The Story Collider needs your help! Up until now, our science storytelling organization has been funded by some startup donations, but they're running out. Now we're asking for your support -- through a monthly subscription program at Patreon -- to keep us going.
What is this?
There's this thing where people look at science and think, "That isn't for me, that's about those robotic people in white lab coats. That's all weird. That has nothing to do with my life." That's all wrong.* Science - along with technology, medicine, and engineering - is one of the most important and powerful influences in our lives. And it's becoming even more so. But many people still think of science as alien, and of scientists as different from normal humans.
The Story Collider is about breaking down those walls. It's about telling stories of the times science matters, when it's inspiring, or tragic, or hilarious. We host live events where people tell true, personal stories about science in their lives. Those are recorded and put on our podcast. There are stories from scientists, showing the human side of research, and non-scientists on when science is unavoidable, or when they seek it out.
We think understanding science is vital and people should embrace it. We think stories about our lives are important and people shouldn't be afraid to tell them because they aren't experts. And, most importantly, because telling those stories is fun.
*OK, a lot of science is weird.
Keeping it going
We've been very lucky to be able to do that for 3+ years, but to keep doing it we need your support. Producing these stories takes time, effort and money. We make some money from ticket sales, but not close to enough to cover everything. (And we like to keep our shows affordable.)
We've been very lucky to have outside support for our first couple of years. In that time we've had over 300 different people tell their stories on our stage, published over 150 on the podcast, and produced shows in six different cities and two countries. The podcast has over 10,000 subscribers and has been downloaded over a million times. We're proud of that, and incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed - the storytellers, the tech and venue staff, and everyone who's listened and told people about the show. We hope we can keep it going with your support!
Here's where we spend money and time:
Working on the story drafts
Recording the audio
Editing for the podcast
Website design, maintenance, and hosting
Media storage & backups
*This is two things: bringing storytellers in, and bringing us out. This is something we'd like to do a lot more -- finding a wide ranges of voices is part of our mission. There are great stories in New York, Boston, and London, but there's a whole lot more elsewhere.
How it works
The great thing about Patreon is that you get to set the amount. Whatever you think the stories are worth to you and you can afford, that's the right amount. It works a bit like Kickstarter -- you sign up to be a patron and there are special thank-you rewards at different levels. Unlike Kickstarter, it's a monthly donation rather than a one-time deal.
Every month the system sends you a summary of what you're supporting and you have a few days to change your donation or opt out if you like. You can set the amount to whatever you're comfortable with, and you can cancel at any time with a click. We're hoping that a lot of you think it's worth about $5/month, or $1 per podcast. Donations are tax-deductible (aside from the market value of any rewards you set). We'll send you a summary at the end of the year for documentation.
As thanks, we've got some cool rewards set up! Donate at any level and you'll get updates from us, including announcements of tickets going on sale a few days before everyone else.
The one we're most excited about: Donate $5/month or more and you'll get access to a special podcast of the bits you don't hear on the podcast. At every show the hosts (Ben & Erin in NYC, Brian in London, and Ari in Boston) tell little mini stories to get the evening going, and other storylets in between the main stories. They're funny, weird, and have never been on the podcast. Now we'll be releasing a special extra podcast monthly with some of those outtakes -- it's just like being at the show! Here's a couple examples from our recent shows:
At higher levels we have some really cool stuff, from getting your name in the credits to being thanked in an actual scientific paper by Story Collider co-founder Brian Wecht! See below for details.
GoalsWe have some great ideas for new projects, from touring the country (and beyond!) to Web-based storytelling projects and more.
Ben, Erin, Brian, Rose, and Ari
Will the podcast still be free?
Yes! The podcast will always be free, and the entire archive will be free to listen to on our site.
Do you have physical things like t-shirts or mugs or posters?
Yes! You can buy those here, and we'd love it if you do. We just released a special poster commemorating our first 3 years and 300 stories.
What if I want to change or cancel my donation?
No problem. Just go into your account, find our logo and click on "Edit pledge." Every month you'll get an email reminding you what your pledge was, and will have the option to change it before you're charged. (That kind of ease and flexibility is why we love Patreon, btw.)I'd rather make a one-time donation, can I do that?
Yes. We'd rather you make a monthly contribution, because having a stable income stream helps us plan better. But if it works better for you to do a one-time donation, you can use the button below: