Crowdfunding Diary Day #4: An Invitation to Engage

Dec 7th .

           I wake this morning to find we have reached £2000 on our Mothers Who Make crowdfunder – hooray! Only another £8000 to go – help!

           I had no idea what I was getting into in running a crowdfunding campaign. It made sense to me because this project is about building and sustaining a network. My hope was that people would feel motivated to fund an initiative from which they could directly benefit – peer support groups, a website, an online home.

           So far the campaign has been many sets of opposites: exciting/ tedious; heartening/ discouraging; wonderful/ worrying. I will start with the positive side to all those pairs…..

           Whenever I facilitate a Mothers Who Make meeting there is always a part of me that is amazed and touched that anyone shows up. I have felt the same on this campaign: incredibly touched that anyone has given anything – and there have been so many donations!; I have felt inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of peoples’ comments. It is humbling. It has been like this since the start. I never intended to found a national network. At the first meeting, in the café waiting room at Battersea Arts Centre, in the spring of 2014, there were 8 of us. I had no idea that word would spread, not only across the city but over the whole the country, and that our group would grow from 8 to more than 800. I am still moved by my sense of the need Mothers Who Make goes some way towards meeting- something simple and profound about the support and recognition women need as they go about the extraordinary feat of raising children and sustaining a creative practice. I would never have guessed we could raise £2k in just over a week. But we still have £8k to go…..

           If we are going to make our £10k target then something dramatically needs to shift, and fast. In the next week either some rich and generous benefactors need to get behind us, or – and this is my preference- many, many more of us need to give £10. This was my vision for the campaign: there are over 1000 members on the Mothers Who Make Facebook pages. I would love the support we need to come from 1000 women valuing this work, their work, enough to give £10 each. Given the nature of the campaign – what it is for - the number of supporters is in some ways more important to me than the number of ££££ raised – but they go together. This sounds a startlingly obvious thing to say when running a crowdfunder but I cannot do it alone. In other words, to make that shift, to tip from the slow, steady creeping up of funds that has taken place over the last week into a 100 people a day giving £10 each, I need others to be campaigning too.

           If you are reading this and want to help, here is what you can do: think of 10 people whom you can invite to give £10.  Contact them in whatever way feels most comfortable to you and, nowadays we have so many options: email, text, phone, in person, Twitter, Facebook or, as I have been doing recently in a retrograde step, postcard. Maybe they know about Mothers Who Make already and just need a nudge to contribute. Maybe they don’t know and you can tell them about the network. If they are not a mother, or not a maker you could share my previous blog with them about why this network might be relevant to them too. Consider the very asking as a kind of creative practice. Feel generous – you are making an offer, not taking a tenner. You are giving people an invitation to engage. This is my solution to surviving the crowdfunder experience – I am making it a part of my practice. I get up every morning and write to you. I try to find a new, creative way of asking, once again, for your help. Please go here, to give it, and please ask 10 other people to do the same: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mothers-who-make