The concept of crowd sourcing has taken off in the past few years as people are increasingly turning to family, friends and even strangers to help them get their creative projects of the ground and turn dreams into reality. There are dozens of crowdsourcing platforms out there, including Kickstarter, Indiegogo and New Zealand's own fantastic site PledgeMe.
The past few weeks I have experienced the depth of generosity of the human spirit. A generosity that will allow me, in a little over a month's time, to travel to the Women of the World Poetry Slam 2013, in Minneapolis, USA.
I began my PledgeMe project in mid January thinking that it would be difficult to get people to donate money to my project. But I underestimated people's kindness. Despite allowing myself 5 weeks for the project to run, I reached my funding goal in a little over two weeks. There were pledges from friends, family, people I worked with, people I went to high school with, and even a few strangers.
I believe passionately in the power of spoken word to inspire, motivate and move people to consider other views or ways of looking at the world. A large part of my motivation to attend WOWPS 2013 is to learn as much as I can about the ways that my poetic counterparts around the world are making change in their community and teaching people to share their stories through this creative medium.
I guess my pledgers also believe in the power of story telling too!
PledgeMe, along with most other crowd sourcing websites suggests that in return for monetary pledges towards a project, you pledge rewards back at those who donate. This innovative idea transforms people from passive donators sitting at home online, to active supporters - investors, even - in your project. After the close of my project deadline, I will be setting about sending out copies of my chapbook, writing haikus, posting performances of personalised poems on YouTube, and even driving to Palmerston North to cook dinner and perform a one-off poetry show for a particularly generous group of friends!
All these rewards help me tell my story to my pledgers and in return, I will get to hear about their own stories (and in some cases, create their stories into poems!)
There are still 12 left to pledge if you haven't already - although I have reached my funding goal, this sum represents only about half the funds I will need to get to WOWPS. So if you're feeling like you'd like to support me in this creative endeavour, maybe I can also buy lunches in Minneapolis.
If you've got a creative endeavour you would like to see come together, remember you are not alone. There are people out there who believe in you and your ability to make things happen, and they will help you along the way.
Many thanks to those who have pledged. Your generosity astounds me, and I am truly grateful for your love and support.