May 30, 2013

The Spiritual Journey of Crowdfunding

Every day I wake up and count my blessings. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head, food in the fridge and most importantly, I am breathing. This month there was additional energy swirling around me and Go Inspire Go (GIG).

As many of you know, Go Inspire Go embarked on our 50/50 crowdfunding journey 36 days ago. We're on a quest to uncover 50 everyday heroes in 50 states. We are about 85% of the way to our $25,000 goal with just four days to go!

More than a year ago, my board members Marcia and Connie planted the seed about crowdfunding and waited for me to say "GO." We chose Indiegogo for our 50/50 campaign.

With more than 40 volunteers on this campaign, I confidently assumed, “we got this.” Connie, our campaign cheerleader, organized and managed us with spreadsheets galore.

Pre-planning meetings included generating buzz with social media, examining case studies, email outreach to schools, artists and nonprofit organizations, and creating design elements which included a handful of technical/design friends who helped with the title animation and logo for our video. And of course, many iterations of our campaign video. This took more than 100 hours to produce.



No one could have predicted what happened after we launched...

One of our volunteers' grandmother passed away. She rushed to Los Angeles to plan her funeral. Another volunteer spontaneously collapsed in the bathroom, slamming her face into a metal shelf as she became unconscious and another volunteer had two surgeries followed by her apartment flooding.

What was going on?!

You know that saying that things come in threes. Not true. I got a call from my cousin in Michigan, who told me her mom passed way from lung cancer. Coincidentally, I got another a call from a close childhood friend, who told me her mom (whom I consider family) was battling late stage lung cancer too.

Whaaat? I. Need. Time. To. Process...

I had a campaign to run, videos to shoot and blogs push out. Throw into the mix six classes to teach and grading.


You know the saying, “Challenges are here to teach you something"? Even though I always try to look for the silver lining, I've spent all month wondering what this was supposed to teach me. Just a glimmer, please?

Today, I got it.

For me, the GIG campaign goal was to raise awareness, consciousness and inspire action. It ended up being much more – this has been a spiritual journey. If you look at my gratitude journal, you'll see that a constant theme or mantra is "I feel supported."

This platform allowed my team and I to create and organize a movement and to encourage everyone I care for to use their power, in any way, to help make their community a better place. As long as I have the support of my team and viewers like you, I can continue supporting the community heroes we feature.

I've been working tirelessly with a team of 60-80 volunteers for the past four years on pieces of the puzzle: production of videos and blogs, design elements and searching for ways to make this a sustainable long lasting, impactful vessel that serves people like you.

During our GIG Social Media Photo Walk on May 19.

But this is why we do what we do:

People like Michael Fullam, a 50/50 donor who recently reached out to tell me that GIG has helped him feel hopeful in a time of hopelessness -- this on the heels of his mother's recent death.

People like Ron Holt, a GIG hero who is on a crusade to inspire equality around the world through his unique research about the biology of sexuality and his message of authenticity. People have reached out to Ron telling him that they're glad to have come across the video and hear his message because it saved their lives. Another viewer came out to Ron and for the first time came to terms and accepted their authentic self.

A viewer wrote to Ron:

"My name is (removed) I am a young gay male (17), I have not been at any of your conferences, but I did see your video on YouTube, and would like to personally thank you! I wish someone like you came and told me that being gay is OK a lot sooner then I found out. I told my mother I was gay at 15 and I have been living alone since then working full time all because I was gay. Something so small can really change the way people view you! So thank you very much for helping and educating other on this problem of gay hate. I really do appreciate it!"

And people like YOU, who email, comment and share our content.


This is just the tip of the impact we've created. I could have never imagined this when I started this little idea in 2009. Our videos and blogs show the world that YOU can make a difference both big and small. We just want you to GO … get inspired … and GO do it!

There's nothing more gratifying than being able to give someone the gift of awareness of their own power and ability to give back. Simply put JOY.

Every minute we have in the day is an opportunity for us to share our gift of joy.

It seemed that every time a barrier was presented to us, there was an invisible ladder, a rope, a helping hand. Just like miracles, we don't always see them, but I know we feel them -- if we are present (and focus on our breath).

Miracles during this 50/50 journey:

1. We are more than 85% toward our goal. We have four days left. Please donate and share like crazy!

2. More people have joined our campaign, we started with about 10 and now we have 40+ volunteers

3. Wize Commerce will donate $5,000 to our campaign and are developing a Corporate Challenge from local companies to donate and inspire volunteerism

4. Pollination Project will give our first hero featured a $1,000 seed grant

5. Jason Pate and his team at Tava Indian Kitchen are hosting our Go Inspire Go celebration (meet and greet) event on May 30 at 7:30 p.m. Sign up here!

6. Despite all that has happened to our team, we are still breathing

For those of you who have donated, reached out to your network to share our message and all the social media followers who have liked us, we wish there was a "LOVE" button for you all.

And to my amazing team -- THANK YOU for all the hard work and love -- and pushing me to be a better person and leader!

Take Action:
1. Please donate to our Indiegogo campaign - Only four days left to reach our goal. We are SO CLOSE! We need your help.

2. Sign up and share the GIG Event tonight!

3. Send us story ideas!

Onward!
Toan

P.S. Want to learn more about our journey leading up to this 50/50 campaign? Check out our special 50/50 blog posts!

Follow and like us on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. What a journey. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an amazing journey, and you made it. Congrats on meeting the goal!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe your post is really awesum and helpful
    i enjoyed Angelguard and also with spiritual development
    Thanks for the tips. spiritual journey

    ReplyDelete