Big Changes Coming To Gamefound’s Pledge Manager

pledge manager
(TL;DR version is at the end)

The crowdfunding period is often the most exhilarating part of a campaign. This is when emotions run high, stretch goals are unlocked, and funds increase – all culminating in a time for celebration and well-deserved rest once it ends. However, experienced creators understand that this is only a small part of the process. Not only is it time to fulfill promises after the campaign concludes, but there is also a significant opportunity to collect additional funding. If executed correctly, you can see anywhere from a 50-100% increase in your funding after the initial campaign ends. This is how we envision Gamefound in the future: a comprehensive ecosystem offering everything necessary for the best tabletop projects, from the initial announcement all the way to the store. 

With this in mind, we have decided to elevate our pledge manager to the next level. The changes will take effect in mid-May, at which point we will introduce several new features and perks. 

Firstly, pledge managers after external campaigns will have access to all features and system improvements. There will be no more limitations, and projects will no longer be treated differently when it comes to promotion, etc.

Secondly, additional payments made during the pledge management period will be subject to Gamefound's 5% fee (+3% payment processing) for every project. Managing pledges or setting up the pledge managers, no matter how big the campaign they're connected to, will remain free.

Thirdly, everything applies to both pledge managers after Gamefound crowdfunding campaigns and pledge managers after external campaigns.

Want to get more details? Let's dive in!

1. Pricing
Gamefound is continuously evolving as a platform, working diligently to make our platform as useful and convenient as possible. We release new features twice a month, and we will continue doing so. Such development naturally requires funding, which is why we are changing our fee structure.

We will continue not to charge anything for setup or pledge management. You can import backers from a campaign of any size for free, and backers will be able to modify their pledges and choose their rewards at no cost on your end. The only fee that we will apply pertains to additional payments (late pledges, shipping, taxes). We want to keep it simple, so we will use the same 5% rate as in crowdfunding (plus a payment processing fee of 3% and 20 cents per transaction). Importantly, you don't need to worry about funds being held. All money will go through our payment operator, Adyen, regardless of the payment method chosen by backers.

2. Increased visibility and traffic to your pledge managers
Gamefound receives a substantial amount of organic traffic. Every month, we record 7-8 million pageviews, 2-3 million sessions, and 1-1.5 million unique users. And these numbers only keep growing. Currently, pledge managers are not promoted on the platform, but we are planning to change this. When you run your pledge manager on Gamefound, you will have access to various promotional placements, including the main page, top banner, newsletter (featuring over 100k addresses with a 50%+ open rate), and many more.

We aim to maintain an exceptional experience for backers, so we will use AI to determine which content is shown to whom. As a result, we cannot guarantee how frequently your project will be promoted. However, this promotion will be entirely free of charge.

Your pledge managers will also be able to gain followers and will appear more frequently on exploration pages. Finally, the project pages themselves will be significantly improved, offering you far more options than before.

3. More payment methods
It's easy to overlook that not every potential backer has access to a credit/debit card. Some individuals can only use payment methods that have traditionally been unavailable in crowdfunding. We plan to change this, making the platform more inclusive. We believe this will attract more backers to projects, including those who have never supported anything before due to their inability to do so.

The complete list of payment methods is not yet finalized, particularly because we will be introducing new options systematically.

4. Marketing support
At Gamefound, we have an internal marketing agency comprised of professionals who managed all past Awaken Realms' ad campaigns. Now, they work for creators on Gamefound, employing the same advanced targeting and optimization methods. Our graphic designers create ads using the assets provided by creators, free of charge. We utilize various channels (such as Facebook, Google, and many more) and maintain the ad campaign as long as it remains effective. Keep in mind the "long tail": during the late pledge/pledge manager phases, you can run ads for a more extended period and achieve a better return on ad spend (ROAS) by spending less. It's possible to reach even above 10, but we always recommend investing as much as it makes sense from a business perspective.

5. Handling taxes
Currently, we take care of EU VAT for campaigns run exclusively on Gamefound. Soon, we will also help alleviate this burden for non-EU creators who used external platforms. We will collect VAT for both your campaign and late pledges, as well as shipping fees. Afterward, we will pay these taxes to the appropriate authorities and provide you with documentation confirming the VAT obligation shift to Gamefound. We will handle the EU VAT settlement for everyone outside the European Union.

Important note: Gamefound will only accept pledge managers if the creator displays net prices during the campaign. 

6. Advanced analytics
We are working diligently to provide you with tools that are unparalleled in the industry. These easy-to-use and fully reliable dashboards display all relevant data for your campaigns. If you have used Google Analytics, you might be aware that its data cannot be entirely trusted. The issue with GA is that it cannot track iOS users or those who employ ad blockers in their browsers. Our analytic tools do not need to share any data with third parties, allowing them to capture the entire scope of traffic. Whether you are a data enthusiast or simply want to check your campaign's performance occasionally, we have got you covered.

7. Human support 
When you launch a campaign, pledge manager, or even a marketing campaign with our assistance, you can be confident that you will be well taken care of and have direct access to your account manager. Additionally, whenever backers encounter any issues that we can help with, we guarantee they will not be left to handle them on their own.

8. The near future
All these changes will take effect in mid-May (most likely on the 16th or 17th). Until then, you can still start your pledge manager in its current form. Everything initiated before that date will remain and can be used for as long as you desire.

As promised, here’s the TL;DR version of the lengthy post above:

1. More exposure for your campaigns
- Pledge Managers (including those created after campaigns on external platforms) will be heavily promoted on Gamefound in various places, such as the main page, newsletter, top banner, recommendations, and more.

2. Various payment methods
- Backers will be able to use many more local and global payment methods for their pledges. 

3. Marketing support
- Paid ads with advanced targeting and optimization methods with the best fees in the industry.

4. Settling taxes
- Gamefound will take care of paying VAT in European Union for both campaign and late pledges.

5. Advanced analytics
- Reliable analytics that tracks the full traffic on your projects (including iOS users and those with ad blockers).

6. Full support
- Creators and the community can talk to humans from Gamefound on various channels.

7. Free setup and pledge management
- No fee for starting and managing pledges. A 5% fee (plus 3% payment processing) applies only to additional payments.

8. Changes take effect in mid-May

FAQ: What if my project...
... has a preview without a date of launch?
If you set the date before the 16/17 of May, and you will start the campaign this year, the pledge manager/late pledge will be free.

... has already a launch date set and accepted?
The pledge manager/late pledge is free for you, and you keep all the perks connected to our new PM.

... has already funded but I haven't started the pledge manager yet?
The pledge manager/late pledge is free for you, and you keep all the perks connected to our new PM.

... has an open late pledge or pledge manager?
The changes won't affect you in any way.

Looking forward to your questions and feedback!

Maciej Kuc
COO of Gamefound