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 25th anniversary coming up in 2024, we are aiming to raise $25,000 in our annual fundraising campaign.
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? Maybe you came across our YouTube page featuring discussions and Q&A with many documentary luminaries and experts. 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 Otter.ai 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, F2F video editor and hosts who put in many hours behind-the-scenes to keep The D-Word and its programs operational.
Your support makes it possible for us to provide free virtual F2Fs on Zoom. These include networking opportunities, work in progress critiques of, and focused sessions with guest experts, including:
- How to Create an Effective Outreach and Community Engagement Campaign with MocaMedia
- Perfecting Your Pitch Deck with Yasmin Mistry
- DIY Distribution Success Stories with Mye Hoang and Heather Spore
- Utilizing AI for Documentary Production with Philip Shane and Basil Shadid
- Transforming Theatrical for Documentaries with Film & Campaign Ltd
- Storytelling on Mobile Devices with Bart Weiss
- The Current State of Fair Use with Patricia Aufderheide, Peter Jaszi, and Brandon Butler
- 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
- In-Depth Conversations with Thought Leaders and Award-Winning Filmmakers such as Joe Brewster, Peter Hamilton, Brian Newman, Jon Reiss, Jan Rofekamp, Michèle Stephenson, Erica L. Taylor and Steffie van Rhee
- Case studies of films such as Fire of Love. Hidden Letters, The First Step, The Territory, Jimmy in Saigon, and And She Can Be Next
A library of many of the above conversations are available for free on YouTube as D-Words of Wisdom.
On our Forum, we have provided coverage from major industry events such as IDFA, DOC NYC, and Getting Real. We have organized or helped members organize in-person gatherings. We facilitated member connections to each other through virtual affinity and accountability groups. We launched our new YouTube channel where we have shared "" 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. Thank you!
We use The Film Collaborative (TFC) - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs and services for independent filmmakers - as our fiscal sponsor. TFC’s federal tax ID number is 32-0295081. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
For other ways to donate (including check or bank transfer), see our donation page on The Film Collaborative.