How Perks Incentives Improve Crowdfunding Success - Slava Rubin

In Chapter 11 of 13 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, crowdfunding entrepreneur and IndieGoGo CEO Slava Rubin answers "How Have Perks Incentives Been Game Changing for Fundriaising Campaigns?" Rubin notes how crowdfunding is not new, sharing how Joseph Pulitzer raised community donations to fund the Statue of Liberty project.  Rubin notes several reasons why individuals give money to finance projects or campaigns.  He notes how perks incentives entice people by giving they something in return for their contribution.  Slava Rubin returns to CYF for his Year 3 interview.  As CEO and Co-Founder, Rubin has helped transform cause and project fundraising by establishing his company IndieGoGo as a global leader in crowdfunding.  He is also active in philanthropy, starting the Music Against Myeloma annual charity event to fight cancer.  He graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Erik Michielsen: How have perks incentives been game changing for fundraising campaigns?

Slava Rubin: Crowdfunding is not new, so if you go back to the late 1800’s the Statue of Liberty was actually crowd funded. Back then, Joseph Pulitzer was able to use the New World -- the precedent to the New York Times to be able to raise, I believe nearly $120,000 on average contribution of 83 cents. At that time they didn’t use any perks. So, you didn’t get your name on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You didn’t get a tax deduction. It wasn’t a 501C3 and you definitely didn’t get any profit meaning you didn’t get $5 back for your $1 contribution.

There’s really four reasons why anybody funds anything in life. Number one is because you care about the person, the cause or the campaign. Number two, is you want the perks like you’re bringing up. Number three is you wanted to be part of the community, your personal ego and number four is for profit. So, on Indiegogo and really any platform in America, it’s illegal to do number four through public solicitation. So, the first three are what’s really important. The perk concept, very similar to the PBS or NPR sponsorship model is key because people get something in return. People like something exclusive, special, limited edition or discount. So, it’s amazing to know that in funding somebody’s campaign or vision or idea you get something tangible, virtual or very unique experience in return.