What do a film about the journey of a young indigenous leader from Peru, a web series about a woman from another dimension who travels to earth, and an initiative to rebuild homes in Uganda have in common? They were all paid for through crowd-funding on IndieGoGo, a new experiment where generous individuals can donate money to any one of thousands of projects around the world.
There are projects in film, web series, music, gaming, inventions, ventures, food, causes, political movements, comics and more. Individuals with great ideas but no funding can list their ideas through IndieGoGo and can campaign for money, support, or create a community for their project. They post a bio of their project, the amount of funding that they need and a time period.
Many projects meet their goals and even exceed them while some fall short. IndieGoGo takes 9 percent of all donations, but allows the project teams to keep the rest, whether their goal was met or not. However, it does give a 5 percent bonus to projects that meet their goal. Some projects have big goals and some have small goals, but the amount you donate is completely up to you.
One project currently looking for funds is to extend the reach of the documentary When Two Worlds Collide. Alberto Pizango is a young indigenous leader from the Amazon Rainforest. He was forced into exile for resisting the sale and commercial exploitation of Amazonian lands. This demonstrated the fierce battle for the world’s natural resources. He was then accused of insurrection and sedition by the Peruvian Government; he faces 20 years in prison.
After a year in exile, Pizango returns to Peru for his trial and finds that he has been nominated as the first Amazonian to run for President. This documentary follows his campaign against the government as well as the one to become the country’s new leader. Funding toward this project would go toward the film production as well as the continuing outreach to other indigenous cultures and education about the election in April 2011.
Your contributions to such causes, films, performance art groups, etc. might be tax deductible depending on the laws where you live. Also, depending on how much is given, donors are given special thank yous, beyond the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you make others dreams come true. For When Two Worlds Collide, contributors are offered invitations to pre-release screenings, Skype calls with team members, and may even be listed as Associate Producers in the films credits and are invited to the location for a view of the production.
To me, it seems like a great way to get a stake in something that you are passionate about. It’s also a fantastic way for people with ideas to get help and build a community of passionate people. The IndieGoGo site says this: don’t do it alone. Do it with others. I think that’s an excellent way to impact the world, no matter what your end goal.
Photo credit: IndieGoGo.com