Let’s get straight to it on this one.
When we do crowdfunding workshops, we generally highlight a few differences between crowdfunding platforms. There are several different types of platforms: Aflamnah is rewards-based but there are also donation-based and investment platforms coming up as well as several other hybrid formats.
Rewards-based platforms have become increasingly popular since they first launched about five years ago and give project owners the opportunity to thank their contributors through a rewards system – often these rewards are much more of a thank you than something that you can put a finite monetary value to! For example, how much is a thank you on the end credits of a film worth? Impossible to tell! So the feeling is, it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. So far, so good!
The other major difference between different platforms is the all or nothing concept! Most platforms need you to set yourself a target and raise that amount of money before you can cash it in. They are known as all or nothing platforms.
Aflamnah is not one of those!
We chose to make our funding process as flexible as possible and have built our platform with flexibility in mind including allowing you to keep all the money raised even if it does not reach its target.
We decided to do this for several reasons. When we did our research, project owners felt that one of the biggest barriers to crowdfunding was the fact that they could feel they wasted a lot of time and energy and ended up with nothing and that whatever they raised, it was a step closer to their goal and it would help advance their project. When we asked contributors how they would feel about this, they said they would probably be ok with it too!
We also took into consideration the fact that the concept of crowdfunding in the Arab world is novel and remains in its infancy. While we are a very charitable, generous and giving people, the value of creativity is possibly not where it needs to be. In the past two years, we believe we have played a major role in introducing the concept of crowdfunding to the region, getting the media to stand up and take notice and created opportunities to educate the market about the importance of taking part – and whilst large financial contributions are welcome, we do define crowdfunding as “raising small amounts of money from lots of people” – so your contribution, even $10 is much better than $0 and every $ does make a difference!
So take part and make a difference - nothing is so clear cut that it’s black and white but the more you support creativity the more we can appreciate its value and help beautiful ideas blossom
1. Bend It Like Beckham
2. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
4. Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos
5. Fever Pitch
6. Looking for Eric
7. Playing for Keeps
8. Kicking and Screaming
9. Maradona by Kusturica
10. The Two Escobars
You don’t even need to imagine the scene cos you’ve seen it 100 times - on TV, in print and plastered all over the internet! In real life, it’s basically always chaotic and you never quite know what’s really going on as you’re probably too far back to see but the atmosphere is vibrant, captivating and full of anticipation.
The queues to see the films, (many of them that had benefited from crowdfunding), snake round and round and round with different queues for different people! If, like me, you have an aversion to queues then it pretty much means you are not going to see many films as this year in particular complaints about the length of queuing times were rife! Even journalists were having to wait in line for two hours! How are they ever expected to get their work done - they could see 2 films in the time it takes to see one!
I made a brief trip to the Cannes International Film Festival this year - 2 very long days and one short night! I was honored to have been invited to take part in a crowdfunding Slam Session organized by the inaugural Next Pavilion of the Marche du Film and by the short film corner to talk about new media.
There were some common themes that everyone wanted to discuss but most importantly, everyone lacked confidence when it came to putting their digital marketing hats on! It’s the really practical stuff that is not rocket science that seemed to stump people! There was an expectation that there is some magic formula, that they were missing a trick, that there was some secret solution they had overlooked! Well, the sad news is there is no such thing: it’s the old adage hard work pays off!
The other main topics of conversation were new distribution models, main players versus niche, who will win the VOD war or will it be ongoing battles and how do I make my content go viral? The answer to all of the above is the one thing for sure in this industry, and probably in many others, is the only thing you can be sure of is you don’t know what the next big thing is - you just can’t predict - especially now that the audience is the most powerful player of all!
Nadine Toukan, executive producer of When Monaliza Smiled and the upcoming film Theeb, creates films to bring taboo issues to the forefront. Her advice to those who want to create change through the arts? “Take the risks. Invent new formats and solutions. Redefine the metrics of what success is.”
So you are all expecting to read a post about crowdfunding, funding projects, how to make a success of your crowdfunding campaign and how to INSPIRE people to make contributions!
Well this post is not about any of that!
This post is about personal observations of things that have inspired me as an individual.
I am one of the founders of Aflamnah with a real passion for human stories and am easily affected by other people’s pain, need, joy, happiness, and success.
The one negative feeling that I would get rid of tomorrow if I could is helplessness - luckily it doesn’t happen too often but it does happen at critical times.
And the feeling I would like lots more of is INSPIRATION but when we say the word it seems so normal these days - everyone uses it, everyone wants to inpsire others and be inspired by something. It’s a good thing and it’s a good feeling but what does it really mean?
The beauty of the feeling is that it moves you to do something! To take action. To make a difference. To feel uplifted. To feel good about life and to be the best person you can be at that moment.
So here is the twist! Let’s go back to helplessness… that feeling we don;t like! In fact, we do not like it because when you feel helpless you are most inspired to want to do something - to help someone!
Isn’t that ironic? So just make sure that when an opportunity presents itself for you to do something, take it even if the desire is not so strong as when you are driven by helplessness! Whatever it is, just do something… make a decision - it’s better than doing nothing or making the wrong decision and it’s a lot better than when you want to do something and can’t!
Inspired? If you got this far, we must have touched you somewhere! and that inspires us!
We’re Aflamnah. We’re crowdfunding the Arab world. We’re changing things up a bit. We’re making things happen.And the best thing about it is we’re all in it together!
So we had this vague idea of doing a LIVE crowdfunding event! We asked ourselves so many questions
Will people come? Will they take part? Will they have fun? will they tell their friends?
It’s a challenge but then we thought well let’s do it where there’s already a crowd and let’s make sure it’s relevant.
So we were delighted when the opportunity presented itself on a silver platter with Martin Beck’s photography project We Can Be Heroes curated by MEFCC.
So here’s what we did:
1. We set up a live photography studio - a real working studio - nothing fancy!
2. Martin dedicated three full days to taking photographs of people attending the event
3. In order to have their photo professionally taken, people had to pledge to the crowdfunding campaign on site - right there and then!
4. Photographs were taken and they could select the one they wanted which was then emailed to them after the event.
We’ve had so many emails from people who loved what we were doing, loved Martin’s style and their photos and they now have a piece of the campaign with them in it cos we had the most awesome backdrop created for us by the lovely people at ArtPlus (http://www.artplus.cc).
So here’s a few of the pics we took on the three days of the event
We had a blast! That’s what happened! and it could not have happened if MBC Hope had not joined forces with us so our warmest, most sincere thanks to the MBC team! You rock!
Good luck with this year’s Doing Good initiative! Learn more about MBC’s CSR initaitives here:
The picture shows some of the attendees who came to learn more about crowdfunding at the British Council in Cairo!
It was our first workshop in Cairo and we were super excited to introduce Aflamnah!
The crowd loved our presenter and brand ambassador, film director Nawaf Al-Janahi who was great at sharing his own personal experience on Aflamnah which you can also see here:
Nawaf’s exceeded his target and ran a slowly but surely campaign and chose and even having reached his target on the last day of the campaign, he chose to extend for a few days both time and target so that the campaign would be live during the 7 day Emirati Cinema Tour earlier this month! He raised 122% of his initial $7,000 budget!
So thank you Cairo for such a warm welcome!
I met an inspiring person who told me about a nugget of wisdom, at least in my opinion, from a humble taxi driver here in Dubai. This driver said to his passenger that all he wants from life are two things: help someone and grow something. It seems so simple and so attainable.
This brings me to a person who fits this dictum so well that I thought of writing a few words in black and white about her story. Last year, Khitam Edelbi sent us an email asking for more information about crowdfunding and how she can benefit from a crowdfunding campaign on Aflamnah to purchase a bus that she needs to turn into a mobile “art center”. The Mobile Art Bus has been a dream that has haunted her since her student years in the US while studying. As a Palestinian in the West Bank, she has, single-handedly been offering her art therapy to children in the refugee camps, remote villages, towns and cities using her small car.
She did it.
Khitam Edelbi has helped, helps and will help young kids and at the same time nurture their artistic green shoots. Here are some heartwarming pictures that I would like to share with you all and with those who have supported the project.
So help someone and grow something too!
It feels good to help someone and grow something!