Financial Tips for Successfully Crowdfunding Your Gig Project


As a freelancer or gig worker, you know that funding your next project can be a constant challenge. Crowdfunding provides an opportunity to tap into an online community that can help turn your dreams into reality. With some careful planning and financial diligence, a successful crowdfunding campaign can give you the boost you need to get to the next level.

This article provides tips and strategies to approach crowdfunding in a financially responsible way. Learn how to set a realistic funding goal, understand platform fees and taxes, and budget for fulfillment costs. With these financial best practices, you’ll be ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign that takes your freelance career up a notch.

Determine Your Crowdfunding Goals and Budget

Setting clear crowdfunding goals and budgets will help determine which platform is right for your project and how much you need to raise to get started. First, determine how much funding you need to complete your project. Factor in costs for equipment, materials, and any contractors or assistants. You’ll also want to account for platform fees, which typically range from 5% to 12% of funds raised.

Define Your Project Scope

Do you need funding for a single gig or to support yourself for six months as you work? The scope and timeline of your project will determine how much you need to raise. Clearly define the key milestones and deliverables to share with potential backers.

Choose a Crowdfunding Platform

The three most popular options for crowdfunding creative projects are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon. Compare their fees, funding models, and creator resources to determine which aligns best with your needs. Some platforms are better suited for one-time campaign-style fundraising, while others offer recurring subscription support.

Set a Realistic Fundraising Goal

It’s tempting to set an ambitious fundraising goal, but you’ll have the most success by keeping your expectations grounded. Analyze past campaigns similar to your own to determine an attainable range. A good rule of thumb is that you can likely raise between 25% to 50% of your network size in funds. Start promoting your campaign to build momentum, then launch when you have around 30% of your goal amount pledged. Exceeding your initial goal by a small margin will make your campaign look successful and help motivate new backers.

Keep Costs Low and Track Your Budget

Minimize expenses where you can to make the most of funds raised. Buy materials in bulk, borrow or rent equipment when possible, and call on your network for affordable resources and assistance. Carefully track income and expenses to ensure your campaign proceeds are being used as promised to backers.

Choose the Right Crowdfunding Platform

When raising funds for your gig project, selecting an appropriate crowdfunding platform is crucial. The major options include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. You must evaluate each platform based on their fees, campaign duration, all-or-nothing funding models, and audience.


Platforms charge fees ranging from 5-10% of the funds raised. GoFundMe charges the lowest fees but may attract fewer backers. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have larger audiences but charge higher fees. You must determine if the fees justify the platform’s reach.

Campaign Duration

Campaigns on Kickstarter last 1 to 60 days. Indiegogo campaigns can run indefinitely but fees increase after 60 days. GoFundMe has no set end date. A longer campaign risks losing momentum and backer enthusiasm but provides more time to raise funds. You must find the right balance for your needs.

All-or-Nothing Funding

Kickstarter employs an all-or-nothing model where you only receive funds if you meet your goal. Indiegogo and GoFundMe allow you to keep any amount raised. An all-or-nothing model creates urgency but risks receiving no funds. A keep-all model ensures some capital but may limit total funding as backers are reluctant to support campaigns unlikely to meet goals. You must determine which model aligns with your risk tolerance and capital needs.


Kickstarter and Indiegogo focus on creative projects, attracting backers interested in the arts. GoFundMe supports a wider range of personal causes, including medical expenses and education costs. You must identify the platform with an audience most likely to support your specific gig project.

Evaluate crowdfunding platforms based on fees, campaign duration, funding model, and audience to choose the right option for your needs. With diligent planning, you can successfully raise capital to get your gig project off the ground.

Create Reward Tiers That Engage Supporters

To succeed at crowdfunding your gig project, develop a range of compelling reward tiers to offer your backers. The rewards should provide value and build enthusiasm to motivate supporters to contribute at increasing levels.

Tangible Rewards

Consider offering tangible rewards at lower tiers, such as signed copies of your work, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, or the opportunity to video chat with you. These types of rewards give backers something concrete in exchange for their contributions. For higher tiers, you might provide VIP access to your work or custom experiences.

Experiential Rewards

Experiential rewards that provide backers an opportunity to engage with you or your work can be very compelling. At intermediate tiers, offer live virtual Q&A sessions or online masterclasses. For top tiers, consider intimate live performances, virtual collaboration opportunities, or customized private lessons. These types of meaningful engagements will resonate strongly with your most dedicated supporters.

Recognition and Status

Do not underestimate the power of recognition and status as rewards. Offering public acknowledgments, shout-outs on social media, or having backers’ names featured prominently in your work or on your website taps into people’s intrinsic motivations. For major backers, consider naming a key part of your project after them or giving them an executive producer title.

An effective reward strategy with options at a range of tiers gives your backers meaningful ways to support your work at a level that suits their means and interests. By cultivating enthusiasm and building personal connections with your supporters, these rewards can turn them into vocal champions who help promote your campaign to new audiences. With their support, you will be well on your way to crowdfunding success.


Promote Your Campaign on Social Media

To maximize the success of your crowdfunding campaign, social media promotion is essential.

Build Awareness.

Begin promoting your campaign on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at least two weeks before launch to start building awareness. Explain the details of your project and campaign to your followers and ask them to share the information to spread the word.

Engage with Followers.

Once your campaign goes live, post regular updates across social media to keep followers engaged. Thank those who have donated, share progress updates and milestones achieved, highlight rewards still available, and ask followers to continue sharing and spreading the word. Engaging with your followers in this way keeps your campaign at the top of their newsfeeds and in their minds.

Run Ads.

If needed, consider running social media ads to increase traffic to your campaign page. Keep ads concise, highlighting your project details and campaign deadline to capture interest. Target ads to your relevant audience and run them for at least one to two weeks to gain the most exposure. The small investment in ads can pay off significantly in the extra funding and backers gained.

Offer Exclusive Rewards.

Provide social media-exclusive rewards and offers for your followers to incentivize them to donate and share your campaign. For example, offer early bird rewards, extra perks, or shout-outs on social media for the first 10 or 20 backers from each platform. Exclusive offers give followers a reason to act quickly to take advantage of the perk.

Thank Your Backers.

Most importantly, thank each and every backer for their support and donation. Tag them in thank you posts on social media and @mention them in tweets. Let them know how much their support and generosity means to you and the success of your project. Backers will appreciate your gratitude and be more inclined to support your future creative endeavors.

With an active social media presence and promotion plan, you can gain valuable exposure and funding for your crowdfunding campaign. Engage with your followers, spread the word, run ads if needed, offer exclusive rewards, and always show gratitude for your backers. Keeping your campaign active and at the top of the newsfeed will help turn followers into loyal supporters and backers.

Stay Connected With Supporters Throughout

Update Supporters Regularly

As your crowdfunding campaign progresses, provide regular updates to your supporters about your progress. Share photos, videos and posts on the crowdfunding platform and social media to keep supporters engaged. Thank them for their support and share how their contributions are helping move the project forward. Updates and engagement help build a personal connection and encourage more support.

Answer Questions and Address Concerns Promptly

Check for any messages, comments or questions from your supporters daily and provide prompt responses. Address any concerns raised to avoid losing potential backers. Your crowdfunding campaign’s comment section is a chance to have a genuine conversation with your audience. Respond to all comments, even if they are critical, in a professional and constructive manner.

Share Milestones and Next Steps

Let supporters know when you hit funding milestones and share next steps for the project. For example, if you reach 50% of your funding goal, share an update thanking backers and discussing how their support will help in completing the next phase of the project. Discuss any key dates or deadlines coming up to keep people informed and excited about the progress.

Offer Rewards and Incentives

Provide reward tiers with meaningful incentives and perks to encourage support. For example, offer a signed copy of the final product or VIP access to an event. You can also offer non-monetary rewards like shoutouts, exclusive content or behind-the-scenes access. Rewards give supporters an opportunity to engage with the project in a more meaningful way.

Staying connected with your supporters, addressing their concerns and sharing regular updates are key to running a successful crowdfunding campaign. Keep the conversation going to maintain enthusiasm, gain new backers and reach your ultimate funding goal. While the campaign period may be short, building a genuine connection with your audience can lead to long term support.

Manage Contributions and Rewards Efficiently

To have a successful gig crowdfunding campaign, you must manage contributions and rewards systematically.

Track Contributions and Donations

Closely monitor contributions to your campaign and send personal thank you messages to express your gratitude for supporters’ generosity. Keep detailed records of each donation, including the donor’s name, email address, contribution amount, and any rewards claimed.

Fulfill Rewards and Perks

As contributors reach reward tier thresholds, be prepared to fulfill the promised rewards and perks. For physical rewards, allocate enough time to procure or create items and ship them to donors. For intangible rewards like social media shoutouts, schedule posts in advance. Failure to deliver rewards damages your reputation and credibility.

Issue Receipts and Updates

Provide receipts to donors for tax purposes, especially for large contributions. Regular updates on your campaign’s progress and milestones reassure donors their contributions are being used as intended. Campaign updates also encourage more contributions by demonstrating your accountability and enthusiasm.

Account for Funds and Expenses

Maintain meticulous financial records accounting for all funds raised and expenses incurred. Donors trust you to spend contributions appropriately on your stated goals. Be transparent by disclosing a basic financial summary to show funds were allocated as promised. Strict financial oversight is also necessary in case of audits.

Successfully managing contributions and fulfilling obligations to donors leads to a rewarding crowdfunding experience for all parties involved. Systematic processes and accountability practices establish your trustworthiness as a gig worker seeking financial support for creative projects. With your crowdfunding success, you gain confidence to pursue more ambitious creative endeavors.

Plan for Taxes on Crowdfunded Income

Reporting Crowdfunding Income

As an independent contractor utilizing crowdfunding platforms to generate revenue, you are required to report all income and pay taxes on the funds received. The income from crowdfunding campaigns is taxable and must be included in your taxable income for the year. You will need to issue 1099 tax forms to any contributors who donated $600 or more to your campaign. You should keep detailed records of all contributions received and issue receipts to donors for their tax purposes.

Estimated Quarterly Tax Payments

Most crowdfunding income will be considered self-employment income. As such, you will owe self-employment tax of 15.3% on your profits. You will also likely need to pay quarterly estimated taxes on your crowdfunding income to avoid potential tax penalties. The quarterly due dates for estimated taxes are April 15, June 15, and September 15 of the current year and January 15 of the following year. You should pay at least 90% of your total tax liability for the current year or 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s return, whichever is less, to avoid failure-to-pay penalties.

Hiring an Accountant

Given the additional tax complexities of crowdfunding income, you should consider hiring an accountant or tax professional to help you report this income accurately. An accountant can help you determine if any crowdfunding contributions may be tax deductible for your donors, calculate your estimated quarterly tax payments, and prepare your annual tax returns. They can also advise you on any deductions or credits you may be eligible to claim to reduce your tax liability. The fees for an accountant’s services are tax deductible as a business expense.

Properly reporting your crowdfunding income and paying the necessary taxes will ensure you remain in good standing with tax authorities and avoid potential penalties and interest charges. With the help of an accountant, you can feel confident that your tax obligations related to your crowdfunding income are addressed fully and accurately.

Alternatives if You Fall Short of Your Goal

If your crowdfunding campaign does not reach its funding goal, do not lose hope. There are alternative paths forward to obtain financing for your gig project.

Re-strategize Your Campaign

You may need to revisit your campaign’s strategy and make adjustments to increase its appeal and better connect with potential backers. Consider offering additional reward tiers, emphasizing the benefits and impacts, and promoting your campaign through social media to reach new audiences. You can then re-launch an improved campaign.

Seek Traditional Financing

Traditional financing methods like bank loans, lines of credit, and credit cards remain options if crowdfunding does not work out. Meet with your bank to discuss your needs and see if you qualify for their small business lending programs. While interest charges will apply, at least you will have access to capital to get your project started.

Reduce Your Funding Needs

Look for ways to scale back your funding requirements so you can launch your project on a smaller budget. This may involve reducing costs, seeking donated goods and services, or starting with a smaller pilot to test the concept. Any progress is better than abandoning your idea due to lack of funding. With a successful pilot, you can then revisit crowdfunding or other financing with evidence of concept viability.

Consider other Funding Sources

Don’t limit yourself to crowdfunding and bank financing alone. Explore other options like:

Angel investors – Wealthy individuals who provide capital for startups and new projects.

Venture capital – Funding provided by firms who invest in promising new companies and projects.

Government grants – Federal, state and local governments offer grants for certain types of projects. See if any apply to your needs.

Revenue-based financing – Funding provided based on a percentage of your project’s future revenue rather than equity shares. The lender is repaid as your revenue grows.

With persistence and an open mind, you can secure financing for your gig project through crowdfunding or other creative means. The key is to not give up hope and try multiple paths until you find one that leads to success.

Crowdfunding FAQs: Top Questions About Financial Tips

When embarking on a crowdfunding campaign for your gig project, you likely have many questions about the financial aspects. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and tips to keep in mind:

How much should I aim to raise?

Determine your project’s budget to set a realistic funding goal. Account for all costs, including rewards and fees. It’s best to aim slightly higher to account for unforeseen expenses. However, don’t set a goal so high that it seems unachievable to potential backers.

What crowdfunding platform should I use?

Research different platforms to find one suited for your needs. Consider fees, audiences, and available funding models (e.g.,all-or-nothing,flexible funding). Popular platforms for creative projects include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon. Compare their pros and cons before choosing.

How do I set appropriate reward levels?

Offer a variety of rewards at multiple price points to appeal to different backers. Rewards should be tied to your project and increase in value at higher levels. For lower levels, consider things like behind-the-scenes content, discounts, and merchandise. For higher levels, offer opportunities like private events or creative consulting. Price rewards to account for fulfillment costs.

How often should I provide updates?

Once your campaign launches, post frequent updates, especially in the first and last weeks. Share news, behind-the-scenes details, milestones achieved, and new rewards or stretch goals. Thank your backers and encourage more pledges. Most platforms recommend 2-3 updates per week. Updates keep backers engaged and show your project’s progress.

How do I fulfill rewards and use excess funds?

If fully funded, fulfill all rewards as promised. Use excess funds to enhance your project or save for future endeavors. If you raise less than your goal, issue refunds or work with backers to modify rewards. Be transparent in all communications to maintain trust and accountability with your supporters.

With strategic planning and open communication, you can run a successful crowdfunding campaign and gain financial support for your creative gig project. Best of luck!


As you embark on your next gig project, remember that crowdfunding can provide the financial support you need, if done thoughtfully. By realistically estimating costs, identifying your network, creating enticing rewards, and maintaining communication, you can meet your fundraising goals. With a well-planned campaign and persistent outreach, you’ll gain not just funding, but also an invested audience.

While crowdfunding requires work, it enables creative professionals like you to bring your visions to life. Believe in the worth of your project, and stay focused on connecting with those who will too. With strategic preparation, creativity, and commitment, you can fully fund your next meaningful gig.