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Stories from our successful campaigns: “Hummus Wars”

Through the years, we have had a lot of successful campaigns on Jewcer. We wanted to share their stories and what they learned while crowdfunding with us. Our next interview comes from Avital Levy, the documentary filmmaker behind “Hummus Wars”. She raised over $8,000 on Jewcer to make a film that brought Middle Easterners together rather than pushing them apart.

1. Tell us about “Hummus Wars”? What inspired it?

In 2009, Israel broke the world record by making 9,000 lbs/4,090 kilos worth of Hummus. Then, Lebanon sought to defeat this record. “Hummus Wars” is a documentary about the battle between Israel and Lebanon for the Guinness Record for the largest dish of Hummus in the world.  My Middle Eastern friends and I wanted to make a film about how the people in our countries share similarities – especially passion over this food, hummus, and how that could potentially bring us together, even as our countries are at war. Those were the roots of the project. After a few years of developing and filming “Hummus Wars,” we discovered a bigger love story too, not only a war story, and are currently following the new stories and people in a documentary titled FOR THE LOVE OF HUMMUS.

Image by AV22 Productions

2. What piece of advice from the Jewcer team stuck with you the most that you can remember?

The Jewcer team was incredibly supportive and so much of their advice was instrumental to the success of my campaign. For me, the most beneficial piece of advice was to convey that others could help and be stakeholders in your project – to enlist people to share in your vision. If we could present our projects as opportunities for others to contribute, invest money and energy, then the rewards could be that they helped make it happen, in addition to cool campaign rewards. Translate the contributors’ investment as being a participant in the making of the film.
If you can make someone’s dream come true with $5 and you get a credit for it and even a gift, wouldn’t you want to give?

3. How did you promote your campaign? What was the most challenging aspect?

First of all, there was the building of the campaign and video to help promote it. This is the most important element because I presented a link of the campaign and video when approaching potential contributors. I contacted as many people as I could on a personal level and avoided mass emails as much as possible. Jewcer emphasized this and it was something I learned in college when I was running for a dorm office position. I knew that visibility is the most important to win a campaign, so getting in front of potential supporters, learning their names and having a conversation is more likely to lead you to win a YES from them. If you have any competition, your strength will be in personalizing and making others feel important – that they can be a contribution. Once they know they are a part of your project, they become champions of it as well, since your success is also their success.

The hardest part was time and energy aspects needed, sometimes money as well for parts of the campaign that were instrumental to get more people on board. Indeed, while working a day job, time was the biggest challenge because the campaign required consistent and persistent action. We also decided to hold a live event – a Hummus competition – and that added to the workload and spending, so there were some sleepless nights and incessant workdays, but, in the end, it was well worth it for creating an unforgettable event and making a couple thousand dollars for the campaign.

4. Is there any advice you’d give for those considering crowdfunding?

Make sure you have as much support after the campaign to complete the project as you had during the campaign. Outline and plan out the fulfillment aspect of the campaign as much as the campaign. This will help keep you on track. People will tend to drop off the project, as it is natural for a long project, but if you have a plan in place, you can get through it much easier.  

5. After successfully getting funded, how have you been using the funds towards your project?

To pay for filming overseas in Israel, hiring camera people, and crew, as well as renting equipment.

Image by AV22 Productions

6. What are your three favorite online or mobile tools that help you run your crowdfunding campaign?

Icalendar/Clock, Google (docs + email) and Photos

7. If you had to choose a one-liner piece of advice for aspiring Jewish entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Gather your tribe and help each other, don’t go it alone. 

8. Add a question of your own that we did not ask and give the answer to it…

What was your favorite experience during your campaign?

Giving the campaign a live event where we could see our contributors and host an unforgettable event while also fundraising. It felt like we had created a real community with the event and also drew many more fans.  

To stay up to date with Avital Levy’s latest work check out her website, vimeo, and YouTube.

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.

Stories From Our Successful Campaigns: MyMDband for Holocaust Survivors

Through the years, we have had a lot of successful campaigns on Jewcer. We wanted to share their stories and what they learned while crowdfunding with us. Our next interview comes from Elly Gorodetzer and Gidon Rogers, co-founders of MyMDband. They raised over $70,000 on Jewcer for an absolutely incredible cause: providing free MyMDbands for Holocaust survivors.

1. Tell us about MyMDBand for Holocaust Survivors? What inspired it?

MyMDband for Holocaust Survivors is a project that connects an innovative Israeli start-up with Holocaust survivors in Israel, by granting them with MyMDband’s lifesaving medical bracelets, for free, for life. This is a fully non- profit partnership between MyMDband and United Hatzalah of Israel. There are nearly 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today. Between what they had to endure in their youth and their advancing age, many of them have health problems that threaten their lives. 25% of them live below the poverty line, and many don’t have family nearby to care for them. All of them deserve our help. In an emergency medical situation, every second counts. The time it takes a first-responder to diagnose and render assistance can mean the difference between life and death. We are making it easier and faster for emergency responders and medical professionals to understand patients’ health history, conditions, allergies and medications in seconds. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the survivors of the Shoah. This is our way of giving back.

2. What piece of advice from the Jewcer team stuck with you the most that you can remember?

How copywriting is important to articulate a message properly.

3. How did you promote your campaign? What was the most challenging aspect?

The hardest part is getting people motivated to take action and donate, in a noisy internet and media reality. The Jewcer team, together with other campaign partners, helped us tremendously by demonstrating the power of engagement by their communities.

4. Is there any advice you’d give for those considering crowdfunding?

Piece of advice – always strive to partner with as many organizations who are aligned with your interests, and can facilitate in reaching out and motivating people. So, try to be as “B2B” as possible, and not “B2C”.

5. After successfully getting funded, how have you been using the funds towards your project?

Together with United Hatzala of Israel, we have been going around the country supplying, free of charge, our MyMDbands including professional population of the relevant medical data. We have also been training ER staff in several hospitals to understand how they can provide better care with MyMDband. All of those are documented, among other activities, in our project website.

6. What are your three favorite online or mobile tools that help you run your crowdfunding campaign?

Websites & newsletters for promotion, and twitter for listening.

7. If you had to choose a one-liner piece of advice for aspiring Jewish entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Don’t give up! It’s usually a long journey with great challenges. Cash is king! Always plan your cash flow and adjust wisely as you go.

8. Add a question of your own that we did not ask and give the answer to it…

What’s the next step for this beautiful project?

There’s a big next step, and you can help with a click of a button! We are applying for WeWork’s Creative Awards, in Israel, for a prize of $360,000. This is a huge opportunity for us, and would be happy for any support on social media, and letting WeWork Israel know how much you thing we deserve this grant. Needless to say, all funds allotted to us will be used completely to fund further distribution of our MyMDband medical bracelets to Holocaust survivors, in Israel. Learn more here.

To stay connected with news and updated from MyMDBand, check out their Facebook, TwitterHolocaust Survivors Website, & MyMDBand website.

 

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.

Stories from Our Successful Campaigns: “We Will Overcome”

Through the years, we have had a lot of successful campaigns on Jewcer. We wanted to share their stories and what they learned while crowdfunding with us. Our next interview comes from Charlie Kramer, a Jewish musician who funded his debut EP to spark change. He was able to raise $11,000 and, by the way, his EP just dropped! Check it out.

1. Tell us about “We Will Overcome”? What inspired it?

We Will Overcome is a 5-song EP of Jewish folk rock. The record celebrates the struggles we face individually, within our communities and throughout our world, and how we can utilize these struggles as a source of personal and communal betterment. Half of the songs were written while I was abroad, working with the good people of Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne, Australia. The other half was written back in my home town of Los Angeles. In both spaces, I was deeply struggling with the political climate of the world. These songs were my personal source of healing and it is my prayer that they can be a source of healing for the listener as well.

2. What piece of advice from the Jewcer team stuck with you the most that you can remember?

“Never be afraid to ask.” It’s challenging to be so continuously vulnerable during the campaign process, but it is so important to push through the feeling of discomfort. You never know who will know the answer unless you ask!

3. How did you promote your campaign? What was the most challenging aspect?

I promoted my campaign largely through social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. Yet, I quickly learned that the best way to achieve my goal was to reach out to people on a more personal level. I then set aside time each day to send people personal (and original) messages either through text, Facebook messenger or through email to ask for their support. This extra effort to personalize the interactions I had with my supporters made a significant difference. I can’t recommend doing this enough.

4. Is there any advice you’d give for those considering crowdfunding?

Don’t be afraid to keep posting and messaging (and posting and messaging…)! There will definitely be a point where you may feel like you are bothering your friends and family. But, it is important to remember that we all live very different lives and not everyone will see your posts and messages. The people who want to support you will appreciate the reminder!

5. After successfully getting funded, how have you been using the funds towards your project?

I used the funds to pay for studio time, my producer, musicians to play on the record, mixing, mastering, album artwork, printing CD’s, submitting the EP to online distributors and creating the music video for the record’s single, ‘Closer’.

6. What are your three favorite online or mobile tools that help you run your crowdfunding campaign?

1). Mailchimp/Constant Contact. The ability to make your emails interactive with easy-to-follow links and photos help to tell a deeper part of your story to potential supporters.

2). Facebook is a star. Not because of the posting it allows you to do, but because of the personal interactions it allows you to have with all of your friends. I found the resource of Facebook Messenger to be my biggest tool in achieving my goal.

3). My phone. Nothing is more beneficial than calling or texting people personally.

7. If you had to choose a one-liner piece of advice for aspiring Jewish entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to change the world, it deserves your help.

8. Add a question of your own that we did not ask and give the answer to it…

How often did you interact with your supporters after the campaign’s completion, but before the project’s release?

After the campaign’s completion, I sent at least one Mailchimp/Constant Contact email a month to everyone who contributed to my campaign. In the emails, I would update everyone on the recording process, send pictures and even videos. I felt it was important to keep everyone who supported me involved in the entire process.

 

 

 

If you’d like to follow Charlie, you can check him out on Youtube, Facebook, and SoundCloud.

 

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.

Stories from Our Successful Campaigns: “Soon by You”

Through the years, we have had a lot of successful campaigns on Jewcer. We wanted to share their stories and what they learned while crowdfunding with us. Our first interview comes from the creators of a web series called “Soon by You” and their campaign that raised over $15,000!

1. What is your series about? What inspired it?

Soon By You is a comedic web series about young Orthodox Jews dating in NYC. It was inspired by the Israeli TV show Srugim and originally started out as a short film by Leah Gottfried. After winning Best Short Film at the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 2016, Leah decided to expand it into a web series and brought producers Danny Hoffman and Jessica Schechter on board. There are now 4 episodes up on YouTube, with a 5th coming soon.

Leah on set by Fiona G Photography

2. What piece of advice from the Jewcer team stuck with you the most that you can remember?

Two jump out: 1) Appeal to the “why” of the project, not the “what.” People are more willing to give to a cause than a film. 2) Make those who donate feel as though they’ve become a part of the team. They’re more likely to share the campaign or make a second contribution if they feel ownership for the project.

3. How did you promote your campaign? What was the most challenging aspect?

We created a video explaining the campaign and promoted the heck out of it on our social media outlets. We also created a list of all our friends and family and called them up asking them to donate. The hardest part was asking people directly – it often felt uncomfortable, like begging. But, ultimately, people were extremely generous and supportive.

4. Is there any advice you’d give for those considering crowdfunding?

Definitely focus on asking people individually as opposed to only posting publicly.

Sarah, Leah, and Danny by Leora Veit

5. After successfully getting funded, how have you been using the funds towards your project?

We used the funds to produce episode 4! We had a big premiere party and the episode is now out on YouTube.

6. What are your three favorite online or mobile tools that help you run your crowdfunding campaign?

Social media was really helpful. Facebook and Twitter helped get the word out. We also had an existing email list for fans, so Mailchimp helped us reach them directly.

7. If you had to choose a one-liner piece of advice for aspiring Jewish entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Don’t lose sight of the passion that inspired you.

Cast 6 by Abbie Sophia

8. Add a question of your own that we did not ask and give the answer to it…

How are you raising funds moving forward?

For episode 5 and beyond, we are funding the series through product placements and advertisers. Many companies have reached out to us to put their products in the show since we have a large and growing audience. We also still have a donation page set up on our website, so people who want to see more can still contribute directly.

 

 

 

If you’d like to connect with Soon by You, you can check them out on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.

6 Web Series That Fully Crowdfunded Their Project on Jewcer!

There’s no doubt that imagery and video are crucial to gaining an audience and garnering support for your mission. A web series is an especially powerful tool used to entertain, teach, and inspire. Today, we wanted to share with you some of the more successful campaigns for web series projects on Jewcer!

Zionism in Animation

Campaign Goal: $20,000
Total Raised: $20,532

Soon By You

Campaign Goal: $15,000
Total Raised: $15,939

 

Joy of Israel

Campaign Goal: $10,000
Total Raised: $11,402

 

Bubbala Please

Campaign Goal: $4,000
Total Raised: $7,363

 

The Israeli Show

Campaign Goal: $1,200
Total Raised: $1,204

 

Enminutos

Campaign Goal: $1,000
Total Raised: $1,356

 

These days, our attention spans have grown smaller and, thus, many people prefer to watch or listen to their content of interest rather than read it. So it’s no surprise that we encourage all new Jewcer campaigns to include a video on their page. We hope you’ve enjoyed these videos and will continue to watch their talented work!

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.