Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros


March 13, 2009

9 Fan-Funding & Donation Sites to Raise Money for Your Next Music Project

Are you ready to record a new album, produce a video, or take on an ambitious new music project? But you don't have the cash on hand to make it happen now?

Do what a growing number of smart artists have done in recent years: ask your fans to contribute!

The band Marillion reportedly raised $725,000 by pre-selling its Anoraknophobia double-CD album before it was ever recorded. Jill Sobule raised more than $80,000 from about 500 fans to record her California Years album, due out in 2009.

But even lesser known artists have had success with this fan-funded business model. Take a look at what these indie acts have done to involve their fans in music fundraising:

Mia Kim
http://www.sukeyrose.com/

Christine Kane
http://www.bemyrecordlabel.com/

Scott Andrew
http://saveyoufromyourself.com/

Kristin Hersh
http://kristinhersh.cashmusic.org/

Great, your sold on the concept. Now how do you set up a system to collect funds from your fans?

Well, a number of new sites have sprung up to provide this service to musicians. The most prominent ones are:

SellaBand
http://www.sellaband.com/

Slicethepie
http://www.slicethepie.com/

ArtistShare
http://www.artistshare.com/

CASH Music
http://www.cashmusic.org/

Bandstocks
http://www.bandstocks.com/

Each of the sites above have different structures and fees, so look over the details closely before committing to using any of them.

But you don't have to use a music-specific site to do this. Here are four more easy ways to ask your fans to support you financially:

Chipin

PayPal Buttons for donations

Amazon Simple Pay Donations

Justgiving

You don't have to wait until you have a big music project to ask your fans for help. Just put a donation or "tip jar" button or widget on a page where you offer free downloads.

For instance, here's the request on Kristin Hersh's download page:

"The music here is yours to download. Please consider making a one-time contribution using the form below (not tax deductable)."

Bottom line: Don't become a "I don't have the money now" victim. Ask the people who can really help you the most: your fans!

-Bob



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posted by Bob Baker @ 11:41 AM   8 comments


8 Comments:

At Mar 19, 2009, 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Bocci said...

Wow Bob!! This was exactly what was worring me about! How a low budget artist can raise funds to keep going on with his production. Loved this article, really loved. Thanks!!!!

 
At Mar 19, 2009, 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Max Night said...

Great post, and great resources.

I'm doing the same, but in kind of a different way.

http://four.markmarshall.com

The listeners get to go through teh process of making the music with me, including weighing in on it.

 
At Mar 19, 2009, 1:55:00 PM, Anonymous One Weekly Gun said...

Hi Bob.
I really was inspired by this post!
I'm sure to consider implementing some of these crowd-funding techniques soon.

 
At Mar 27, 2009, 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous johnnyi said...

indiesolo.com is a filter for the indie music industry as we showcase one band a day. When a band is selected and featured, they have the ability through indiesolo.com to receive donations from fans. IndieSolo's donation system allows fans to buy credits and allocate any amount of credits that have dollar value to their favorite independent band...like an online tip jar!

 
At Apr 20, 2009, 1:59:00 PM, Blogger Del said...

Great article! I think this works particularly well if you are already "over the hump" with regard to establishing a fan base. However, I would caution anyone to use this with some discretion as your fan base is worth protecting and you should be ready to produce results when you start asking for money. I think it is vitally important to also build music collateral to make the best use of such resources. Check out articles posted at http://bluemusepublishing.com to read more about developing music collateral.

 
At Nov 5, 2009, 2:32:00 PM, Blogger Dana Detrick-Clark from Serious Vanity Music said...

We're doing something similar, but offering our fans and other artists a chance to advertise as sponsors of our CD. Here's the 411: http://www.seriousvanity.com/seriousvanityrecords/support-indie-music-while-you-advertise/

 
At Jan 3, 2010, 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous Natalie Gelman said...

I have to start mine up. I have the songs written, I just keep putting off the studio part. Money helps everything. I think starting something like this would really help focus me!

 
At Jan 4, 2010, 11:04:00 AM, Blogger Guitartam said...

Thanks Bob! I included a fan sponsorship page on my website-www.tamraengle.com giving the fans CREDIT opportunities on the album/cd for helping out-as well as being promoted as a sponsor based on the level of support given.
My CD's allow me to expand my Social Entreprenearal projects to End Violence against women and keep music in kids lives! Here's how readers can help out
and read about other projects:
http://tinyurl.com/ydm84ph

 

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