Here’s a question I never thought I’d be asking… Is crowdfunding solely about raising the funds to meet the target? Or is it about somehow achieving that goal via lots and lots and lots and LOTS of little donations and gestures of support? I’ve seen other appeals too admit that they could not have achieved their goal without one or two major benefactors who have stepped in to cover the shortfall… Is that true of all appeals, I wonder? And is that the aim or the spirit of crowdfunding?
My maximum gratitude level was set at just under a tenth of what I’m trying to raise, and while of course I’d *hoped* that there would be three people (I’ve only made 3 such “perks” available at that maximum level) who would feel sufficiently inspired to donate £350, I never really dared actually *hope* that there would be, if that makes sense? Then the first person selected it and… simply… *wow*…
But that somehow was still within the “terms” of the appeal, if that makes sense? I mean, I hadn’t really dared believe that someone would step forward with that much to help propel a book – MY book, my FICTION book – to greater exposure: but it was an option, inbuilt into the appeal.
And now someone has donated… £500.
And I’m reeling and picking my jaw up off the floor, and stuttering “but… but.. but…”
Because £500 isn’t “within” those terms, is it? There’s no gratitude level built into the appeal to cope with that, no considered and appropriate token of thanks been prepared to cope with such an eventuality. I feel overwhelmed. In shock. Ecstatic. But… guilty.
Yes, guilty, because such a possibility hadn’t actually entered my mind, that someone out there would either believe in the book so much, or believe in me so much, that they would dig into their pockets and say “here, this is for you.” I find myself reeling, checking over my shoulder in case it was actually meant for someone else – you know, like those occasions when you wave back at someone with a glow of delight and then realise that the person they were greeting is standing just behind you…? I find myself wondering whether I’ve somehow, well, cheated, by receiving such a jaw-droppingly generous sum, whether I’m *supposed* to only reach my goal in increments of £10, £20, £50 heart-gifts, instead of leapfrogging them all with a single wow…? And maybe there’s also a pinch of fear there too – fear of myself, fear that I might ever take it and them for granted, fear that I might ever lose the joy of gratitude I feel when I open up an email or an indiegogo alert letting me know that someone else has put in a heart-gift of £5 or £10 or £20 or £50.
Because I don’t want to lose that joy and that gratitude, ever.
When I was working out in my mind where to set my gratitude levels, a friend asked me: “Surely your undying gratitude should be reserved just for the maximum levels?” And I answered no: because ANY gift is awesome, and it’s not just about the amount of money, but because of the FACT of that support. It’s the encouragement, it’s the PMs of support, the comments, the shares (and the shares and the shares!!!!) of posts and enthusiasms, the spreading of that excitement by people who’ve read the book and by those who haven’t yet. It’s my undying gratitude for every donation, realising that like the proverbial widow’s mite, £10 might be truly all they can afford, and being as overwhelmed by that as by a larger amount from someone for whom that sum might only be a tiny drop in their ocean of wealth.
And so perhaps that feeling of shell-shock is also due to that fear, of losing such gratitude and recalibrating my sights only to £$£$ signs…
Please nudge me if that happens.
It may be that the strength of my reactions means I’m safe for now 🙂
So now just tell me: if “The Great Dance” was my maximum gratitude level… how can I even begin to thank someone who just donated £500?
And you – you know who you are – whose gift has just left me reeling… I have no words. The length of this post is just to cover up the fact that for the words that matter – those two tiny words – that tiny “thank you” – my words are insufficient.
And to those others of you who may be reading this… please, come along and join the journey at http://igg.me/at/Eden-Undone [icon icon=icon-heart size=18px color=#FF0000 ] <3 We’re 43% of the way there now. Help me get the rest of the way there. Together we can do it. Thank you.