Activity 4: Faithify and Other Crowdfunding
Activity time: 25 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Computer with Internet access, digital projector, and screen or a large monitor
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Explore the Faithify website. Look at the materials under the “About Faithify” tab as well as some of the projects. Bookmark two or three different projects that you think will interest participants. Queue the introductory video.
- Write on newsprint and post the stated purpose of Faithify or project the webpage with purposes:
- Inspire a culture of innovation that extends the reach of UU values
- Lower the walls between existing congregations
- Ignite ministries in new venues, formats, and communities
- Bridge geographic and generational borders using 21st century technologies
- Help passionate individuals invest directly in ministries that excite them
- Help ministry innovators reach a passionate public
We envision a people with renewed faith and a Unitarian Universalism that is more connected, relevant, and vibrant.
Description of Activity
Explain the phenomenon of crowdfunding. You might say:
Crowdfunding is the process by which large, often widely dispersed communities can quickly come together to contribute resources to projects. Widespread Internet access and a growing array of websites brokering project-donor relationships have made this approach possible and increasingly successful and popular.
Ask if participants are familiar with crowd-sourced projects or would like to share a personal experience. Then, show the group the Faithify website and play the introductory video. Show the projects you have bookmarked and tell participants that there is a wealth of information on the Faithify website to peruse at their leisure.
Call attention to the purposes of Faithify, posting them on newsprint or projecting them. Invite comments and observations, asking:
How do these stated purposes align with Unitarian Universalist values? Which of your personal core financial values are reflected in this economic model?
Lead a discussion, using these questions:
- What surprises, delights, or intrigues you about Faithify?
- How does it create relationships between funders and project owners?
- What is the importance of telling a compelling story in a model such as this one? How can learning to tell compelling stories empower those who post projects?
- How does it solve problems? Where might it create new problems or inequities?
- How can crowdfunding for specific projects through a site such as Faithify work alongside, rather than compete with, more traditional sources of financial sustenance for communities, such as regular operating budget donations for service institutions and Unitarian Universalist congregations?
- Where could Faithify put you in relationship with new groups in support of the mission of your faith community?
You may wish to use the final question as a bridge to the Faith in Action Activity for this workshop.