Porn Stars & Tote Bags: How to Raise Money for a Project

If you and seven of your co-workers suddenly found yourself fired or otherwise unemployed, there are any number of things you could do: You could express your outrage in an email chain. You could meet at your local pub and drown your sorrows in $5 pitchers. You might even consider burning the place to the ground. (Or at the very least THINK about it.)

Tomorrow Magazine
Tomorrow Magazine

But if you’re the six journalists and designers who were recently fired from the website— and their two colleagues who voluntarily took buyouts — as the company shifted its strategic focus, you launch a magazine called “Tomorrow,” “a one-shot magazine about creative destruction” and “what’s on the cusp,” and you raise money for it on

I know, it sounds crazy in this day and age to lose your job at a digital publication and launch one involving dead trees — but that’s exactly what these leaders of “Tomorrow” did.

And guess what? The hipster investors at Kickstarter backed up their money trucks: The ensemble raised their target amount, $15,000, in just five hours. (Click here to view their Kickstarter page.)

You might say, the secret to their money-raising success is their rebel-yell style. They want to know “what areas of society need to hit the reset button?” and they want to push readers to “jump out of their comfort zones.” “We won’t be afraid to publish things that are complicated or sexy or weird... the kinds of things that might just get you fired. (We’ve been there.)”

There’s definitely something fresh and exciting about that — no doubt about it. But you know what else helps when you’re trying to raise money? Throwing in a few tote bags and porn stars!

A donation of $5 gets your name on list-of-donors page. $15 gets you a copy of the magazine and your name on the list of donors page. $35 gets you all that AND a set of stickers. $50 gets you into the launch party in Los Angeles. $100 gets you all that and a silk-screened tote bag. $250 gets you all that and a personalized online-dating profile consultation from Tomorrow editor and sex and relationships writer Amanda Hess. $250 gets you a “life event of your choosing, illustrated in GIFs by Tomorrow editor Ann Friedman. And $500 or more gets you all that plus a “one-of-a-kind personalized PG-13 phone message from porn star James Deen.” (Who, incidentally, was recently spotted "smoking and joking" with Lindsay Lohan and is expected to be her co-star in the upcoming movie "The Canyon," according to the New York Post.)

The group says three-quarters of their donations were actually $15 or less, so it doesn’t mean investors were flipping through stacks of $100 bills to get their personalized porn-star message. But you have to admit, just the fact that they KNOW a porn star and you could come one degree of separation closer to a porn star by donating sweetens the pot!

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