and wondering what was
going wrong, since we only seemed to be on track to make ~20k, while the last
kickstarter made ~36k. In the end we got over 27k, if one includes the direct
donation made by a larger sponsor. With the kickstarter, large donations
usually were made at the beginning of the campaign, giving a boost at the
start. I also approached existing sponsors, but only one answered (positively,
but they haven't yet come up with money).
* We did not do a fundraiser in 2017: we did raise funds because of the tax
situation. That broke down into ~20k from PIA and ~20k from the community. We
didn't really work and create a campaign for that. This meant that we were out
of practice this year. In 2016 we were like a machine: we had everything
ready, a playbook for creating the campaign and a playbook during the
campaign. Now it felt like we had to reinvent everything again.
--> Note for KDE: KDE e.V. doesn't want to do an End of Year fundraiser in
2018 because it already received so much mony from Pineapple and Handshake. I
would recommend not skipping the fundraiser, because I'm pretty sure the same
will happen and the next fundraiser will be more difficult to organize.
* This was the first fundraiser we did outside Kickstarter. Kickstarter itself
was good for 4k in the 2016. We didn't want to use kickstarter because of the
all or nothing thing is nerve-wracking, because kickstarter isn't fresh
anymore, because of the expectation that you're a failure if you're not fully
funded in a day and because of the cost and hassle of rewards.
* We did send out word of the campaign in kickstarter updates to previous
campaigns, which did drive traffic a bit.
* Of the 2016 36k, at least 11k went to the cost of the rewards (artist's
fees, production, shipping) and kickstarter fees. The net result is the same.
* We only had three rewards this time: voting, your name or nick in the about
box and the Digital Atelier pack at 50 euros.
** The donation spread was very different from the kickstarter: we had a way
higher proportion of 50+ donations. This suggests that we missed a lot of
10..50 donations, so next time we probably should have a 10 and 25 euro
attraction, too. Preferably digital, but postcards could be an option.
* This was the first time we used Mollie for payments. Mollie is GREAT. We
could accept all credit cards, lots of different kinds of internet banking
transfers, SEPA, paypal, bitcoin. We had 11k through credit cards, 13k through
paypal, 735 through bitcoin, and the rest through banks in the second half of
--> KDE really should consider using Mollie. It's friendly, well integrated
with Wordpress and Civicrm, not at all expensive (total costs in were ~500).
* We were busy setting up civicrm for Krita. But that wasn't ready when we
needed to go live, so we still sent out reward mails by hand, and did vote
tallies by hand. That wasn't too much work, but led to mistakes. We've got the
basis for civicrm setup now, and are working on creating the necessary custom
data fields to import the csv files created by mollieforms, so we can approach
our supporters again.
** Since civi wasn't up, we couldn't mail our supporters every time something
* We used the news-about-krita mailing list once, but forgot to use that for
the 4.1.5 release. That might have helped.
* We had a hard time actually tracking what was going on on the site.
* We did not have a means to make our donors share that they had donated with
their friends and network
_Traffic and Buzz_
* It was REALLY hard to drive traffic to the campaign. Much traffic seems to
have come from Youtube, where we don't really have much of a presence
ourselves. In fact, most traffic seemed to come from people watching old
tutorial and review videos, going to the site and seeing the campaign. In
other words, that traffic came through nothing we were doing.
* We had some events lined up for the campaign: a release, a preview release,
some news articles, live streaming of bug fixing, a reddit AMA. Only the
releases really showed a spike in donations, all the other things were pretty
* It was not completely impossible to get the news out: Paul helped with
getting us in Linux Journal, and we did some press outreach. I'm not sure how
we could improve this, but without buzz, a campaign is hard going. Working
with kde-promo was a great experience.
* The campaign page was too long.
* The donation form at the bottom wasn't clear for some people: they never saw
the voting option
* It was quite hard to get the idea of bug fixing and stability out: I thought
we had a good story, but it might have been too technical still.
* Since there were no comments on the page (though we had provided for them),
the campaign had no feel of buzz. We should try to imitate the Kickstarter
comments tab next time.
* September/October might be a difficult moment for a campaign, with people
coming back from holidays skint. Next campaign should be in May again.
* We tried to follow the lessons from the training in Vienna, but still messed
up: our donation form was complicated, we didn't publish a target, we didn't
engage our supporters enough.
The campaign _was_ a success. We have about seven to eight months funded. We
did not incur a lot of costs (I paid for the Digital Atelier set myself and
will start selling it in Krita's shop soon). But there are quite a few lessons
to be learned from doing it all ourselves.
I think we really need professional help next time setting up a campaign: I
think I would like to approach More Onion for an offer: Krita has one sixth of
the downloads of a program like Blender, so we should be able to reach at
least one sixth of the level of support Blender gets, which means we're not
engaging our community enough.
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