Interview with Klancy Miller: How To Raise £30,000 For Your Idea With Crowdfunding!

An interview with Klancy Miller, the brains and beauty behind ‘For The Culture’ Magazine. A magazine celebrating Black Women in Food & Wine! Klancy created a crowdfunding campaign to start her idea and raised a whopping $30K, mostly from strangers who believed her vision and supported the dream. It was possible for her, and with crowdfunding and BuildHer, its possible for you too!

Choose from video, transcript below.

DamiLola:

Very happy to speak to Klancy Miller, the brains & beauty behind the magazine ‘ForThe Culture’.

Klancy:

Thank you for having me.

DamiLola:

I first came across your campaign in January 2020.

Klancy:

Yes that sounds right, I first launched it in December 2019 and it was done by February 2020 and I was posting like a mad woman all through December and January 2020.

DamiLola:

What is ‘For The Culture’?

Klancy:

‘For The Culture’ is a magazine celebrating Black women in Food and Wine. The goal is to tell Black women’s stories throughout the diaspora who work in some form within the food and beverage world so it includes chefs, bakers, food writers, farmers, critics, bartenders, anybody who plays some kind of role in the food system. The goal is also for it to have an international scope. I’m based in New York, US so I want to shine light on Black women here butI consider myself a citizen of the world so I think it’s important to see what Black women throughout the world are doing in food too.

DamiLola:

Amazing, what was the inspiration behind this?

Klancy:

I write about food and there have been story ideas that I have wanted to pitch and I wanted to write stories about people who are not famous and don’t have new restaurants and I feel it’s harder to find those stories. I also trained to become a pastry chef before writing about food. Most of my role models were not Black because I didn’t know about that many Black people period and over the years I met more people in the food industry including Black women and I saw them doing incredible things and felt we deserved to have our stories told by us.

DamiLola:

I love that! Even though the magazine highlights Black women would you say its foranyone.

Klancy:

Absolutely, all are welcome, I used to read the New York Times food section, and eventhough mainstream media outlets haven’t catered to me I’ve still been interested in reading them.

DamiLola:

When did you first hear about crowdfunding?

Klancy:

I have a couple of friends who are filmmakers who crowdfunded a film so that was my first introduction. And another friend who crowdfunded for his own magazine. I am definitely a fan of crowdfunding, I think it’s smart! It definitely is a smart way to go to make something a reality that otherwise would not become reality.

DamiLola:

How long did the process take you from deciding to crowdfund to launching?

Klancy:

I had the idea for a couple of years, I put together a checklist, had a friend who is a brilliant photographer and filmmaker to do my video, I reached a graphic designer to create a logo. I think everything was 2 months. I made a mock cover, found the perfect images, got permission from the photographer for the image I wanted, so it was less than two months.

DamiLola:

Which shows you don’t have to spend so much time to get your campaign out
there, it can be done quite fast.

DamiLola:

How important is a video for a campaign? Yours was brilliant, it had clear graphics,a beautiful mock photo and it explained clearly what you were doing.

Klancy:

Thank you, the best way to connect with people you don’t know is to introduce yourself. A video is important in this way, unless you personally know 10,000 people who will give you money, you need to clearly introduce yourself and there needs to be more of a personal appeal. There should be a story, a narrative, people should know who they are giving to.

DamiLola:

How did you market/promote your campaign once live.

Klancy:

I posted about it alot on instagram, less on facebook. It was a 60 day campaign so in the last 48 hours I posted on facebook and twitter. Instagram is my preferred platform. I have written a cookbook before so I went through the process of marketing the cook book with some advice from my publisher. I learned from mistakes of my first book and used the strategies that worked. You should make a dream list of people who you want to speak about your product or whatever you’re putting into the world.

DamiLola:

Did you first get your friends and family to contribute before strangers saw it so it looked less ‘scammy’.

Klancy:

I didn’t do that, I feel this campaign was miraculous even though I worked very hard which is why it was successful. I posted on instagram and it got a huge response. In the first 24hrs I raised $5,000 and all I did was create one or two emails before posting to instagram, explaining the campaign and asking them to post about it and send to their circles. It got a huge response, friends with large followings posted about it, and somebody I didn’t even know gave an outright gift of $1,000! I advise people to think of anyone you know that has a very large circle and ask them to spread the word because this is just as valuable as money.

DamiLola:

Did you find the person that gave you $1,000?

Klancy:

I did and the story is amazing! I reached out to thank him immediately. He told me that he had been saving a dollar a day for 1000 days and he put it in a shoebox and decided he was gonna give this sum to a worthy cause or project and decided that mine was the worthy cause/project. Which was 1000 times more touching than this coming from an ultra affluent person to whom money is no object, which put more pressure on me to make this extra special.

DamiLola:

What would you say to some people who say exclusivity is a negative thing?

Klancy:

I think exclusivity can be an advantage because it is a very clear focus and clear point of view and as long as it’s not hateful it’s fine. ‘For the Culture’ is for everyone but the subjects and contributors are Black women but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it if you are not a Blackwoman.

DamiLola:

What advice would you give to a woman who is considering crowdfunding for her dream idea/business but she is scared/unsure?


Klancy: I would say do it. If you have something you want to do, just do it. One of the many lessons of this pandemic is we don’t know what the future is gonna hold. Don’t put it off. If you are in a place where you have the energy to pursue it, do it.Another thing that helped me was the support of friends and strangers posting about it. There was a plateau period where money was no longer coming in and I was trying to figure out how to move past this plateau. A friend of mine who is an organiser and fundraiser reached out and coached me for the last 1-2 weeks, everyday he was telling me to reach out to 20 people a day, giving them very clear instructions, to reach out to my family and friends, saying if they have already given ask them to give again. He was checking in on an hourly basis and that push was really important and what I learned is you do constantly have to reach out to people, as it will take time. The final push was huge, pushing me every hour and this got me to the finishing line.

DamiLola:

Why do you think a crowdfunding platform that is catered to women of Black origin like BuildHer is necessary?

Klancy:

I think it’s great, in terms of specificity, anytime there is a very clear focus and clear perspective that is actually very supportive for whatever your project is. A lot of men gave to my project but it’s really important to reach out for support within your own community and from your own people and it’s really heartening to see how Black women support one another. I already knew that but this whole process underscored that for me. Given what I witnessed, I feellike a community of Black women supporting Black women, publicising Black womens Crowdfunding Projects is definitely an equation for success!

DamiLola:

Where can we find ‘For the Culture’ and what you’re doing at the moment?

Klancy:

The website is fortheculturefoodmag.com and the instagram handle is @fortheculturefoodmagIf anyone has a cool story idea or wants to contribute, the best way to do that is via the website and social media wise instagram is the preferred mode.

DamiLola:

Just to clarify you totally would have gone with BuildHer if we had already launchedwhen you wanted to do your campaign right?

Klancy:

Yes! Absolutely! For sure, I mean there are more projects to come. I’m happy BuildHeris out, and I’m also happy to let other people know about it too. I think we have to support each other and we do a lot. There is strength in numbers with crowdfunding and I think you’re on to something!

DamiLola:

Congratulations again on raising over $30,000! Can’t wait to see where ‘For The Culture’ goes next!

Klancy:

Thank you so much! If I can do it, so can anyone!

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