Nobody likes dealing with a flake—especially when that flake has your money. So if you ever hope to get your funders behind another project, you need to assure them that you’re on the ball, making progress, and will have something to show for their faith.
Finish early. Looking for a great way to make your backers really happy? Beat expectations. Flutist Marco Lienhard (shown in the video above) actually started pre-production on his new album, The Traveler’s Song, before his campaign closed in early September. “I told people I’d get them the CD in October, but I knew it would be ready in September,” he says.
Communicate. It’s not always possible to finish early, of course. If you’re running late, like three-quarters of all crowdfunding campaigns, let your backers know. When comedian Tig Notaro got cancer this year, she had to delay production of her short film Clown Service, which she had crowdfunded with $10,000 in donations on August 3. Less than two weeks later, she sent out a note to backers explaining why the movie would be late: “In the event that you haven’t heard, Tig has been diagnosed with cancer and will be undergoing treatment. We are hoping to revisit this in the next 6 months, if everything is back on track. We will update you as we know more.”
Be clear and sincere. We all understand that stuff happens. If at all possible, let your supporters know when you will finish the project for real this time. That kind of transparency will keep their goodwill and prevent them from burning out on giving good money to creative campaigns that never come to fruition.