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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 buy 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. When you crowdfund on Seed&Spark, you offer incentives to your crowd, and so do we: for funding, following, and sharing your project, your supporters earn Sparks. Sparks are rewards points that can be redeemed to watch the films streaming in our Cinema. That means that by launching your campaign on Seed&Spark, you're also helping to drive traffic to other independent filmmakers' finished work. ( Or, if you'd like to stream something in our Cinema, you can take this opportunity to drive traffic to your own work. )
  6. 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.
  7. You can gather followers in addition to supporters. People who don't have money or stuff to contribute to your project can still Follow your campaign - they will receive your updates and even earn Sparks 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!
  8. 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.
  9. We get you your money within seven business days of the close of your successful campaign!
  10. Oh yeah, and we'll just underline that we also offer a streaming video distribution platform both for filmmakers that crowdfund on our site and for films submitted directly ( there is a separate acceptance process on the streaming side ). Check out the Cinema and watch some great films! AND if you gain 500 or more followers to your campaign, you unlock eligibility to distribute through our partners into theaters, cable VOD and all the online retail platforms ( like iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, etc. ).

On Crowdfunding

Are you an "all or nothing" or "keep whatever raised" crowdfunding platform?

Neither. On Seed&Spark you get the Green Light when you reach 80% of your goal.

What happens if the campaign is unsuccessful?

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

How do you pay me?

You link your bank account when you launch your campaign and our credit card processor Stripe deposits the money to you! You will need a US Bank account and Social Security or EIN #.

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

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 hoping to expand internationally within the next year or so!

What happens if one of my supporters disputes a pledge after the funds have been transferred to me?

If a supporter of your project disputes the 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 ( typically the dispute review 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 are your crowdfunding fees?

The lowest in the biz, actually. Seed&Spark's platform fees are 5%, but we offer contributors 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 contribution. On average filmmakers keep 95% of what they raise!

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 contributors 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 contribution 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, contributions 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 contributions?

Yes! We have had many campaigns receive funds from international contributors.

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 distribute my film with you as well?

No, of course not. It’s your movie! But keep in mind, the audiences on Seed&Spark ( both yours and those built from other campaigns ) will have a backlog of rewards built up that they might just want to spend on your film.

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 membership?

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?

Not yet...but you can expect that in the first few months of 2017.

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!

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 contribution?

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 contribute to 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 contribution, you can consider loaning something to the production you could get back if things don't work out.

What are Sparks?

Sparks are our way of saying thank you for supporting Independent film. You can cash in Sparks to WATCH MOVIES ( among other things )! You earn them for signing up, contributing, watching, followng, and sharing!

On Distribution

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

Yes, 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 can you get my film?

We deliver to all major cable and VOD platforms including Time Warner, Comcast, Verizon, Dish, iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, Netflix, and Hulu. Plus, we can also offer your film directly on Seed&Spark as well.

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, innovative marketing stunts, and merchandising and promotion within the cable and digital channels themselves. 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 take a 10% fee for our distribution services. Beat that!

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?

The cost of deliverables to encode the film for the various platforms is $850 for the first platform and $150 for any platform after that. So you can choose how wide your film goes in keeping with your budget. We will also of course advise you where we think is most advantageous for your film to go.

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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