Conrad Shaw and Deia Schlosberg, the Bootstraps team, announced the campaign on the UBI Podcast to raise $50,000, in the next two months, to start a pilot program with real people.
Once the first $50,000 is raised, Shaw said they can begin handing out the basic income, initially, to a small number of recipients. Each recipient will receive $1,000 a month for two years.
For each $50,000 raised, they will be able to fund two basic income recipients.
Every time $50,000 is raised, a member of the Bootstraps newsletter can choose an American to participate in the documentary and receive a basic income.
In addition, those that contribute to the crowdfunding campaign can get rewards, such as a Bootstraps t-shirt or even tickets to the premier of the documentary.
The overall purpose of the campaign is to bring awareness of basic income to the “public at large” in the United States.
“The reason our pilot is different is that it is designed to facilitate storytelling,” Schlosberg said.
To carry out the campaign, the team is working with Handup, an organization that is focused on helping homeless individuals. Shaw said the leader of Handup is a proponent of basic income.
Schlosberg is confident that greater media interest will follow once they raise enough money.
“A lot of people have said ‘Sounds great. Get back to us once it is up and running.’”
Each day, the team will release a UBI thought of the day, which will often be accompanied by an interview with one of many basic income scholars they have interviewed.
“We’ve been interviewing a lot of thinkers on UBI and we have hours and hours of amazing material,” Schlosberg said. “We want these great thoughts out there.”
So far, most of the academics whom the team has interviewed have been proponents of the basic income. The larger resistance to the idea, Shaw said, has been from people on the street.
“What we find, in general, is it is all about how you sell the idea. Basic income sells itself,” Shaw said.
In the last six months, during the initial stage of the documentary, the general public has become much more aware of the basic income, Shaw said.
For Shaw, the campaign is an important step in establishing a Universal Basic Income throughout the country.
“You have to pick which projects have the best chance of having a large impact and we designed this project to fill a hole that we see,” Shaw said.
The crowdfunding campaign can be found here.