Dear Blue Mind Tribe,
Two years ago I set out to try something new: crowd sourcing my income in order to work freely and creatively on ocean projects I know are important, collaborating with some of the most passionate and dedicated people around the world.
I called this yet-to-be-realized tribe of ocean lovers, recurring donors, and passionate supporters the "Blue Mind Tribe", set up www.BlueMindFund.org, and started to call, lunch, email, tweet and generally bug people about participating by making a recurring donation of any size.
A few people joined our tribe and a few magazines (Fast Company, Outside, our local paper and others) noticed what we were doing. I started teaching the model to other social entrepreneurs working across a wide range of fields, despite not yet reaching the initial goal.
This was definitely a somewhat unusual--and very personal--way to fundraise. And a very different, highly collaborative, way to work.
To say that this "little experiment" has put a strain on our family would be an understatement. Trusting our household's income, health insurance, our mortgage to an imaginary group of blue angels put a special kind of risky stress on my partner Dana, who hasn't wavered (much).
Then we had a few initial technical ups and downs that had to be worked out (thank you to the team at The Ocean Foundation for all their patience and support!).
But I believed in our mission and our novel approach--so did you--and our tribe started to grow, slowly but surely.
Twenty-five blue angels, then fourty-four. We hovered in the seventies for months.
Last week, after two years of effort, just before the end of 2012 we reached our initial goal of 100 Blue Mind Tribe members. Then we blue right past it!
We aren't stopping at 122 members. We've set our 2013 goal at two hundred (although some suggested 1,000 or 1,000,000).
That's what it's going to take to keep our campaign strong, to do what we need to do, and be where we need to be during the coming year.
Just as 2013 began, something else happened. The contract for the BLUEMIND book came in the mail from Little, Brown & Co., which I've singed and sent back.
Your support for this project is super critical, as we endeavor to bring our big, BLUEMIND ideas to the world. Much more on that to come!
I'm honored and proud to finally call you the Blue Mind Tribe (and be technically accurate ; ) and I look forward to all the good things we'll accomplish together this year.
Thank you very much for believing in and helping make one marine biologist's dreams come true. I'll continue to work very hard for you and for the ocean.