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Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

Most Frequent

What makes Seed&Spark different from other platforms?

  1. We have the highest success rate in the crowdfunding business. 75% of all campaigns on Seed&Spark are successful. That beats the other guys by more than 2x. ( Also, filmmakers who have attended our Crowdfunding to Build Independence Workshop have a 100% success rate on our platform. Just sayin'.)
  2. Our WishList crowdfunding tool allows your supporters to gift or loan specific items to your campaign. If someone has the camera you'd like to rent, they can loan it to you and the monetary value of that loan counts towards your crowdfunding goal. It's not about FUNDING as much as it's about FILMMAKING!
  3. We have the lowest fees. Seed&Spark charges a 5% fee on all cash raised in Crowdfunding. However, we offer your supporters a chance to cover our fee on your behalf when they check out. And about two thirds of them do. The average site fee filmmakers pay on Seed&Spark is about 1.9%! There are also credit card fees, which vary card to card, and unfortunately there's nothing we can do about that. We've tried.
  4. You get to keep your funds when you reach 80% of your campaign goal. We call it the GreenLight, and we know that any decent independent film producer will make what they promise for 80% of the budget.
  5. We're supportive. We work with every campaign to make sure they're ready to crowdfund. If they're not, we'll give them an itemized list of how to fully prepare. So you can be sure when you launch, your campaign is right alongside others just as prepared as you are to succeed.
  6. You can gather followers in addition to supporters. People who don't have cash to pledge or stuff to loan can still Follow your campaign and they will receive all your updates as you progress towards your fundraising goal. You can continue to gather followers long after your campaign is finished. It's about building that audience for the whole life of the film!
  7. We're built for staged financing. Many filmmaking teams are choosing to fundraise in stages. At Seed&Spark, you open one page for your film and can run successive campaigns over the course of your filmmaking process, gathering your funders and followers to one place.
  8. We payout funds raised within seven business days of the close of your successful campaign!
  9. Oh yeah, and we'll just underline that we're also a streaming distribution platform both for filmmakers that crowdfund on our site and for movies and shows submitted directly.

On Crowdfunding

Are you an "all or nothing" or "keep what you raise" platform?

Neither. On Seed&Spark you get the Green Light (i.e., get to keep your funds) when you reach 80% of your goal.

What are your crowdfunding fees?

The lowest in the biz, actually. Seed&Spark's platform fees are 5%, but we offer supporters the chance to cover that fee at checkout ( and the majority choose to do so ). Credit Card processing fees are $0.30 + 2.9% of the pledge. On average filmmakers keep 95% of what they raise!

How quickly can I launch my campaign?

Our crowdfunding team will respond within two business days when you first submit your project for feedback. Generally, if you've done your homework and have your pitch video and supporting materials in order you can launch in as little as a day or two. It's really entirely dependent on our assessment of your preparedness to crowdfund. If we believe that there are more significant revisions required to be successful, the timeline can extend to a week or more.

What happens if my campaign is unsuccessful?

If a campaign does not reach 80% or more of its goal, supporters' credit cards are not charged.

How do you pay me?

You'll link your bank account when you set up your project, and our credit card processor Stripe deposits the money to you after the campaign ends! You will need a US Bank account and Social Security or EIN #.

How soon will I get my money after my campaign ends?

Funds from a successful campaign are deposited within 5-7 business days after the end of the campaign! Additionally, if any of your supporters credit cards are declined, we will automatically email them with instructions on how to enter a new payment method and will also re-attempt the charge every 48hrs until resolved. Funds from these 'fixed' payments will be transferred as they come through.

Does Seed&Spark support international projects?

Well, sort of. Your project can be based anywhere, but it is currently required that you or someone on your team have a US bank account and SSN/EIN to receive the funds after a successful campaign. We're planning to expand to Canada and the UK later this year!

Can I use copyrighted material as part of my pitch video?

Don't use music, images, video, or other content that you don't have the rights to. Using copyrighted material is almost always against the law and can lead to expensive lawsuits down the road.

What happens if one of my supporters disputes a charge?

If a supporter of your project disputes a charge with their card issuer, we'll handle representing the charge to settle the dispute with the card issuer. You’ll be notified that a dispute has been filed, and you’ll be able to provide evidence to help us resolve it in your favor. If the cardholder’s dispute is found valid ( the review process can take up to 60 days ) you authorize us to charge the credit card number you provided when you started your project for the amount of the chargeback.

What happens if I raise more than my stated goal?

Don't worry if you raise more than you asked for; there are no hidden or additional costs. And remember that most supporters opt to cover the platform fee on your behalf, so you can expect to keep about 95% of what you raise, regardless of the amount!

When will I get charged for the pledge I made?

We only charge cards once the campaign has successfully completed. If your card is declined for any reason, you'll receive a notification on how to fix the payment.

Can I pay with PayPal, check, cash, money orders?

Nope. We can only process credit cards but you can store them in your account for super fast checkout!

Is my pledge tax deductible?

Most crowdfunding sites, unless they're expressly for charity fundraising, are for-profit entities. Therefore, unless a campaign is wokring with a fiscal sponsor, pledges are not tax deductible.

Do you work with fiscal sponsors?

We do indeed! Check out our Fiscal Sponsors page for details.

Do you accept international pledges?

Yes! Supporters can pledge from anywhere in the world.

What kind of credit cards do you accept?

All the major ones! Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

Will I be taxed on the funds I raise on Seed&Spark?

Whoever is the recipient of the funds ( individual or company ) needs to complete a W9 and will be issued a 1099 at the end of the year. We highly recommend that you work with a tax professional to advise you on how to handle the funds from a tax perspective.

Can I run a promo or loan only campaign?

We don't have this feature available yet. That said, we think it's a really interesting idea, and we're in the process of figuring out how to deliver value to our community with non-monetary campaigns.

If I crowdfund on Seed&Spark, do I have to stream my movie or show with you as well?

No, of course not. It’s your work! But keep in mind, Seed&Spark is building an audience that is interested in watching the types of movies and shows that you're most likely making, and when you stream with us you get paid for every minute watched.

What do I need to do for my crowdfunding campaign to be eligible for distribution through Seed&Spark?

See our Distribution page for all you need to know!

On Streaming and Subscribing

What makes Seed&Spark different than other streaming subscriptions?

All the incredible movies and shows streaming on Seed&Spark also promote inclusion in front of and behind the camera. We're also the first and only subscription that combines streaming with film funding in one membership. That means you have unlimited access to stream everything in our library, And you get to vote on a new project each month to receive production funding. It's entertainment for the conscious consumer.

What's included in my monthly subscription?

Subscribing members get unlimited streaming of all the bold movies and shows in our library AND allocate a portion of their monthly fee to a new project in production of their choosing.

Wait, how does the crowdfunding component work?

A portion of each member’s monthly subscription is allocated to a new project that has crowdfunded on Seed&Spark. We call this the Green Light Seed Fund. Every month, we email our subscribers a short list of recommended projects and they vote for the project they want to support. The funds are then allocated based on how many votes each project receives.

How do I stream Seed&Spark movies and shows?

Once you’ve subscribed, you simply log into our website, and you’re all set to stream.

Can I stream on my Roku or Apple TV?

Soon! We're launching our Roku and AppleTV apps in about a month.

What kinds of movies and shows are available?

Our streaming library is full of work by independent filmmakers across genres and formats. That means you’ll find award-winning features, shorts, comedies, dramas, documentaries, series, action adventures, foreign films and more!

How do I cancel my subscription?

We hate to see you go, but if you do need to cancel your subscription we won't make you jump through a bunch of hoops. Simply go to 'Manage Account' from your profile menu and then clicking on the 'Billing' section.

On User Accounts

How do I delete my account?

Go to 'Manage Account' from your profile menu and click on the 'Privacy Preferences' section. There will be a link to permanently delete your account.

Do I have to create an account before I make a pledge?

Yes, but it's a super simple form during the checkout process that will take you all of 30 seconds to fill out!

What happens if I pledge toward a campaign and it never gets made?

Once Seed&Spark releases the funds to the filmmakers, the filmmakers are obligated to the funders to do what they say. In other words, they’re obliged to make the film they said they would, and deliver the incentives they promised. Seed&Spark can't get in the middle of disputes that arise ( see our Terms of Service ), but we can tell you that anybody with any hopes of undertaking a creative endeavor ever again knows letting down their audience is not an option. If there are delays and hiccups ( a normal part of making movies ), the filmmakers are encouraged to post updates to let their community know what's up. Crowdfunding puts enough social pressure on a filmmaker that they will work to get that movie made—come hell or high water. But, if you're really worried about the fate of your cash pledge, you can consider loaning something to the production you could get back if things don't work out.

What are Sparks?

Sparks are rewards points that initially were redeemable for watching movies and shows. Since we transitioned to a monthly subscription model, they can unfortunately no longer be used in this way. Stay tuned for more details on how to take advantage of the Sparks you've earned!

On Distribution

Do you accept films that have not crowdfunded through Seed&Spark?

Absolutely! If we find a film to be really wonderful and a filmmaker to be super engaged, with an interesting marketing idea and at least 500 followers from another crowdfunding campaign or just social media, we are always happy to review! Check out our Submission Guidelines for more info.

Where will my film be distributed?

People who subscribe to Seed&Spark will be able to stream your film on our website as well as our OTT app, available on Apple TV and Roku (coming soon).

If I have another distributor but want to stream my film on Seed&Spark, can I do that?

Sure! As long as your other deal allows for it and we like your film, we are happy to include you in our family!

I want my film in theaters, can you do that?

We can indeed, although we tend to limit our theatrical films to 4 per year, so that we can really put in the effort they deserve.

How will you market my film?

We only take on films where we feel that we can market them effectively and that you already have a leg up in terms of what your efforts have been and ideas you plan to execute. We work closely with you to collaborate efforts between traditional PR, reaching out to larger organizations, unique social media campaigns, and innovative marketing stunts. We have no standard answer to this because every film is different and we believe that every marketing campaign should be special!

What are your distribution fees?

We offer a 60/40 split of revenue, with 60% going to our filmmakers.

How soon will I get paid?

We pay out 30 days after the close of the quarter in which your film launched.

What is the cost of deliverables?

There is no cost to deliver your film to us as everything is sent to us online (no shipping of drives!). Please be aware that we do require Closed Captioning files as part of your deliverables, which typically cost $1/minute of screen time (rates may vary for foreign language films).

Can I do a crowdfunding campaign just to raise the money for my deliverables and marketing?

Absolutely! In fact, campaigns for distribution are often the most successful because you've already shown that you have what it takes by making the film in the first place.

Can't find an answer to your question here?

Check out our How It Works and Guidelines pages or feel free to contact us!

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