Back in mid December I announced that I am doing everything in my power to conduct my Master’s research in Guyana this coming summer and fall. In that post, I wrote that I would be studying people’s beliefs about jaguars in the Rupununi region of Guyana. I also said that I was planning to adopt a slightly unusual strategy to finance my field work: GoFundMe. I have now decided on a date to launch my campaign – Monday, January 9, 2017.
There are several reasons why I am attempting to fund my research through GoFundMe. One is practical. When I started my graduate program at Humboldt State University, I was under the impression that I would be conducting the field work for my Master’s thesis/project late next year. But now it appears that I will be starting it this summer. This means that I have limited time to apply for grants, which makes crowdfunding an attractive option. But this is not my only motivation for creating a GoFundMe campaign.
In addition to practicality, I would like to explore lesser-used avenues for financing conservation research. I am not the first person to use crowdfunding to pay for their field work, but it is still an underutilized strategy. Conservationist and fellow blogger Jonaton Borling recently funded his work in Brazil using Indiegogo, so I know it can work. Therefore I would like to try my hand at crowdfunding my Master’s thesis/project, in order to test this relatively new financing opportunity.
So unless something dramatic happens before then, I will be launching my GoFundMe campaign on Monday, January 9. I still do not have a perfect idea of how much money I will need, but time is of the essence. As such, I am going to set my goal at $10,000: higher than what I will likely need. This will allow me to be sure that I have all of the funds I require. But do not worry, I will donate every penny I do not use to NGOs who are dedicated to conservation and/or livelihood assistance in Guyana. I will upload proof of these donations here and on my GoFundMe page, so that you can be sure of my honesty.
Please help me to make this campaign a success. I have never attempted to raise so much money for myself before, so I am quite nervous. As such, I would greatly appreciate any support you could offer: whether it comes in the form of a donation or of helping to spread the word. This is going to be a challenge, but with your help I know it can work.
Please check back on Monday!