Crowdfunding School Surveillance Systems: The Big Brother Project

By: Carlton Purvis, Published on Dec 20, 2013

Crowdfunding is becoming a popular source of raising money. In the last five years, interest has gone from nearly nothing to more than  $700 million raised. Even security technology startups are doing it successfully (see Pixy, Canary, the NFC ring as examples).

Now, a security integrator from Flint, Michigan has started the Big Brother Project, a crowdfunding effort to raise $30,000 for a school surveillance system. Can they match the success of security technology startups?

The Project

*****, ********. **** **** it *** ********** ******* ***** **** in *** ********* ****** **** **** than ***,*** ******. ** was ***** ** ****** magazine, *** ** ******* ******* ****** *** women.

*********** ************ **************** *** *** ******* Project ** ** ****** to “******* ************ ******* to *** ****** ***** or ************* *** *** not ********* ** **** to ****** ****.”

“** ****** ** **** someone **** * **** defined **** ... *** provide **** **** ************,” said **** *****, ********* director *** *** *******.

*** *** ***** ***** undertaking, ** *** ********* with******* ******* *******, * **** ****** charter ****** ** *****, to ***** ***** ** install * ************ ****** network. ****************, *** ************* ********* ** ***** $**,*** in ** ****.

**** ** *** *********** video *** *** *******:

***** **** $**,*** **** go ****** ************ *** equipment, *** *** **** will ** ****** *** “perks” **** **** ******** to ******. * $*,*** donation ** ** **** contributors *** **** * plaque *** ** ** the ****** ** ***** honor, *** *******. * $50 ******** **** **** a ****** * “*** Brother” *-*****. ******* *** donate $** *** ******* the ****** *** ******* poster **** *** ******* president’s **** ** **:

The *********

*** ****** *** *** integrator *** ***** ******* to ******** *** ********* of ****, *** ***** says**************** **** **** ********* for *** *******.

*** ****** **** *** around ** ** ******* (1.3MP, *.***, *** * 5MP ********* *** *** gym) *** * *** analog *******. *** ****** watching *** ***** ***** will ** ** ****** camera ********* ** *** own ******* ******** **** the **** ** *** system *** **** **** alongside *** “****-**” ****.

“**’* **** ** ********* feed ** ************** *** have * **** **** on ***** ********. ** instead ** ******* *****-**** on * ******* ******** or ******* ** * decoder *** ** **** goes ** * ******** monitor,” ** ****. *** school **** *** **** any ******** ***** *** the ******* **** *** be ********* ****, *** the ********* ******** **** for *** ******** ** access **** ***** **** needed*** * ** **** LCD ******* *** *** front ******.

*** *** *******

*** ******* **** *** on ************* *** ******* **** be ******** ** ***** to * ****** ****** and ****** *** ** days.

Why “*** *******?”

*********** ************ ********* **** it **** ** ****** the ******’* **** ** surveillance ******* *** *** Brother ******* ** ********** the ****:

“*** ******* ** ************ is ***** ********** **** the ********** ********* *** one ** *** ****** that ***** ***’* ********* in ***** ************* *** the ******** ** ************. We’re ****** ** **** a **** **** * negative *********** *** **** it **** ********* ***** people ***** ** ****** ownership ** ***** ******** and ****** ****** *** putting ** **** ***** own *****. ** **** Big ******* ** **** something **** *********, **** watching **** **** ********* and **** *********.”

Nonprofit ******

*** ********** ** ******* to *** ********* ****** for *** *** ******* Project.

“** ********** **** ** have *** ********* ** do ***** ***** ** installations ** ****,” ** said.

Not *********

***** **** ***** ************ ********, ** *** *** contributed. ******, ****** ** reclaim *** **** '*** Brother' ******* ******** *** more ****** ** ***** contributors **** ******** ****.

** *** ***** ****, what ******* **** **** small ******* ****** ** an ************ **** **** to *** * ************ system?

[UPDATE ******* *, ****]

*** *** ******* ******* says************ ******* ******* *** the ******* ******* ******* project. *************, *** ******* has ********** * ***** ** $60** ***. *** ******* has ** **** ** raise *** ********* $**,***.

Comments (21)

Adopting "Big Brother" was a big mistake. They should have come on with something more community centric on the angle it's the community watching itself, not some monolithic nefarious government entity that everyone associates with the term.

Luis thank you for your comment and we do realize the negative stereotype. We're excited to make our communites safer for everyone and we hope that everyone would start their own similar projects. Thank you

This is a marketing effort cloaked in a philanthropic wrapper.

$25K equipment costs for a 25 camera Geovision system? please. Equipment cost should be maybe half that. The rest goes to eos to install the system. That is not how I define charitable...

“We wanted to find someone with a well defined need ... and provide them with surveillance,” said Luke McKay, marketing director for the company.

No they didn't... They maybe found someone with a well defined need (the real easy part), but they want other people to provide them with surveillance (and eos business).

They will have about as much success reclaiming the tem Big Brother as they would trying to reclaim the phrase Cheesy Marketing Ploy.

To be exact, that $25k included installation:

McKay says $25,000 will go toward installation and equipment...

I appreciate the heartfelt critique and in all fairness your assessment is incorrect. We are working toward making this into a fully independent organization and to characterize a fundraising effort as a marketing ploy is disingenuous. We have setout a plan that enables us to provide a system for free to the school, pay for incentives related to giving, and pay for the installation. Paying for the installation means we will be paying FLINT native installers to install the cameras. eos Business Surveillance Solutions has provided the funding for the marketing and has spent countless hours developing the plans that fit their specific needs. eos will NOT PROFIT from this job and to claim as much is shameful. Our team is proud of the work we're doing and we are not ashamed of helping our community and this school.

"eos will NOT PROFIT from this job and to claim as much is shameful."

Is that so?

So all this marketing you are doing to float this 'giving back to the community' campaign is simply because you are just all-around good dudes, eh? Not to increase your name/brand awareness in your surrounding community, eh? Not to grow your business, eh?

Please.

Companies that are charitable, i.e. they give money/stuff away to the less fortunate/needy, do so because they see the same need that you guys allegedly do - and decide to do what they can to help. Crowd-sourcing funds to donate to worthy causes is exactly what actual charities do. It's not a new idea.

If your company wants to be charitable - have at it... donate the funds/equipment/service and even talk about it all you like. But fledgeling charitable organizations (which you are attempting to become by making the BBP a non-profit entity) generally do not operate for-profit businesses providing the same stuff that the alleged non-profit does.

"Our team is proud of the work we're doing and we are not ashamed of helping our community and this school."

You shouldn't be ashamed of helping your comunity and this school. You should be ashamed of cloaking a marketing ploy in a philanthropic wrapper.

Marty,

The Big Brother Project's intent in working with Greater Heights Academy is to use this intial install as a pilot. We do not have the resources to fund this out of our pockets but we wish we did. We have employees at eos who have offered up their time to devote to the install and we welcome those efforts. We're not doing this to make money, but we are doing this as a pilot to enable us to secure funding in the future. The Big Brother Project as a non-profit 501c3 doesn't exist yet and we realize that it is not typical of a for profit company to raise funds for a project such as this but our objective is to use this to start The Big Brother Project as a non-profit. I understand you feel that $25K is far too high for materials and I would like to address this point in detail. All materials and excess expenses inccured on the project will be taken from the $25,000. After the project is complete and Greater Heights Academy is satisfied we are writing a check for the remainder of the funds to Greater Heights Academy.

We are excited to do this first project and it is unfortunate that this discourse was not related to how we can all help better our respective communities. Thank you for your concerns and hopefully we can all do better to help our communities.

yes i know:

Equipment cost should be maybe half that. The rest goes to eos to install the system.

I should've said $25K 'cost' - not equipment cost.

Didn't Stanley do the same thing? Stanley Safer Schools

Stanley held a contest where they gave away the equipment and installation. The Big Brother Project is trying to crowdfund it -- have the community chip in to pay for it rather than give it away.

Yes Mark they did and we hope that one day we could do something similar. We are a small surveillance camera integrator and hopefully once The Big Brother Project becomes a non-profit, we will be able to recieve the proper funding to conduct a contest such as that. Excellent observation, Thank You

I would fund the changing of the name first.

Thank you for your input Josh and we welcome the attention. We're proud of what we're doing and we are excited to make a difference in our community. The name is made to generate attention and we're not afraid of the criticism. Thank you

Luke, I'm not sure if you have finalized the VMS vendor yet, but if not I strongly suggest you take a look at these guys, they seem a natural fit...

Thank you Chris! We've been approached by one vendor and we currently utilize GeoVision at eos but I will take a look at the website. Thank you for your input, we really do appreacite it!

www.go1984.com - good find.

Thx, but I'm not worthy, I must give credit where credit is due...

Eight days left. $60 raised.

So there are 60 people who never read the book or saw the movie.

Thank you for the update Carlton :) ... We've been fortunate enough to have some equipment donations from companies both locally and nationally. Those donations do not reflect in the indiegogo page's total but we are happy for the support and we're excited to get the project finished for Greater Heights Academy. We're very thankful for the exposure that IPVM has brought us.

I just wanted to update everyone on the status of the project. We completed a 29 megapixel camera install for the school. There will be a updated video coming soon :)

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