Last week, as the hours ticked down, we met our goal of $10,000 for our new book and videos on Learning Service.
Just as exciting for me as meeting the financial goal — we realized the depth of support we have for our ideas about international volunteering.
We also realized the radical power of the crowd in crowdfunding.
Turns out dozens of friends and former strangers support the idea of making overseas service more effective, and exposing and ending some of the worst practices in the field.
We also found out that the nice folks at Indiegogo (woo hoo, Bre and Alice) provide a personal touch in encouraging their campaigns.
When we started the campaign, I thought crowdfunding was a new tool for getting us the money we needed for our book. I now see it as a way to democratize the insanely imbalanced world of philanthropy, where large foundations too often fund mostly wealthy organizations, because of their existing connections and comfort level. In the world of regular philanthropy, it can be easier to raise money for the opera than for programs that serve low income schools or make political waves of advocacy for social justice.
Crowdfunding still depends on personal contacts, which means there is still a bias in favor of those who start with more resources. But because of the crowd in crowdfunding, and the big impact of many smaller donations, these new tools can create new opportunities for young people, small organizations, and radical visionaries to get off the ground when mainstream funding would be out of the question.
It does take hard work. In our case, we had a team of seven people on three continents working for 60 days to spread the word.
So thanks to the team, and enormous thanks to everyone who watched our video, liked the campaign, and/or made a donation. You’re part of the wave.