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$2,049 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Meg Bolger & Sam Killermann
$2,049 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About this project

When many of us start facilitating, we find ourselves learning a new skill without a lot of guidance or direction. We are passionate about the information and content that we are communicating, but we’re often less versed in tips and techniques regarding how to communicate that information. 

This Kickstarter is about creating a free online resource that will ensure that none of us have to navigate this world of facilitation without guidance, direction, or support. 

That resource is called FacilitatingXYZ: A Free Online Resource for ALL Facilitators, featuring videos on facilitation techniques, lesson plans and downloadable chapters from our two books on facilitation, and more.

FacilitatingXYZ will be a place to share our lessons learned from our many years of facilitation with a community of folks passionate about getting their insightful knowledge into the world. We want you to know that when you get in front a room full of people you’ll have everything you need to help you succeed in that moment, and a supportive community to connect with after to grow from your experiences. 

FacilitatingXYZ is not a resource we can create alone. We want to make high-quality, engaging, animated videos and we need your help to raise the money to make it happen.

WHY AN ONLINE RESOURCE? 

We were in the process of working on our books Unlocking the Magic and A Guide to Facilitation and wondering how we could bring the lessons from these two books to an even bigger audience. How could we engage folks who may not have the time to commit to reading a book but would still benefit from the nuggets of knowledge that we’ve discovered in our writing process.

FacilitatingXYZ was created from this want to spread this knowledge to an even greater audience but 

We can’t do it without you.

A mock-up of a video page.
A mock-up of a video page.

THE WHOLE THING HINGES ON THE VIDEOS.

We're creating two books about facilitation, but we've learned from folks around the US that what people also really need are videos -- little bite-sized learning in a fun, digestible format, that you can play in a class, include in a training, or add to any facilitator curriculum you already train on.

We want to make videos as awesome as these:

And that takes a lot of dollars. Hence, this Kickstarter!

What will these videos be about? 

We want to make these 6 videos... 

  • 3 Different Styles of Engagement and Involvement: Facilitating, Teaching, and Lecturing
    (from the chapter “Facilitation vs. Teaching vs. Lecturing”) 
  • Owning Your Angle (there’s no such thing as neutral)
    (from the chapter “Being Neutral”) 
  • How to Read a Group How to Disagree without Shutting Someone Down
    (from the chapters “Both/And is Greater than But” AND “The ‘Yes, and…’ Rule”) 
  • More than 2 Ways to Ask a Question...
    (from the chapter “Asking Good Questions”) 
  • Keeping Calm and Staying Present when Triggered
    (from the chapter “Triggers”)

...And the additional 5 videos will be determined by Kickstarter Backer Vote!

WHAT ARE THESE BOOKS YOU SPEAK OF? 

We are currently working on two books all about facilitation and we are excited to bring you early access and other Kickstarter exclusives for the books. 

Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation is a book about the 11 key concepts every facilitator needs to know, but doesn’t know they need to know.

A Guide to Facilitation includes the concepts from Unlocking the Magic, as well as: the foundations of socially just facilitation, how to piece together the elements of a training, and lessons for finding your facilitation style.

FUNDING BREAKDOWN

So we are looking to to raise $25,000 but where is exactly is that money going? To put it simply about half the money we raise during this campaign will be going directly to the hiring of professional animators and editors for the feature videos for the FacilitatingXYZ website. The other half will be going to fees and the printing/shipping of books and stickers to reward our backers! 

While the final numbers will depend on the kind of rewards you all select, this is how we estimate the breakdown of our overall costs going! 

  • Videos (Animation & Editing) = $12,000.00 
  • Kickstarter Fees = $2,500.00 
  • Printing (Books & Stickers) = $6,500.00 
  • Shipping (Postage, Packaging, & Fulfillment) = $4,000.00 

When you select Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation as your $25 reward, for example, this is where all of your cash goes and how much of it will flow into the into making FacilitatingXYZ into a reality:

  • Printing the book = $3.40 
  • Fulfillment (handling fee) = $2.95 
  • Media Mail Postage = $2.38 
  • Packaging = $0.75 
  • Kickstarter Fees = $2.50 
  • Dollars going to fund the videos = $13.02 

Each reward breaks down a little differently but in every case over 50% of your donation will go towards the creation of the FacilitatingXYZ videos!

STRETCH GOALS 

If we make our initial $25,000 goal that will be epic. But we have big dreams, and we'll be sharing those dreams with you... all in due time!

DETAILS TIME 

What is FacilitatingXYZ? 

FacilitatingXYZ is the website that we wish had existed when we started facilitating. It will be home to a suite of tools for all facilitators looking to improve their facilitation skills:

High-quality videos that will teach key facilitation techniques, like how to read a group, that will be perfect for those running train-the-trainer workshops and improve their own facilitation abilities.

Self-reflective activities for those looking to understand the gaps in their own knowledge and to spur further growth in facilitation abilities. Lesson plans for those who are looking to help others improve as facilitators and to connect with the lessons highlighted in Unlocking the Magic and A Guide to Facilitation.

And a place for folks to connect with other facilitators. There is so much being learned by facilitators every day and often there just isn’t a space for all of us to connect and share our new understandings with each other. Often many of us are currently limited to learning through our own trial and error and with FacilitatingXYZ we can learn more effectively by learning together.

What is Unlocking the Magic?

This book is about the 11 key concepts that we believe are the little (and big) things that make a difference in facilitation. These are learnings that we picked up along the many years of our own facilitation journeys and are concepts that we believe are useful, impactful, and easily digestible for all facilitators.

The 11 lessons from unlocking the magic of facilitation are: 

  • Understanding Facilitation as a Nuanced Skill 
  • Facilitation vs. Teaching vs. Lecturing 
  • Being Neutral 
  • How to Read a Group 
  • Both/And is Greater than But 
  • The “Yes, and…” Rule
  • Asking Good Questions 
  • Vulnerability 
  • Triggers 
  • Learning from Emotions 
  • Role Modeling Continuous Learning (or The Myth of the Expert)

What is A Guide to Facilitation: The Social Justice Advocate's Handbook?

This is a book for those of us who stand in the front of the room and sometimes feel up a creek without a paddle. A book to make facilitation a lot less terrifying and a lot more socially just. The book is broken down into four sections: 

SECTION 1: Basic Training - Building a Firm Foundation - Get to know the foundational knowledge every facilitator should know, how to navigate privilege, how to consider your identity, the goals of facilitation, and more.

SECTION 2: Unlocking the Magic: Key Concepts of Facilitation -- Facilitation is a nuanced skill, learn how to ask good questions, when to teach vs. facilitate. vs. lecture, how to work through triggers and more. 

SECTION 3: The Elements of a Training - Piecing Together the Puzzle - How to work through a training tip to tail from how to prep to how to get good feedback at the end.                                                                

SECTION 4: Find Your Facilitation - You Gotta Werk at Your Work - Now that you know good facilitation learn how to bring you into the mix, style, stories, identities and more.

The book is written from a social justice perspective — meaning it’s accessible, inclusive, and intentional — by two educators who want you to benefit from their thousands of hours facilitating tough conversations. While nothing will replace practice, this book will catalyze the learning process.

Instead of feeling like you’ve been tasked with navigating to a hidden destination without a map, thrown into white water rapids with no raft, or on your own surrounded by judging-eyed strangers —this book is your map, your raft, and your ally. And it’s fun. Because truly, so is facilitation.

Reward Details! 

E-Book Access - When we complete Unlocking the Magic and Guide to Facilitation we will be sending links to the E-Books to the supporters of our kickstarter at least two weeks before any physical books or the E-Books become publically available! 

Facebook Community - One of our goals with FacilitatingXYZ is to connect folks who are passionate about facilitation to each other, but we don't want to wait until the website is live to start forming this community. Our closed FB community will allow folks who are interested in connecting and sharing their passion, knowledge, and excitement around facilitation with each other to share stories, learnings, and insights with our blossoming community. All those who have early access to the E-Books or select a physical book reward will have access to the FacilitatingXYZ Facebook community! 

Stickers - I mean...these go without much explanation. We're going to make some awesome stickers, to show off your support of FacilitatingXYZ and your love of facilitation. We know. We're pretty excited too. We’ll be hand shipping these to you (and getting cozy with our local post office) and can't wait to see um in your mailbox!

Signed Books - In order for us to ship the approximate 600 or more books that we estimate needing to ship if (when!) this project is fully funded we are going to be using an exterior fulfillment service to ship our books. If you can imagine what walking down to your local post office to ship 600 books might look like, you’ll understand why we chose to go this route. This means that along with the (approximately) 600 books we’ll be shipping 600 signed book plates to you (by hand) for you put in your book! 

Downloadable Video Files of all FacilitatingXYZ Animations - When FacilitatingXYZ goes live everyone will be able to watch the video animations on that website and on youtube. However, we want to make your life even easier by giving you access to the video files directly so that you can embed them in your presentations (without needing internet) or share them without any load time or silly youtube ads. 

Original Art and Comics - We will be hand shipping our original artwork to you, carefully packaged, and delivered with love by your local neighborhood post person. 

Personal Videos - We’ll be recording these over the next few months as we create Facilitating and posting them just for you to see what we’re up to. 

Questions? Comments? Brilliant Ideas?

Contact us! We’d love to hear from you, to connect, and would be excited to start adding questions to our FAQs page!

Thanks to Podington Bear and Adam Selzer for the royalty-free music we used in the video! Happy to use resources from the creative commons to create new resources for the creative commons!

Risks and challenges

This project absolutely has risks (we spend 100s of hours working on a Kickstarter that doesn’t get funded) and challenges (we don’t have enough supporters, momentum, we are trying to do too much with too many projects).

The good news is that we have several years of intense collaboration under our belts. We built The Safe Zone Project from the ground up, and have been improving and expanding it over the past couple years, and we did that with zero budget and no funding.

The books, which are our main carrots, are also well underway, and the timeline we set forth here is accomplishable. And, as we've said, the books are coming out either way -- whether or not we get to have this amazing resource to accompany them is up to y'all.

However, what is wonderful about all of these risks and challenges is that doing this project is helping us get the word out about our resources. We are passionate about the resources we are making and even if we “fail" (i.e., we don’t raise the funds to complete this Kickstarter), we will have succeeded in bringing an awareness to more people about resources and tools that may be able to support them in their work. And that makes it well worth the effort!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Have your name added to the “Thank You!” page of FacilitatingXYZ and feel good doing it!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Early Access E-books for “Unlocking the Magic” and “Guide to Facilitation"* + Membership in closed Facebook Community for FacilitatingXYZ + Thank You!

    The Facebook Community will be a place for you to connect with other facilitators and trainers to share lessons from the road, ask for advice, and create community.

    *Guide to Facilitation e-book won't be out 'til 2016

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Who doesn't love stickers! We'll be designing and shipping these to provide you a graphical way to show your show your facilitator pride. Featuring the FacilitatingXYZ logo and more!

    + Early Access to the book + Membership to the FB community + Thank You!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY BIRD: BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-FREE!
    Two signed paperback copies of “Unlocking the Magic” delivered to your door with love

    + Early Access E-books + Membership in Facebook Community + Thank You!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Signed paperback copy of “Unlocking the Magic” delivered to your door with love

    + Early Access E-books + Membership in Facebook Community + Thank You!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Signed paperback of “Guide to Facilitation” for you to get your facilitation grove on, delivered with love.

    + Early Access E-books + FB Community + Thank You!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed hardcover of the “Guide to Facilitation” for the hardcore facilitator who loves a good hardcover book!

    + Early Access E-books + Facebook Community + Thank You! Also stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers?

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Signed paperback copies of both books AND a hardcover of Guide to Facilitation (SAVE $40)

    + Early Access E-Books + Facebook Community + Stickers + Thank You!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Downloadable Video Files of all FacilitatingXYZ Animations

    + Signed paperback copies of both books AND a hardcover of Guide to Facilitation (SAVE $40) + Early Access E-Books + Facebook Community + Stickers + Thank You!

    The video files are yours to use offline and perfect for facilitators who want to use them in presentations or for folks who don’t want to deal with Youtube in class.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Original art! We will print a limited run of facilitation-y comics from the book. We’ll pick our 5 favorite comics and you’ll receive a signed and numbered edition printing on heavy cardstock.

    + Early Access E-Books + Thank You!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get personalized, private video updates of our progress creating FacilitatingXYZ! We’ll be recording these just for you as a huge thank you for your generosity. We'll also send you one of the original hand-drawn comics from the book.

    + Early Access E-Books + Thank You!

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Funding period

- (28 days)