Join the Crowd

Click here to join the Chuffed Crowd.  Don’t forget to say hello! 

Our mission at Chuffed is to do everything we can to help people make a difference in the world. There’s a lot more to making a difference than just raising funds. While we’ll always be there to help with that, we want to do more.

We’ve created a community of Changemakers, just like you. Here’s 5 reason’s why you should join:

Learn from the best

Many of our campaigners have gone on to build amazing organisations. Like Rob from TwoGood and Kyle from Edgars Mission. You can talk to experts right now and not just about running your campaign, our experts know how to help you achieve the greatest impact with the funds you raise.

Surround yourself with people who believe in change

Sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one who sees how important it is to just do something. This is a great way to meet others who believe in making a difference.

Meet people just like you

We have an international crowd with campaigners making a difference on almost every continent even Antarctica. We work with people involved in every cause imaginable, from building schools to saving animals, and everything in between.

Build connections to help you find more donors

We are surrounded by incredible people who are willing to donate to make a difference. Build connections with those who have run campaigns in the past and get their help to link you up with the donors that helped them.

Help others make a difference.

Running a successful campaign is an art form, and it takes great skill to use the funds raised wisely and effectively. The more support we can give each other, the bigger the changes we can make in the world.

We need your help to make our community grow. Whether you’re brand new to this world, or a seasoned veteran we’d like your help to create a movement around making a difference.

Click here to join today!

 

 

Above: Members of our community from the Hummingbird Project. They raised 15,000 to help people in Calais. Click the link to find out more.

How to Recover From a Slow Start to Your Campaign

Slow

You started your crowdfunding campaign with so much excitement.

But maybe your launch week didn’t go as planned and you didn’t have the time available to send out emails to your core audience.

But then a week went by. And then now weeks. And you’re still far away from your target.

What are you supposed to do?

Is there a special power-up that will transform the campaign into a success, or is it just time to give up?

Thankfully, we’ve seen a lot of campaigns and know what works. We’ve seen crowdfunding efforts that gained momentum weeks after starting and exceeded their goals despite the odds.

And remember, you’re not alone. Hundreds of other campaigns have struggled. There are strategies to bring things back up.

The truth is that few campaigns take off with wild success at the beginning.

If you’ve raised 50% or more in the first few weeks, don’t lose hope. Many campaigns raise the final 30-50% in the final week. Celebrate your progress and get ready for the final countdown.

Most successful campaigns get 30% of their funding in the first week. But if you haven’t hit that number, there are ways to turn things around.

In our years of crowdfunding, we know what strategies will make your campaign a success.

Here’s how to get started.

What to do if you haven’t raised anything yet

If you haven’t raised anything in the first week or so, it’s going to be almost impossible to get the campaign off the ground.

We recommend cancelling your campaign and starting over again.

In the interim time, prepare as best as you can. Read up on how to prepare for your campaign in our crowdfunding guide.

Rally your supporters, and get friends to commit to donating once you start again.

When you have the support you need, relaunch the campaign. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to run your campaign with the proper support and preparation.

Keep up the confidence, even if you haven’t raised enough yet

Your donors want to contribute to a campaign that’s going places. Even if you’re unsure, don’t sound discouraged with the campaign, and don’t communicate that it will probably fail.

Be confident!

Use the renewed sense of urgency to compel your supporters to contribute even more. Show how your campaign needs their funds now more than ever. Don’t act desperate and beg for finances, but honestly ask others to help with your cause.

A great way to do this is to thank supporters. Show appreciate for their contributions in your updates, and include a link to your campaign. This is a great way to show appreciate while not being another ask.

Oftentimes, the secret sauce to campaigns that work is donor communication. Reach out frequently to your supporters and show them what’s happening behind the scenes.

Emphasize the content you’re creating and the work you’re putting in. Focus on sharing exciting stories with them instead of constantly asking for money.

If you’re raising money to build a shelter, for example, share stories and pictures of how you’ve begun talking with construction companies. Don’t complain about how the project might not happen since there isn’t enough support!

Leverage existing donors

You already have backers that are ready to give you the push you need. Here’s how to encourage them to help you even more.

First, (politely) ask donors to share! Remember, you never know who will be your next big donor. It could be a Facebook friend of an existing backer. Encourage them to spread the word.

Second, thank your donors profusely. We’ve seen campaigns do well with personalized, public thank-yous. Write a thank-you note for each donor, and share it on social media.

Libby Williams and Caroline Fleay made sure to personally thank every single donor in their campaign to build a free legal clinic to help those seeking asylum in Australia.

They even asked some donors for permission to thank them publically, which helped spread the word of the campaign. As a result, Libby and Caroline raised $91,400 in just 60 days!

Finally, encourage your existing backers to increase their support. The best way we’ve seen to make this happen is through new perks.

Adding an original experience or form of recognition are great free perks. These new rewards can easily double the average support each donor gives you.

Get new backers

Perhaps the most explosive way to skyrocket the success of your campaign is by attracting new donors.

Work to find new people interested in donating or sharing the campaign with their network. We’ve seen three particularly successful strategies.

First, contact non-donors you reached out to earlier but who chose not to donate. Reach out in a friendly way and don’t pressure them for money. Ask why they didn’t donate, and encourage them to share even if they don’t contribute.

Second, reach out to influencers. These are people with a larger reach than you have. These may be celebrities, bloggers, or even corporate partners.

When you reach out to these individuals, look for a personal story to tell them about the cause. Share any successes you’ve already had, and explain how this would interest their audience.

We’ve found that quality is more important than quantity almost every time, so craft a special message for each influencer.

Next, you need to decide which channel will work best to reach him or her. Email is generally a good tool, but you may also want to follow up with a Facebook message, SMS, or even a phone call.

When you make contact, share how their support will help the cause and give them a specific action to take (like posting on their Facebook page).

Third, repeat what has worked. Look carefully over your list of supporters.

(The easiest way to do this is by looking at your list of donor data on Chuffed.)

Are they mostly work friends? Volunteers in your local community?

Find patterns, then reach out to more people like this. Talk to more work friends, or encourage community organizations to spread the word.

If you must, extend the deadline

We don’t recommend extending your campaign deadline. It can kill the urgency of the team and actually discourage donors from contributing.

But if the end is drawing closer and you won’t be able to make enough progress in that time, consider pushing the deadline back by a small amount.

Even if you eventually decide to run an infinity campaign, it works best to set a deadline to count down to. We recommend 4-6 weeks for a typical campaign length.

But be sure to maintain the sense of urgency!

Don’t give up hope

Remember that you can’t predict how your campaign will end.

Until the campaign is over, keep promoting and staying positive. We’ve seen campaigns turn around in what appeared like the final hour.

You can do the same. You started your campaign to help a cause, and that cause still needs your support.

Don’t give up!

Quick tip: How to create a compelling campaign video in under 90 minutes

Video on phone

It’s a fact:

The most effective crowdfunding campaigns use video.

There’s just something about video that grabs our attention and makes us interested. That’s why people watch five billion YouTube videos each day, and the film and movie industry is worth tens of billions of dollars a year.

In this quick tip, you’ll learn the step-by-step process for adding a little cinematic magic to your campaign in just 90 minutes.

Step 1: Write the script (20 minutes)

We’ve found that videos work best if they’re short—around two minutes or so.

Here’s a template you can use:

  • 0:00-0:30 — Tell your story and explain why you care about the problem
  • 0:30-1:30 — Explain what your solution is, and how it will solve the problem
  • 1:30-1:45 — Provide a general budget, and explain what you’ll do with extra funds
  • 1:45-2:00 — Ask! Encourage people to join your mission, and explain any perks

Step 2: Film the video (30 minutes)

The equipment doesn’t matter as much as your personality! A smartphone or even webcam will work fine.

When filming, do this:

  • Look into the camera, and imagine just talking to one friend.
  • Show your excitement and passion for your cause—your enthusiasm is infectious!
  • Smile and look confident! Don’t be afraid to ask people to help.

Step 3: Edit the video (30 minutes)

Before you show the video to the world, you’ll probably want to polish it a bit.

If you have Windows Movie Maker (PC) or iMovie (Mac), you can use this software. For an even faster option, consider a free mobile app like YouTube Director or PowerDirector.

There’s no need to be fancy.

Trim out major misspeaks, and add a picture or title if you like.

Don’t worry about background music, a logo, or even transitions. These take time to get right and can be distracting for your viewers.

Remember—people want to support you, so don’t hide behind special effects!

Step 4: Upload the video (5 minutes)

Once you’ve finished editing the video, the rest is easy.

Go to a site like YouTube or Vimeo and upload your creation. Since the video is short, it shouldn’t take too long.

Be sure to give it a title—don’t leave the default image name:

Step 5: Upload to Chuffed (5 minutes)

Once you’ve uploaded the video, watch it once to make sure everything’s working properly.

If so, grab the link and place it on your Chuffed campaign page. Double-check to make sure it works correctly.

Congrats! You’ve just created your first campaign video! If you have more time, consider spending more time on each section to develop your work further.

Quick tip: The most popular perks in the history of Chuffed.org

Australian Vegan Journal

What makes for a great donor reward?

In our previous research on the best crowdfunding perks, we’ve found three categories that work well. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most popular perks of all time to get your creative juices flowing.

Pre-release products or services

  • Care packages – 304 sold. For $64, supports got two care packages—one for themselves, and one donated to a domestic violence shelter on Mother’s Day.
  • Get Pointy – 280 sold. For $25, supporters received an early release of a the children’s book Pointy Pembleton, with proceeds going to support greyhound rescue.
  • Early edition of Australian Vegans – 226 sold. Supporters got an early print edition of the magazine for $15, which told the story of veganism and ethical leadership in Australia.

Unique experiences

  • Swimming with the whales – 429 sold. For $50, donors could be entered into the running to join a documentary team swimming with minke whales with the Great Barrier Reef Legacy campaign. The concept was so successful, the campaign raised over $20,000 with this perk alone! (If you choose to run a raffle, be sure to get a license from your locality.)
  • Special screening of Oddball– sold out at 200! For $30, supporters got to attend a private screening of the movie and guest speaker presentation, along with popcorn and a drink. The funds went toward Vets for Change. Seats were limited to 200, and sold out!

Special recognition

    • The $10 Challenge – 438 sold. For $10, individuals purchased the rights to get their name placed on a plaque at the Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary. Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary also had two other high-performing perks—a  $25 and $50 perk with “digital kisses” from the animals, plus the name of the supporter on the recognition wall.
    • No Place Like Home – 409 sold. For just £5, supporters could get their name on a plaque at the new shelter for disabled bullock Duke. Campaigner Sharon Lawlor raised over £90,000 for the shelter!

  • Get your location on the map – 248 sold. Supporters could be placed on a map of supporters for the African Data Initiative for just £1, helping to produce and teach statistics software to native Kenyans.

No matter what your cause, you can create a perk that pulls at the heartstrings of your biggest supporters.

Show your donors they’re part of something bigger, and provide them with rewards they can’t find anywhere else.

By creating unique perks specific to your campaign, you can grow a cause like never before.

What will you try?

The Ultimate Crowdfunding Guide For Animal Rescue Groups

A guide for animal rescue groups and individuals who want to use crowdfunding to raise funds to pay vet bills or help care for animals in need.

Dogs and cats

Introduction

Donation-based crowdfunding is a way to source money for a project by asking a large number of contributors to donate a small amount, and asking a small number of contributors to donate a large amount. In return, backers may receive token rewards or acknowledgements for donations.

Crowdfunding is a great way for small organisations to grow their online following and address both short- and long-term fundraising needs. Larger established organisations can also benefit from this new and exciting way to engage existing supporters while reaching new audiences.

All you need is a clear idea of what you’re raising funds for and a good understanding of what crowdfunding is and how it works. There’s no ‘One size fits all’ in Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding for Animals can take many shapes and forms, including (but not limited to):

  • covering vet bills of a single rescue animal
  • engaging and empowering the wider public to raise awareness
  • building a whole new animal sanctuary or hospital

The following examples will give you a better idea of the variety of Animal Cause campaigns on Chuffed.org:

Animal campaign examples

Summary

This guide is designed for small animal rescue shelters or other animal welfare organisation who want to understand how to use crowdfunding to fundraise for their animals and causes. It’s based on our experience with hundreds of shelters but uses specific examples from two shelters based in Australia – Forever Friends Animal Rescue and Maneki Neko Cat Rescue.

Forever Friends Animal Rescue is the largest animal rescue in Victoria, Australia and have over 600 pets in their care at any given time. That’s more than the RSPCA head office branch in their area. Completely run by volunteers, they have no paid staff. Despite this, they’ve managed to raise over $90,000 through crowdfunding on Chuffed.org in the past year alone.

Maneki Neko Cat Rescue have 180 active foster carers and volunteers and have anywhere between 300-400 cats in care at any one time. In 2016, they rehomed 830 cats, and in 2017, they’re on target for over 1000. They have grown exponentially over past 3 years: in 2014, they only rehomed 180 cats. Then in 2015, that jumped to 360. By 2016, they were at 830 cats rehomed. So far, Maneki Neko Cat Rescue has raised $29,150 on Chuffed.org.

This guide focuses on raising funds for a single animal. Larger projects (with 5- or 6-figure targets) require a slightly different approach, and it may be best to get in touch with us to discuss your project in more detail. You’ll also find examples and case studies at the end of this guide.

So, whether you’re a small rescue group with a small online following and just starting out, or an established organisation looking to reach new audiences, this guide will help you on your way!

 

Here’s how they did it

Before you start: Choose a crowdfunding platform

 

We’d of course recommend using Chuffed.org, for three reasons:

  • You get to keep 100% of what you raise even if you don’t hit your target.
  • org doesn’t take a cut of your donation (most platforms charge 5-12% payment processing and platform fees). Instead we let donors decide if they give to Chuffed.org or not on top of their donation. Donors also cover the payment processing fees.
  • org only supports social cause campaigns, so you’ll be amongst other people like you, not people funding their holidays.

Step 1: Choose a single animal

Rather than fundraising to help ’10 kittens’, or ‘help save the lives of the animals in our care’, we found that choosing one specific animal to fundraise for works best. Most animal rescue groups care for several animals at any given time, and there’s always more than one animal in need. We recommend raising funds for 1 animal at the time and choosing an animal that:

  • Has a very visual issue, you can see something is wrong with them (ie. they have a broken leg or an X-ray that shows something’s wrong)
  • Needs a life-saving or life-changing surgery (ie. helping a kitten with a broken paw walk again)
  • Has some sort of visual X-factor (ie. a cute kitten, puppy or an older dog that just has the sweetest smile).

Step 2: Get a good quality header image

The photo that you use as the header image for your campaign is critical to your success. It’s the first thing that potential supporters see and it’s what gets shared on social media. You want it to be high quality, inspiring and engaging.

Before you launch your campaign:

  • There are several ways of getting a high-quality image: take it yourself, ask a volunteer or the vet to take a photo for you, or use their pound photo. You don’t need fancy cameras – though they help. Most people just use a good phone camera. You can also use X-rays or scans from the vet.
  • Take the photo with the animal looking at the camera. Sad photos tend to work better than happy ones, but you don’t want to guilt people with shocking photos (org is a guilt-free site. We reject campaigns that use guilt-imagery like graphic, disturbing images of animals).
  • If you’ve got multiple images, you can use the other ones in the campaign description.
  • If the animal you’re fundraising for requires surgery, we recommend taking a photo of the animal going into surgery – you can use these later to update your donors on the progress of the surgery.

Example header image

After the campaign ends:

  • Take a photo of the animal after surgery. Again, you’ll use this to update donors, but also to update your main campaign photo. The reason for this is that you want future supporters to see lots of examples of the impact you made previously.
  • Forever Friends Animal Rescue uses a template over the top of the image with their logo and the campaign title. This isn’t necessary but does create consistency over multiple campaigns. This is what people see when they search “Forever Friends” on Chuffed.org:

Header image example

Step 3: Write a strong title and compelling story

The Title

Your title is the second thing potential donors see after the photo. Make sure it’s short (4-5 words) and easy for people to understand what difference they’re going to make. You can add an exclamation mark to add a sense of urgency. For example, if an animal needs surgery that will help them on their feet again, call your campaign something like: Help Nala Walk Again!

As a bonus, you can try alliteration: “Help Red Run Again”, “Save Eddie’s Sight”, “Help Wobbles Walk” all worked well for Forever Friends Animal Rescue.

The Pitch text

Once you’ve piqued a potential donor’s interest with a strong photo and title, you need to give them the quick pitch. This is a very brief explanation of what your campaign is about. It’s what donors read to decide whether to read your full campaign page.

All your pitch should do is explain clearly what you’re fundraising for and have a clear call to action.

Here’s a good example:

“Nugget is a sweet two-year-old Staffy mix and he’s been diagnosed with a luxating patella on both hind legs. Help us help him live a pain-free life so he can run and play like a young dog should!”

The Story

Now it’s time to give potential donors the full story.

Typically, project descriptions are 300-450 words. Their aim is to both explain and inspire. Both Maneki Neko Cat Rescue and Forever Friends Animal Rescue use a simple formula for this: explain what’s happened to the animal, then what you want to do and what you’re going to spend the money on.

Remember to write in plain, clear language. While it’s tempting to explain the details of the surgery, a lot of times the animals need complex surgery and explaining the details of the surgery is not going to help inspire people to give – it may just confuse them.

To improve your campaign page even further, you can add additional pictures or videos. Photos from the animal’s rescue or in surgery work well.

Also, if you’ve already spent the money for the surgery, you can still fundraise to pay it off – just be sure to be clear about this to your donors. They won’t mind, they just want to know where the funds are going.

Here’s a great example of a simple but good campaign description:

“The owners of sweet 4-year-old Narla took her to the vet due to her limping. They were told Narla needed surgery on both her back legs to live a normal, pain-free life. Narla’s owners put her back in the car, drove straight to the pound and left her there. She’s been there a month and has run out of time.

Forever Friends doesn’t think Narla deserves to die. We’re ready and willing to take Narla into foster care and look after her during her recovery and find her a forever home, but we need to raise the money to fund the surgery that Narla needs.

Peninsula Vet Care is generously willing to perform Narla’s cruciate ligament surgery on both her back legs for around half the normal cost – $3500 – and we have a foster home waiting. The only thing that is missing is financial support.

Can you make a tax-deductible donation to help us save Narla? This sweet girl deserves a second chance.”

Step 4: Create a Chuffed.org page and upload photo, title and story

Once you’ve got your photo, pitch and campaign description, head to chuffed.org/start and start drafting your campaign. Just follow the steps, put the photo, pitch and description into the campaign editor:

Next, submit your campaign for approval, so we can review your page, and give feedback where needed*.

You don’t need to get it perfect immediately, because you can continue to edit your page, add details or pictures during the pre-launch phase and even after you’ve launched, so you are in full control. Also, once your first campaign is approved, you’ll be able to launch future campaigns without the need for further approval. This is an example of what a campaign page looks like:

Campaign page example

Step 5: Promote your campaign

The best campaigns on Chuffed.org do a lot of promotion, and so do Forever Friends Animal Rescue and Maneki Neko Cat Rescue. They both discovered that promotion activities are critical, but they don’t need to be complicated.

The crucial touch-points for promoting your campaign include:

  1. Before launch: let your volunteers and supporters know you’re about to launch a campaign, get them involved by asking for feedback or let them create their own fundraisers, this will make them more likely to share your campaign on launch-day.
  2. Launch day: launch big, and through all channels on the same day. In the first few days / week, make sure to thank every donor publicly too, this will make them feel good about donating, but will also show potential donors that others have already contributed.
  3. During the campaign: send positive updates and celebrate wins like raising 50% of your target. Focusing on celebrating how much you raised, rather than asking for money, and where possible, show updates on how the pet is doing.
  4. After the campaign: it’s important to thank all supporters, and send them an update a few weeks after on how the pet has been doing. Not just because it makes them feel good, but also because it makes them more likely to support your next campaign too!

The 3 main channels we recommend using are:

1. Facebook

Where to post:

  • Your Organisation’s Facebook Page.
  • Your Foster Carers / Volunteer Facebook Group (if you don’t have one, consider creating one like Maneki Neko Cat Rescue – Volunteers)
  • Your personal Facebook Page (and those of your volunteers and foster carers): this way your own friends and family can help share the campaign to their networks.

What to post:

  • Launch Post:
    • Create a post for the campaign, using a snippet of the text and link to the campaign to read more and donate. Pin this post to the top of your page for the duration of the campaign.
  • Campaign Updates:
    • Updates on progress of the campaign (and the pet’s health) are important:
    • Celebrating milestones:we’re halfway there”, “we’ve already raised 30% in 2 days” to remind people about the campaign and show others donated
    • Final push: When you get close to your target or campaign end, do another post to remind and let everyone know you’re almost there
    • After finishing: End of campaign update and thank you “Thank you for saving Narla who’s recovering well from surgery” makes everyone feel good, and those that didn’t support you this time around, will want to support the next one.
    • Header image:
    • Change your Facebook header image to include the Chuffed.org campaign header and a link to the crowdfunding page to donate.
    • This header stays up until campaign is finished and people who visit your Facebook page can immediately see what’s happening or what you’re fundraising for. You can also update this after a campaign completes to include a thank you.
    • Check out Forever Friends Animal Rescue’s Facebook Page for a great example.
    • Thanking Supporters:
    • Publicly thank supporters for their donations. Do a thank you post at the end of each day/week with the names of the people who donated that day/week.
    • This makes your donors feel good and more likely to share your campaign, but also shows others that people are supporting your project.
    • If you can tag them in the post, that’s even better because their friends and family will also see this in their newsfeed.
  • Volunteer engagement:
    • Ask your volunteers to like and share the posts. If you have a volunteer group on Facebook, let volunteers know you’ll be doing a Chuffed.org campaign and ask them to share the campaign link on their own Facebook page or to print a poster to promote the campaign at work.
    • For example: “Hi guys, you know Twistie is really sick. Can you please help us share Twistie’s campaign link? Just copy and paste this onto your own Facebook page. Thanks in advance, it would be a great help!”

2. Email

Although Facebook allows you to reach new audiences, don’t forget about email. Not all your supporters will be on Facebook or check Facebook regularly, so reaching out via email will make sure you reach everyone. We even have had successful campaigns just use email only!

  • Send an email to your supporters, volunteers and newsletter list to let them know you’re about to launch a campaign (share the pre-launch page for feedback).
  • Send a separate email to announce the launch of your campaign, asking them to share it with their networks. If you already do an email newsletter, include a featured section on the campaign, or even better, send a separate email to announce that you’ve just launched a crowdfunding campaign and would like everyone to support & share it.
  • Send important campaign updates (ie. we’re 50% there!) so everyone is reminded the campaign is still happening and rather than receiving another ‘ask for funds’, they’re involved in the celebrations.

Think about it as using email to activate and engage your existing supporters, to help you reach new audiences through Facebook and Social Media. Get them involved so they share it with their networks.

3. Messages and Campaign Updates

When you create a page on Chuffed.org and you start collecting the funds, you will also be able to send campaign updates and messages to supporters through our website, even when the campaign is finished. Whether your supporters found out about your campaign on Facebook or via email, you’ll be able to reach out to all of them with a single click on a button. You can also download your supporter data from the website.

Step 6: Receive the funds

When you create your Chuffed.org page, you can choose to collect the funds either by adding your banking details via Stripe Connect (recommended) or via a PayPal account. Stripe Connect is a secure online payment platform that enables payments into a bank account of your choice. You can start receiving funds from the day you launch your campaign and (when using Stripe) you can choose how frequently you want the funds to be paid into your account. This means you don’t have to wait until the campaign is finished to collect your funds and you are in full control.

Step 7: Tell people what happened

Most importantly after you complete a Chuffed.org campaign, is to let supporters know what happened. When you have an update about the animal that you saved, whether it’s 1 week or 3 months later, let them know. Supporters love getting updates on the animals they helped, and it makes them much more likely to donate to your next campaign. You can also use the Chuffed.org message function to contact and send updates supporters.

Frequently asked questions:

How much does it cost to run a campaign on Chuffed.org?

Nothing! Raising funds on Chuffed.org is completely free. Unlike most other platforms, we don’t charge any fees to our campaigners so that projects receive 100% of the funds. Instead, we’ve put our trust in the supporters who at the point of donation, will pay the online payment processing fee and can include an optional donation to support our platform. Lucky for us, it turns out they do! So, if you raise $5,000 on Chuffed.org, you get the full $5,000 straight on your account.

How is this different from a standard fundraising appeal?

Although crowdfunding campaigns and fundraising appeals have the same ideals – that is, to get support (financially or otherwise) for projects that certain individuals or groups believe in – there are a few differences that make it worthwhile to add crowdfunding to your fundraising mix:

  1. A specific project: Crowdfunding is typically for a specific project (or in this case, animal), where supporters can clearly understand where the money is going and join forces with others to raise the needed funds.
  2. A sense of urgency: Limiting the campaign to 30 days, with a daily counter and fundraising ‘thermometer’ will create a sense of urgency and encourage people to contribute now, rather next month (though you can choose to run your campaign for anything up to 6 months or without a time limit if you prefer)
  3. Reaching more people: Crowdfunding campaigns allow you to reach more people and gain more supporters by actively engaging your existing supporters to share the page with their networks, who can then share it with their networks.
  4. Updates on progress: Good crowdfunding campaigns include updates after the campaign is finished so supporters receive updates on progress and can see their money has made a difference.
  5. Engaging donors in new ways: Crowdfunding allows you to engage your supporters in new ways, educating them about the projects you’re working on and helping you raise awareness of your cause with their networks. Some donors prefer to donate to a new crowdfunding campaign each month, rather than signing up to become a regular donor.

Raising funds for a bigger project?

If you have any questions about Chuffed.org or crowdfunding in general, or are looking to crowdfund a bigger project, please get in touch with [email protected] to schedule a free 30-minute mentoring session. We are happy to answer any questions and provide free advice on how to develop a tailored campaign and promotion strategy for bigger projects.

More tips:

The Full Chuffed.org Crowdfunding Guide

Crowdfunding Case Studies and Deep Dives

 

All the best of luck with your first Chuffed.org Campaign!

 

Thank you!

A huge thank you to Samantha from Maneki Neko Cat Rescue and Saskia from Forever Friends Animal Rescue for sharing your crowdfunding know-how and tips with us which will help to save more animals across the world.

You can find out more about these two amazing causes in the links below. If you found this crowdfunding guide helpful, consider making a small donation to one of their Chuffed.org campaigns:

 

Forever Friends Animal Rescue

www.foreverfriends.org.au

Saskia

“To be honest, it’s the easiest fundraising we’ve ever done. When I think back of the times where we just did Trivia Nights, Bake Sales or Raffles, there’s so much background work and so much admin and people involved. With crowdfunding, there’s only 3 of us setting this up, especially with the design templates we’ve got, its quick and easy. It doesn’t take long to create the Chuffed link in terms of effort and volunteer hours, and it’s literally just getting it up on Facebook and in our Newsletter and sit back and watch the dollars come in – it’s a dream”

– Saskia from Forever Friends Animal Rescue

 

Maneki Neko Cat Rescue

www.neko.org.au

Samantha

What we found with Crowdfunding is that it brings people out that want to feel like they contributed to something specific, eg. helping Fluffy who needs surgery. They really want that connection with the animal. We find that as soon as we put up a new Chuffed.org page for an animal that needs surgery, many of the same people donate. We’d love them to do a regular monthly donation instead, but they prefer to donate this way, where they have a clear understanding of how the funds will be spent. We use Chuffed wherever we have a situation that provides us the opportunity to tell a great story and get people along for the journey”

Samantha from Maneki Neko Cat Rescue

Photo Credit

We’d also like to thank K9Kate Pet Photography (www.k9kate.nl) as well as The Animal Protection Society of Western Australia and CJ Animal Rescue for providing us with the amazing pictures used in on the front page of this document and to Hunter Animal Rescue for the banner image.

Author

Marlies Kimpe is Chuffed.org’s growth manager and cares a huge deal about animals. She used to work for PetRescue  in Australia before moving to the UK where she is currently a volunteer foster carer at Cats Protection. If you have any feedback or suggestions to make this guide even better, please contact her at [email protected].

5 Steps to get PR for your Crowdfunding Campaign

Hand on Microphone - PR Guide

For your crowdfunding to really take off it’s important to reach past your existing networks. Getting media coverage is a great way to increase awareness about your crowdfunding campaign and access new supporters. With the right research and planning, you can achieve publicity for your crowdfunding campaign and boost your impact.

More important than finding the right journal or newspaper to pitch to, is finding the right person who will be interested to feature your story. Most journalists get hundreds of press releases and email pitches every day — many of which get deleted unopened. So how do you get your story noticed?

Here are some tried and tested steps to getting media coverage for your crowdfunding campaign:

  1. Find the right journalists

Rather than emailing the [email protected] or using the website’s online contact form, find the journalists that have shown an interest in you, your cause or related topics before. These include:

  • Journalists who have featured you or your organisation before (they already know you)
  • Journalists of your Local Press / in the city where you or your organisation are based, or where the project is happening (they want to know what is happening in their local area)
  • Journalists of your National Press who have featured a similar campaign or cause before (journalists who are already talking about issues relating to your cause are the most likely to want to publish your story)

There are some great free tools online to help you access the right journalists and their contact details. An effective way of doing this:

  1. Head to https://news.google.com/
  2. Click on ‘Advanced search’ and fill out the relevant search terms to find at least 5 contacts for each of the 3 categories above and build a list of articles and journalist names, grouping them by journal.
  3. Do a Google Search for ‘Journalist’s Name + contact details’ or go to the contact page of the journal or newspaper to find out the email format the company is using. You can also find example email formats at https://www.email-format.com/. If you really can’t find their details you can also email the editor or use the online contact form, but this should be your last choice.

Limit your search to articles published in the last 1–2 years to make sure it’s still relevant. An example search could be:

Search articles

2. Engage with the journalist before you pitch

Never underestimate the importance of connections — take the time to engage with the journalists on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Get on their radar by liking, commenting on and sharing their posts. Get to know what your key journalists want and how they work by following them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and any other social networks they may have. Get examples of what they’ve written so you can reference them later.

 

Engaging with Journalists

3. Shape the perfect story and turn it into an awesome press release.

Now that you know the needs of your target journalists and their audience, build a story around your campaign with these in mind. Put yourself in the journalist’s shoes and think about what aspects of your story are the most newsworthy for their readers. Emphasize the most human aspects of your story. What makes this story interesting? Is it the cause that drives it, the current affairs that link it, the emotion it brings up, the large amount you have already raised or the fact that something incredible is happening in your local community?

Adjust your story to the best angle for the journalist and their audience and make sure to include the 5 W’s of journalism:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

Also make sure you include clear links to your Chuffed.org crowdfunding campaign. Mention Chuffed.org in the text so we get notified when your story gets featured and we can help spread the word with our networks too.

For more tips you can follow the guidelines of our press release template here.

A great example:

Media Release Example

Some more great Chuffed.org story examples :

4. Write a compelling pitch email

Your subject line is crucial in drawing the journalist’s attention. There are 2 types of subject lines that work particularly well:

  1. Label it as ‘STORY IDEA’ or ‘PITCH’, followed by a concise heading that summarizes your story in no more than ten words. (They know what to expect when they open the email, and gets them interested to learn more)
  2. Refer to their previous article in the subject line. For example: ‘Following up on [Previous Article Title]’ (They will recognise their own Article Subject line and will like that you are following up on something they wrote)

Make sure you refer to the journalist by name, and get straight to the point in the first couple of lines. Explain who you are, the topic of the press release and why you thought it would be of interest to them (refer to one of their previous related articles) but don’t go into too much detail — a few lines is enough.

Leave a clear link to your crowdfunding campaign and either attach your press release or copy-paste the press release at the bottom of the email. Also make sure to include clear contact details and make sure you are available to respond and help them meet their deadlines.

An example email could look like this:

Pitch email

5. Follow Up

After sending your pitch, give it at least 1–2 days before taking more action. If you hear back straight away — you’re in luck. Make sure to respond to any questions as soon as possible. Journalists are working towards tight deadlines and whether or not they can feature your story will depend on how fast they can put it together for the next edition of their journal or newspaper.

If you don’t hear back, the next step is a phone call. When you call, introduce yourself, mention your earlier email and state that you wanted to follow up with a photo opportunity or to double check they don’t miss out on the story. Be ready to explain why your story should be of interest to them. If they decide it isn’t, accept defeat, but ask for some positive feedback, so you can take it to your next journalist target. If you can’t get hold of them via phone, give it a few days before you send a polite follow-up email, letting them know about any updates on your campaign and asking if they have any questions related to your previous email. Don’t follow up more than once, you don’t want to come across as pushy or impatient.

Journalists work towards very tight publishing deadlines and have only limited time available to explore new stories. Usually it takes a few days for them to respond, so don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately. They may even feature your story without responding to your email. You will usually get a 10–20% success rate when contacting the right journalists with a relevant story, so the more you research, the better your chances!

When is the best time to contact Journalists?

We recommend contacting journalists either:

  1. Before your campaign launches — to let them know the campaign is coming up and with a link to the pre-launch page (make them feel special about getting a preview and let them be the first to publish your story — you can send a follow-up email once the campaign is live).
  2. When you’ve raised a considerable amount of your target in the first week (>30%) or are getting closer to your target towards the end of the campaign (>70%). Journalists are more likely to feature successful campaigns than a campaign that just launched and is sitting at $0.
  3. When your campaign is completed and you raised 100% of your target. You may not need to raise further funds, but it will help you raise more awareness of your cause and may help you get potential future support and funding. The journalist is able to feature a positive and successful story, and you have a new journalist on your list for your next campaign.

What if your story gets featured?

If your crowdfunding campaign gets publicity, make sure to thank the journalist for their time and effort and show their support is appreciated. If the journalist features your story, they’re more likely to cover you again in the future, so make sure you keep them in the loop as you hit milestones throughout your crowdfunding campaign.

Also make sure to the article amongst your social networks as well as on your campaign page to keep the momentum going. You can also share this in your email to other journalists to show the story is newsworthy and give them an example of where else the story has been featured.

Other websites and tools:

We’d love to see your coverage — share it with us as well!

Feeling inspired? Start your own campaign today.

 

What are the most successful perks/rewards for my crowdfunding campaign?

Perk Soft Toy Bear

We get asked a lot about perks and rewards and how important they are for crowdfunding success? Do I really need to offer perks? Won’t it stop people being philanthropic?

Our answer to these? Perks help. A LOT.

The reason for this is that perks give people a way of participating in your campaign. They tap into selfish motivations as well as benevolent motivations. And they let you access your supporters’ spending purse, not just their philanthropic purse — you can guess which of these is bigger.

So what perks should you offer? 

Well perks tend to fall into three categories:

  1. Pre-release products or services: ‘Selling’ products and services via crowdfunding is probably the most common type of perk. Whether it’s tickets to your eventmembershipsCDsbee-hives or even crepes, forward selling products and services is a great way to get people involved in your project.
  2. Unique experiences: Most social cause organisations don’t realise it, but they are nearly always an amazing repository of wonderfully special, unique experiences. It could be dinners on a rooftop gardenworkshops on a farmtickets to an opening party, or even locating a tattoo on a founder.
  3. Special recognition: An oldie, but a goodie. Getting their name on or sponsoring a part of a project is still popular among some crowds. The key here is being creative on what can be sponsored. Edgar’s Mission had barns, rocks, rakes, posts, shelters and even a mountain.

 

So, how do I come up with perks for my campaign?

This might sound obvious, but the easiest way to come up with perks is to co-design them with potential donors. Edgar’s Mission ran a workshop with some of its key volunteers prior to its campaign to come up with their perks. Spacecubed did the same with their members. It’s best to have a hypothesis on your perks as a starting point, as well as the levels you need perks at (normally $25, $50, $100, $250, $1000, $2500, $5000)

 

Some other considerations

  • Perks which are directly connected to your campaign, which let people participate in your campaign/project are far better than unconnected perks (eg. Amazon gift cards,
  • Having an early bird offer on your perks is a great way to build momentum. Spacecubed – a co-working space in Perth – released a very limited number of highly discounted memberships in the first 24 hours of their campaign
  • Some perks (like drugs, illegal stuff, raffles) are not allowed. Make sure you check our terms to stay on the right side of the rules.

5 steps to writing an awesome non-profit crowdfunding pitch

Girl Writing

Every day we get a whole heap of crowdfunding pitches from non-profits and social enterprises, which vary from the very good to the very crap. We’ve seen it all, from the three-line-’people-will-get-it’ pitch to the boring-10-page-grant-application pitch (hint, both miss the point).

To make it easier for you, we’ve broken down crowdfunding pitches (and any non-profit pitch, really) into these 5 steps and given you an example from a real campaign:

1. Context – Set the scene Zoom right out and set the scene for your audience. Many of them will already know this, but it moves their brain into the right frame to introduce what you’re doing. In 2010-11 Australia had 54 396 applications for refugee status, mostly from conflict-torn areas,
2. Issue – Explain what the problem is in the current context 

 

Normally there’s something broken in the current context or there’s an opportunity – whichever it is, tell people what the issue is, before you tell them how you’re going to solve (or take advantage of) it.

But we take forever to process their applications – more than five years in some cases. This means five years in limbo with nothing meaningful to do, and five years of vulnerability, without family and friend support networks.
3. Solution – What are you doing to solve the issue? 

 

This is where you talk about what you’re going to do. Keep it simple and specific. Avoid non-profit buzzwords that no-one really understands (seriously, don’t do it).

We are building a rooftop garden for these refugees to volunteer at.
4. Impact – How will what you do change the world? 

 

Here’s where you talk about how what you’re doing will make a difference.

Our rooftop garden will grow more than food; it will grow opportunities. Opportunities for refugees to participate in familiar activities and grow traditional foods. Opportunities for meaningful activities during periods of uncertainty. Opportunities to increase self worth.
5. Ask – How much do you need and what are you going to spend it on? 

 

And always end with an ask. Be clear on how much you want to raise and what you’re going to spend it on.

We need $15,000 to build the garden and we’ve got some awesome perks for those who help us raise the funds.

And that’s it. You can use this same flow for your pitch video too. Simple.

How to increase your donation page conversion by 1500%

Girl looking at ipad

We’re obsessed with conversion metrics at Chuffed. Seriously, we A/B test everything. Colours/sizes/positions of buttons, call to actions, payment flows – they’re all constantly being improved and a result we’ve increased conversion 15 fold. That’s not a typo. And we don’t mean 15%.

Here’s how we did it and how you can apply it to your own donation page:

1. Don’t make people create an account before they donate

You know that thing when you click ‘Donate’ and you get redirected to a ‘Create an account with us’ page.

If you’re doing it, stop. Right now.

Ok, confession time: when we first started, we copied every other crowdfunding site and made account creation compulsory before you could donate. Big mistake. When we redesigned the site in October 2013, we completely removed the account creation step and conversion dramatically improved.

Turns out that this new flow:

Donate -> Enter your payment details -> Thanks for donating

Works several times better than this flow:

Donate -> Create an account -> Enter your payment details -> Thanks for donating

(Actually most crowdfunding sites use this flow, which is even worse):

Donate -> Confirm donation -> Create an account -> Enter your payment details -> Thanks for donating

Oh, and we still create accounts for people, we just do it while their donation’s being processed.

2. Make the donation button red

Ok, so there’s nothing magical about red, what’s important here is that your donation button should stand out from the rest of the page. If people are looking for it, don’t make it hard for them to find it. The easiest way to do this is with colour contrasts – make most of the page a dull colour, and make the donate button a bright colour.

We tried a range of colours on our page and we found that red increased conversions by about 50% from our original green.

3. Be transparent – tell donors where their money’s going

I sometimes think we’ve been so smashed around about administration costs in the NFP sector that we’ve taken to talking in obscurities about where money is going to be spent.

One study* that we came across said that only 4% of charity websites actually tell people what their donations would be spent on.

We strongly believe that telling people at the point of donation what percentage of their money is going where actually helps conversion. We believe in it so much that instead of hiding fees seven levels down on our website or in some obscure section of our Terms & Conditions, we decided to make it clear on the payment page what goes to the charity and what (if anything) goes to us.

Here’s a shot of what it looks like:

A final note

Every page is different and it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going to increase conversion on your page, so it’s absolutely critical to guess, test and update (and then do it over again). We use Visual Website Optimizer to do all our A/B testing but there’s other great tools like Optimizely and Google Content Experiments that have relatively cheap plans.

*Source: Donation Usability: Increasing Online Giving to Non-Profits and Charities, Jacob Nielsen