Welcome to our next method profile on Seed&Park! Our previous entry focused on using Modern Replicate Technique in social enterprise. In operating any venture, everything flows from your approach, and identifying a proper method helps you effectively fulfill your team’s initiative.
Together, we’ll be profiling interesting social enterprises to discuss an anchor method in their strive for social good. The term “anchor method” is to express the intentional and grounded nature of the approaches propelling a social enterprise forward.
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise initiative improvements.
In today’s post, we’ll look into the all-inclusive media space Seed&Spark leveraging Pedometer Approach. This initiative pushes diverse exposure in the field of media, particularly filmmaking.
Knowing the Company: Seed&Spark
Seed&Spark is a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers with the mission to promote diverse narratives. The initiative feels everyone should be able to see themselves represented on the screen in some way. Empowering filmmakers from various backgrounds allow Seed&Spark to cover a wide set of narratives. Backgrounds vary not only in ethnicity but also other factors involved with the ways we identify ourselves. Crowdfunding is the initial method Seed&Spark used to support filmmakers.
CEO Emily Best became inspired to support diverse films through crowdfunding after her own experience with securing film project funds. She worked with an all-female squad as a film producer for the project “Like the Water” back in 2011. Closing in on the final 60 days before shooting starts, the project still needed $20,000 to finish financing the production. As a solution, the team built a simple website that listed specific items they would like funding towards, along with a PayPal to accept donations. This idea came from looking at the functionality of the wedding registry model. Building off an existing model turned out to be a tremendous boost. During the month, the project “raised $23,000 in cash – and more than $200,000 in loans and gifts of locations, goods and services.”
Seed&Spark continues to support filmmakers in a similar manner by allowing cash donations or loans (ex. equipment, locations, and other items on a wish list). Opening a supportive space to numerous filmmakers and projects gives the world a deeper lesson in empathy. In their text about Seed&Spark, they mention the following: “Stories create shared realities.”
Seed&Spark also offers an Inclusive Workplace Program. Participants start with a “tailored” three-month module that adds to the program by using movies from the Seed&Spark media collection to “unpack the effects of structural racism on the workplace.” There is also a year-long program. The initiative described the program purpose in the following text:
“We employ the most compelling independent films from around the world to deprogram implicit bias, foster greater communication and sense of belonging for both employees and leaders, and inspire company-wide action.”
Every Step in a Journey
On the topic of “numerous,” the filmmakers receive a crowdfunding platform, free resources, tools, and education while engaging with Seed&Spark. On their about page, under the Our Story section, the initiative says, “Seed&Spark’s crowdfunding platform has the highest campaign success rate in the world and is the foundation of a broader creative platform that supports creator sustainability and increases representation in all stages of storytelling — from audience building and funding all the way through many channels of high-impact distribution.”
Developing a film project takes many moving parts at each step in the journey of filmmaking. Constantly managing and delegating in the process could be exhausting. Seed&Spark’s approach is similar to a pedometer, a tool used to count steps. The initiative thinks ahead to each portion of the journey and creates a space that accompanies the creatives through the process. Seed&Spark’s digital space allows creatives to raise funds, access education, and gain revenue.
Typically, the initiative hosts virtual and in-person events to help people form deeper connections and take action through art. These can be educational, entertainment, or both. Creatives have access to seminars and mentors, while film audiences have access to film festivals and a streaming service. The streaming service allows creatives to gain recurring revenue. Seed&Spark boasts that their streaming platform helps creatives earn more than other platforms and have rights to their creative work/ intellectual property.
This is further expressed in text on the about page, saying, “We want to ensure creators can build a better future for themselves and their communities by retaining ownership and building career equity with each new project.”
The initiative is creating a safe, encouraging atmosphere as a useful tool in a creative’s journey. Being attentive to the steps in the journey is what helps their initiative give a more inclusive service to creatives.
Give the Community a Place to Call Home
The strong point here is not “look at how far ahead they thought,” or “there are so many extra features.” Instead, the highlight is that the people the initiative aims to help don’t need to venture far to complete their journey.
Right on the homepage, you will see the following description of the initiative: “Seed&Spark is where creators and audiences work together to tell stories that celebrate diverse voices and foster vibrant conversation. Find your next spark of curiosity, inspiration and community!”
As you wander through the site, you’ll find a section for the projects that are exclusively shown on Seed&Spark, crowdfunding campaign suggestions, a personality quiz to match people with films, an events page, and more. Filmmakers will find additional resources, such as Crowdfunding rallies, the Finishing Fund, and Filmmaker rewards.
Seed&Spark built a home for the needs of their community: people who love films. Both the makers and consumers may indulge in their passion in one place. In reality, the initiative’s incredible feat is the amount of service provided to filmmakers in relation to the film process. Similar to a department store, where people can take care of multiple items on their checklist at one place, filmmakers can complete milestones in their film projects through one resource.
Building this “world,” or “home,” for their community means the community has a place to live and thrive. Subsequently, this also sets a tone that the community does not need to go elsewhere. With the appeal of a one-stop-shop, Seed&Spark’s very service inclusive business model taps into relationship building, reoccurring interaction, and retention.
Almost nothing communicates Seed&Spark’s dedication to creatives more than their own wording:
“Seed&Spark is building a new studio model, with fair and transparent business practices. We provide every filmmaker the opportunity to create a sustainable career, no matter where they live or what they look like.”
An anchor-based on the Pedometer Approach is the beginning step to building an ecosystem for your social enterprise. Are you aware of the steps your stakeholders face? Do you even know the next step they must take in their journey? For the people, you aim to assist, try researching how to include services that either take care of the next step or make it easier to take the next step.
Seed&Spark’s trailblazing Pedometer Approach completes this profile.
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.