The Spiritual Aspects of Crowdfunding
For the last few weeks, a friend of mine, Mark Staufer, has been crowdfunding his transmedia project, The Numinous Place, on Kickstarter. I’ve offered support along the journey and watched how he has so beautifully navigated the process. I’ve also become aware that there’s a ton of info out there about “how to crowdfund” – but far less about the spiritual aspects of crowdfunding.
What’s really going on when we present a project to the world, and ask family, friends and strangers to invest money in our work? It goes beyond asking, receiving and getting a project funded. There are deeper aspects at play and if you’re not aware of them, they can catch you off guard.
What is crowdfunding? It’s the process of acquiring financial investors in a project through donations in exchange for some type of reward or involvement in the project. It’s a popular way to fund indie projects, because it bypasses the need to apply for loans or secure traditional funding through studios, publishers or corporate buyers. That’s not to say that a crowdfunded project won’t have traditional investors as well, it may. But crowdfunding is a unique process. Instead of having one or two major sources of financial energy, it has multiple, varied sources. And these sources are sources of energy.
Money is Energy
Money has different meanings and inspires different reactions in each of us, but no matter what meaning you assign to it, money is energy. An agreed-upon physical expression of energy we use to value time, our effort, and the value of things we create and desire.
When someone backs a project, they are expressing their support with their financial energy. It is not one-sided, it is an exchange of energy. Their financial energy provides energy for the various stages of production or emergence of a project into physical reality. In turn, the project shares energy with its investors, readers, viewers or consumers. And the energy sharing continues as it converts form.
When we are crowdfunding, we are asking people to share a form of their energetic power – in the form of money. And to share energy, we have to connect.
Crowdfunding is About Connecting
It’s a humbling and daunting task to ask people to share their money with you. It means we have to be willing to receive energy from others – and that’s not always easy to do because it can leave us feeling a bit vulnerable as the power shifts from creator to receiver in a project. You have to be willing to humbly and gratefully receive others’ energy – and to do that, you have to have faith in your project’s worth and value and in your worth and value.
An exchange of energy is always about connecting, but in crowdfunding it takes it to a deeper level. Sure, complete strangers often back projects. But what you are really after are those people who truly connect to you and to the project because these are the people who will become your project’s creative family. They have the spiritual energy you want involved in your project.
Connecting mean communicating. Sharing yourself and your project with people so that they have the opportunity to hear you and determine if you or the project resonates with them. Part of a successful crowdfunding campaign is spreading the word about your project so that its energy can resonate with people.
Recognize too, as my friend Mark so graciously has throughout his campaign, that support does not just mean money. Any exchange of energy toward the manifestation of your goal is support and, needed. Money is only one form of energy required to achieve your goal.
Can you ask for money without connecting? People do. And some generous people respond simply because of the person who is asking – be that you or someone else who has shared your campaign with them. But the real value in crowdfunding is in the connection. You are asking people to become part of your project’s energetic DNA – these people will forever be part of your project’s history. You want to connect with them personally and professionally, but most importantly, spiritually.
Everything is energy. We are spiritual beings of energy expressed in human form. Creative projects come from a spiritual realm and are expressed through us in a form that relates to the human spirit. So your project existed in spirit before it came to you and it has its own sense of energy. (If you are a writer or actor, you’ve experienced this in relating to characters in a script or story.) There’s more going on than meets the eye.
Your project has its own energetic force. And that force is spiritual in nature (not to be confused with religious). Which means, before you even begin to crowdfund, you start to attract your project’s creative family by focusing spiritual energy. You put spiritual energy into your project and expect to be led, guided and supported as you navigate the project’s journey.
The people who respond to your project are the ones destined to respond to it. You’ve sent out an energetic vibration and they’ve responded to it because it matched something in their energy field (i.e., connected!).
Our thoughts create our experiences, remember? Our thoughts are how we create our projects and they are also how we connect to those who will become our project’s energetic backers.
If this sounds strange to you, think about those times when you’ve met someone and it seemed as if you’d known them forever – or you were in a situation and the exact person you needed came along. There was a spiritual connection made at some point in time – either when you were both in the spirit realm, or you sent out a vibration now and they responded to it.
Crowdfunding happens because of the energetic vibrations that we send and receive. Which means, it also takes a significant amount of focused spiritual energy to run a crowdfunding campaign.
Self-Care for the Crowdfunder
We’ve already mentioned that crowdfunding takes a willingness to receive, humility and belief in yourself and project. But because it is a focused and usually time-limited exchange of energy, it can be exhausting. Crowdfunders need to be mindful of their own energy during the campaign and take steps to rest, relax and nourish their spirit.
One of the best things you can do is remember to keep a bigger, wider, broader vision while focused on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. The pressure from having a limited time to raise a certain amount of money – and often a big stretch in the mind of the crowdfunder, can give you tunnel vision when it comes to how your project is going to be birthed.
Relax. Let go. Trust the Universe a little bit more. And realize that your crowdfunding campaign is not the be all, do all or end all of your project. It is one method for connecting with the financial energy members of your project’s family. It’s not the only way. The time limit on a campaign can give you a false sense of urgency. It sets up a win or fail, green or red light attitude – and that is absolutely not true. You are not limited to the timeframe of a campaign to raise funds. Your project and you are bigger than that. There is more involved than meets the eye, remember?
Grow with Your Crowdfunding Project
One of the biggest rewards in crowdfunding comes from how you grow in the process. It makes you step up and put your project, vision and creativity on the line. It makes you expand your perspective on your project and it invites other people to become part of your project, sharing your vision for what is possible. But it also reminds you that it’s not all up to you.
And if your campaign doesn’t meet its goals, it doesn’t mean your project failed or you are doomed. It simply means you have more connecting to do, that there are other people destined to respond to your project. That your project is bigger, broader, wider than the time limit put on your campaign.
Have patience. Keep the faith. Be flexibly persistent. Trust in the process. Trust in your project. Trust yourself.
Before You Start Crowdfunding
Before you choose crowdfunding, take time to get quiet, block out all the noise of what it will mean to have your project funded and listen to the soul of your project. Is crowdfunding the right avenue for your project? Are you choosing crowdfunding because it is truly the best way to connect your project to financial energy or are you afraid to go for the “big guys” in your field? Do not crowdfund out of a place of fear, insecurity or shrinking.
The energy required in crowdfunding must be positive, optimistic, bold, confident and self-assured. You need to understand the energy and spiritual aspects of crowdfunding and make sure that they align with who you are and your project’s purpose. Make mindful decisions about how your project will best be served by the potential sources of financial energy. Do not choose crowdfunding as a way to avoid taking a bigger risk and being bolder. Indie projects are independent because they embody a sense of empowerment and self-determination by the individual creator. That’s the energy you want to embody if you are going to crowdfund.
Your project is counting on you to understand the guidance you are given, to move out-of-the-way of its path and allow it to make its way in the world.
Keeping the spiritual aspects of crowdfunding in mind is part of the process.