Donate to The D-Word

The D-Word is the longest-running peer-to-peer community for documentary film professionals from around the world. We have never charged a membership fee, but do ask annually for voluntary contributions to support our platform, programs, and people.

In honor of our 25 years, we are aiming to raise $25,000 in our annual fundraising campaign.

Donate Now

Do you know The D-Word because of our weekly Zoom F2Fs that have brought together our members over the past few years? Or are you a regular contributor or occasional lurker on our long-running online forum? Did you meet one of our hosts or Ambassadors at a film festival or industry event? Perhaps you finally checked us out after hearing about us from a colleague or friend, another organization, or even a random web search?

However you came across The D-Word, it is likely that you connected to it because of a specific person or group of people. While The D-Word is not a funder, a festival, a distributor, or a powerbroker in the industry, we ARE a community that can help our members better navigate those worlds through the power of sharing. As Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras has said of The D-Word, "It's a true lifeline for any documentary filmmaker."

We approach our annual campaign much like we approach our entire community. Even the seemingly smallest piece of advice can make someone feel like they can move forward with their projects in times of challenge. And even the smallest contribution to our campaign contributes to the larger fundraising goal. 

The D-Word has never charged a fee to become a member of our community. Yet it is a goldmine of expertise, support, and community. All that we do is free to the documentary community and we want to keep it that way. However, we have very real expenses which is why we turn to our community for voluntary contributions once a year.

Your support helps us cover:

  • Platform and design updates and upgrades for the online forum and database;
  • Zoom and accounts for our weekly virtual F2Fs;
  • Honoraria for guest speakers at our virtual F2Fs;
  • ASL services when requested for our virtual F2Fs;
  • Modest compensation for our program manager and hosts who put in many hours behind-the-scenes to keep The D-Word and its programs operational.

Your support has made it possible for us to provide more than 50 free virtual F2Fs on Zoom this past year. These included networking opportunities, work in progress critiques of ten different films, and focused sessions with guest experts, including:

  • The Art of Producing Documentaries with Alysa Nahmias and Heidi Reinberg
  • Story Structure for Documentaries with Geoffrey Smith and Ove Rishøj Jensen
  • Grant Writing for Documentaries with Tracy Heather Strain and Tracie Holder
  • Film Festivals and Beyond with DOC NYC's Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen
  • Centering Personal Narratives of BIPOC Communities with Jennifer Crystal Chien
  • Navigating the PBS System with Keith Ochwat and Linda Midgett
  • The Possibilities of YouTube with David Hoffman
  • Educational Distribution for Docs with Rachel Gordon and James-Michael Boyer
  • Netflix and the Streamers with Peter Hamilton
  • Case studies of films such as Hidden Letters, The Territory, and Jimmy in Saigon

On our Forum, we provided coverage from IDFA, DOC NYC, and Double Exposure Film Festival. We organized or helped members organize in-person gatherings in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland, and Amsterdam. We facilitated member connections to each other through virtual affinity and accountability groups. We launched our new YouTube channel where we have shared "D-Words of Wisdom," recordings of many of our F2Fs with guest experts. We put together a panel on mental health at Getting Real and worked with Film in Mind and Malikkah Rollins on the DocuMentality initiative aimed at normalizing the conversation around mental health in our field and working with partners to make it a priority for the field and those who entrust us with their stories.

Through our online and offline programs, The D-Word provides spaces for professional development, information sharing and relationship building, working towards greater sustainability and improved mental health for documentary professionals. We hope we can count on you to support our continued efforts in the new year. Thank you!

Donate now

Donations go through our new fiscal sponsor The Film Collaborative (TFC) which can accept credit card, PayPal, check, Zelle, ACH, wire transfer, and stock donations. Since The Film Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, for members from the United States, donations may be tax deductible up to the full extent of the law. TFC’s federal tax ID number is 32-0295081.

For other ways to donate (including check or bank transfer), see our donation page on The Film Collaborative.