Donors to Planet Money’s crowdfunded project to report out the life of a T-shirt have contributed more than five times the amount of cash the program hoped to raise in a Kickstarter campaign. In its pledge, the program says it will:
…Meet the people who grow the cotton, spin the yarn, and cut and sew the fabric. We’ll ride on the cargo ships that bring our t-shirt from factories in Bangladesh and Colombia to ports in the US. And we’ll examine the crazy tangle of international regulations which govern the t-shirt trade the whole way.
With eight days to go, the NPR show’s campaign has raised more than a quarter-million dollars, far beyond the $50,000 goal it set at the project’s outset. Donors who pledge $25 will receive a T-shirt, which features a squirrel holding a cocktail.
Planet Money contributing editor Alex Blumberg told Current.org’s Andrew Lapin that any money raised in excess of the original goal would go “toward a ‘news reporting boot camp’ to bring station reporters to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they will learn tricks of economics reporting from the Planet Money team.”
Quite a few journalistic endeavors have had success with crowdfunding:
- De Correspondent, a planned Dutch news site, raised more than a million Euros this spring.
- The Big Roundtable, a planned longform journalism project, raised almost four times its original goal.
- Homicide Watch raised enough money last fall to keep going for another year.
- Former GOOD magazine staffers raised three times the money they needed to fund the one-off magazine Tomorrow.
- The science site Matter launched last fall after a successful crowdfunding campaign. It was recently acquired by another site, Medium.
Baratunde Thurston is making an online series about crowdfunding. Here’s Funded’s “sizzle reel”: