Back in fall of 2008, Lawrence musician Sam Billen decided he wanted to make a Christmas album and hand out 1,000 copies to loved ones and strangers.
It’d be even better, Billen thought, if his friends, family and fans could share in the goodwill project. So he made phone calls, sent emails, set up a Facebook group and asked people at work and church if they would give him $5 or more to make his project happen. In exchange, he told them, you get a copy of the CD and the knowledge you helped make it.
Back then — remember, this was late 2008 — the economy was just over a cliff, facing a long drop and ugly crash. But that didn’t stop about 250 of Billen’s friends from donating a collective $1,250, fully funding his Christmas album before it was even made.
That kind of grassroots, give-what-you-can fundraising campaign is becoming more common. It’s becoming easier to do, too, thanks to websites such as Kickstarter, founded in 2009, and IndieGoGo, launched in 2008. The separately operated sites help musicians, filmmakers, artists and other creative types publicize and solicit donations for projects.
Read the complete story at kcstar.com