The trouble with kotos is that you can’t just restring ’em like you would a guitar or a violin or what have you. You actually have to get a koto expert to sit down with the six-foot long thing and battle it out for the better part of an hour.
Client: Oregon Koto-Kai is a Portland 501(c)(3) working to bring the ancient sound of Japanese Koto music to live audiences in the Pacific Northwest.
Project Description: Write, post, update, and generally orchestrate an Indiegogo Campaign to fund the restringing of 29 Japanese kotos (a traditional 13 stringed instrument) for the Oregon Nonprofit, Oregon Koto-Kai. Additionally, update the front page of Oregon Koto-Kai’s website, and edit a fundraising letter sent to businesses.
“Help fly a Japanese Koto Specialist 5,000 miles to Oregon to restring 29 traditional instruments. “
The Inside Scoop
Though I’ve had quite a bit of fundraising experience, this was actually my first crowdfunding campaign.
Oregon Koto-Kai’s goal for the campaign was to raise enough funding to restring twenty-nine kotos. For those not in the know, a koto is a traditional Japanese instrument that first saw popularity sometime around 700 C.E. String count per instrument varies from thirteen to seventeen.
And good grief do they sound beautiful.
The trouble with kotos, however, is that you can’t just restring ’em like you would a guitar or a violin or what have you. You actually have to get a koto expert to sit down with the six-foot long thing and battle it out for the better part of an hour.
Kinda crazy, I know… Through running this campaign I’ve seen the videos of this process, and it’s immensely impressive.
The other trouble with kotos is that if you have one (or twenty-nine or whatever) in the States, there’s pretty much no koto experts anywhere to be found.
You’ve gotta fly one out from Japan.
So that’s what Oregon Koto-Kai was up to with this campaign.
At the outset of the campaign, the resources were pretty minimal. There was an email list and a Facebook page, each with rosters not exceeding the double digits.
We ran the calculations, figured out what we needed versus what we thought we could realistically achieve, and launched the campaign, pretty much entirely under my direction.
Though the thirty day campaign ended at only 43%, private contributions from the parallel letter-writing campaign to patrons and businesses brought in additional funding, ending the campaign at around 50% of goal.
Even though we fell short, the fundraising effort was able to pay for the tickets of the koto specialist and his assistant, which was a huge help to Oregon Koto-Kai.
My Favorite Part
Generating funds to promote traditional Japanese music in Oregon. (Seriously, Oregon Koto-Kai is beyond awesome!)
See the results:
Restring 29 Traditional Japanese Instruments