WHAT’S YOUR CALLING?
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Executive Produced by Danny Alpert | Managed by Erin Williams
What’s Your Calling? What is this project about?
What’s Your Calling? (WYC) is an award-winning multimedia initiative that pushes the notion of "calling" to explore all of the stuff that makes us human: our values, our passions, our doubts and hopes. Through a growing number of stories exploring what both religious and secular people are passionate about doing with their lives – and why – WYC has become a wellspring of information, dialogue and inspiration on what it means to lead an engaged life.
With 100+ videos and blogs profiling people from diverse backgrounds, WYC is a website (whatsyourcalling.org) that attracts thousands of visitors each month, a Twitter feed (@whatsURcalling) with 700+ followers, and a Facebook page (facebook.com/whatsyourcalling) with 2,200+ fans from around the world.
WYC grew out of The Calling, Kindling Group's documentary miniseries that aired nationally on PBS’s Independent Lens over two nights in December 2010. The film follows young Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim Americans as they prepare for religious leadership. It is a nuanced, deeply personal portrayal of how faith is lived in the shifting realities of modern American culture.
Previous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Lilly Endowment enabled WYC to develop into a strong presence online and in the world, one that went beyond its beginnings as a project to complement The Calling to a life of its own, engaging secular and religious folks in discussions about meaning, purpose, balance, sacrifice, beauty, endurance, and more.
On our website, we’ve profiled professional snowboarders, jazz musicians, tug boat captains, academics, improvisers, Muay Thai fighters, religious leaders, social workers, poets, environmental activists, toy inventors, and on and on – asking everyone what they’ve been called to do with their lives and how they hope to change the world.
Why are we doing this?
Over the past year, our grant funding has been winding down, and now we’ve reached the point where we’ll have to close up shop if we don’t raise more money, and that’s the very opposite of what we want to do!
We love this project. We believe it’s necessary, deeply relevant, and broadly accessible. When people have thanked us for hosting this conversation time and time again, we’ve taken it to heart. So, instead of closing up shop, we want to grow this conversation exponentially.
And that’s why we’re launching this Indiegogo campaign: we genuinely need your support in sustaining and growing this conversation.
SO. What exactly do we want to accomplish?
We want to continue growing our conversation by producing more videos for our website and continuing to host engaging dialogues on Facebook and Twitter.
We ALSO want to give YOU the opportunity to create more content and engage your friends, families, and communities in discussions around purpose and passion.
How will we do this?
If we meet our fundraising goal, we want to do two things:
We want to create “DIY WYC” platform and resources, in which, through an online video tutorial, you will learn how to host your own WYC interview and film your own WYC video with someone in your community. We’d also like to provide a video platform for uploading the videos you produce, so that the broader community can give you feedback and be inspired by you and the stories in your community.
In this same vein, we want to host a blog contest, similar to the blog tour we previously hosted, where we ask you to write about your calling, and the best entries go up on our website.
We want to maximize your voice. We’ve built the base and have lots of inspiration living online. Now we want to set our fabulous community free to create similar content and to showcase your stories and life experiences on our site and elsewhere.
We want to create a “WYC for Youth” (WYCY) curriculum. Our plan is for WYCY to include a teacher's guide of lesson plans, screenings, and activities that prompt youth to explore their callings and connections to the world around them; a blueprint for students to create videos, including tutorials; a youth section on WYC's website, where students can watch relevant WYC video profiles, share their own projects with the WYC community, and converse with peers; and a password-protected educator and facilitator section for downloading educational resources and communicating about best practices and classroom experiences.
Indiegogo allows us to share our project far and wide and to seek the support of an awesome online community of old hats and new fans alike! We believe in the power of Indiegogo to bring projects to life, because we’re able to present you with our story and show you how we want to celebrate your stories in our ongoing conversation. We are on the road to keeping WYC alive and kicking – and not only that. We’re going to help WYC to grow and become more interactive and resource rich than ever.
But we need your support to get there. So, here we are! We believe that people can be mobilized to cause change when they are moved by something, and we believe our project will move you.
Every donation matters! A single dollar could mean the difference between continuing WYC and closing up shop. With your help we can continue in 2012 and 2013!
How does this Indiegogo business work?
1) We have set a goal of $15,000 and we have given ourselves a deadline of 30 days.
2) Our goal can only be reached through support from people like yourself. So please give!
3) We welcome all donations. You’ll be helping sustain and grow WYC, and you’ll also receive a token of our genuine appreciation.
4) You can deduct your donation to WYC on your taxes!
If we raise our goal, we get to keep what we raised, except Indiegogo gets 4% and credit card processing gets 3%. However, if we don’t meet our goal, we still get to keep what we raised, but Indiegogo gets 9%, and credit card processing gets 3%. That’s 5% more, which is tremendously important for us to beat.
And the funds go to….
Sustaining, growing, and managing What’s Your Calling!
- Social Media Administration: We’ll continue to bring you stories, quotes, short movies, pictures, news clips, questions, and prompts to get you thinking about the notion of calling.
- Website Management: We’ll do everything that’s necessary to maintain a website, including posting News, replying to your inquiries, and joining the conversation.
- Video Production and Distribution: We’ll bring you more fantastic videos profiling people from all around the country – and hopefully the world! – pursuing all sorts of life passions.
- DIY WYC Resource and Video Platform Development and Management: We’ll create a way for you to create your own WYC videos and share them with our community!
- WYC Blog Content Development and Management: We’ll give you a chance to write the story of your own calling – and, if you write something really awesome, the opportunity to post your blog on our website.
- WYC for Youth (WYCY) Development, Distribution, and Management: We’ll create an important curriculum about pursuing life’s passions and our connectedness to one another for young people on the verge of stepping into adulthood.
What are these tokens of appreciation that you mentioned?
You can find a list of “Thank You” gifts on the right side of this screen. Tell your friends and have them tell 10 more people!
Can I pass these gifts on to someone else?
Absolutely! We have to contact you after our Indiegogo end date and we would be happy to send the gifts to your friends and family.
Can I note this donation on my taxes?
Yes! What’s Your Calling is a project of The Kindling Group, a Chicago based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions made to What’s Your Calling will be payable to The Kindling Group and are tax deductible minus the value of any goods or services received, as permitted by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level.
What if I decide to give more later on?
If you’re interested, please feel welcome to do this! You can adjust your gift at any point before our Indiegogo closing date! BUT, every contribution is processed individually. If you’d like to increase your donation and change to a new gift level, contact us directly to ensure you receive due credit in relation to your gift.
Well… what happens if you don’t meet your goal?
If we don’t meet our goal, it’s likely that WYC will have to close up shop, taking down the website because of hosting costs, discontinuing the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and releasing our fearless Engagement Manager of her duties.
Can you exceed your goal? And what happens if you exceed it?
To the first question, yes, we can exceed our goal, and this is the best-case scenario for Indiegogo. We can receive donations right up until the last second of the goal date. To answer the second question, if we exceed my goal, we will get the opportunity to create even more videos for you to enjoy, make even more resources in order for you to create your own WYC videos, devise even more awesome prizes for the person who wins our WYC blog contest, and be even more inventive in the development of our youth curriculum!
When would I receive my tokens of appreciation?
You will receive our tokens of appreciation as soon as we can possibly package and send them out. For some gifts there may be a wait, as they need to be edited or printed. We will be in touch via email and you will be notified about your fabulous tokens as they become available.
What if my company matches donations? Can you receive the matching funds?
Let’s talk! We would like to receive as many matching gifts as possible and this may require The Kindling Group getting in touch with your company. Please email us if this is the case!
Okay, I want to email you. How can you be reached?
The best way to contact us is through The Kindling Group. You can reach our fearless Engagement Manager, Erin, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading, donating, and being awesome!
Team on This Campaign: