The live performance industry continues to innovate. This year has demonstrated new ways artists can provide special opportunities for fans as part of a movement to raise ever greater amounts to support charitable projects like Sweet Relief which supports musicians and others around the world. touring world in need.
Throughout Covid and still today, musicians and their support teams suffer the losses suffered during the summary shutdown of the world in March 2020. Fandiem relies on its reputation within the artist community to bring together unique and otherwise inaccessible experiences like onstage or backstage access or meet and greet time with the performers well beyond the standard 30 seconds. The fan community participates in the raffle by making donations and everyone goes home a winner.
Fandiem is a social enterprise co-founded by Jared Heiman, their current Chief Revenue Officer. The model is a platform that connects artists and fans who are looking to either support a particular cause or buy chances to win a particular prize. Fandiem’s team does the unseen work of working with artists to curate their deals, market those opportunities to donors, fulfill pricing and the never-ending cycle of creating a campaign, creating the content to support each deal and replenish the future participation pipeline in which artists and fans return with more offers and donations. Fandiem also facilitates campaigns for artists seeking to raise funds and awareness for their own foundations.
Fandiem is a charity donation platform intended to meet the needs within the ranks of live entertainment personnel, where fans donate to a charity chosen by the artist. By donating, they are entered to win a variety of prizes ranging from signed guitars to front row tickets.
The artists that give Fandiem access or prizes are top notch across the board. It’s Metallica, Eric Church, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and an endless list of others.
The Fandiem team has nine full-time employees committed to the growth of this business. The average donation per participant is $35, which reflects both the generosity of donors and their desire to obtain the prize offered. There’s a bit of a fantasy element at play here. Most entrants understand that they will not win the prize. But, like Schrodinger’s cat, the possibility of winning lingers in their minds until the day they finally realize they haven’t.
That period of time in which to stand on stage or bring home the selected prize is a possibility that is fun to think about and discuss with friends. Is a small donation to an important cause worth the price of the donation? If this gift lets you picture yourself for a month in the drums keeping time for your favorite band, the answer might be “yes” more often than you think. This same phenomenon suggests that a donor to one campaign is quite likely to come back and support a different campaign to think once again about what it would mean to win.
Jared is spearheading events that are being marketed with surprising candor, including the current F-COVID campaign. F-COVID is a joint agreement with Sweet Relief and Bands in Town. In true rock and roll style, the F-COVID logo has the “I” in Covid replaced with an elongated middle finger. For branding purposes, it’s so much stronger than the old “there’s no ‘I’ on the team” norm.
Each artist on the lineup poster offers a prize. Fans choose the prize they want to win. The model is a contest meets a fundraiser.
It’s not an auction format, it’s more of a raffle. The more you donate, the more chances you have of winning a prize. This equalizes access, rather than each prize going to whoever has sufficient disposable income to purchase the prize.
The draw is carried out by Fandiem’s back-end system. The fan gets a certain number of points for every dollar donated. The system randomly selects the winner. Then, provided the winner agrees to accept the prize, Fandiem puts the winner in touch with the artists to make arrangements to receive their prize.
There may be tax consequences for winners. The donation made to enter the contest may be a write-off depending on how you file your taxes. Fandiem’s position is the prize is a gift from the artist with no tax due. This is something to review with your accountant, but only after you join Fandiem’s community, enter one or more of their draws and go out there and win.
Some prizes include travel to an event. These prizes are usually awarded ten days before the event, allowing time to finalize flights and hotels.
The world of fundraising is always interesting. Attached in audio and video formats is the podcast I did with Jared Heiman. He explains how Fandiem gathers these offers and why. It’s a good listen.
Last year, Fandiem brought in approximately $1.5 million in donations through its fundraising campaigns. They started with the idea of democratizing the process of having a unique experience. Over the past year, they have launched over sixty campaigns while amassing an ongoing donor database and greater awareness among artists. This year’s projections are much higher in part because this model tends to increase awareness quickly, as those who got last year’s special prizes made sure everyone knew what they had won. and just as word has spread among award-donating artists that Fandiem is a space of trust for them. .
Next year looks even more exciting as Fandiem brings NFTs into its next wave while simultaneously expanding its offerings beyond music to include creators, athletes, and others who have a fan base and a presence.
Any project that promotes charitable giving and responsibly distributes funds raised deserves support. Fandiem has built a very attractive proposition: give money and have a chance to experience something that no one but you will experience. There is a premium for uniqueness. Fandiem monetizes this premium and by itself or in collaboration with partners distributes the profits to the worthy recipients. One of their upcoming campaigns involves VIP tickets to see Metallica at BottleRock over Memorial Day weekend. After playing “Enter Sandman,” at least one lucky winner will sleep well that night knowing their donation went to help someone in need.