2012 began with a BANG! After a full year of “exercising in futility” in grant application to many foundations in 2011, I’ve decided to seek financial support through a different channel. I launched my Kickstarter campaign on the first day of the Year of the Dragon.
Many filmmakers have crowd-funded their projects this way through the strength of their concepts and the generosity of friends and strangers. It’s an all or nothing platform in which if you can’t reach your goal in the designated time, all pledges are off and you don’t get a dime. I know I’ll need at least $22,000 for the next production phase — can I raise that amount of money in 45 days? Can I afford to become a total embarrassment before the world if I don’t meet the goal? How can I ask friends and acquaintances — again — without alienating them, since many have supported me in the first go-around? How about reaching out to strangers — they don’t grow on trees?
Setting my goal at $8,500 seems like a realistic first step.
It has always been difficult for me to ask for help. Now asking for financial help is even harder. Then an epiphany hit me: reaching out means surrendering pride. This project is far bigger than myself and I can’t possibly do it alone.
Once I’ve started my appeal to everyone I know, the floodgate opened and unbelievable support poured in. Through this amazing grace, friends and acquaintances from another lifetime reached back with unexpected generosity. Strangers from far and near reached out with inspiring encouragement and touching blessings; another with a pledge of Bill Gates’ “act of generosity” on Valentine’s Day; some offered a shared vision or just simple humanity … Many days my heart just swells with awe and exhilaration! Then there are nights I lay awake, quietly fearing the fate of failure.
But I understand each pledge holds more than the charitable support it has promised; it holds the leap of faith and solidarity of participators to completing the project together. What an amazing journey these past few weeks have been — no longer standing alone, I relish this sense of wonderment and elation that has fully nourished me, and in turn helped my project thrive.