Podcast Survivor: Crowdfunding Destination DIY

y Paul Riismandel
Podcasters looking to fund their productions are looking to a variety of methods to raise money. As I discussed Tuesday, many podcasts are taking on advertisers. Another tact gaining prominence is crowd-funding. Podcaster Roman Mars turned heads last year when his Kickstarter raised more than $170,000–more than 4 times his goal–to fund season three of his architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Mars has just a couple days left in his season 4 kickstarter and he has already more than doubled his season 3 total.

Destination DIY logoI recently learned that a successful podcast in my new home base of Portland, OR is also crowd-funding a new season right now. Destination DIY is a podcast and radio program that, as the name implies, focuses on do-it-yourself culture. It’s a program that I’d listened to before I had even decided to move to Portland, so I was excited to catch up with producer Julie Sabatier.

The letters DIY often bring to mind home improvement and craft projects, but Sabatier construes the idea much more broadly. For instance, this past summer she produced a story about a man who makes his own spacesuits, and the program has covered topics like at-home funerals and DIY disasters. The overarching ethos of the program is that you don’t need to rebel against authority, because “you are an authority.”

While the program is very much a DIY effort, Sabatier says she’s able to do it “because DIY doesn’t mean doing things all by yourself.” She is emphatic about this point, explaining, “I’ve been lucky to have people who want to work with me in various capacities.” This is a theme that comes across in listening to the show, as well.

After producing 10 episodes of Destination DIY on an irregular basis, Sabatier launched an indiegogo fundraising campaign to step up to a monthly production schedule for 2014. She’s motivated by listener feedback. “People find us, listen to all the episodes, and they say, ‘when is another one coming out?’” Sabatier explains.

She is looking to raise $20,000 by December 4. That money will go towards a variety of production costs, including studio time, equipment purchases and redesigning the show’s website. Importantly, money will also be paid to the producers and artists who have stepped up to work on the program. Sabatier makes it clear that it’s important to pay independent artists and professionals for their time and expertise. “Creative success is not a zero sum game,” she says.
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