Crowdfunding, in theory, is a godsend — asking large numbers of people to donate small amounts of money for a worthy project or cause. And in an arts environment where formal funding is hard to come by and can take ages to secure, the notion of a virtual "crowd" tossing virtual bank notes into a virtual hat may seem like manna from heaven for creative professionals trying to finance their dreams. But, warn some freelance and independent SA arts practitioners who have gone the crowdfunding route, it’s by no means easy money. You don’t just set up a page through an online crowdfunding platform, sit back and watch the money roll in. It’s hard work and high on administration. And there’s no guarantee of success. Plus, many crowdfunding websites charge a commission on funds raised, others set a time limit, and some charge penalties or return money to donors if you fail to reach your funding goal. Ultimately, though, it’s worth it — and, converts say, crowdfunding adds a gloss of professi...

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