Kickstarter and More Meets Movement Organizing


The WinWisely Story

Gary Krane, Ph.D. is the co-founder of WinWisely. He came up with the first part of the idea more than two years ago while was watching Bill McKibben, Michael Brune and Daryl Hannah get arrested at the White House protesting DAPL. He thought, “I wish I had been there. So, where is the next opportunity to do direct action to stop this horrific pipeline?”

He started searching online to find the next action he could join.  Ninety frustrating and unproductive minutes later he thought “we need an easy one-stop-shop where people can quickly find a campaign about what angers them most, get the most important details about that campaign, and give them the choice of how they can best help.”

He came up with the “crowdacting” idea shortly after. He came up with the "kickstarter" or Crowdacting idea after talking to one of the top people at the SierraClub, national, in SF, who when asked, "What's it going to take to stop this catstrophic trajectory?, " the Sierra Club exec  responded, "With the forces arrayed against us in the oil industry and extrapolating from the Civil Rights movement, probably nothing less than one million people willing to risk arrest, and at least double that willing to do conventional organizing."  To recruit those kinds of numbers, and as an experienced organizer and also PhD psychologist, he realized that "fear of wasting my time if we lose," was one of the key barriers and that a "kickstarter" solution could address that.

Drawing on his PhD training in psychology and his work as the lead cofounder of, he realized that the key barrier organizations face in recruiting much larger numbers is facing the fear most potential volunteers have of losing—that their commitment of time and energy (and/or getting arrested) will be for naught.

This lead to the epiphany that the concept behind kickstarter could be applied to action, not just money! A crowdfunding-type platform could be used to recruit all kinds of resources, including people willing to knock on a 100 doors on the weekend or to risk arrest, in additon to providing support to volunteers and raising money.”  

Gary is a lifelong activist, who has fought in many major battles from civil and farmworkers rights to  anti-nuke movement, and he’s also worked on six prez and 3 US Senate campaigns, and even recently on a successful Dem assemblywoman’s race in Long Island. He’s been arrested for direct action himself three times,  and recently worked seven months as a field organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in three states including Texas.. He was one of the key anti-nuke documentary filmmakers of the 80s. He is now focused on the design and validation of WinWisely and has been reaching out to potential users for the last 5 months. Here is his detailed resume.

Duncan Magidson serves as co-founder and outreach director for WinWisely, where he manages relationships with the growing community of organizers and activists engaged with the app. He’s a recent college graduate who headed up the fossil fuel divestment movement at Fordham University. He has also worked as a fellow with the CEL Climate Lab and served as a field organizer with the Florida Democratic Party. Duncan is a deeply committed environmentalist and a believer in the power of collective action. Duncan’s resume is available here.

Heather Moore is a designer and advocate for social, environmental and economic systems change. Coming from the corporate design world, she spent much of my career on producing useful and engaging designs for large corporations. She became frustrated that these organizations could effect more impact on the world simply because they had more money and more resources. She wanted to put her energy towards something more meaningful and positively impactful, so she joined Win Wisely. As the designer of Win Wisely, her job is to make it easy and engaging for folks to join up with causes one feels strongly about, and connect with others nearby to form communities of vision, and to create the sort of tipping point that we so urgently need for massive systems change.

Dan Newmark works as the presentation specialist for WinWisely. Newmark has over 20 years experience in presentation design.