Success Story: Mass Neutering and Vaccination Clinic in South East Asia

Molly & dogs

Molly & dogs

“I’m Molly Birchmore and for the past three years I have been making my way around Asia gaining as much conservation work experience as possible.

In August 2016 I moved to Nepal to work at the only ethical elephant tourist facility in the country: Tiger Tops Elephant Camp. Here I came to understand the issues around the large stray and community owned dog population. Stray dogs pose a treat to livestock, the endangered wildlife of Chitwan National Park by hunting and community members by carrying rabies. With my colleague Muzza Munro we teamed up with the Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART) to run a Mass Neutering and Vaccination Clinic in the villages surrounding Tiger Tops Elephant Camp. Over five days we treated 181 dogs! With the help of and our amazing donors we raised over £3000 to fund the programme and give a little back to HART to help them continue their great work.

In the final weeks before the clinic started, while I was finalising plans, Muzza rushed to Sumatra to aid orphaned baby elephant Paichit; an innocent victim of the palm oil industry. Found alone and starving at just over a year old, he was in dire need of our help. Once the dog clinic was completed the decision was simple; move to Sumatra to help give consistency in Paichit’s care and see him grow into a healthy, happy adult elephant.

We have been working with Paichit and his Mahouts for just over a month now. We have bought 80kg of specialist milk formula, scientifically designed for baby asian elephants, from Singapore which is now an integral part of his daily diet. We have constructed a small, night-time chain free enclosure for him which he really enjoys and renovated the prep kitchen into a space his mahouts feel proud to work in.

As with the rescue and recovery of any being, Paichit’s journey will inevitably encounter turbulence, we will support him and his mahouts every step of the way. With only 400 wild elephants left in the Banda Aceh region of Sumatra Paichit is a glaring reminder that we must take greater action in conserving the fragile eco-systems of this island. The only place in the world where elephants, orang-utans and tigers still live in the wild together, it is our responsibility as citizens of this planet to do all we can to stop the destruction and reverse the damage that has already been done…it is not yet too late.

In the coming months, as Paichit grows, we will need to buy him more specialist milk formula and in the next few weeks we will begin construction of a larger, day-time, chain-free enclosure that will be suitable for Paichit as he grows and the other conservation patrol elephants who reside at the camp. With your help we can make this happen and ensure that Paichit not only has a future but a life worth living.”

Learn more about how Tiger Tops and the Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust teamed up to run a mass neutering and vaccination clinic 200 stray and community owned dogs in the villages surrounding Tharu Lodge on their campaign page:


Success Story: The Water Balance Equation

The Water Balance Equation
The Water Balance Equation
“The Water Balance Equation is a University of Lethbridge Student led first-person narrative documentary which explores the interactions between land and water from a science perspective.

The intent is to develop a public educational tool about water resources and in the process create a historical document. We hope this not-for-profit student film can serve as a record of current conditions in the watershed so that going forward we can gauge our success or failure in terms of resource management. It is our goal to submit the documentary to Canadian film festivals in 2018.

This project came to be due to the differences Thomas Porter has seen in the Watershed upon his return to the area after being away for several years. Combined with his new studies as a Geography undergrad student at the University of Lethbridge he wanted to understand more about the hydrology and land interaction that are occurring naturally and by human impacts in the headwaters of the Oldman Watershed.

He wants to share the story with others in a way that many people can appreciate and that is how the beginnings of this documentary occurred. This passion has led to several friends and community members joining Porter to help make this documentary happen and they are nicknamed the Headwaters Discovery Team!”

Learn more about this awesome campaign here:

Community Leader: Kyle

Meet Kyle Behrend,’s Melbourne-based Community Leader.

Kyle began charity work as a volunteer for Edgar’s Mission Animal Sanctuary – check out how his belief in cultivating kindness has led him to run several $100k+ campaigns on below!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career (or life) so far.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved animals – from my families own pets including dogs, chickens and tortoises, to adventures to the game reserve -marvelling at the incredible African wildlife. But I never quite knew where I was headed. I changed university courses more times than I changed clothes back then and somehow finished with a double major in Human Movement Science and Finance. Adventures around the world lead me to Australia where I found my calling – to work at Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Sanctuary. I was instantly amazed by the incredible work Pam Ahern was doing rescuing and advocating for the most abused animals in our society – the animals who are farmed for food and fibre. After several months of volunteering in 2010 I became the first staff member on the team which has now grown to 13. I have helped with many roles from farm cleaning, maintenance, animal care, accounting, vet runs and rescues, however, I have now settled into the role of manager of operations of the farm. This role includes fundraising, communication, tours, website and donor management with a good dose of photography and video creation rolled in there as well.

Why did you decide to become a community leader?

I have helped run 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns on Chuffed and was honoured to be invited to become a community leader so I can share everything I have learnt along the way with those just starting out or looking to improve their crowdfunding campaigns. I believe that humanity thrives on helping others and I have been blessed to have received so much support and knowledge from incredible people in my life – now is the time to repay that kindness by sharing my knowledge with others.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin? 

In 2014 we reached a point where Edgar’s Mission had outgrown the original sanctuary on 60 acres, caring for just over 150 animals, and we faced not only the daunting task of finding a new forever home but finding the funds to secure it! The only way we could realistically secure our much-needed home and infrastructure was by enlisting the support of those who too believed in our work. Crowdfunding, we felt, could help us achieve this. However, what came next simply blew us away! We reached our first target of $50,000 in just three days! And it was in that moment that we knew we were not alone, and supporters were prepared to not only talk the talk but walk the walk all the way to our new home with us! What was just so heartening was that this support came from not only people who had visited the sanctuary but from hundreds and thousands of people across the world. Crowdfunding was the best tool available to unite us on our common goal in giving rescued farmed animals the best life possible. 

What social cause are you passionate about and why?

There is a wonderful quote by Ghandi that says “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I think the way we treat the most vulnerable in our society tells the world so much about the people we are and if we start caring about farmed animals our love and kindness will ripple out into the world, creating a kinder world not only for them but for other animals, humans and the planet as well. At this time we face more uncertainty than at any other point in our history, yet I believe that through cultivating kindness we have our greatest tool to not only unite us as a species but ensure the survival of our planet and all of her inhabitants.

 What relevant fundraising or other experience do you have that you can share with participants in the workshop?

 I will be discussing our three campaigns and what made each one different, the tools we used, what worked, what didn’t, unexpected challenges like reaching our target in three days, the differences in the campaigns, how crowdfunding can be used as a stand-alone fundraising tool or in conjunction with other fundraising, the importance of a supporter base, resources required, timing, project management and more.

What social cause project or campaign on Chuffed will the funds raised through the workshop support?

All funds will go back to helping care for the over 450 residents currently residing at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary and fulfilling the pledge we have made not only to these animals but to the people who have donated – we will give the animals a life truly worth living along with our eternal thanks to everyone who has made this possible.

Get more info and tickets to Kyle’s Crowdfunding for Social Causes Workshop in Melbourne on the 7th of August 2017 here


Success Story: Young Inventor Entrepreneurs Program, Chicago

YIEP Chicago Team

YIEP Chicago Team

“The Chicago Inventors Organization (CIO) is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity founded in 2004. We recently launched our Young Inventor Entrepreneurs Program (YiEP), which aims to expose young Chicagoland students, grades 6-10, to STEM subjects using innovative, entrepreneurial-based ideas that cultivate their interests and creations through hands-on workshops.

In fact, I recall a time when we were at a Chicago Public Elementary School on the far south-side who opted into our prior YiEP Program. Although it was an in-class school program, in order for students to participate, they had to have good grades as well as a good behavioural track record. However, there were 3 boys who stayed in trouble & in the Principal’s office. The instructor had tried everything from speaking with their parents, to eliminating them from extra-curricular activities & even suspending them from school, but unfortunately nothing worked.

It wasn’t until these young men attended two sessions of our YiEProgram, did their behaviour change instantly & dramatically. We actually sat down with them individually & asked what influenced them to change? And their response was, “BECAUSE THE BOOKS JUST WASN’T GETTING TO US & WE WERE BORED!” It turned out, they were more interested in our STEM based curriculum because it displayed how they could use their bare hands to build & create tech savvy equipment that could be utilized by millions for centuries to come!

Additionally, our YiEP curriculum was developed to combat the socioeconomic conditions that often keep Chicago children from realizing their educational dreams. YiEP provides them with a sustainable avenue to receive the engagement and education needed to excel in school, technology, business, and most importantly, their adult life.

We all know STEM fields hold some of the most expensive educational programs out there, which is why we are passionate about providing students with access to the STEM tools and instruction that they’ll need to grow into world-changing inventors, engineers & entrepreneurs!”

Head to their campaign page for more info:

Success Story: Forage Supply Co

Forage Supply Co Founders

Forage Supply Co Founders“Just over two years ago, I became a Dive master in Utila, a little Caribbean Island located off Honduras.

Getting the opportunity to dive every day for 2 months, I got to witness the beauty of the Ocean floor through its Marine Life and amazing Coral.

However sadly I also got to witness the affects us as humans have had on the environment, through pollution and climate change.

I came back to Australia with a real passion to empower the public to make small but important changes in their everyday lives that will positively impact the environment for future generations.

Teaming up with lifelong friend Justin Westhoff together we launched a social enterprise called Forage Supply Co, who’s mission is to drive awareness of sustainable lifestyle choices and demonstrate just how achievable and appealing these choices can be.

A great way of encouraging sustainable practices is through foraging for natural materials. The foraging movement represents only taking the food and material resources we need.

Forage Supply Co has teamed up with Tanunda Lutheran School in the Barossa Valley, South Australia to teach the community how to grow heather produce, eat seasonally and live sustainably.

Located next to the Tanunda Lutheran School, students will get to learn about sustainable practices and get access to healthier food at recess and lunch, through the school based community garden.
Forage Supply Co and other local restaurants will buy the produce from the school and use it to create sustainable meals. We will also use the produce to donate more meals to the homeless at the Hutt Street Centre.
Land has already been donated by Forage Supply Co and infrastructure put into place, the campaign is aiming to raise $20 to kick start the gardens with seedlings, equipment and shade.

The gardens demonstrate how accessible and delicious foraged food can be, and encourage people to introduce them to their diets, suddenly sustainable living becomes a reality.”
Scott Rogasch, Forage Supply Co

Head to Forage Supply Co’s campaign page to find out more about this awesome cause!

Success Story: CHICO ACM Students

California State University, Chico ACM Student Chapter

California State University, Chico ACM Student Chapter“I started as an assistant professor of computer science at California State University, Chico in 2013 and immediately became involved with the Association of Computing Machinery club, which I took over being the advisor of in 2014. It was in the past 2 years that I recognised that even though our department at the time was 50% female faculty we were still not doing enough to support our female students. This was made very apparent when one of the students I was the academic advisor for told me they were changing majors as they felt isolated as a female student and that their male classmates were acting condescendingly towards them. It is immediately following this that I engaged a number of our upper class female students and the officers of the ACM Student Chapter to begin efforts as part of the chapter to better support female and underrepresented students in our major be successful and not feel so isolated.

We had one of our Industry Advisory Board members recommend we start sending our senior women students to the Grace Hopper Celebration, which we were lucky enough to do last year with scholarships. I even got to attend with the students last year and getting to see first hand the impact it had on them was outstanding. They showed more confidence and were inspired that they were not alone and could succeed in industry. They also got to network and meet numerous other outstanding women in technology at the conference. Seeing the excitement of the students we are trying to send this year after they heard first hand from the previous students and seeing the impact it had on our students last year first hand has pushed me to have our ACM Student Chapter work to find funding to send students this year now that none of our students got scholarships.”

Head to their campaign page to learn more!

Success Story: Bringing the Heart of TIA to Australia

TIA Family

TIA Family
“When I was 20 years old, as a first year social work student at UniSA, I went to Bolivia for the first time as a volunteer a children’s home for 4 months. Little did I know, those 4 months would change my life forever. Struck by the lack of resources and opportunities for the kids I was working with, I became determined to try to do more to help. That was how TIA was born. Tía is the Spanish word for auntie, and that’s what we are – an Auntie to children who don’t have anyone to call family. Now, 8 years later, TIA has grown into a successful and effective non-profit organisation that works with teens and young people who have grown up in state care homes, supporting them through the transition into adulthood when they legally have to leave these homes at the age of 18.

I now live in Bolivia, working with our local team to grow our projects to be able to reach more young people. I was very proud when I was invited to be a keynote presenter at a conference in Sydney held by the CREATE Foundation – the national advocate for children living in care in Australia. But I couldn’t travel to Australia and share our story on my own – to me it is extremely important that the young people we work with are able to tell their own stories. So I decided to bring one of our young people with me to tell his story himself. Ramiro is a young man who has overcome exceptionally difficult circumstances and is flourishing as a responsible, motivated, energetic, kind and caring young adult. I couldn’t be prouder of the person he is and the things he is achieving in his life. I am so excited to bring him to Australia with me and give him this opportunity to learn, grown, and experience new things. Unfortunately financially it is very difficult for TIA to fit this trip into our budget (we raise all our funds through a team of very hard working and dedicated volunteers in Adelaide), so we have created this campaign on Chuffed to raise the rest of the money we need to make this trip a reality.

All of the money crowdfunded through will be put towards Ramiro’s costs – my costs have been funded through CREATE as their Keynote speaker. ”

Join TIA to bring one of their incredible young people, Ramiro, to Australia to share his story and grow TIA’s impact:

Success Story: Bryanne Lameg’s Archery Dream

Fundraising Archery Team

“I can’t imagine life without my bow.

I would like to introduce myself; my name is Bryanne Lameg, and archery is my passion. I have been shooting for about 3 years as the only female target archer on the Manitoba Provincial Team. This year I have been selected, based on national ranking, to represent Canada at the 2017 Junior World Archery Championships in Rosario, Argentina.

I had been shooting for less than 6 months when I attended the 2014 Canadian Outdoor National Championship in Lac La Biche, Alberta. To my surprise, I had placed fourth with no formal training. While I was there I met other female archers who helped me realize that I had potential in the sport and could compete at national and international levels if I was determined enough to do so. After that there was no turning back. Archery has since then enriched my life in many ways and allowed me to meet so many great people.

I am attending Senior National Team Trials in August for a chance to compete in Mexico at the 2017 Senior World Archery Championships, and with hard work and a little luck I hope to be named to the Senior National Team. What a great achievement and honour it would be to represent Canada on both the Junior and Senior teams.

Whether I am representing my local range, women in archery, Team Manitoba, or Team Canada, I will do so in the most professional way possible. Applying this to the future tournaments I will be attending, I hope to be a wonderful Canadian ambassador and will proudly wear the maple leaf.”

Support Bryanne’s dream to represent Canada at the 2017 World Youth Archery Championships in Argentina here:

The Secret Crowdfunding Strategies to Crush Four Stretch Goals in a Row


You want to change lives with your crowdfunding campaign—but how?

Setting a large goal looks overambitious, like it’s doomed to fail from the start.

But of course, you don’t want to set a goal that’s too small.

So how do you raise a huge amount and motivate donors to give?

Enter the stretch goal example of Kieron Safstrom, who beat not one but four separate goals with his massively successful crowdfunding campaign.

Kieron is a recently graduated nutritionist who travelled to India shortly after receiving his degree.

He knew fortified milk could reverse the rampant malnutrition he encountered, and set about to provide the supplement to the children he worked with.

Kieron set up the #Milk4Marks campaign over the weekend with a starting goal of just $3,000—a figure he raised in a mere 10 hours.

After that, he set his sights on a stretch goal of $5,000 and hit it within seven hours. Milk4Marks hit the next goal of $8,000 the next day, then met stretch goal #3 of $12,000 shortly after that.

Currently, the campaign is making steady progress on stretch goal #4—raising $15,000 to help beat child malnutrition in India.

Campaign image

So, how did he do it?

Tactic 1: A very personal story

Kieron is a likable guy—someone who could tell a great story at a party or make any kid smile.

He used his personality to tell the story of his plan.

Using the camera he had available to him in India, he recorded a simple video explaining his discoveries. The video isn’t very high quality, which adds to its authenticity.

Video example

Kieron even pokes fun at his first recorded video with the caption “Watch me film myself for the first time ever!”

To make the video a success, Kieron didn’t just spout off facts and figures of an impersonal problem.

He told a story.

First, he explained his background and his trip to India. He built up the credibility of his goal by explaining the large organizations that supported his efforts.

Second, he painted the problem in vivid detail. He explained that children went to school on an empty stomach and encouraged viewers to imagine it themselves. He explain that the malnutrition problem was widespread, elaborating that “it’s on an energy level, it’s on a protein level, and it’s on a micronutrient level.”

In addition to a video, he included pictures of himself to tell the story of his discoveries and add faces to the issues he saw.

Kieron 1

He showed that fortified milk would make a huge difference in the lives of children, improving their livelihood and academic potential.

He also built rewards into the program—supporters would receive a T-shirt or hoodie, with the proceeds going to provide fortified milk to malnourished children in India.

But instead of focusing on those extrinsic motivators, he mentioned them only briefly at the end of the video. The focus was on helping children, not on receiving rewards.

By telling a compelling and personal narrative and focusing on helping others, he was able to rally donors to support his cause.

Tactic 2: Deep personal outreach

Unlike a lot of campaigners on Chuffed, Kieron didn’t have an email list at all.

Instead, he promoted using the one form of communication he knew he had access to—his personal Facebook connections.

He promoted the project heavily to his current Facebook friends, posting multiple times per week.

But he didn’t ask for money every time. Instead, he posted constant updates with pictures and specific details, keeping supporters in the know about how the campaign was going.

He reached out personally to his 60+ nutrition classmates from university, knowing they would be especially interested in the project. Sure enough, ⅓ of his classmates purchased jumpers, and ½ shared the post to their friends.

In addition to his personal friends, he also reached out to groups he was a part of—nutritionist groups, his university, and others—and leveraged his connections with larger organizations.

He wasn’t pushy and didn’t directly ask for support. Instead, he just asked them to check it out. His strategy worked, and he received shares from some brands with large followings. His university shared the story:

And the company that printed his stickers:

Using his social connections, he was able to reach a range of people that supported his cause and encouraged others to do the same.

Tactic 3: Deliberately small starting target

While a campaign that crushes a series of objectives seems like a miracle, there’s a science that goes into building the momentum necessary to drum up excitement and participation.

Kieron’s example of a stretch goal did this masterfully.

First, he started with a small target he knew he could reach ($3,000). Before even launching the campaign, he reached out to his connections and asked them to help support the project.

As a result, he was able to meet the target within just a few hours and before even publicly launching the campaign. He leveraged that to build excitement—proving #Milk4Marks was going places fast.

target setting

This quick success made the story even more shareable, and friends wanted to share the tremendous success they saw.

Rather than a plea for money, friends could post about the success Kieron was having and the lives he was changing. And post they did!

By setting the target low, he also was able to constantly have a new update to announce—every time he met and set a new stretch goal!

These exciting posts kept readers engaged and showed the day-to-day progress of the campaign. Each stretch target was difficult but not impossible, keeping followers engaged and growing shares throughout each goal.

By setting the original target low, hitting it quickly, and building small-but-achievable targets along the way, Keiron was able to give the #Milk4Marks the momentum it needed to succeed.

Lessons learned

Along the way, Kieron made some discoveries for his future campaigns.

  1. Start promoting earlier. The success of the campaign was due to Kieron’s outreach to his network, but next time he’ll start earlier. “Imagine what I could have achieved,” he says, “if I had built that momentum up over a couple of weeks beforehand?”
  2. Focus on connections, not cold calling. Despite reaching out to 200-400 new Facebook groups and pages with which he wasn’t connected, Kieron wasn’t very successful. They were actually too big and his direct messages were not often even seen. Next time, he’ll focus all his efforts on people with whom he already has a personal connection and smaller facebook pages.
  3. Only go into crowdfunding if the cause is important to you. Kieron worked hard to make #Milk4Marks a success, and the main reason was that he was passionate about the cause. Without that excitement, it would have been difficult to keep up the energy. But since malnutrition was something he engaged with on a regular basis, he had the motivation to keep up with the campaign even when it was difficult.

If you’re ready to build a crowdfunding project with wild success early on, follow the strategies Kieron used with #Milk4Marks campaign.

By crafting an intensely personal story, leveraging his connections, and setting the campaign up for success with small, incremental targets, Kieron was able to build massive support.

Even more importantly, he built the #Milk4Marks campaign into a fundraising success with thousands of dollars to help battle malnutrition.

Kieron’s story is an example of a smart stretch goal that is changing the world.

To check out Kieron’s story or support the #MILK4MARKS – Indian School Breakfast Program campaign on Chuffed, just head to:

Running a Community Event? Here’s How To Make It Wildly Successful Using Crowdfunding

Ai-Ling and Katrina

How do you build a massively successful community event?

There are plenty of options.

Most people take the usual route, and register their event on an event-specific site and start selling tickets.

But there’s a way to turn an event into more than just a gathering. A way to transform it into a movement, build a tribe of raving fans, and change lives forever.

The answer is simple: start crowdfunding your events.

Instead of just selling tickets, using a crowdfunding platform like Chuffed for your event means you can build support and offer perks that a traditional ticket site won’t allow you to do.

It’s more challenging, more rewarding, and more impactful than anything you’ve ever tried.

One of the most successful crowdfunding events we’ve seen was put on by Katrina Lane and Ai-Ling Truong. Both women were passionate about tackling important issues facing the food and drink industry; and creating connections between farmers, producers, chefs, and consumers.

Ai Ling and Katrina

Inspired by Noma’s MAD conferences and Ben Shewry’s WAW Gathering in 2014, they wanted to organize Western Australia’s first ever Food And Drink Symposium (FADS) – a daylong event complete with talks, discussion panels, and workshops.

FADs info

To get it started, they would need to raise a hefty $45,000. But rather than just list the symposium on a ticket site and start selling, they chose to build a community around the event—and never looked back.

Their campaign hit its goal, and the symposium went off with tremendous success.

Campaign info

Here are the strategies they used for crowdfunding their event.

Tactic 1: Strategic perks

The biggest difference between crowdfunding and just selling tickets is in the rewards.

Unlike a traditional event campaign that just sells tickets, Katrina and Ai-Ling were able to leverage the unique abilities of a crowdfunding campaign to build even greater support for FADS.

They were able to expand their offerings from just tickets to offering items like shirts, masterclasses and other food and drink experiences that were related to the event and included some of the speakers and chefs who were a part of the FADS program.

FADS perks

The ability to offer mini-events throughout the campaign that provided unique experiences prior to FADS for different levels of support was perhaps the biggest advantage of crowdfunding. These mini-events helped to attract new audiences, were well received and built excitement before the main event. Overall, the use of mini events as perks added a new angle to the campaign and drew in many supporters through the offline conversations.

“The rewards worked really well, but looking back, I would have reduced the number of perks we initially offered. Instead of putting all the perks on the page at the start, I would start with a limited number and add more as the campaign builds popularity and followers. One of the challenges of running an event-based crowdfunding campaign is that sense of urgency as people generally don’t buy tickets until closer to the event date. Were we to do it again, we would have created both time and quantity-based scarcity. For example, we did have early bird ticket prices, but they were of limited amount. Next time I would offer early bird ticket prices for a limited time, and only a few tickets available at first. If those tickets sell out, we can still add another set—but the limited time would have created a stronger sense of urgency and more immediate sales.”

Tactic 2: Community building

Through crowdfunding Katrina and Ai-Ling wanted to build a community of people for their event who were more engaged with their food and drink culture.

They were transparent with the community and rallied its members to stand behind the project.

They built every piece of the crowdfunding messaging with the community in mind and were very transparent with the finances, so those interested in funding FADS knew where the money was going:

Breakdown of cost

During the entire process, they thanked supporters, donors, and speakers.

Because of this focus, they found that one of the main drivers of ticket sales was word-of-mouth. People who were interested, would recommended FADS to their friends, families or colleague and this built a following offline.

To support this offline dialogue and rally support for the cause, Katrina and Ai-Ling designed “mini-events” leading up to the symposium for their community to be a part of.

They collaborated with people who worked in the local food and drink industry, to increase reach through their networks and communities. These mini-events provided opportunities to learn from local food and drink experts, facilitated conversations around topics related to FADS and also generated more interest in the main event as the date drew nearer.


They also spent time on social media thanking those who had hosted events as well as thanking supporters individually.

As the event drew nearer, they increased their social media promotion, posting more frequently and including a call to action in each post.

During the opening speech of the symposium, the MC announced that FADS was 100% crowdfunded which reinforced the community driven nature of the event. The goal was to make the supporters feel valued and included in every step of the process.

FADS couldn’t have happened without support from the community, and Katrina and Ai-Ling made sure everyone received the thanks they deserved.

Tactic 3: Acquire sponsors

The more the campaign progressed and showed success, the more leverage it had for attracting sponsors to provide larger contributions to the campaign.

Sponsorship contributions were added to the campaign, publicly acknowledged on social media and included an opportunity to be a part of FADS. They focused on engaging sponsors as a part of the campaign in a meaningful way.


They also mentioned their sponsors at the bottom of the FADS website.

Sponsors overview

In addition to helping the event happen, the sponsors also helped to cross promote the campaign to gain more supporters.

Lessons learned

Along the way, Katrina and Ai-Ling made some surprising observations about how the event campaign went.

Most of these were specific to events since crowdfunding is a less common way of raising capital for them.

  1. Get confirmed speakers early. One of the challenges Katrina and Ai-Ling faced was getting speakers confirmed. Without a lineup of presenters, it was difficult to rally support for FADS. The earlier you have this lineup, the faster you can begin promoting the campaign.
  2. Expect sales in the last week. Four months out from the event, they planned to run a 30 day crowdfunding campaign but ended up having to extend the length of the campaign until right up to their event day. Unlike a traditional crowdfunding campaign, FADS raised a lot of money during the tail end of the campaign as their primary reward was selling tickets to the symposium and people generally buy tickets closer to the event day. In the week leading up to the event, an average of as many as ten people bought tickets every single day. Plan and prepare for this if you’re crowdfunding an event.
  3. Increase sponsorship. Businesses want to be a part of something that shows success and a crowdfunding campaign that has momentum can be built on with contributions from sponsors. For example, promoting the campaign with matching funds from sponsors can be a powerful motivator to drive donations. Reaching out to sponsors early on and working with them to be a part of the campaign could have allowed FADS to leverage this for more donations.
  4. Spend effort on community, not just PR. Despite getting some helpful media spots, Katrina and Ai-Ling found that these didn’t produce a huge spike in ticket sales. More direct and personalized communications to their community via social media, newsletters, at their mini-events and offline conversations had more impact.


With plenty of hard work, intense learning, and support from donors and community members, Katrina and Ai-Ling were able to raise all the money needed for FADS.

Following through with their budget, they transformed the facility, hosted world-renowned speakers, and launched an event celebrating the food community around them.


With careful planning, Katrina and Ai-Ling created a crowdfunded event that transformed them and their community.

To find out more about the WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S FOOD AND DRINK SYMPOSIUM (FADS) Campaign on