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Justin Colussy-Estes On Jim Woodring’s Fundraiser For Fran And Money-Raising Projects In General
posted April 11, 2012

Just a few random thoughts on someone who likes to think of himself as one of those comics-y folks with a giving heart: Yesterday, after reading your column, I went on over to the "kickstarter-ish" efforts of both Jim Woodring and Sparkplug books in the hopes of giving some dough. I have now donated to the Sparkplug effort, at one of the lower tiers of giving (the one that makes you eligible for all three of their publishing efforts for the year). Jim Woodring still sits in my bookmarks, as I hem and haw about giving. Maybe I'm just writing to justify my (lack of) action, but I thought my anecdotal experience worth sharing, so here's some observations/thoughts:

You were dead-on earlier this year when you (or maybe it was someone you linked to?) noted that one hallmark of success with these things is a wide range of giving tiers, including a bottom low enough to allow for maximum by in, interest-wise. There may be people who don't care about your project a whole lot, but they care $5 much. That wasn't my reason for not buying in yet on Woodring, though. I think for these things, especially when it comes to comics folks, when it's attached to a particular work-product, people are giving at a level where they've made an equation between something-like-a-donation and something-like-a-purchase. Let's face it, this is a bit of both. The act answers one of these questions: is this a person/cause I'm happy to give money to? Is this a person/cause I'm happy to give money to, especially if it means I get some cool stuff? Is this a thing I'm willing to buy for this much to ensure this good cause sees the light of day?

This last question is the lowest point of entry, and Woodring's whole page (from his tiers of giving down to the way he engages the making of Fran) seems to ignore it. That's not a reason not to give, but it's my way of puzzling through why so few people have given and why I'm hesitating before giving. I can afford to give a lower amount (and have done so with other projects). But I'm now finding myself asking "what is my real reason for giving to the causes I've chosen, as opposed to all the worthwhile causes out there. Additionally, what may or may not be holding me back from those projects I feel are truly worthy?"