"Finance My Swim"

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited January 2014 in General Discussion
It was probably inevitable that Kickstarter-style crowd-sourced funding would emerge in marathon swimming.

Independent filmmaking was one of the first focus areas for crowd-sourced funding - and DRIVEN was a beneficiary of this via Indiegogo.

Just in the past few weeks, two brand-new money-making ventures have arrived on the scene:

DREAMFUEL, which counts American pro marathon swimmer Christine Jennings among its clients. DREAMFUEL describes its revenue model as follows:

Dreamfuel's fees for providing the service and our support for your project is 10% percent of the gross amount of fees from supporters. You are also responsible for reimbursement or payment of payment processing fees. Currently, Dreamfuel uses Gumroad, which charges the sum of (1) a flat fee of $0.25 per payment transaction and (2) five percent of the transaction amount.

And SPONSOR MY SWIM, a Steven Munatones enterprise, counting American pro marathon swimmer Ashley Twichell as a client. Sponsor My Swim describes its revenue model as follows:

A 10% administrative fee is retained by Open Water Source, LLC for it’s services in providing and maintaining SponsorMySwim as a service to the open water swimming community.

What do you think?


  • JBirrrdJBirrrd MarylandSenior Member
    edited January 2014
    Not going to knock it if someone wants to go that route, but I prefer to pay my own way. However, I am not opposed to using my swims to raise awareness and funding for my charity of choice Two Top Adaptive Sports Foundation.


    (Like how I got in that shameless plug? Really, it's an amazing organization. Click on the link above and feel free to give. We do amazing things w/ some pretty amazing athletes.)
  • gnome4766gnome4766 Member
    edited January 2014
    I think sponsorship is a fantastic opportunity for this sort of sport and I welcome more sponsorship opportunities. Hopefully the pledges keep coming and the sponsors can gain something back from the kind donations.
    I would love to see larger corporations sponsoring more marathon swims. It really is something red bull are missing out on. I want to see the Red Bull North Channel Race lol.
  • I am using gofundme for to raise money for TBMS. It is mostly friends and family donating $10 or $20, but it has gone a long way! I felt a little guilty at first, but I then I thought how I would feel if a friend were doing the same thing...collecting small donations for an awesome athletic endevor. I'd give them $10 in a heartbeat! I think its a way of feeling connected to the activity, so you feel part of the team even though you don't have to do the swim/event yourself, or even be on the support boat or kayak. Friends have liked being able to support me and in turn, they a front seat to the training and the swim as it unfolds.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    As soon as I get my six-pack properly chiseled, I'll be working the corner at Times Square (diagonally across from the Naked Cowboy) in speedo with telecaster performing all the hits from the Billy Bragg songbook. Its a known fact that NYC tourists can't resist dropping a few shillings in a hat when they hear some communist party anthem... off key. After my year long Tahitian Odyssey is funded, all proceeds will benefit my favorite 401k charity.

    ...but seriously: I think it would be nice if there was a good way to finance and introduce younger swimmers to the joy of marathon swimming without the charity connection. Its an expensive activity.

    Maybe a MSF scholarship fund???

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    I used to be sponsored by "The Victor" and Substantial Subs in Miami. The Victor supplied suits and clothes, as well as Randy Nutt as my trainer. No cash. Substantial was near my office I had their logo screened on my Victor shirts for free lunches. No cash.

    I looked into serious sponsorship, but I always ran into "what's in it for me and my company". Still no cash.

    For some big swims, my parents/friends would donate some airline/hotel miles, but for the most part i sponsored myself.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I use YouCaring to fundraise for charities: I fundraised for Homeboy Industries and for Beth Dror using their platform. They are awesome, allow using WePay as well as PayPal (I detest PayPal) and pay promptly. The snag is that their platform is dedicated to charity fundraising. My swim expenses come (alas) out of pocket and I only fundraise for the charities, like many of you folks. Activyst hooks me up with free bags and Zoggs Israel hooks me up with free goggles, but free schwag does not a channel expedition make.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    @heart, like you, I use a fundraising service for my swims, but like yours, all the money goes to my charity (which is good) and I support myself, which is why I don't do very many fun swims. ;)

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • At david_barra...MSF scholarship fund sounds awesome. My mom has mentioned several times the age difference between me and many other marathon swimmers... I think there would be more younger marathon swimmers if it were more financially accessible.
  • Maybe model it after the Dottie York Scholarship fund? http://swimcatalina.com/images/stories/forms/2011_DYSF_App.pdf
  • Sponsorship is a fantastic way to realise one's dreams.
  • I think that if you are a professional, then you shouldn't be having others 'finance my swim".
    If this is a hobby, then I won't be asking others to finance my hobby.
    If friends want to chip in for some gu , or if you are lucky enough MILES for a plane flight ( if needed) or let you crash on their couch, fab. But in MY opinion, for what it's worth ( about 2 cents I think at the going rate) asking complete strangers or even friends for money for one's hobby, is not something that I would do.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2014
    I worded my original post open-endedly, and it's cool that people have taken this in different directions, around the general concept of "sponsorship."

    To be frank, the aspect of this that interests me the most is a business - or say, Steve Munatones - taking a 10% cut of all donations. Kickstarter takes a similar cut I think, for artistic & startup business projects, but they also have a prohibition against "fund my lifestyle" campaigns, which I consider amateur marathon swimming to fall under. I guess I just don't see someone's channel swim dream as justifying the profiteering like an early-stage startup business would.

    I love @david_barra's idea of a MSF Scholarship Fund for compelling swim ambitions by folks without the income or assets to execute on those ambitions. However, I couldn't imagine taking a cut of donations for something like this.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited January 2014
    evmo wrote:
    I love @david_barra's idea of a MSF Scholarship Fund for compelling swim ambitions by folks without the income or assets to execute on those ambitions. However, I couldn't imagine taking a cut of donations for something like this.

    If someone wants to set up an MSF fund I would love to make a donation. Its been exciting watching this forum develop, and I’m sure the good people of the MSF would come up with a democratic means of distribution.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • TimDexTimDex Member
    edited February 2014
    Ditto @david_barra
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