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Huxley Horror Metamorphisis via YouTube
Baby Steps

Creative crowdfunding site Fund It has raised €3 million for projects like this

The money has gone to everything from a multimedia horror show to a heart-rate monitor for sheep.

FROM A HEART-RATE monitor for sheep to a multimedia horror show, in less than four years Irish crowdfunding site Fund It has given people the chance to get a piece of them all.

The not-for-profit site, set up in 2011 to help people raise money for creative projects, recently passed €3 million in pledges since it went live.

Fund It chief executive Andrew Hetherington told it had taken less than a year for the last €1 million to be raised – compared to about 20 months for the milestone to be reached the first time around.

“We are a little bit excited to see how long it takes us to get to €4 million,” he said.

Hetherington said the site had a 73% success rate for people getting their projects off the ground, compared to strike rates of under 50% for many other crowdfunding sites.

“Our success rate is a large part of what we are about – every single project that goes live on our site will have had moderation from us,” he said.

“They will have been given lots of advice from us about what it takes to fundraise.”

More than 1000 projects have been featured on the site and between them all the works have received 53,000 pledges, with the average amount committed from each person over €53.

The reward-based site offers those who pledge various incentives for support – such as the Galway-based Huxley Horror community arts group, which promised a “uniquely-customised” piece of artwork for anyone who gave over €250.

Huxley Horror / YouTube

So what’s new

Hetherington said Fund It, which is run by Business to Arts, would be making some tweaks to its site over the coming month so it could capture as much information about what people were trying to do with out projects as possible.

“People are rightly questioning everything about projects – they want to know as much as they can before they decide to support something,” he said.

Fund It will also be running crowdfunding workshops starting in Dublin in December so successful fundraisers can pass on tips about getting their projects off the ground.

Nearly €40,000 for photo projects

Hetherington said some of the most interesting projects had recently come from photographers with three artists raising nearly €40,000 between them.

One, second-time Fund It user Daragh Muldowney, raised over €20,000 for his latest photography book Out of Thin Air - which featured otherworldy shots from Greenland.

arctic-picture-1-432x500 Daragh Muldowney Daragh Muldowney

He said that crowdfunding meant creative projects which would otherwise remain only ideas could now get the financial backing they needed to be realised.

“I’ve found crowdfunding creates a buzz and a desire from my audience to see the projects succeed, and people feel closer to the idea and a part of the creative process,” he said.

US crowdfunding site Kickstarter recently launched in Ireland, joining other offerings like LinkedFinance and PledgeUp.

READ: Following the crowd: How crowdfunding changed the way projects are made >

READ: Irish small businesses are still too-old school when it comes to getting loans >

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