The past 24 hours have been the most successful of this entire Kickstarter campaign so far, with more than $30,000 raised from 180+ backers — we'd love to keep up that pace during our entire last week!
We have six days to go — about about $72,000 left to raise. We can do this.
To celebrate, we just launched a brand new LIMITED $75 tier on Kickstarter — a partnership with Christine Liu of Two Photon Art, a brilliant artist who also just so happens to be a neuroscientist studying mushrooms!
Update: Just to correct Christine's work and this partnership — Christine doesn't study mushrooms, she studies the effects of psilocybin on the brain. These pins were designed originally to raise money for other causes — but Christine will be doing original work for us soon!
Everyone who pledges at $75 or higher will get one of these amazing enamel pins + a special surprise art from Christine delivered to your door in the new year.
Christine will also be able to produce some custom art just for Project Mushroom: "We can make this design in new color ways, including glow in the dark. I also just recently began a postdoc to study psilocybin, so I will definitely be creating more mushroom inspired art!"
We're hoping to use Christine's art across the site — more soon on her work + the work of other BIPOC artists we're collabing with!
These pins will go out to EVERYONE who has already pledged $75 or higher — as well as the first 100 people who pledge $75 or higher over the next 6 days.
Christine's shop is also doing a sale right now, if you'd like to support her directly!
P.S. I just want to address the tone of the note that we sent out yesterday, "This is truly an all-or-nothing moment."
In particular, I want to directly address this sentiment from Dekila, who posted in Project Mushroom:
The nature of convos here feel so unique and tender compared to anywhere else online. And, I wish the kickstarter emails were actively focusing on that - give if you can, give because you want to, give if you would like to nurture this lovely safe space and be part of the community.
I hear you, Dekila — I absolutely hate writing emails like that one. The deadline we have is real and valid, and the fear-based language that email used is extracting and unfair. I apologize for using it.
Our goal is to always put our community first, and my fear of not being able to do that is what drove that tone.
As an aside, here's what our Kickstarter fundraising is going to: https://newsletters.projectmushroom.xyz/real-talk-and-some-great-news/
The honest reality is that we've built up staffing, moderators, DEI consultants, and a justice-focused tech team to build something that needs to exist at this moment in history — and to pay people for their labor.
Project Mushroom is more than a curated Mastodon server, it's an ecosystem of creators and activists working to create systemic change. It's a life raft where folks can organize without fear of harassment.
There can be many funding models for Project Mushroom — but we chose to start with Kickstarter to build a base of supporters that we'd lean on until we can spend the 2-3 months of getting our other revenue sources set up (organizational sponsorships, grants, like-minded non-intrusive advertising).
I'm genuinely not sure of a way forward if the Kickstarter doesn't work out, but if the Kickstarter doesn't work out, that doesn't mean there's no way forward — if you get what I mean.
So the all-or-nothing framing isn't accurate.
If Project Mushroom needs to exist, we'll all work together to make sure there's a way for it to exist.
I have trust in our team and in this community to figure out how to do this the right way and continually learn from our mistakes.
Like I keep saying, we're doing this for each other. Thank you for everything so far.