Good news -- your crowdfunding campaign was successful!
Bad news -- Welcome to the Hell of Project Management
I've been there... I feel your pain... and I've got a great solution for you!
BackerSupport is a custom application (for both Mac and Windows) dedicated to managing Crowdfunding campaigns. I wrote it to handle the logistics for the Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray Kickstarter, which ended up with over 3000 backers from around the world, ordering 3 main deliverable product variations in dozens of combinations. No commercial project management solution I could find could even come close to doing what I needed, so I ended up rolling my own -- and then I got hooked on the idea of making it a general, customizable solution for these kinds of projects.
Of course, every project is different, and while I'm pretty sure BackerSupport can handle almost every Crowdfunding project, it's unreasonable to ask you for anything up front. That's why you can use BackerSupport for free -- then if you find it useful, you get to decide how much to pay! That's right -- you set the price!
With BackerSupport you can:
- Track and communicate with all your backers, individually or in groups.
- Define your product(s) and the rewards each product needs to deliver.
- Easily import all your data from KickStarter & Indiegogo (and other sites too), and automatically translate from the various backer rewards to their associated products and rewards.
- Keep your campaign running after your campaign terminates and accept new signups / addons via PayPal and other funding sources (I collected another $75k+ during the project period!). Automatically parses PayPal emails, creates new backers as needed, and adds products! Handling an order takes under 10 seconds.
- Update backer information, products, deliverables, etc., quickly and easily. If someone signs up late, or changes their order, or updates their address, all you do is paste an email into the app and it updates everything for you!
- Validate US addresses with the USPS automatically. Intelligently extracts addresses from emails -- now with Deep Learning™ :)
- “Batch” product fulfillment to minimize shipping cost and optimize your workflow. Filter by products, destination, backer id tags, USPS shipping zones -- you name it. For example, I generated batches where the backers were domestic, got the Early Adopter discount, wanted a single Premium blu-ray set, and were in shipping zones 1,2 and 3 -- because in those zones, regular Priority Mail was cheaper than the usually awesome Flat Rate Padded Envelope. Despite the complex fulfillment needs of my project, two people were able to pack, label and ship 500 packages a day without breaking a sweat.
- Do serious USPS "black-magic" like split shipments and non-incidental 1st-class enclosures to save postage.
- Print mailing labels and/or export addresses to USPS Click-N-Ship (particularly handy for international shipments as it'll print labels with the customs form filled out!), Stamps.com (what I ended up using), Postage $aver (great for bulk mailing), UPS.com, or any other app you care to use. If you use the Click-N-Ship or Stamps.com app, you get the commercial discounts automatically!
- Import Stamps.com mailing history reports, so you can quickly find tracking numbers.
- Let your backers vote on things, and run STV elections (a real nerd-feature)
- Generate custom reports and exports.
- And much more... it is ridiculously configurable -- even programmable!
BackerSupport is built on top of FileMaker, a popular database construction system. You can get a 30-day free trial of FileMaker in order to try BackerSupport out, and if you absolutely need it, I can create Windows and Mac standalone apps (but it's a pain TBH).
BackerSupport saves you time and money
The whole point of BackerSupport is optimizing the workflows of managing your crowdfunding project, both before it ships (handling late signups, addons, address changes and communications) and during the shipment process (organizing package prep workflows, integrating with postage solutions, and getting you the cheapest possible postage rates.
Seeing is believing
Here's a couple of videos showing what BackerSupport could do in the summer of 2014 -- it's massively more powerful now, because as I went through the entire crowdfunding project cycle (including the Hell of Shipping), I added features every time I got annoyed about something or found a workflow optimization. And then when I went through it again for a second successful product, I did it again!
How Much Does It Cost?
The price of BackerSupport is whatever you think is fair! You may use the app to manage your campaign, and then decide what to send me. That might be $50 on a small project, or $5,000 on a huge one.
That's right -- you can use it for free, then decide what it was worth to you.
BackerSupport is the result of many hundreds of hours of work on my part. I'm trusting you to do the right thing.
You can download a copy of the current version from my DropBox. For technical support, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Robert Woodhead. I've been a professional programmer since the late 70's, and am probably best known as one of the authors of the first four Wizardry RPG games. Later on, I was the original author of the Virex antivirus tool. In 1989, I co-founded AnimEigo, the oldest surviving US Anime releasing company. Basically, I'm a nerd who does weird things with computers. You can find some of the other strange things I've done on my personal website and blog.