July 26 – “They Make Money, We Make Friends”, and the truth behind crowd funding…

NOTES

– Walking today Paul pointed out two hawks sitting just above our heads. It was the closest I think I have ever been to a wild bird of prey!

– If you were looking to buy a pop-up canopy tent, now seems to be a great time to get them!

– I love http://www.fivebelow.com/ – so much fun, cheap junk. I know I should buy more durable stuff, but this is a sweet indulgence.

I bought some sunglasses to wear when I need to have more fun, to supplement my get things done sunglasses.

– I was texting with Andrew about an artist who was performing in a box truck at Lincoln center. We were talking about how they get away doing what they do for a fee, while we do it for free. My take away: “They make money. We make friends.”

–  Someone emailed a group I am part of about the financial success of our Kickstarter. I had to set them straight:

Well, a “successful” kickstarter. I’ll tell you the real story, less you get the wrong impression about crowdfunding. (It was an education for me, for sure.)

The first kickstarter failed: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/everyherelogistics/everyhere-logistics-exploring-americas-creative-di

So we did a second one: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/everyherelogistics/everyhere-logistics-art-experiences-on-the-road/description. This one failed in a way too. A friend gave us a big loan that we had to repay and a large donor pulled out at the end. And of course a bunch of donations end up bouncing, then we have kickstarter fees, fees to our fiscal sponsor and the overhead of running the kickstarter like video production, shipping and production of perks. In the end, we got far less than what it looks like.

The real success of this is that over 400 people supported us and cared enough to help. We realized that the major richness we have is in a huge community who wants to help. Don’t get me wrong: the amount we raised is significant, and people were generous beyond a doubt. We just didn’t hit our fundraising goals.

All that said, we decided to do the project anyhow, and are just cutting a BUNCH of corners, and work with the budget we have. We have 400 people who told us to do it! How could we let them down? 🙂

Some people got private donations, we got a commission from SFMOMA to do trucks for SF’s  Sunday Streets for a little money, we did some fundraising parties and we’re digging into our own pockets.

We are also trying to find ways to make money off of a truck that is going to and from Burning Man from New York. (Right now, we may be getting some money to haul equipment back from Burning Man to NYC. We’re looking for folks who want us to haul stuff from Reno [or anywhere along our route] in to the event, or maybe have us haul their recycling/trash out for them.)

Oh, and getting fiscal sponsorship so we can avoid taxes helped a lot too.

Main take away for me: Kickstarter is a great way to get community, but for all the prep and all the work, it may not be a great financial return.  Asking big donors and straight up working for it (either through fundraisers or just saving) yielded more. Learning how to be frugal and willing to work with what we have has been key.

Knowing that your friends and community will help you get through, even if the money is tight (hey someone loaned me half! that was a big deal to me!), is invaluable knowledge.

Also, a group of people motivated seems to be unstoppable.

 So, now you know!

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