The Crowdfunding “Valley of Death” and 5 Ways of How to Deal with It + example case

Almost every rewards-based crowdfunding campaign has faced it: the Valley of Death. The moment after one week of great campaigning, and then all of a sudden..…nothing, or almost nothing. What happened? Don’t panic, even big campaigns go through this curve. The first week and the last week are financially the most rewarding. But what to do in between, and how to prevent yourself from a deep valley?

  1. Direct contact with your fans: this is a good moment to sharpen your campaign and to get in direct contact with your potential target groups and your fans. Listen to what they want and ask them to connect you with other potential interest people or organizations. Also is this a beautiful moment to tapping feelings of being an ‘early adopter’..
  2. Extra reward: Have you thought of releasing an extra limited reward during your campaign to create new momentum? This is the time!
  3. Preparation is the key: to prepare a crowdfunding campaign is especially important for this kind of moments when the campaign goes ‘down’. Prepare your campaign on forehand, stick to your plan and stay positive.
  4. The 30%-rule: according to different researches, and here I will give you the stats of Kickstarter, it really helps to reach the first week 30% of your target amount. This so called tipping-point doesn’t only give your campaign a kick-start, it also predicts you have a 90% change to successfully fund your campaign!
  5. No flexible campaign:and last to mention, it is easier with an ‘all-or-nothing’ campaign (you need to reach your target amount) to get through the valley and reach your goal than with a ‘flexible’ campaign (you can keep all the resources). The pressure with an all-or-nothing campaign is much higher for the crowdfunders, and most of the time it gives more trust to the investors. For example, on the platform Indiegogo reaches only 9,5% of the flexible projects their target amount, in contrast with the 35,9 % all-or-nothing projects on Kickstarter.

I hope above will help you to survive the valley of death. But maybe the deeper the valley, the better you feel after?



As an example I found this film-campaign on Indiegogo, which is, unfortunately, in their crowdfunding valley right now (sep.2016). As you can see, it is a flexible campaign, which means they need to put more effort in it to make it happen, according to the statistics.


screenshot 05-09-2016

About the campaign

The film is an artistic and bold visualisation of a social problem, the “extreme political polarization and aggressive, anonymous displays of hatred, contempt, racism, xenophobia and vitriol via social media and the internet.” Their main character Cactus Jack symbolizes everything of this real challenge to civilization today.

Screenshot of one of their rewards


This crew should put a lot of effort right now to get in contact with their target groups and to ask them what they want. An idea would be to make a game of their reward ‘Put a Stamp on It” and ask people to show their views on this social problem and how to deal with it. The best will come in the film. Important right now is to connect to a broader group of mind-liked people and to grow the awareness of the film.

Besides this, I would introduce an in-between-milestone, to reach at least 30% of the target amount to force a celebration moment. Always nice to have the feeling something worked out and that you know what is going to happen with the money so far!

I have asked the producer for a response about how they deal with their valley:

To be honest, I think the campaign has been slow as we’ve all been busy with other projects and we have not had the time to spend to market it to people for the hours per day It requires to raise a lot of money.  That said, we have some time and hopefully we will raise more money.
– Sidney Sherman

This said…..they spent their last time well: A positive effect in the last week

At the end of their campaign you see below that the amount of backers is doubled and almost 2,000 dollar more raised. Which means that they did pretty well the last week. Maybe their target goal was not realistic enough at that moment in time to reach a 20,000 dollar goal. An all-or-nothing campaign and a better planning would probably have given better results.

screenshot 14-09-2016

You can still help to bring this project to life via their own website:

update 2017: The film is in the make, and coming soon.


Would you like to discuss your campaign or do you have a question about crowdfunding? Please, feel free to contact.



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