, Salem, MA


October 30, 2013

Getting a kick out of crowdfunding Small businesses like CinemaSalem increasingly turn to sites like Kickstarter for financial backing

Small businesses turn to sites for financial backing

SALEM — If it weren’t for crowdfunding — the use of an online platform to raise small amounts of money from lots of people — Salem’s only movie theater would have gone dark this year or next, CinemaSalem owner Paul Van Ness says.

Van Ness needed to raise $60,000 this year to convert his movie theater from a film to a digital projection system, as studios move to distribute films solely using hard drives. It’s a dilemma faced by independent movie theaters across the nation.

Van Ness’ original plan was to approach 120 businesses and ask each one for $500. He estimated the time to do this would have been equivalent to a full-time job for four months, and it would be successful only if everyone kicked in.

Instead, he took up a suggestion to use the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter, which helps raise money for everything from artists’ work to new technology. The idea behind the site is simple. Instead of one person giving $1 million to fund a project, you can accomplish the same thing if a million people give $1 each.

Van Ness spent a month researching Kickstarter before launching his Save CinemaSalem campaign last December.

In just 12 days, he raised the $60,000 he needed; after a 40-day campaign, he’d raised $68,965 from 1,023 backers.

Most of his backers were small donors; his largest donation was $1,100. All donors got some sort of reward; even a $5 donation got a backer an online and on-the-big-screen mention.

There is, however, a major catch to Kickstarter, Van Ness said told an audience of 40 businesspeople last week during a workshop at the Enterprise Center at Salem State College.

If you don’t raise the money before your campaign ends, you get zilch. It’s also forbidden to contribute directly to your campaign.

The crowdfunding workshop at the Enterprise Center was held, coincidentally, on the same day the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued new rules to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Comments Trcker