So Close… So Far!
Well there are just a few days left to try to get to my revised $5,000 goal. I fluctuate between moments of joy, when, as a couple of days ago, some anonymous soul donated $500 to Gravity From Above, and digit nibbling concern, when I realize I still have $700 dollars to raise in a 4 more days, by midnight January 14th Alaska Time.
This whole crowdfunding campaign (I still can’t stand the sound of the word “crowdfunding”.) has been a lot tougher than the first time I did this back in 2012. And longer! Nearly a full three months. I doubt I will ever do this again, unless my personal support base grows by huge leaps and bounds.
Some statistics… This time so far I have had 48 giving donors to Gravity From Above. Back in 2012 I had 78 official supporters and many more who gave to me in small increments on the streets of Haines. I sometimes wonder if some of the folks who gave back then simply wonder why I didn’t finish the first time, as if a complex documentary film could be finished with a mere $10,000. The truth is in 2012 I put in $5,000 more of my own money to get what I did get done, which is precisely why I originally tried to get $15,000 this time around. But that unfortunately wasn’t coming this time. I sent many, many emails to people who might give more. None did. Too many apologies. I was allowed to revise my goal down to $5,000 after stretching the time out to the 90 day max. More about that anon.
More interesting statistics… I evidently have had, to date, over 2,500 (!) viewers of my Hatchfund site. Out of those only 48 chose to give. Likewise on Facebook I have had 150 ‘Likers’ on my Gravity From Above page. I have over 300 ‘Friends’ connected through Facebook. I am connected to a couple of puppet pages on Facebook with easily 3,000 people connected to them. Then I have loads of viewers and followers on this Gravity From Above page and on my much larger site The Anadromous Life.And then there are the people on the Hatchfund site itself. That’s a fair number of folks to connect to. Still out of all those folks… 48 supporters. (Thus far.) And of all of those people; many, many puppet folks became ‘friends’, left good comments, were quite enthusiastic about the project, this documentary investigating puppetry in Europe. Well that’s wonderful. When I count up the number of folks who had a serious relationship to puppetry who gave thus far… generously, I’d say 8 puppet folks.
Why so few? Well theories can abound. But ultimately the reason boils down to this. You don’t really know people online. They receive too many updates, photos, memes, news stories, notices, invitations, solicitations, beggings, marketing and spam to really notice the depth of a heartfelt plea. The majority of the folks who gave knew me fairly well already, many gave last time, though even there I lost several serious contributors from last time. What I also missed from last time were the two substantial matching grants from nonprofit corporations which together totaled up to over $3,500. So the reason I probably won’t do this again is because unless I become successful at what I do I won’t have the tens of thousands of supporters as the foundation I would need to raise the funds I really need. (I’m still hoping for the phantom Swiss money someday.)
Here’s a little film I made for my darker friends who don’t believe puppets can do more than make you laugh.
Seeing the stark impossibility of getting to my original, and much needed, 15 to 20 thousand dollar goal I had to seriously ask myself what I could do with a substantially lesser amount. The answer getting better editing and filming tools to make something that might attract real cash. So I brought my minimum goal, that’s the amount I need to raise before I can keep the cash, down to a worthy, but not nearly as useful, $5,000. And I still don’t have that yet. But I’m within spitting distance. I think I’m going to make it I’m well over $4,200. But $700 plus dollars in 4 days is enough to cause more sleeplessness.
And finally if I don’t get it what happens. Well in the nonprofit world of Hatchfund, the money is then divvied up as a fund for other artists’ projects. (I missed getting some of that money myself because I didn’t get to a certain percentage in time.) So now it’s down to you friends, puppet folks, bystanders long lost acquaintances, internet surfers. It’s either you who read this or no one. I am so grateful for even the smallest amounts. And each one helps others decide to give.
Please give something today. Ease your conscience. And help validate the last three months of my labor trying to get something of value done. Something that you don’t fully understand because I haven’t made this documentary yet! And you haven’t seen what I’ve seen.
And to those who have worked with me on this and followed it carefully you have my undying thanks.