20th Century Flicks plays to the crowd:
20th Century Flicks is a Bristol institution, the last video rental shop in the city, and home to over 18,000 films – the largest rental collection in the UK. With owners Dave Taylor, Adam Hart and Dave White keen to preserve their status as the destination for Bristol’s community of film lovers as well as expand their offering plans were put in place to move from their existing premises in Clifton to a new home on Christmas Steps. The new, larger, premises would allow them to realise their ambitions to create small cinema, a coffee house and online streaming service. Unable to secure the funding they required to deliver the project from the banks 20th Century Flicks turned to Bristol based crowd-funding platform Fundsurfer.
Fundsurfer proved to be the perfect partner for the team, working with them to create a campaign that invited pledges of money, expertise and equipment to facilitate the move, and providing a platform from which they could market the campaign and reach out to supporters old and new.
Fundsurfer is specifically aimed at community groups, social enterprises and organisations looking to raise money within and for, projects in the local community. It’s free to register a project and there is no upper or lower limit to the amount requested. Project fundraisers are encouraged to offer rewards in return for donations. The rewards offered vary based on the level of donation and the nature of the project but in the case of 20th Century Flicks included free membership, limited edition posters, a free coffee and even the offer from the store’s owners to re-enact a scene from a film of the donor’s choice!
In addition, and unlike the service on offer from many other crowd-funding platforms, the team at Fundsurfer were on hand every step of the way. They worked closely with the team at 20th Century Flicks to create, manage and promote the project making sure that they gained the greatest possible exposure and impact from their campaign.
For 20th Century Flicks the decision to run with the crowd-funding campaign proved to be a fruitful one. The campaign grabbed the attention of potential supporters as well as generating interest in both the local and national media. The campaign ran for just six weeks surpassing its initial target of £10,000 to raise a phenomenal £11,896 from 416 individual donors.
Dave Taylor, 20th Century Flicks said: “We realised early on that we were unlikely to get the financial support we needed from the banks so were on the hunt for an alternative form of funding. Once we began looking into the crowd-funding option Fundsurfer was the obvious choice. Not only were the team local but they were also able to offer us the guidance and expertise we needed to create and market the campaign successfully. It provided a great platform to promote what we were doing and to get our message out to potential donors. We were over whelmed with the response we received – it’s given us the backing we needed to take the business onto the next level, as well as boosting our profile in Bristol and beyond.”
Oliver Mochizuki, CEO Fundsurfer said: “This is the perfect example of why crowd-funding is becoming so popular with businesses and groups who are routinely overlooked by more traditional lending providers. Crowd-funding enables organisations to directly harness the power of their support networks and communities to help fund projects. Our approach which offers the option to offer rewards as an alternative equity is also attractive to social enterprises and smaller businesses that don’t necessarily have the wherewithal to attract traditional investors. We had a great time working with the team at 20th Century Flicks and are delighted that the success of their campaign. This has been one of our most successful projects to date and really illustrates the power that local people have in helping to shape their own communities.