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In a ‘small world’ way, PledgeMe’s crowdfunding platform has a lot to thank film maker Taika Waititi for making its New Zealand presence much more visible.

After the success of ‘Boy’ to become New Zealand’s most successful NZ-made film (with an NZ topic, as opposed to Lord of the Rings), Waititi wanted to distribute the tale in the USA.

In what was then a novel move, Waititi used Kickstarter to crowdfund seek $90,000 to do so (and eventually obtained over $110,000).

PledgeMe chief operating officer Anna Guenther says the Kiwi platform had recently undergone a redesign, and news of Waititi’s US success gave its New Zealand projects’ funding website a real boost.

Taika Waititi’s use of Kickstarter to help fund USA distribution of his movie ‘Boy’ greatly raised PledgeMe’s NZ profile says COO Anna Guenther

She’s also positive that our country’s relative smallness is another reason that currently 51% of projects put up for crowdfunding have obtained their desired money targets. Admittedly this is based on a smaller sample number of 60 successes from a few more than 100 proposals.

But worldwide, the comparative success rate is 44%.

“Crowdfunding is about linking in with your crowd,” Guenther says.

“New Zealand has only four degrees of separation, compared to seven in the rest of the world.” (See some evidence here: )

“We are an online platform with an active offline presence funding the arts, as well as community and tech projects.”

She says that the rewards side of PledgeMe (where project creators offer incentives/rewards of increasing scale for larger donations) is an important part of project success.

People need to provide a clear goal and deadline, but within that, rewards can be very creative. Normally these are an output of what the project is – e.g. a book for a writing project – but can be more quirky than that.

These (so far) have ranged from a Skype session to discuss what’s being done, to baking and sending a brownie.

“A band, for a $1000 donation, promised to build a religion based on the donor,” says Guentther. “When that came through, they had to go and create what they’d promised!”