Donor Email Letters & Digital Audio Kickstarter Perks

And now for something completely different…

The blog has been very focused on technical and filmmaking matters over the past few months. But it’s very important to note this film exists for one reason – the support of so many donors who’ve contributed over $165,000 during the past 10 years (our first donation was spring of 2006) to make this dream a reality.

One of the logistical headaches has been given the long life of the film and our fragile financial state to keep the film going at times, we’ve resorted to a variety of means to raise funds. We crowdfunded before there was crowdfunding.

So we’ve ended up with multiple lists, databases, records of donors, benefits etc. in various places. Thankfully, volunteer-in-chief, my wife Marie van Vuuren, wisely saw the need for a database to track donors, donations and sponsors early on. So we’ve had a primary database setup and maintained for donors that came through the website, first through Fractured Atlas, then PayPal.


But then crowdfunding arrived – we had successful campaigns at Rockethub (1), IndieGoGo (2) and Kickstarter (1 HUGE). All great stuff. Until you get to the backend. The dark secret about the crowdfunding is all of these companies have non-standard and terrible databases, reports, exporting and donor tracking. Expensive third-party options have popped up to try to cover these glaring shortfalls.

We investigated those options but they either lacked critical features or had stratospheric pricing. So Marie and another volunteer have worked most of this year with what has proved to be a complex and time-consuming operation to consolidate, double-check and finalize the donor database for the film.

But it’s done!!! As a triple-check, we are sending out individual, one-at-time emails to all 1000+ donors through this month. If you are donor and don’t get one, please contact us ASAP so we can get you information.

And after testing half-dozen solutions, we finally a free, workable solution for a long-suffering Kickstarter backers to get their digital audio downloads in safe, private fashion. That information will be their individual emails.

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