Camp NaNoWriMo: Fundraising 201

Updates for Under the Hood

  • Sitting at 9546 as of mid-morning June 7th (about 2k under goal)
  • Sponsors/Friends Mauled: 2
  • Friends’ Homes Destroyed: 1
  • Days of Doubling Down on Coffee: 2
  • Totem Named: Might name him for MC, or just call him Plot Monkey

Badges Earned

  • Creative Nonfiction – the whole premise of my pledge levels ensured this one.
  • Word Count Padding – I actually have to remind myself to use contractions once in a while.
  • Secret Noveling – I’ve written during lunch, and hid in a corner at our Italian Community Festival to get more words in.
  • Eureka Moment – Not sure I’ve met this one yet. I did take a sidekick (named for the son of a friend who pledged) and took him from being left behind, to getting mauled, to coming back at the end as an antihero. Could be, or may not be an “aha” moment.

If you are signed up for the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge, you’ve probably been through the Fundraising 101 section or email. Assuming you’re fundraising this time around. I’ve hit a few pitfalls and some new tricks to get more people involved in your story and pledging for it.

Tip #1

Talk about your story. Additionally, talk about some of the folks who’ve pledged to have something added to the story. For my part I posted to Twitter asking if it was okay to have an author kill a monster with a coffee mug. Specifically a custom, hand-fired one that said “Because I’m the Author, that’s why.” It gets people talking and gets them thinking. Plus, if you’re excited about the story it will show and be infectious. You are Patient Zero for your own story.

Tip #2

Take cash donations. My wife had a friend that doesn’t like using her credit cards online. As such, she took the money from her directly and is going to make the donation online to the pledge page herself. She did the same with a couple of her coworkers. Just today Patrick (the owner of the coffee shop I do my writing in) donated to the pledge page for using the store in a scene by handing me a check. It makes it easier for people you know locally to contribute without having to remember while they are in front of a computer.

As an aside to this, for accountability, I would post each donation separately and list who the donation is from in the comments. That way not only do you know, but the people who made the donation will see it as well. It also allows you to thank them on the pledge page in addition to in person when they hand you the money.

Tip #3

Consider “DVD Extras” for the story to go out to contributors. Or as things you’ll release if you hit certain levels. What I currently have in the works is an iTunes playlist for the main character. Sort of a “what’s in his iPod” sort of thing.

Pitfall #1

Consider limiting the sponsorship options. Like limit how many “maul a friend” or “name a character after you” donations you’ll take. I was really driven towards a zombie outbreak story based on the amount of people I had to maul. Naming all of them and calling attention to it in the story could come out a bit awkward, but this is for charity. I’m not trying to win any awards here.

Next time, I’ll probably set a limit. It could be a fluid list too. Sort of a “got another victim in need of a name, first person to…” situation.

Pitfall #2

When doing a “sponsor this story” fundraiser, it is a little tricky to “pants” it. An outline would help in setting up what things you can sponsor. Not that I am a full supporter of outlining as I have never stuck to any outline I set up. My characters always seem to deviate from the path.


Overall, I am really enjoying this. So much so that I’m considering doing another next year. In that instance I will likely outline it and will probably set it to be benefiting a local children’s charity in town. But that remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen how quickly I can figure out the formatting for self-publishing.

Busy first week of camp. How are y’all doing?

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