The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding for Environmental Charities

At Chuffed.org, we want to see our awesome environmental protection and conservation campaigners – people like you – run the most successful crowdfunding campaigns that they can. 

So we’ve put together this guide that will step you through creating a strong campaign page to strengthen the foundations of your campaign.  

 

The Crowdfunding Campaign page

A crowdfunding campaign page is the page on Chuffed.org where you’ll direct supporters, donors, friends and family. It will include the details of who you are, what you are trying to achieve and how you plan to do so, and, it is the place supporters actually donate to your campaign.

Choosing the right options and including information in an easily digestible way is important and can be the difference between a good campaign and a great one.

A campaign page looks a bit like this example from Environment Tasmania. The title is at the top, followed by the name of your organisation. To the left of the screen under the title is the campaign banner or video; on the right is the campaign target and counter. Under this is a box containing your campaign’s ‘pitch’ and buttons supporters use to initiate their donations. 

Beneath these is the main body text outlining your campaign’s story – the campaign description. The tabs can be switched to show comments from supporters, and names of supporters. On the right next to the main story are where perks are listed should you choose to have them.  

Click here to see Environment Tasmania’s full campaign page. 

 

Setting up your campaign page

All the components of a crowdfunding campaign page are stepped out below alongside examples from successful environmental protection campaigns we’ve hosted on Chuffed.org.  

We’ve also created this handy Google Doc template that you can use to collaborate with your team. It contains some more examples from great campaigns.

To start setting up your crowdfunding campaign page, head to chuffed.org/start.

 

1. Campaign title

This is what your campaign is called. The title shows at the top of your campaign page and is shared with potential supporters when you share the campaign out via Facebook and Twitter – so the title (along with the banner image – more about that below) is the first thing people will see.

Good titles are less than 5 words long and are like the title of a book: memorable or catchy. You might include alliteration, a question, a play on words or unique spelling.

Some real examples from successful campaigns:

  • Where have all the Grasswrens gone?
  • Build Farmwalls with us!
  • Project Piggy Paradise
  • Save Sawtell Cinema
  • I came by boat
  • Two Good Lunch

 

2. Target

All campaigns on Chuffed.org need to set a campaign funding target. You’ll receive your funds even if you don’t hit your target, but it’s important to set your target at an achievable level to build credibility with your supporters.

You should set your target based on three factors:

  1. Cost: What does it cost to deliver your project?
  2. Audience size: How many people do you have already in your database or email list?
  3. Available time: How much time do you have to prepare in the 4 weeks prior to the campaign and promote during your campaign?

As a rough rule of thumb, we find that the following is a reasonable way to set your target:

Email contacts are the most valuable, followed by Facebook friends and then Twitter or LinkedIn contacts.

 

3. Timeframe

On Chuffed.org, you can choose to either run your campaign for a fixed length of time (90 days or less) or ongoing with no end date in what we call Infinity Mode.

If it’s your first campaign, we generally find that you’ll raise the most when you run a 30-40 day campaign. The reason for this is that the time pressure forces your team to act, which drives momentum, which brings more people to your campaign. Campaigns that stretch on for a long period of time struggle to gain interest because supporters get distracted by other things in their lives.

 

4. Writing up your campaign

This is where you tell your supporters about your project: why your cause is important and what you are doing to make a difference.

 

Pitch

The pitch is short blurb to describe what you’re doing in 200 characters. It sits in a box just under you campaign target on the campaign page.

It is what potential supporters are likely to read first and helps them understand quickly what your project is about. Remember: they’re busy, and they’ll be skim reading, so the pitch is your chance to grab their attention and tell them why they should read your full campaign description. Be as succinct, specific and engaging as you can.

Here are some examples of good pitches used by real environmental protection campaigns on Chuffed.org: 

Help us to share the Climate Choir message! Over 600 singers from community choirs across the country will join to urge action on climate change in the lead up to the UN Climate Conference in Bonn.

Every day the small team at Wildlife Queensland puts its heart and soul into correcting biodiversity loss in Queensland. YOU CAN give us the tools to keep up the good work for our wildlife in 2018!!!

We’re going out on a limb here – literally! Help us engineer an epic STEAM education opportunity for kids by using plastic waste to 3D print ROBOTIC PROSTHETICS for Australians in need. Let’s move!

And some not so great pitches:

We are a volunteer driven not-for-profit organisation that aims to empower communities across the region to address our climate challenges together. Help us support in this work.

An elephant is poached every 15 minutes for their ivory leaving behind many orphans. Help support us to save them and re-integrate them into the wild.

The idea is to start a recycling workshop and involve local and international artists to create art by reducing plastic waste.

 

Campaign description

This is the larger block of text on your campaign page and it’s where you can go into detail about what you’re doing. The best campaigns use about 300-500 words, combined with pictures, to tell a story about the change they want to make and how they plan to do it. You can even embed images or videos that you might have (in addition to the main campaign banner or video – described below).

As your campaign progresses, you can keep editing your campaign description. It’s a great place to put in progress updates- like Edgar’s Mission did in this award winning campaign – so that supporters who are checking your page regularly have fresh content to enjoy. 

Below is a simple structure you can use for your campaign description. The example we’ve used is a summarised version of the excellent Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife campaign to save a colony of Little Penguins. We recommend you read the full campaign description.

 

EXAMPLE CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION STRUCTURE

Section: Background

In this section:

  • Introduce your vision for change and/or the story of who you are.
  • Tell supporters briefly about the issue you’re addressing and why you want to do something about it.
  • Use first person stories over facts and numbers to paint a picture.

Example 

The penguin colony: Amongst the hustle and bustle of Australia’s biggest city, a group of charming and unusual locals have set up home in the popular suburb of Manly.The Manly colony of Little Penguins in Sydney Harbour is the only mainland breeding colony left in New South Wales. This special and unique colony was listed as an endangered population in the 1990s.

But there’s a problem… During June, a fox discovered this colony and devastated the population of Little Penguins at Manly. In just over two weeks, 27 helpless Little Penguins were killed by the fox.

 

Section: What we’re doing

This is where you should:

  • Describe your project in practical detail. If you’re building something, show drawings or images of what it’s going to look like.

Example

In response to these gruesome discoveries, a special team of field officers, National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, experts and volunteers are keeping watch on the nesting penguins day and night, to protect them from further attacks. At the same time an operation to trap the cunning creature continues.

Foxes are a huge threat to our native fauna and it is highly likely that other foxes in the future will attempt a similar attack. This is why we need your assistance, to help the volunteers and NPWS monitor and protect Manly’s Little Penguins from any future attacks and to help rebuild their endangered colony.

 

Section: What we’ll do with the funds 

In this part you should:

  • Break down your target and talk about what exactly the money will be spent on.

Example

In order to outfox the fox, more specialised equipment is needed as well as additional nest boxes. Here are some of the items FNPW are fundraising for:

  • $10,000 for 20 motion sensing cameras to monitor the area
  • $5,000 for a thermal camera that can detect the heat given off by penguins and predators
  • $450 for 5 fox lights that are triggered by movement and give off bright, flashing lights to scare away foxes
  • $1,000 for 10 nesting boxes to help the penguins rebuild their population

 

Section: Who we are

People give to people. They want to supporter a person, not a faceless project. So:

  • Add a bio of yourself and your team.
  • Add quotes from well known people to build credibility.

Example

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has a long history of supporting the endangered colony of penguins in Manly. Since 1999 the Foundation has been helping fund equipment for volunteer wardens, nest boxes, signage to warn people about the presence of these vulnerable birds, and much more.

FNPW working in partnership with the local NPWS rangers, Taronga Zoo, Manly Council, Manly Environment Centre and the Office of Environment & Heritage has helped keep the Little Penguins in Manly safe up until now.

 

Additional sections 

You may also want to include sections in this main body text about:

  • Perks – Describe the perks that donors get back for donations at different donation levels. You can insert pictures that show them.
  • Media – Tell supporters about any media articles you get about your campaign. You can use the logos of the media outlets to build credibility.

 

Another great example comes from Farmwall, who raised over their $30,000 target to build aquaponic farming systems in Melbourne restaurants that will start to address the environmental impact of the way cities eat by reducing the distance between where food is grown and eaten.  See their campaign page here. They take a different approach to the structure laid out above – presenting first their vision for the future, followed by how they intend to make it happen. 

 

 

5. Banner image

The banner image is the main visual element of your campaign. It’s the first thing potential supporters see and it gets shared on Facebook and Twitter alongside the campaign’s title.

This one comes from 350.org Australia’s campaign to raise funds to oppose the Adani coal mine. View their campaign here.  

You want your image to:

  • Make your supporters feel inspired, entertained or curious, not guilty or shocked.
  • Be formatted to 684 x 385 pixels for optimal compatibility on our site.
  • Be in a normal image format – JPG, PNG or BMP.

For clarity, Chuffed.org is a guilt-free site. We reject campaigns that use guilt-imagery like dehumanizing photos of starving children to get donations, or graphic, disturbing images of animals.

 

6. Video

The best crowdfunding campaigns include a campaign video. This is a specific 2-5 minute video created for the campaign. Don’t use a generic promotion video designed for something else.

Campaign videos don’t need to be expensive or have high production value. It’s far more important that the video tells a compelling story than looks pretty.

Here are some tips:

  • People love seeing faces. Make sure the video includes relevant people talking at the camera at some point.
  • Keep it short. People get bored easily, so unless you’ve got an incredible storyline, don’t have a video longer than 3 minutes.
  • Be ridiculously enthusiastic. Not only do viewers feed off your enthusiasm, video has a weird way of taking normal speech and making it look like you’re bored senseless. If you act ridiculously enthusiastic, it looks completely normal on video.
  • Use narrative storytelling over facts. People share stories, not facts. An easy way of doing this is to follow one person’s story – which could be your own or a beneficiary.
  • Later model phone cameras and DSLR cameras take excellent quality videos. If you can pair that with a free movie editing package like iMovie on Mac, you can create fairly professional looking video for free.
  • If you do end up paying a production company for your video, budget at least $2,500/£1,500 for a 2 minute video.

All videos on Chuffed.org need to be uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo first. You then enter the URL from either service into the relevant field in the campaign editor.

Examples: For some inspiration, take a look at these two campaign videos made by the Conservation Council of Western Australia (Video 1; Video 2) and this one from Environment Tasmania

 

7. Creating perks

Perks are things that you offer supporters who donate above a specific amount.

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

Our answer? 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?

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 a weekend away, tickets to your event, memberships, CDs, bee-hives or even crepes, forward selling products and services is a great way to get people involved in your project.
  2. Unique experiences: Most environmental protection organisations don’t realise it, but they are nearly always an amazing repository of wonderfully special, unique experiences. It could be a personalised guided tour, workshops on a farm, tickets to an opening party, or even a chance to swim with whales.
  3. Special recognition: A non-profit classic. Getting their name on or sponsoring a part of a project is still popular among many 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. Making a documentary film? Offer sneak previews of the script or a donor’s name in the credits.

So, how do you come up with perks?

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 – a co-working space in Perth – 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:

  • Have perks that are directly connected to your campaign These let people participate in your campaign or project and are far better than unconnected perks, e.g. Amazon gift cards.
  • Have an early bird offer on your perks This is a great way to build momentum. Spacecubed released a very limited number of highly discounted memberships in the first 24 hours of their campaign.
  • Some perks (drugs, anything illegal, raffles) are not allowed Make sure you check our terms to stay on the right side of the rules. 

 

8. Payment options

When you’re setting up your campaign, you’ll have to choose what payment options you give to your donors. Your two options are:

  • Credit/debit cards: Donors can use any domestic or international Visa, Mastercard or American Express card to pay directly on our site (recommended). To use this payment option, you’ll need to create an account with Stripe for the funds to be transferred to. If you’re running an Australian campaign then you’ll just need to give us your bank details so we can transfer credit/debit card donations to you there.
  • PayPal: Donors can pay using their PayPal accounts.

Tip: Donors find the credit/debit card payment system much easier to use than PayPal. The donation process happens entirely on the Chuffed.org site – they just enter their card details and it works. PayPal unfortunately is confusing for a lot of donors and regularly rejects valid cards and accounts. They may also unexpectedly restrict your PayPal account if your campaign is very successful. We recommend only using PayPal as a secondary option with the credit/debit card system.

The way that you receive the funds from the two systems depends on which country you choose for your campaign – this should be a country where you have a bank account:

(1) During the campaign creation process, you will need to create an account with our payment processing provider, Stripe.com. This is a very simple, one form process, which will take less than 5 minutes.

(2) To accept PayPal payments, you will need to create a Premier or Business PayPal account at www.paypal.com, prior to launching your campaign. The campaign will need to be confirmed and connected to a bank account. This can take up to 3 months.

 

9. Additional options  

On Chuffed.org, there are a number of optional customisations for your campaign page, including:

  • Collecting addresses from your donors: we’ll add an address collection form on the payment page if you select this. We only recommend collecting addresses when you absolutely need to, like if you need to post out a perk, as people feel weird giving about you their address.
  • Custom Thanks Message: you can customize the message that donors see immediately following their donation.
  • Impact Levels: instead of giving out perks, you can choose to show donors what impact different levels of donations make – think the classic £50 buys a goat for a farmer in Africa. It’s a bit old-school, but still works.
  • Custom URL Link: your can change the default URL link assigned to your campaign.
  • Custom default donation amounts: you can customize the default donation amounts that are shown on the donation box on your campaign page.
  • Offline donations: when supporters send you donations in cash or via cheque/check, you can add these to your campaign total by using our ‘offline donations’ function. You should limit the amount of offline donations to 50% of your total donations.
  • Tax-deductible receipting:  Available for campaigns in Australia, Canada and the US where your organisation is eligible (e.g. Deductible Gift Recipient for Australian organisations). Every donor will be sent a receipt to meet requirements for them to claim a tax deduction.
  • Gift Aid (UK only): Chuffed.org can collect Gift Aid Declarations on behalf of recognized charities or registered community amateur sports clubs (CASC) which you can then submit to HMRC to claim your Gift Aid

 

Submitting for approval

All campaigns on Chuffed.org have to be submitted to us for approval before they can go live. We check that they satisfy our eligibility requirements and that they have a decent chance of reaching their target.

The approval process usually takes less than 24 hours. You will get an email from us that either approves your campaign for launch, asks you to modify your campaign and resubmit, or rejects your campaign outright.

About 60% of campaigns are approved on first submission. Once you’ve had one successfully funded campaign on Chuffed.org, we auto-approve all future campaigns.

 

For more inspiring environmental protection campaigns check out…

 

For more information and tips on how to crowdfunding…

If you’d like to read more about how to crowdfund, view our full guide here.

 

Or if you’re ready to draft your campaign, just head here

The Top 10 Animal Welfare Crowdfunding Campaigns

At Chuffed.org, we are privileged to see amazing campaigns launch every day. Our favourite thing is when campaigns take off to raise bucket loads for their cause or blitz through their fundraising targets.

Here are the Top 10 Animal Welfare Crowdfunding Campaigns – the ones that have raised the most money for their awesome projects and initiatives. 

 

1. Help Us to Help Them: Bring White Rhino to Altina – $197,503

In 2016, the staff at Altina Wildlife Park in the New South Wales Riverina (in Australia) took their passion for animal conservation one step further, deciding to import three Southern White Rhinos – Mtoto, Mango and Tatu – as part of a global breeding initiative.

They raised a substantial amount of cash – $197,503 – to move, feed and house the animals in the biggest animal campaign yet on Chuffed.org. 

Check out the campaign page here.

 

2. Duke’s Place Called Home – £90,360

Duke the Bullock, who was born a dwarf and sustained debilitating pelvic injuries while young, was rescued by a UK family and taken into their North Yorkshire home, along with countless other farm animals that were no longer seen as valuable by their former owners. Soon their kind-hearted endeavours became CALF Sanctuary and the family and animals all required a new home – one more suitable for Duke and his friends. 

When they asked, the community rallied and contributed a huge £90,360 for the purchase of a suitable property and the relocation of all the animals to their new home. 

Check out the campaign here

 

3. Raising the Roof – $162,458

Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary houses rescued farm animals on 153 peaceful acres in Victoria, in southeastern Australia.

Named after founder Pam Ahern’s first rescued pig – Edgar Alan Pig – the sanctuary’s first Chuffed.org campaign went bananas, raising $162,458 to build bigger and better lodgings for all its animals. This included goat mountains and jungle gyms, a purpose built duck pond complete with waterfall and a chicken barn called the ‘Barn Mahal’.    

Check out the campaign here

 

4. Create a Vegan – £82,096

What is Veganuary? The UK-based charity encourages people to try out a vegan diet in January (and at other times of the year too!) to reduce the number of animals in the farming system, our impact on the planet and improve our health all at the same time. They find a huge 67% of people who participate in January, stay vegan throughout the year.   

Their #CreateAVegan campaign raised £82,096 to spread the word about Veganuary via advertisements on public transport in four cities across three countries: London, Manchester, Boston and Sydney. 

Check out the campaign here

 

5. Project Piggy Paradise – $132,031

Another awesome campaign from our friends at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary – this time to build a swanky new home for the sanctuary’s rescued pigs. One that not only provided shelter, shade, warmth, showers, veterinary treatment areas and the like, but could also inspire change in the way pigs are viewed in our wider society. 

Edgar’s raised $132,031 for the new facility which will allow the public – who can book in to visit – to see the unique and endearing personalities of pigs shine through, and come to a better understanding of these quirky creatures as much more than the before of a ham sandwich. 

Check out the campaign here

 

6.  $120,000 Kindness Challenge! – $128,172

Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary were at it again! They asked supporters to help them raise $120,000 – which they outdid in a $128,172 raise. 

The appeal saw them able to buy essential to get through the winter including over 1 tonne of fruit and veg, 100 new tools, 50 fruit trees, over 500 bales of hay, 5 new shelters, solar panels and a 4WD Utility Vehicle.

Check out the campaign here

 

7. You Can Save The Lives Of Homeless Dogs! – $83,495

Stray and mistreated dogs are a sad reality on the streets of Thailand’s cities and in other parts of Southeast Asia and the US-based charity Soi Dog Foundation has been doing something about it since 2003.

In 2015, the Foundation raised $82,495 towards the cost of building an animal hospital at their shelter in Phuket.   

Check out the campaign here

 

8. Raise the Roof – £40,395

After the move to a property suitable to housing Duke the Bullock and his mates, Sharon and her family at CALF Sanctuary returned to Chuffed.org in 2016. They raised £40,395 to build a new barn to house the (increasingly social) Duke and: 5 cows, 5 pigs, 4 goats, 30+ sheep and lambs and a smattering of turkeys and chickens.   

Check out the campaign here

9. Build a New Home for Mountain Lions – $53,655

The Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) in Texas provides a safe forever home to big cats and other exotic animals no matter what their history or needs. The CARE property is currently home to 50 animals including mountain lions, African lions, tigers, black and spotted leopards, bobcats, ring-tail lemurs, llamas, and a coati. 

When asked by the Dallas Zoo to take in two new mountain lions they stepped up and raised $53,655 to build them a proper home. 

Check out the campaign here

 

10. Help PetRescue Fix the Pound – $63,347

PetRescue partner with over 750 animal rescue groups and shelters all over Australia – helping them to re-home hundreds of thousands of unwanted, lost or abandoned pets each year. This campaign – which raised $63,347 – helped them to reach out and partner with more Council-run pounds, only 1% of whom were using PetRescue’s free rehoming services at the time, and where, sadly, the majority of unwanted animals are still put down.  

Check out the campaign here

 

But wait, there’s more!

If you’d like to check out all of the Animal campaigns we’ve hosted on Chuffed.org, you can search them all at our Discover page. 

*Campaigns on Chuffed.org raise money in their local currency. This list is ordered by campaign size in Australian dollars. 

The Top 5 Environment Crowdfunding Campaigns

At Chuffed.org, we are privileged to see amazing campaigns launch every day. Our favourite thing is when campaigns take off to raise bucket loads for their cause or blitz through their fundraising targets.

Here are the Top 5 Environment Crowdfunding Campaigns – the ones that have raised the most money for their awesome projects and initiatives. 

 

1. Save Australia’s Heritage from Industrial Pollution – $86,300

In late 2017, the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) raised a massive $86,300 to protect the world’s largest collection of rock art on the Burrup Peninsula in the Murujuja National Park.

The money raised will be used to independently monitor the effects of  nearby natural gas, iron ore and ammonium fertiliser and explosives industries on the ancient art and put hard evidence behind protection lobbying efforts.

Check out the campaign page here.

 

2. Help EDO Qld fight for a safer climate – $74,489

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland has run almost a dozen giving campaigns on Chuffed.org and has achieved some amazing wins with 5 of them reaching our list of top grossing environmental campaigns! The second highest grossing of them, this appeal raised $74,489

The EDO’s campaigns help them continue their important work helping ordinary folk stand up for the natural environment, advocating for stronger laws to protect nature and running legal challenges in Australia’s court system to hold industry and government to account. 

Check out the campaign here

 

3. Help EDO Qld fight climate change in court – right now! – $70,827

Another of the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office‘s regular campaigns to protect the state’s natural assets – this one saw $70,827 raised to support their climate change litigation.  

Check out the campaign here

 

4. Together we can reshape Queensland’s environmental laws – $70,248

The fourth in their set of campaigns on Chuffed.org, this Environmental Defenders Office campaign raised $70,248 for stronger legal protection of iconic places like the Great Barrier Reef and the Cape York Peninsula. 

Check out the campaign here

 

5. Save the Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail from Clearcutting – $48,546

Not far from Montreal in Canada there is a forest of hemlocks, spruce, birch and beech that Quebec’s Elgin Eco Association raised $48,546 to protect in 2016.

Thanks to their work, the 65 hectare Mapleton Acadian Forest Trail Nature Preserve is now protected in perpetuity in partnership with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and contains a 3 km nature trail with interpretive signs, footbridges, an observation platform, and a traditional sugar shack for nature lovers to enjoy. 

Check out the campaign here

But wait, there’s more!

Environmental protection campaigns on Chuffed.org consistently raise large sums of money. Here are the next five top earning environmental campaigns:

6.   350.org Australia raised $44,366 with their campaign:  EthicalJobs.com.au wants to match your donation to #StopAdani 

7.   The Conservation Council of Western Australia raised $43,705 with their campaign: Supreme Court Action to stop Yeelirrie uranium mine 

8.   The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland raised $42,834 with their campaign: Help EDO Qld keep fighting for your future

9.   Climate for Change raised $41,754 with their campaign: Climate for Change Crowdfunder

10.   Environment Tasmania raised $41,635 with their campaign: Help keep Tasmania Truly, Deeply Wild

 

If you’d like to check out all of the Environment campaigns we’ve hosted on Chuffed.org, you can search them all at our Discover page. 

*Campaigns on Chuffed.org raise money in their local currency. This list is ordered by campaign size in Australian dollars. 

The Big Bottle Tour, by Annett and the Boomerang Alliance Team!

Annett

Annett

“I used to be a telecom engineer and got to work in different countries. But wherever I lived, I was drawn to and fascinated by our oceans and the many amazing creatures that live there. 15 years ago, I decided to make this passion my profession. I studied marine ecology and came to understand that human impact goes further than overfishing and loss of habitat. Our oceans are drowning in waste, most of it plastic. That plastic never goes away, it just breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces, which when ingested by animals can transfer toxic chemicals, many of which have been found to magnify up the food chain. The scale of plastic debris is simply staggering and cleaning up is not a solution. I wanted to do something to stop this at the source, on land.

I joined Boomerang Alliance, an Australian not-for-profit group working to reduce marine plastic pollution. We lobby governments, work with industry and educate communities on issues such as single-use plastic packaging. I’m their sole Victorian representative and have been campaigning for 18 months for a container deposit scheme. Drink containers are one of the biggest contributors to plastic marine debris. The CSIRO found that containers are three times less likely to be littered in areas with a container refund scheme. It’s easy really: put a value on it and it doesn’t get tossed! Victoria and Tasmania are the only states that have yet to commit to such a scheme.

The scheme is also great for providing funding for charities and community groups. It’s easy to convince people of why this makes sense, but it’s sometimes hard to be heard over the dim of other issues taking up space and time. So, I decided to go BIG… enter the Big Bottle, which I want to tour around regional Victoria. I put out the call and have already received many offers of help with setting up meetings with MPs, talking at schools and doing clean-ups. The best part of my job is working with all these local waste heroes and I can’t wait to meet them! Together we can push this sensible scheme high up on the Victorian government’s agenda. Let’s just hope the Big Bottle makes it all in one piece 😊”
Annett and the Boomerang Alliance team

Learn more about this awesome cause on Annett’s crowdfunding campaign page below:

Coast to Coast for Clean Force

Clean Force Team

Clean Force Team

“Mark Lawson, Sam Donaldson and Myself (Leons Ansons) are all colleagues who work for Fulton Hogan and Laing O’Rourke. We are all different ages and take up vastly different roles whilst working on the North Eastern Alliances Level Crossing Removal Project. We came together with a passion for sport and exercise, playing basketball, going surfing and enjoying our time outside of work. Somehow the conversation started on competing in a sporting event in New Zealand. ‘Why not?’ we said.

Then all of a sudden we had committed, somewhat ignorantly, to competing in New Zealand’s Coast to Coast world Multi Sport Adventure Race. Where we will have two days and under 24 hours to cover 243 km of tough terrain starting on the West Coast of New Zealand at Kumara Beach, crossing the main divide and finishing on the East Coast at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch. The brutal and challenging race includes a 70km kayak, 33.7km of mountain running and 140 km of cycling.

Once the realisation of just how large this event will be dawned on us, we started to realise how inspiring our commitment and dedication to training could become. That is when the idea of fundraising alongside the event came to the forefront of our brains. Our project team is highly invested and interested in employing and incorporating social enterprises into our business one of those in particular is Clean Force, a social enterprise that provides top-notch commercial cleaning services and creates sustainable award-wage employment opportunities for people with severe mental illness. The absolute kindness and dedication of dealing with some of clean force’s owners absolutely moved us. The first thought of their organisation was a ‘no brainer.’

The problem was that, at this point, we had all never ever really ran a large fundraiser before. We didn’t really know how to get started. The first steps were to get the word out there and to develop a fundraising page. The word was easy, we had friends, family and colleagues in our respective businesses that we could look to for donations and spreading the word. Now, the page, that was not so easy. Numerous, multinational online fundraising pages taking commission after commission. I finally stumbled across Chuffed.org. Another ‘non-for-profit’ enterprise that shared similar interests. Bam, a match made in heaven.

Now, from the kindness of businesses around Australia, our friends, our family and our colleagues. Clean Force has over $8000 in donations to help provide further education, training and materials for their employees. Opportunities that will help grow the business and give more jobs to those who need it most.”

Learn more about this awesome cause in the Clean Force crowdfunding campaign page below:

Kimbourne Park: Building community & growing local food with a permaculture garden!

Erin, Founder of Garden@Kimbourne

Erin, Founder of Garden@Kimbourne

“Moving from the country to Toronto, I found the concrete, congestion, and visible disparities between rich and poor overwhelming. I desperately missed the feeling of being rooted in a community, so I soothed my feelings of disconnect by putting down roots—literally.

I had gotten interested in food justice because it encompasses all the causes I care about most: poverty, environmental restoration, health through access to good food, even policy-making around our food systems. In 2014 I worked up the courage to attend a food justice event downtown by myself. That’s where I heard the word “permaculture” for the first time, and I discovered that people around the world were already growing food in ways that made the earth and their communities healthier. That we could turn farms into ecosystems instead of machines. That people could be a part of the living ecosystem and not its enemies. That making enough healthy soil—something incredibly easy to start doing—could even pull us back from the tipping point of climate change.

I devoured every book, video, and podcast I could get my hands on. I started volunteering with a local group called Permaculture GTA. And when I found out the church I’d recently started attending had a big, unused lawn, I screwed up my courage once again and asked if I could use it for a secular community garden—something that was connected to but separate from the church so that anyone, regardless of faith, would feel welcome to join. The church was incredibly supportive, and some of its members helped form the initial committee that planned the goals of what became [email protected] Community Permaculture Project: to grow food and community using permaculture principles, to spread food education through free workshops and events, and to donate at last half of the year’s harvest to a local food bank.

Today, members of the community make up half of [email protected]’s leadership and most of our members. Most people come to us with no gardening experience, but they are eager for the same feeling of rootedness that I craved for myself. One of my most rewarding moments was putting a packet of seeds in the hands of a young woman who, a year before, was completely inexperienced and terrified of doing something wrong. “Check the directions and plant them over there,” I told her. She grinned and walked confidently away.”
Erin Alladin
Coordinator, [email protected]

Learn more about this awesome cause on [email protected]’s crowdfunding campaign page and video below!

 

Clean Oceans, Clean Water by A Perfect Foundation Charity

The Grays

The Grays

“My first trip to the Mentawai Islands was early 2015 when we collaborated with Waves For Water and assisted with the implementation of water filters and tanks in a remote village only accessible via boat. These life-saving filters meant the women didn’t have to trek 30min each way to get water and carry the heavy buckets back, then boil the water and let cool before they could drink it. Visiting places like this and seeing how these remote communities live with basic facilities and no clean water or waste management systems really makes you think about life and puts your priorities into perspective.

At the time I was working for my husband’s surf travel company as a travel specialist, but I found this wasn’t giving me the fulfillment I got from helping less fortunate people. Having such an interest in this region and getting to know so many local Mentawai, we wanted to invest our time and effort into assisting what they really wanted and that was learning English skills to be a part of the growing tourism industry and learn more about creating a sustainable environment.

We have been operating in this region ever since running English and Environmental programs and now have a fully functioning recycling program introduced. It’s heartbreaking when you see communities surrounded by plastic and waste and don’t know what to do with it, but it’s heart-warming when you see them excited about collecting the plastic and sorting it for recycling knowing they’re making a difference to their environment and overall health.”

For more on A Perfect Foundation Charity and their awesome cause, check out their crowdfunding page below:

Historic Chance to Protect our Oceans!

Ban The Bag
Ban The Bag
“My name is Rianti and I have been a diver for over 20 years, and in that time I’ve organised over 50 clean up dives. Litter is everywhere, and it’s killing our oceans.

Recently I teamed up with the Boomerang Alliance for a final stand against plastic bags!

Firstly, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated! After the crowdfunding with Chuffed.org ended, we used some of the funds to launch a campaign where we sent an SMS blast to over 5000 Boomerang Alliance supporters asking them to call the Premiers of NSW, VIC and WA to ‘ban the bag’. The campaign was intended to increase pressure before the Environment Ministers meeting on 28 July 2017.

We also asked our supporters to contact the premier and ministers directly and ask them to ban the bag.

This July, we’ve been busy visiting key Electorate Offices asking NSW MPs to help increase the pressure to #BanTheBag on NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian & NSW Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton. The response has been positive with state member for Ryde, Victor Dominello stating plastic bags as “a scourge on the environment”.

We are happy to report that Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced before the Environment Ministers meeting that Victoria might consider a ban on light-weight plastic bag and while a national ban is the most effective way to address the issue, she has not ruled out Victoria doing it alone.

WA Minister for Environment, Stephen Dawson has also said that he is supportive of the move by various local governments to ban single use plastic bags and have asked DER to investigate the possibility of a state-wide ban.

NSW is currently the only state who still resists the ban. Premier Berejiklian made it clear a week before the meeting that she doesn’t support a plastic bag ban.

In response to this, the Boomerang Alliance team decided to sneak into the annual NSW State of the State Conference where Premier Berejiklian was the key note speaker. We used that opportunity to covertly place campaign material calling for a ban on plastic bags on each table and deployed a banner in front of the 650 high profile guests and the Premier herself.

Due to the intransigence of NSW, the meeting of environment ministers on the 28 July failed to agree on national coverage of plastic bag bans.

We still have a lot of work to be done but we will never give up the fight!”

For more check out their awesome campaign page below, which raised a whopping $25,923 for our oceans!