What I Learned From Crowdfunding

It’s more difficult than you think. And that’s coming from someone who met her goal.

$5,000 may not seem like a lot in the investment world, but for a first time fundraiser, it was daunting. I was one of those kids who shied away from the annual school wrapping paper fundraiser because I didn’t like asking for money. The idea of crowdfunding terrified me, almost to the point where I didn’t pursue my project.

So when I got up the courage to do it, and reached the point where I was happy with my pitch story and video, I studied up on crowdfunding. I read all of the advice columns from people who had successfully met their goals, and tried to follow Indiegogo’s best practice tips for running a solid campaign. Some of the advice worked, others didn’t. Here’s what I learned: Continue reading “What I Learned From Crowdfunding”

The Origin Story

In one year I went from thinking I should be making documentaries to crowdfunding my way on board a train across the country to create a series of them.

April 2014. Chicago. The Purple Pig.

The Purple Pig is one of those places that doesn’t post its menu prices on its website. It’s not a place where you find yourself at 2 p.m. on a weekday with a journalist’s salary unless you were me, someone who was in a quarter-life crisis and didn’t know it.

I was meeting with a former professor of mine, someone who has come to be a mentor to me. I had meant for the conversation to be a chance to catch up. But as are most meetings with your mentors, it turned out to be about life instead.

“Purpose” was our topic of conversation, in particular, what mine would be. This was not a new subject for us, as she had helped me figure out my senior year of college whether I would move with my friends to NYC to pursue acting, or continue down the path of journalism. Ultimately, I picked the latter, and was working as a Capitol Hill reporter in Washington, D.C.

“Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?”

I thought about it for a moment. “Eventually I’d like to move into documentary work. I want to be telling stories that inspire people to act.”

She looked at me. “Why can’t you do that now?” Continue reading “The Origin Story”