Updated: Jan 30
Picking the right rewards can have a massive impact on a film crowdfunding campaign. The rewards are an amazing way to give friends, family and acquaintances and extra incentive to support you and encourage complete strangers to back your project.
Before I get to the list of reward ideas you should consider, let's discuss some general tips, tricks and strategies.
There are 3 main categories of rewards:
Below £100: These should all be digital rewards including a link to the film, digital poster, social media shoutout etc.
£100-500: Experience Rewards (more on that later)
£500+: Credit rewards (although they're not just credits; more on that later too!)
Usually the rewards that will end up raising you the most funds are the £50 and £100 rewards so you really want to get those right. Don't be afraid to add as much value there as possible and make them extra appealing to your potential backers.
The higher your target the more variety of rewards you should have. Most campaigns that raise under 10k have between 7-10 different rewards but for campaigns trying to raise 100k+ it's not uncommon to have 100+ different rewards.
Create scarcity to increase desire and demand. For all rewards that cost over £100, limit them to only 2 available at a time. Once the 2 are sold out recreate the reward and add 2 more. This will create a sense of urgency for people to buy and will create FOMO which is absolutely crucial. It will get backers thinking: 'If I don't get this reward today it might not be there tomorrow...'.
Add some creative names to each of your rewards to make the experience of your crowdfunding page seamless and engaging. You want buying a reward or donating to feel like part of the experience and not 'the boring step'. I added some links to campaigns that do this really well at the bottom of this blog.
As the rewards get more and more expensive it's common practice to add the perk description and write '+ all previous digital rewards'. Instead of doing that I would recommend adding bullet points summarising all the above perks in each package individually. This makes it feel like you're getting a lot more for your money. Check out the example below; if this package only said Blu-Ray and all previous rewards, wouldn't it feel far less tempting to get?
Finally I would strongly suggest getting together with your entire cast, crew and team and discuss what you can source from practical products, services and experiences! Perhaps someone has an uncle who can donate a weekend stay at their airbnb during an off-season, or a family member with a restaurant who can donate a luxurious dinner for two. Don't miss out on these kinds of rewards that a huge number of people would want just because you didn't do a brainstorming session with your team.
So let's get to it... here are just 21 reward ideas you should consider:
1. Special thank you video from the whole cast
Want to spice up the standard £10 'Thank You Social Media Shoutout'? Try a 'Special personalised thank you video from the whole cast and crew'. Get your whole team together and in about 5 minutes you can film 100 variations of everyone shouting: 'Thank you so much for your donation 'Name of backer' to the camera. You will come off as more grateful and backers will be much more likely to back again if you launch another campaign.
2. Social media shoutout
You can make this extra special for filmmakers and business owners by saying: we'll promote a link to your website across all our social media channels. Do you have an actor or team member with a high number of followers? Perhaps add that they will go live on social media and mention the backers and their businesses to their followers.
3. 4K exclusive download of the film
It's important to make each reward as appealing as possible. Instead of simply calling a reward 'Get a Download of the Film' try: 'Exclusive 4K Download of the Film Before Anyone Else Sees It'
4.Digital concept art download
This is a great addition to a download of the film reward. With all digital download rewards you can add an option: Receive a printed signed copy if you attend our premiere. That way you encourage people to come to your premiere and make the perk more appealing without adding shipping costs.
5. Zoom Q&A with Cast & Crew
A live zoom hangout and Q&A is a great way to personally thank the backers and make them feel valued. It's also an opportunity to make personal connections with people which will increase the chances of them supporting you again if you choose to launch another campaign.
6. Mystery Bag/Lucky Dip
Curiosity is a powerful driver when it comes to getting sales so why not use it here? You can add a lucky dip or mystery box reward filled with mystery vouchers and products which will spark people's curiosity and excitement. Get your whole team together and see who can pitch in what.
7. Movie Props
Got a cool prop or costume in your movie like a vintage gun or an awesome trench coat? Those always make for great rewards!
8. Audition/Script Review
Offer to review someone's short script or audition tape. This works great if you have an experienced writer to review a script or a casting director willing to watch some audition self tapes.
Got a photographer on the team or someone with a DSLR? Headshots can be relatively simple to fulfil and very expensive for actors to purchase making it an excellent film crowdfunding reward.
Get together with your whole team including cast and crew and see if you can provide any lessons or workshops as rewards. The prices usually vary from £50-150 for a one hour lesson and can be easily done over zoom. These can be anything from french lessons, filmmaking coaching, cooking classes, or anything else that people would like to learn.
11. Name a character after a backer
This is a great example of an exclusive one-off reward that only one person can get. They tend to be quite popular and in demand due to how limited they are.
12. Film equipment hire
Do you have a set of lights, a camera or any other equipment you can rent out for a day? If yes, film equipment hire is a fantastic practical reward that will get filmmakers and complete strangers backing your campaign. It's also enticing because a backer doesn't need to wait until the film is made to receive their perk. You can in theory fulfil it the day the campaign is over if you already have the kit.
13. Extra on set + mini photoshoot
An extra on set reward is a very popular reward amongst actors but you can make it even better with a small addition. Allow the actors who get the reward to pick their own characters (within reason and keeping with the style of your film). You can then add an in character photoshoot to the perk. The character photoshoot including a few headshots and full body pictures can be done by your onset photographer in between shots, costing you nothing extra