Some friends of mine wanted to shoot a web series pilot for a show called “Very Smart Brothas,” based off the very popular internet blog of the same name. In order to make it look professional like a TV show, they needed $20,000.
Another friend of mine is a playwright who wanted to produce a play, “Blackula: Dead and Loving it,” and needed $2000 to see his vision come to life.
In both these instances, neither of these entities had the money on hand they needed to get their projects completed. So, what did they do? They started fund-raising campaigns online in hopes that other people would donate money to them so they could pay for the stuff they needed.
Thanks to the internet, it’s getting easier and easier to raise money for your passion projects. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow people to post up the details of their projects and ask that people donate money. What’s also nice is people are given certain intensives (set by you) for donating different amounts – for example, you can set it up where everyone who donates $20 can get a credit on your film project, or receive a signed copy of your new CD for donating $80… whatever you decide to give as incentives is totally up to you.
But what makes fundraising thankful-worthy is the fact that people are actually willing to give out money to others (whom they may or may not know) in the first place!
People are always complaining about how people are only out to help themselves, or are selfish; and yet, we forget that part of what makes us feel good about ourselves is being able to feel like we’re contributing to society in some way, no matter how big or small.
I think part of it is that people are persuaded by seeing how passionate others are about wanting to reach their goal. Whether it’s an indie artist wanting to make their first professional-sounding album, or the Red Cross wanting to raise money to help victims of a hurricane, that passion exudes so forcefully that it moves people to give.
Another factor is that many people secretly have their own goals and desires they wish they could succeed at. Due to life circumstances – work, kids, other responsibilities – they don’t feel able to do the thing they truly WANT to do. Therefore, when they see someone else going for what they want, they realize that their donations acts as an encouragement for them to reach their goal. They figure, “If I can’t do what I want to do, I can at LEAST help someone else achieve their dream.”
Regardless of the reason, the willingness people have to donate can have a HUGE impact on whether or not a project gets completed. This was the case with the two examples mentioned above: in both instances, they were able to raise ALL the money they needed to pay for their projects – and they couldn’t have done it without the help of many people who viewed what they wanted to do and said: “Eh, sure, I’ll donate to that!”
Ah, the willingness of people to donate money to fund… well, anything – now THAT’S something to be thankful for!
– Aaron P. Taylor
*NOTE* The very first volume of “1001 Things to Be Thankful For” will be coming out on Monday, November 19th! Available in eBook and paperback form, it will make for the PERFECT holiday gift!