Kickstarter Helps Fund Non-Profit Projects

Posted on 11/30/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Have an idea for a photo project but short of money to get if off the ground? Try Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month, tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to all types of creative projects all over the world.

Those who make pledges are not lending money that will be paid back with interest, nor do they receive an equity share of your project. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work, while backers receive products, experiences that are unique to each project and the satisfaction of helping creatives.

Project creators set a funding goal and a deadline for reaching the goal. No money changes hands unless they reach the goal by the deadline. This protects everyone involved. Creators are not expected to develop projects without the necessary funds, so concepts can be tested without risk.

Gail Mooney is one of the people using this resource to fund the editing of her video project, “Opening Our Eyes,” a film about people making a positive difference in the world. To offer a sense of the project, Mooney's Kickstarter page provides a 10-minute trailer and describes backer “rewards” at various pledge levels that begin at $1. 

With daughter Erin, Mooney had made a significant investment in the project prior to using Kickstarter to raise additional funds. The two filmed 10 extraordinary people in Australia, Argentina, Nepal, Peru, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Uganda and North America. These individuals work for various foundations and are making a positive difference in the world, and the authors intend to create short videos on each subject for their foundations’ Web sites, as well as a feature-length documentary.

Mooney is now editing over 150 hours of footage shot on the trip. She says, “I am a proficient editor and will be editing a rough cut of the film myself. However, I know that the film will be that much stronger if I hire a professional editor to edit the final cut.  This will ultimately give our documentary a better shot at wider distribution, the potential to be seen by a larger audience and the power to inspire and motivate other change-makers.” 

It is for this purpose that Mooney is seeking additional funds through Kickstarter. Her goal is to raise $7,500 by January 5, 2011. So far, 79 backers have pledged $5,335 toward this goal. Should the raised total exceed the goal amount, half of any additional funds received after the goal is met will be used to promote the film, and the other half will be donated to the documentary subjects’ foundations.

Their ultimate goal for the film is for it to be seen by as many people as possible in hopes that they too will be inspired and motivated to create positive change in their own communities.

Copyright © Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • David Sanger Posted Nov 30, 2010
    Another ASMP member, Carol Stevenson of San Francisco, also has a Kickstarter project for her <a href="">Asian Elephant Conservation documentary film</a> and just completed a successful fundraising round, raising $7591 of a $7500 goal from 77 backers.

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