Got a dream but no cash? The Internet can help

Fri Sep 4, 2009 12:40pm EDT
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By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chris Waddell wants to climb Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair; George Del Barrio wants to make a film in Cambodia; Jeff Edwards wants to write a book about a science fiction writer: they want you to fund their dreams.

A website called is making it possible for people like this to raise sums ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars to fund anything that captures the imagination of Internet users with a little money to spare.

It worked for Emily Richmond, a 24-year-old living in Los Angeles who plans to sail solo around the world for two years.

She has raised $8,142 from 148 people who will receive rewards such as Polaroid photos from the trip, an origami sailboat or a telephone call when she crosses the equator.

Landon Ray, who runs a marketing software firm called, gave $500 after showing his 5-year-old daughter Richmond's video promising to keep donors updated by blog and send rewards such as a coconut mailed from a far-flung port.

"I thought this was a perfect learning experience for my daughter," Ray said, adding that he also dreamed of sailing the world himself, so it was partly about living vicariously.

Ray also plans to use his sponsorship as a marketing tool.

Many of the projects on the site are by filmmakers, musicians, artists and writers. Project creators set a time limit and a target. If they don't reach it, they get nothing.   Continued...

<p>Flamingoes fly in Amboseli National Park near Mount Kilimanjaro, with an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,340 ft), March 22, 2007. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti</p>