It wasn't long ago, that aspiring adventurers would shimmy up to the Royal Geographical Society, with polite invitations, noble yet firm handshakes, and an air of sophistication, to charm the powers at be for possible funding and support for their proposed wanderings. Devoid of Powerpoint presentations, I imagine Shackleton during that heroic age of antarctic exploration, standing on a small stage at a Society function, fumbling with large dusty globes, charred maps and stories of a theoretical point on the earths surface he planned to reach - Pitching a journey from England across the oceans and ice pack, in order to trek to a point on earths surface, where the imaginary lines of coordinate parallels all converge into one: The south pole.
Today it's a little different. For those that have watched my journey since this blog began in 2006, you may have remembered that I had a Paypal donate button (controversial for some, apparently!). I had asked people who enjoyed my writing, videos, and photos, to make a contribution to keep me going. I figured it was like a voluntary donation for reading a free book... Some months ago, I pulled all the data down from Paypal, and put it in a spreadsheet. I was surprised to see that over my sailing and blogging heyday, I had raised close to $10,000. It only ever trickled in; a few dollars here and there (with a few notable exceptions), but it really added up, and my trip probably wouldn't have happened without it.
Some may or may not know, that I also work with Roz Savage on her website - Through my company, we sponsor Roz by building, hosting & maintaining the current incarnation of her web presence, which is her primary medium for getting her environmental message out, and maintaining contact with the outside world while she rows across oceans.
With all this in mind, we recently we launched an early release web application to assist in adventure fundraising, coming up with the idea over a few drinks at a dim bar in Melbourne, when Roz flew through en route to Perth and explained her by-the-mile dilemma. The current implementation was rapidly deployed to fit with Roz's departure schedule some weeks ago - The project is called Nomaddica, and is currently still in private testing, but with any luck we will add features and make it public in the not too distant future. You will see Roz has been using this app to raise funds by the mile for the last several weeks, and has been quite successful... If you're interested in learning more in the future, sign up by clicking the 'get invite' link located on Roz's project page - Perhaps while you're there, consider supporting her efforts! You could also contact me personally if you had a specific and upcoming project in mind where Nomaddica might be useful.
And so on the topic of fundraising... My friends Ben & Teresa from the US East coast are raising funds to go on an epic sailing voyage in search of an iceberg, and to make a documentary on sailing, simplicity, adventure and the environment. They're using Kickstarter to raise awareness for their project, and in just 13 days the campaign ends - So if you love sailing, want to see more documentaries from grassroots sailors and documentary film makers... Then pretend you're at the Royal Geographical Society, sipping cognac and watching adventurers pitch their ideas at the monthly dinner banquet... And watch their pitch video: