An associate editor from the food blog Eat Me Daily will be cruising portions of the Midwest this summer, including Minnesota, researching and writing a cookbook about Midwestern food -- called Up North Cookbook. To front some of the costs, she's using a new online fundraising tool called Kickstarter. It's kind of like a clearinghouse for the starving artist crew slash choose-your-own cause for the charitable set.
So far, the projects run the gamut, from someone who wants only to make tshirts saying "Grace Jones Does Not Give a F$#%" to someone who wants to put up a mural celebrating NYC's Lower East Side to someone who makes crossword puzzles. Most people appear to be already fairly accomplished in their fields, and posting a cause is by invite only, but the dudes behind it appear to be open (which is clear from the wackiness of some of the projects).
There's an additional incentive (other than that feel-goodiness) for those who donate: You get stuff for donating certain amounts, at the discretion of the artist. For example, if you pledge $100 or more to Forbes' cookbook project, she'll make dinner for you and three others in either Austin, Texas or Madison, Wis. Kinda cool.