Raising money, the newfangled way

Christina Eliopoulos, the director of Demon on Wheels, a Margaretville-based documentary about outlaw mechanic and daredevil Mike Ondish, is raising the $25,000 she needs to finish her movie via the website Kickstarter. (We've covered the movie, which follows Ondish as he resurrects his 1968 Mustang and returns it to its past racing glory, here.)

Eliopoulos has already raised almost $4,000, but she needs to raise the rest by March 13 or else she forfeits every cent, according to Kickstarter's rules. To encourage potential funders to join the 70 people who have already given money to the cause, she's baited her hook with some neat freebies, including this enticing package deal:

Pledge $5,000 or more [...]

You are worshiped as a gearhead god. Spend a day at the garage with Mike Ondish and the filmmakers and learn the special tricks of a master mechanic and the super-cool-extra-hush-hush secrets about the origins of the demon ride. You + your guest and Mike will work together on the car, have dinner and a photo session with the cast and crew, and spend two nights in a charming Catskill Mountains bed and breakfast. Plus, you'll go home with some cool Demon on Wheels swag and souvenirs. However, you have to provide your own ride. (Or plane ticket). Your generosity will be acknowledged in the SPECIAL THANKS TO section of the closing credits of the film and also listed on our web site.

Kickstarter has already helped another project with Catskills connections get going this year. We wrote about the Pickle Project, which is the brainchild of Treadwell resident Linda Norris, last month, before Norris successfully raised $5,000.

Now that she has the cash in hand, Norris has dissected the process of using Kickstarter on her blog, The Uncatalogued Museum, in a post that contains good advice for other hopeful fundraisers like Eliopoulos:

Slow and steady wins the race Our Kickstarter period was 50 days and our goal was $5000. In most Kickstarter efforts there's a jump in pledges at the beginning, they level off, for a long middle period, and then, if successful, jump up again at the end. We seemed to be a bit of an exception in that we plugged along the entire time, slow and steady.


Figure the Math We had figured that we needed $100 per day to reach our goal and we kept a pretty close eye on that number. Good days, we exceeded it, and a few not-so-good days went by with no backers at all. But what we didn't do, and I think would be useful for anyone embarking on Kickstarter to do, is that math about how many backers at what levels we needed to be successful.e