Dear Photographer: How Can I Politely Decline Funding Kickstarter Projects?

I am well-connected in the photography industry and therefore receive a lot of emails from my peers asking me to contribute to their Kickstarter projects. I personally feel like 90% of these are vanity projects (Help! I need 30K to make a book of my photographs, etc.) and would much rather give my hard earned money to charity. However, many of these same photographers I see socially at events and/or have business dealings with. Is there a polite way to decline funding these projects? Should I just ignore their emails (even though some send out 4-5 reminders throughout the campaign)?—Anonymous

‘Dear Photographer’ is a new section where readers can ask advice and/or questions of the Feature Shoot audience to be answered via comments on the post. Please send questions for consideration to [email protected] with Dear Photographer in the subject line.

  • “In an episode of a popular HBO sitcom, the main character, Larry David, attends an event where he is being celebrated for donating a museum wing. There, he finds out his arch nemesis, Ted Danson, has also donated a museum wing, but his donation is marked as anonymous. Everyone at the event, including Larry’s wife, begins to praise Ted for donating anonymously. A furious Larry exclaims, ‘No one told me I could be anonymous and tell people!”’

    Kickstarter: What if I want to pledge anonymously?

    We don’t currently have an anonymous pledge feature. You are free to choose any username you wish, though, so you could anonymize that way if you would like. Otherwise, we hope you’re okay with showing your name and support.

    Cool kids donate anonymously.

    This is probably just growing pains of social media. If you really feel bad, donate $1 anonymously, as a sign of goodwill. If asked, you can say you supported the project. If photographers are soliciting and expecting major contributions from business associates, they need a reality check.

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