Social Entrepreneurship Goes to the Movies

How One Group is Funding Blue Like Jazz

Donald Miller wrote a compelling book of essays, Blue Like Jazz, on his reflections on Christian spirituality which has sold more than a million copies.  The book was slated to become a movie, and then it wasn’t.

On September 16th, Miller posted a blog that despite a strong screenplay, a stellar cast, and rave reviews, Blue Like Jazz would be put on hold indefinitely – because there was insufficient funding. When the blog was noticed by two fans in Nashville, TN, Zach Prichard & Jonathan Frazier launched an appeal to all Blue Like Jazz fans everywhere to step up to the plate and raise at least $125,000 so the film could be made.

These enterprising young men worked with Kickstarter.com to launch a fundraising effort to make the movie a reality.  Thus was born “Save Blue Like Jazz”, and on October 25, I received a “last day” email saying that October 25 was the last day to contribute to the fund that (as of that date) had amassed 3656 backers and $280,715 in pledges.

The project has become the largest crowd-sourced project ever on Kickstarter.com, and the first film to be crowd-sourced in American history.

What is Kickstarter.com?

It’s the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world.  It allows folks like Zach Prichard and Jonathan Frazier to raise money for creative projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and more.

It’s an amazing example of what crowdsourcing really means and demonstrates the power of believers:   bringing passionate people together around projects that have significance in their lives.

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