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Generosity Campaign Test

Introduction

The goal of this project is to help educate people on the importance of coral reef ecosystems in an entertaining and artful format. Once profitable, I will be donating a portion of the proceeds to coral restoration non-profits around the world. Coral reefs provide many benefits to society – they cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, yet account for over 25% of marine life; reefs provide coastal protection, food, jobs, and medicines for the world. In many places coral cover has declined by up to 90% in just a few decades.

Coral reefs worldwide are in trouble. According to NOAA, the list of factors contributing to this degradation is wide: ocean warming, ocean acidification, dredging, coastal development, coastal point source pollution, agricultural and land use practices, disease, predation, reef fishing, the aquarium trade, physical damage from boats and anchors, marine debris and aquatic invasive species. Without coral reefs, our way of life will be impacted in significant ways, cascading to other ecosystems. We need to be aware of this deteriorating condition, and adjust our behavior, as appropriate, to mitigate or reverse this declining trend. The planet literally depends on healthy coral reef ecosystems for other ecosystems to remain sustainable.

For the average person, environmental issues are not the top-of-mind topics that many in the scientific community feel they should be. In the year-end 2016 Gallup Poll Social Series, the environment ranked 19th out of twenty-five topics. Yet in Gallup’s most recent environmental survey (March 2017), a new high of 62% say effects of global warming are being felt now, and 68% believe it is caused by human activities. Only 17% of the public view themselves as environmental activists, while 45% say they are sympathetic, but not active. That large portion of “sympathetic but not active”, I believe, is fertile ground for education. There is an opportunity for us to raise awareness and knowledge given the heightened sensitivity concerning climate change, juxtaposed with low environmental activism. There is a gap – and that gap exists among the “sympathetic but not active” segment. Further, the perception of immediacy which may lead to behavioral change is low. Consider this quote from research sponsored by the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation:

”Thus, simply undertaking more biophysical research to reduce scientific uncertainty over the future is unlikely to shift the perception of risk that motivates individual and societal preparedness. Rather, communication strategies need to tap into the affective and analytical aspects of human decision making by presenting climate change in a form that people can relate to on the timescales they care about and at relevant spatial scales… This includes reframing the problem in terms of contemporary, local impacts and diverse ideological norms, employing narratives in lieu of statistical descriptions for public consumption and utilizing advances in computer technology and access to let people play simulation games where their futures can be made explicit. Yet even when people are aware of climate change and have experienced impacts first hand, there is often a tendency to avoid thinking about it or console oneself with apparent claims to virtue such as “there are worse polluters”… Overcoming psychological hurdles to promote action remains an enormous challenge.” (the bold/underlined portions are my points of emphasis)

Let that quote sink in for a few minutes.

These two points: “employing narratives in lieu of statistical descriptions for public consumption” and “overcoming psychological hurdles to promote action remains an enormous challenge” are precisely why I am presenting this proposal for your consideration.


Background

I have written 30 ebooks (and have over 40 more to finish) on marine life and coral reef conservation. All of these carry a coral reef conservation theme and were originally written as newspaper columns. I want to use these words and images to inform the public about the importance and diversity of coral reefs. As our coral reefs suffer extreme degradation from coral bleaching and pollution, the public remains woefully uneducated about the critical, essential role coral reefs play in the modern world. I am seeking help to construct a proper advertising budget and distribution channels to educate the public. May we work together to accomplish this?

After I moved to the Florida Keys in 2009, I became highly involved in the scuba diving community. I wrote a scuba diving column for the local newspaper for over three years, and also served on a Working Group and as an Alternate Member for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. I did a lot of volunteer work for the Coral Restoration Foundation in its early days when they needed someone to document their nursery development efforts.

Here are the sites and social media pages I am developing:

This is the main site for marketing the ebooks: Tim Grollimund Photography

This is the sales site for prints and keepsakes. All the images in the ebooks click through to a page for that specific image: Tim Grollimund Photography on SmugMug

Here are the social media pages:

FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Instagram

Here are the Author pages on the retail sites:

Amazon iTunesBarnes & NobleKoboSmashwords

For you to see a finished ebook, please feel free to download this ebook about the early days of the Coral Restoration Foundation in the Florida Keys. This ebook was written just as they were introducing new techniques for developing coral nurseries. They have enjoyed a wonderfully successful growth phase, and are one of the world leaders in coral nursery development. Click on the image to get the ebook:

Get the reef growing…

Get the reef growing…

Want to see more? There are three more free ebooks you can download here: Free Ebooks on timgrollimund.com


Situation

How bad is it? I continue to see degradation on a monthly basis. The reef is transforming from hard corals and branching corals to soft corals, sponges, and algae. Here is a newly released study about the perils faced by coral reefs around the world: Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: A First Global Scientific Assessment

This short quote from the report says it all:

The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.”

To me, it’s quite simple: anyone that can alter their behavior in any way that ultimately reduces stress levels on coral reef ecosystems is a positive influence. If we, as ocean lovers and coral-reef-huggers, can help others become aware of the plight of the reef ecosystem, we are helping preserve and protect these fragile resources. My belief is that we can educate others on this topic in a meaningful and entertaining way. My hope is these ebooks will have a positive and significant impact on all who read them.

I have personally witnessed a significant decline of the third largest barrier reef in the world here in the Florida Keys. These two images show one of our favorite places on Molasses Reef, with rare pillar coral (listed as a “Threatened coral species” by NOAA) in 2011 and in 2017. It died between the fall of 2016 and the winter of 2017.

Healthy pillar coral in 2011

Healthy pillar coral in 2011

Dead pillar coral February 2017

Dead pillar coral February 2017

I believe the public has a right to know the condition of our coral reefs, and we, as divers and story-tellers, have an obligation to share our experiences. Providing information to the public at large may help preserve these vital resources if individuals can appreciate the complexity and beauty of coral reefs. Part of making decisions for our behavior rests on gathering the necessary facts required to make informed decisions.

Remember the scene in Men in Black where K says “Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat.
And fifteen minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know… tomorrow.”

What will we know tomorrow? Will we know we had a chance to save the coral reefs of the world and failed? Or will we know we took action to mitigate and/or reverse the decomposition of this vital planetary resource? It is up to us, as stewards of the ocean, to make our best effort in this critical time to inform people of the condition of these essential ecosystems.


TheProject

My goal is to transform my marine life and marine science newspaper columns into attractive, informative ebooks that can be distributed digitally. If one of these books is read by one person that helps preserve and protect a coral reef, I will consider that the highest accomplishment for this body of work. My hope is my words and images will affect many people, and in some small way contribute to the preservation of coral reefs worldwide.

So far I have published over thirty ebooks, built a website and connected to major ebook retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords. Overall I have over seventy newspaper columns that will be reworked into ebooks. I am not quite at the halfway point yet in terms of publishing all the ebooks. The images below show the cover and selected photographs from some of the ebooks. Click on the image to see the page on the website.

No Place Like Home…

No Place Like Home…

The Less Traveled Reef

The Less Traveled Reef

Goliath Groupers

Goliath Groupers

Angels on the Reef

Angels on the Reef


Perks

Any amount given is very much appreciated! As pledge amounts increase, so do the perks. Each level includes the perks from previous levels. Pledges are not tax-deductible.

Ocean Advocate ($10)

$15% discount coupon on all ebooks through Smashwords

Ocean Enthusiast ($25)

Adds a collection of 12 Marine Life Series ebooks (a $35.88 value if purchased from a bookseller)

Marine Life Ebook Collection

Ocean Activist ($50)

Adds a mouse pad with your choice of ebook cover image

Mouse Pad

Project Patron ($100)

Adds a 15-ounce coffee mug with your choice of ebook cover image

Coffee Mug

Project Backer ($250)

Adds an 8×10 infused aluminum print with your choice of ebook cover image, ready for hanging

Metal Print

Ebook Sponsor ($500)

“EbookSponsor"

All the above, plus your personal impact on the project – promote yourself! Your logo, link and a 50-word description of why you are supporting this project will go on the sponsor page for 10 selected titles (limit 5 sponsors per title). Partner with me to get exposure for your company or cause. This is a limited opportunity, open only until all available slots in the ebooks are filled.

Ebook Co-Producer ($1,000)

“EbookCo-Producer"

All the above, with an even bigger impact on this project! In addition to a place on the Ebook Sponsor Page in 10 titles, you get to write your own Forward for 5 selected ebook titles (limited to one Ebook Co-Producer for each title, first come, first served). This can include a promotion for your own project, non-profit or cause. This is a limited opportunity.

Ebook Co-Author ($2,500)

“EbookCo-Author"

All the above – the Perks, the Sponsor and Co-Producer packages – and your new, co-authored marine life ebook! We will discuss topics of your choosing, perform the research, do the writing and editing of the text and images together (limit 5,000 words for the text, includes up to 24 images). We will assemble the ebook and place in all the distribution channels. You will also write your own Forward for this ebook. Limited to 5 new ebook projects.


TheNeed

I have the newspaper columns, the images and the desire to publish them. What I do not have is an appropriate digital advertising budget to capture the attention of people who, with a little bit of information, can become more fully aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy coral reef ecosystem around the world.

Many, many people have never seen or been in the ocean. To them, it may be as far away as the moon or the stars. What they may not realize is even though they are physically separated from the sea, coral reefs still play a role in their lives.

I believe it is up to us the tell them. Will you help me tell the stories of the features and creatures of the coral reefs?

The details of the budget are listed below. Daily advertising on Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon is requested at a modest budget of $10 per day. This will allow us to run two ads with a budget of $5 per day per ad. Running two ads allows us to continuously test ads against each other, and refine them for better results. To support the creation of the ads, the monitoring of the program and the optimization of the campaigns, I have an expert with whom I have worked on previous projects that can perform all the necessary tasks. He estimates an average of an hour per day to accomplish the work.

Project Budget

Project Budget

I anticipate that within 90 days we can generate enough ebook exposure and sales on all the platforms to become self-sufficient. The short term goal is to create the necessary amount of ebook sales to cover the monthly costs of advertising and monitoring. Once we are passed the break-even point, the next goal is to contribute a portion of the profits back to worthy causes that work on reef conservation, restoration and education.

Break Even Chart

“BreakEvenChart"

Will you help me get started on this worthwhile project?


References

Corals listed under the Endangered Species Act
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/invertebrates/corals.htm

Economy Top Problem in a Crowded Field
http://www.gallup.com/poll/200105/economy-top-problem-crowded-field.aspx

Global Warming Concern at Three-Decade High in US
http://www.gallup.com/poll/206030/global-warming-concern-three-decade-high.aspx

Environmental Activists Put Their Beliefs Into Action
http://www.gallup.com/poll/207104/environmental-activists-put-beliefs-action.aspx

Humans Can Ease Climate Change Impacts on Oceans, Experts Say
http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/compass-points/2017/04/27/humans-can-ease-climate-change-impacts-on-oceans-experts-say

Avoiding a crisis of motivation for ocean management under global environmental change
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13698/full

Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Coral Reefs: A First Global Scientific Assessment
http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1676