Kickstarter fully funded! Announcing new stretch goals to expand the investigation…

by Will Potter on June 17, 2014

in News

mishka-henner-feedletMy Kickstarter to use drones to investigate factory farms was fully funded in just 5 days! Thank you for making this happen!

When I created this project, I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I was inspired by satellite photos, like this one from photographer Mishka Henner, and wondered what a drone could document. I set the funding goals at the bare minimum to cover costs, and crossed my fingers that I could even meet that goal.

But the response to this project has been overwhelming. In addition to being a top journalism project being featured by Kickstarter, and top pick of The Guardian newspaper, it’s also receiving incredible attention from Civil Eats, Ecorazzi, and more. (And Kickstarter’s CEO Yancy Strickler even chipped in!)

It’s also getting the attention of the agriculture industry, and some are already threatening to shoot down the cameras.

It’s clear that this investigation has resonated with a wide-ranging audience. And so as soon as it became clear that the project would be fully funded in just a few days, I began working with photographers and journalists to map out how it could be expanded.

Today, I’m excited to announce a plan to expand the project, and a new fundraising goal of $95,000.

With that new goal I will:

* Expand the photography tools used to include thermal/night vision lenses

* Upgrade the drone to a model that can handle a heavier payload (which means I can upgrade the camera to a HD SLR)

* Expand the number of states and farms investigated

* Purchase an additional drone through Fotokite, a project of a TED Fellow colleague that I’m sure you will agree offers some creative, unique opportunities in the investigation. See it in action here. It will also be good to have an additional drone in case mine is shot down.

* Offer new rewards (they’ll be posted on the page shortly)

Please know that I do not take expansion of this project lightly. The new financial goal is to expand the scope and quality of the investigation. It will be an enormous undertaking, but through Kickstarter I have already met other journalists, academics, activists, and lawyers who are eager to participate. With your help, this can be even more successful.

I hope you’ll consider inviting your friends to contribute to this project, or increasing your own donation. Let’s do this.


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