Many successful, large crowdfunding campaigns follow a typical pattern: After a burst of media coverage when the project launches and just before the funding deadline, interest quickly drifts away. Thanks to the crowdfunding model, donations stop too, even though a fledging startup or creative project may still need more money–and donors may still want to give.
In response, Indiegogo is experimenting with a new pilot program called “Forever Funding” that will allow startups, artists, and anyone else with a successful campaign to keep raising money after the campaign’s end date.
“Even if you have a pretty successful Indiegogo campaign, after the campaign ends, you pretty much fall off the map,” says Jeffrey Maganis, CEO of ChargeAll, one of a handful of Indiegogo campaigners trying out the new program. “Unless you have some sort of retail distribution, you’re pretty much never heard of again. People want to buy the product but they can’t. The entrepreneur has to go elsewhere to sell their product.”
After ChargeAll’s campaign ended last month, the company added a link to their own site on their Indiegogo page, inviting new visitors to place pre-orders. But even though the campaign page was still getting hundreds of visitors a day, no one seemed to want to click on the link. “People like to stay on Indiegogo, and contribute through Indiegogo,” Maganis says.
But will the program threaten one of the basic reasons that crowdfunding works so well now? Arguably, the fact that there’s a deadline looming gives people the motivation to donate in the first place. After a successful project first launches, donations usually pour in, then drop down and plateau for a few weeks, and finally swing up again just before the deadline. If people know that they can still get something later–as long as a project meets a minimum initial goal–crowdfunding sites might start to feel more like ordinary stores.