Arts, Community, Print: The Crowdfunding Campaign
This page was published in December 2015 to celebrate the success of WOW magazine’s crowdfunding campaign. The campaign meant core funding which kept the magazine going for another year, but at the end of I made the difficult decision to cease publishing, with the magazine’s core revenue from advertising sales not having grown enough to make the magazine (which was distributed for free) financially viable. I have kept this page here as a record of that time, and for those who might find it interesting who are thinking of running their own crowdfunding campaign.
Emma, founder & editor, WOW magazine (2010-2016)
Emma and Paul would like to extend a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign, either by sharing it online or giving to the fund. We cherish each and every contribution and will do our very best to honour your faith in our work by continuing to bring you the very best of what’s on where in 2016!
“There are few things in life I’m more proud of than this little magazine. Making the best, most beautiful 32 pages possible about local and regional arts every month for the past five years has been my passion and my obsession and given me a purpose matched only by raising my daughter.
During those five years we have won three awards for WOW; but even more rewarding are the many times we’ve been told that the service WOW provides has helped to bind together what was here before and to create what was not. I’m told that as a result of WOW’s presence audiences have grown; artists of all disciplines have been helped to connect and creative organisations have a platform on which to stand and shout about their work.
With a committed community of readers and a loyal, growing number of advertisers, in many ways what we’re experiencing here at WOW HQ is the impact of the magazine’s success. I have subsidised it for many years to get to this point, but in order to grow it further – and I’m positively bursting with ideas about what we could achieve together in the future! – I need your help. So it is with excitement, trepidation and not a little humility that I ask you, please, to join our crowd and pledge to the campaign.
How can I help?
We need to change our business model, so that our income from advertising sales is supplemented by annual reader subscriptions to ensure we have a bottom line cashflow to produce the magazine. We are looking for 1000+ people to become WOW Subscribers by pledging £25 to our campaign. All Subscribers will have the magazine delivered to their door for one year.
What else can I do?
We would love you to join the conversation! We want to take this opportunity to re-model WOW according to what its readerships wants to see. During the Campaign there will be a number of events and opportunities to voice your opinions and tell us what you think.
Can I pledge less/more than £25?
Yes! Pledges of £25 or more make you a WOW Subscriber but all pledges will be most gratefully received, thank you.
Will WOW be printed in 2016?
Only if we reach our target. If we don’t, all monies pledged will be refunded and we will not be able to print WOW in 2016.
Will you print it online instead?
No. WOW was always conceived as a print magazine. Our arts website, wowkent.co.uk, will continue to exist for you to find arts listings for events and workshops county-wide, but we won’t be able to make WOW magazine online because of the time involved in making it.
Will WOW only be available to paying subscribers?
If we reach our target we will be able to keep WOW in print and continue to supply our pick-up points in addition to posting out to subscribers. That’s the great thing about being a Subscriber – you are helping the whole community!
Why would I subscribe to a free magazine?
It’s not a new idea but one that takes a bit of getting used to. The subscription model has often been used by publishers to provide an additional source of revenue. In the case of WOW, the crowd would be doing something amazing for the community, because you would be making sure the information WOW provides stays available in one handy place.
I receive WOW through my letterbox – will this stop?
The copies currently letterboxed will no longer be so as this would not be fair to our Subscribers. We are very sorry that we have to stop this service. Please consider pledging to become a WOW Subscriber, so that you can continue to receive the magazine.
Why is your target £35K?
We have worked out this is what the business needs to move forward; any lower would be putting a sticking plaster over the problem. Some of this money will go towards fulfilling our campaign rewards and our crowdfunding platform’s fees, of course. Then the monies will, together with our advertising sales, go towards Subscriber postage costs; any 2015 shortfall; an intention to pay ourselves on a monthly basis and pay for the help of a media sales person. We also aim to pay our contributors in the future, to put the magazine on a more professional footing and help the careers of those who give their work freely now.”
This article was published in December 2015.