Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Grassroots Online Fundraising: the case of THE DELEGATES

We don't normally shill for filmmakers who are raising funds for their films (so please please don't ask us to). But we are very intrigued by the approach of some filmmaker colleagues who are trying to adopt Obama-style small-donor online fundraising techniques to their film (which appropriately enough will be filmed at the Democratic National Convention at the end of the month). Whether you choose to support their project or not, take a look at the e-mail they sent us today. They offer what could be a good model for other filmmakers who don't have the name recognition of Robert Greenwald, but are interested in a grassroots approach to fundraising.

We promise to report back once we hear more on how this approach works for them.

Here's their e-mail:

At the end of August, Lauren and I are flying to Denver to film the Democratic National Convention, an event that will surely be a significant moment in American history. We're going there to make a new documentary about the people chosen to represent the Democratic voters, THE DELEGATES.

Our film will accompany four delegates, with diverse hometowns, backgrounds, and interests, as they take part in the hype and hope of the Convention. Along the way, the delegates will illustrate the personal side of the democratic process, and share what it is like for ordinary Americans to take part in this extraordinary event. The film will follow the delegates from the moment they arrive at the airport, to the hectic scene on the convention floor, around Denver and finally to Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium.

We're working on this film with our friends from DoubleSpeak Media who took me to New Hampshire to cover the primary for The Huffington Post. Now, we're putting together a bigger team so that we can cover as much as we can at this historic event.

Most documentaries are kick-started with money collected through donations from family and friends. So far, we've never wanted to go that route. But our next film is about a subject that matters to all of you, and we need your help.

The Obama campaign has taken traditional fundraising strategies and turned them upside-down: building momentum by bringing their appeal directly to small donors. Following in those footsteps, we're asking for your contribution to help make THE DELEGATES a worthy document of a pivotal moment in American history.

Give as much or as little as you can--every little bit helps and will be appreciated. If you donate $25 or more, your name will appear in the credits. Donate $100 or more and you'll also receive an advance copy of THE DELEGATES on DVD.

To learn more about the film, visit our website at:

To donate right now, click here:

Thanks so much!


1 comment:

MTeplitsky said...

Hi Erica - I did the Obama thing (on a lot smaller scale of course!) to raise funds for my film Soy Andina, more than 150 individual donors, 3,000 mailing list, and online newsletters and blog drive it all. That's the way to go, for me....:)
Mitch Teplitsky