Community Leader: Dave


Meet Dave Thomas,’s Community Leader based in Swansea, Dave works on community development with a focus on helping the community he’s involved in grow food as an alternative to the food bank model – read on to see how crowdfunding has become to be a part of his work!

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

From a young age I loved spending time outside making and fixing things. I’ve always carried this with me and have an eye for opportunities in which I can make a difference. This has led me into many interesting places. Every year I set myself the challenge of having a positive impact on a local, regional and international level. It is not always straightforward but I am proud of some of my achievements including supporting people across Wales to establish food growing projects, taking a lead role in the building of a low impact community building in Pembrokeshire and organising international volunteer work-camps from 2014 to 2016 at a community farming project. I recognise the trials and tribulations of social and environmental projects but also the shear joy and lifetime memories that they create.

Why did you decide to become a community leader?

There are many facets to the success of any social cause project – funding is but one of them. I want to demystify the process of securing funds through crowdfunding so that, in spite of clear inequality in society, people can tap in to funds to help make their projects happen.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin? 

I have been involved in crowdfunding for over three years now and managed to secure many thousands of pounds for good causes. I have used different methods including fundraising parties, funding through corporates and by reaching out to individuals and the third sector.

What social cause are passionate about and why?

I’m passionate about food and in particular access to high quality healthy fresh food – I feel that this is a basic human right. I feel strongly that supermarkets and food manufacturers are a big part of the problem. Likewise, what kind of society allows people to be fed from food banks? And these same food banks rely heavily on the good will of others to donate surplus food. I also feel that access to land is massive issue and in my work as a Community Land Advisor I am working with landowners, from both public and private sector, to identify suitable land and make it available for communities to grow food on.

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

Having been director of a community supported agriculture project for three years (which grew food for over fifty families) I appreciate first hand the tremendous amount of effort that individuals put into social causes and feel that I have a wide array of experiences to call on, the good times and the bad, that I can share with participants.

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

Funds raised will be dedicated to the development of a new playground in the village where I live which has the aim of getting children outside more and doing what children do best – play!


How to Recover From a Slow Start to Your Campaign


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!

Community Leader: Jason Lasky

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

I moved to live in Byron Shire with my family 10 years ago. Choosing to live in Byron was a tree / sea change for a more relaxed lifestyle, a love of nature and community.

My work has been in web design for local businesses, organisations and professionals. I have been volunteering for several community benefit groups providing web design and promoting their causes through social media.

Non profit groups I’ve worked with: Waterlily Playscape Community, Transition Byron Shire, Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby, Zero Emissions Byron, Gas Field Free Byron Shire, Ocean Shores Community Association, Mullum Seed, Byron Biochar, Landcare – Western NSW, Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers, Byron Shire Community Exchange, Northern Rivers Car & Ride Share, Reclaim Our Homes, Mullum Economics Vision, Save North Coast Nature, Kulcha Jam Cooperative.

Why did you decide to become a Community Leader?

I have a passion for fostering economic cooperation to solve problems. Crowdfunding has become a more direct way for community to support causes and Chuffed has one of the best platforms. Chuffed actually walks the talk of being a social benefit company. I wish to support social causes and the integrity of the platform matters to me. The Chuffed team has been so helpful in my own project and makes the experience of crowdfunding more achievable.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin? 

Decades ago I heard about a community getting together to fund a wind turbine to generate renewable energy. That really inspired me and I have been working for similar goals ever since. More recently I noticed local musicians, artists who are not great business people in general succeeding with pre-sales through crowdfunding and launching their works. It became clear to me crowdfunding had become mainstream.

What social cause are passionate about and why?

I have a passion for community currency and fostering economic cooperation to solve problems. I have recently presented proposals for a local currency, a car sharing programme and a renters cooperative for affordable housing. I have developed social dilemma games to help people explore the benefits of trust and cooperation – I may be too busy trying to start too many projects! The team as actually helped me to focus. The housing crisis is probably the most urgent issue needing my attention.

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

This year I’ve run on the Waterlily playscape crowdfunding campaign, which has developed relevant fundraising skills! My work in the non profit sector has combined with my long-held interest in community development means I can’t wait to hear and help develop other peoples’ crowdfunding plans!

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

I’m busy working on a campaign at the moment to raise funds for community benefit projects – the link will be added when the page comes live!


The White Rakhi: Be a Bro!



‘The White Rakhi campaign was first started as a small event in 2016 by a bunch of students at the University of Technology Sydney, with a focus on promoting gender equality and respectful relationships between students on campus. The event used principles of ‘Raksha Bandan’, a practice from the Subcontinent whereby brothers and sisters celebrate the bond of love and protection between them.

At the time, Akshay Raj, a 23 year old student activist founded the Project: White Rakhi campaign. In the wake of the recent AHRC report into Sexual assault in Universities, Akshay and the team behind Project: White Rakhi sought to take their simple message to change the culture that exists on University Campuses. PwR aims to promote gender equality and respect between students.

2017 has been a roller coaster of a year for PwR as it aims to take its message to other Universities such as University of Sydney, UNSW and interstate to Monash University and RMIT. PwR has also extended its reach internationally sparking the interest of Social Innovator, Rahul Goswami as well as organisations in New Delhi, India.

Upon releasing we that the small event had the potential to become a movement for young people, Akshay decided that Project: White Rakhi had to go through a period of transformation. In order to make PwR a proper campaign, it needed to be upscaled. As opposed to funding the movement himself or seeking private sector sponsorship, Akshay made the strategic decision to create a crowding funding campaign in order to fund PwR through its transition period.

“I wanted PwR to be an initiative that was made by young people for their own future. What better way than by making the people the key and essential part of this process. Through crowd funding I believe will feel an ownership and a deeper connection to cause as they have been the ones to make it what is it” said Akshay. He also noted that “ was just the platform we needed, it was simple easy to use and offered fantastic support to its users and most importantly it was Australian based, which gave me a lot of assurance”.’

Head to the White Rakhi crowdfunding campaign page below to find out more on this awesome cause:

Where there’s a Wil, there’s a way!

Wil as a young boy

Wil as a young boy

“My sister and I are so glad we found Chuffed to help our brother Wil.

The best position to be in is one where you really don’t need anyone’s help or charity.   Unfortunately, my brother Wil can use the help of family, friends, his doctors and nurses very much right now.  I am grateful to have found Chuffed to help Wil through the financial struggle side of being sick and recovering. has made it easier for us to share and reach out to Wil’s vast community of support.

Here is the broader story of Wil’s struggle with cancer and why it is so meaningful to us that he wins his battle.  For the first time, we’re sharing our very personal back story on Chuffed:

Our family has had its share of hardship in the last year.  We lost both our parents in 2016 leaving three siblings; Wil, Dina and me to carry on.  Now by brother Wil, the oldest, has been diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer.  Despite our distance, me in Vancouver, Dina near Toronto and Wil just outside Montreal, I’d say we remain a close family.  Certainly, the events of last year brought us much closer.  Losing a parent causes a big shift in your life’s perspective.  Losing both in such a short space of time causes you to age overnight.  Almost instantly, we are the elders of our line.

To shift that perspective further, now our big brother is doing battle with cancer.  And while it’s always important that a loved one fights and beats cancer, our circumstance makes it all the more necessary.  Though cancer and any major surgery brings risks, we are somewhat relieved by hope that Wil’s cancer is an often treatable one unlike mom’s lung cancer.  Still, the surgery, chemo and radiation are very hard, traumatizing and not something you’d want a loved or anyone to have to endure.  We so look forward to the other end of Wil’s journey, when he emerges from his recovery.

Dina and I have families, her with both kids in late high school and university, mine still in their single digits.  We are making sacrifices to help Wil as family does, but our Chuffed crowdfunding campaign is making this much easier.  I have found crowdfunding incredibly rewarding in the past, but always as a contributor.  I find it so easy to give and respond to someone’s need.  I love contributing and seeing how everybody’s “little” can go a long way to helping someone with a genuine need.

Now we find ourselves grateful, on the receiving end of our community; friends and relatives, who are helping us help Wil with his expenses during a long recovery process.  If all goes well, in the end, the disease will leave some scars but it won’t leave Wil or anyone of us with a heavy burden of debt.”

Phil Katsikas

To support Wil and his family at this tough time, head to their campaign page:

A Community Memorial: Friends of Ciudad de Barcelona


“I have always been an active socialist and a campaigner against fascism so, when I read accounts about the International Brigadistas that drowned from the ship Ciudad De Barcelona on their way to fight fascism in 1937 in the Spanish Civil War, I was moved. It reminded me of the many refugees that have also died in the Mediterranean in recent years.

There are many reports that the Brigadistas sang ‘The Internationale’ as the ship was sinking and this really hits me hard. I was utterly stunned to read that one of those Brigadistas shared my name; another Rob MacDonald. He died that day struggling for the same values of solidarity and internationalism that I stand for in my day.

As a stone sculptor and garden builder, it became obvious to me that I needed to create a monument and park to commemorate this tragedy. So me and my life partner Aurora who is from Cataloni, teamed up with local historians and activists and over some time the Solidarity Park project was born.

The important issue for us is to honour these heroes and the local people who saved many of them. Many of the Brigadistas will remain unknown as the ship travelled clandestinely and the history has been hidden but we want to find out as much as is possible.

What also we wanted was to tell their story in a relevant way so that people today understood what the Brigadistas stood for. From that point of view we plan to make the project as participatory as we can and get young people from where the ship sank (Malgrat de mar, Catalonia) involved into actually doing the sculpture with me. This we are going to do with local schools.

Also, we want to bring the international and local communities together again. That is why we are using ‪‬ to appeal for the start up money for the project! By launching the crowdfunding with Chuffed, lots of people have got involved and we are spreading this story around the world and as part of the campaign. In the process, we have uncovered new and fascinating history about people we didn’t know who were aboard the ship.

The highlight was finding the family of the other Rob MacDonald. I am now an honouree cousin of theirs, which makes me very proud. Through them we have had a song produced by a known folk singer Eric Faulkner.
We have also held socials, live events and auctions to fundraise. In all, it’s been a wonderful journey although exhausting too!

Finally, we are set to start working on the project, but we will keep the fund going as there is so much more to do and clearly the scope of the project is going to grow!

So we invite you all to pick up a hammer and chisel and start telling the Brigadistas story which, after all, is about and for us all!”

Rob Macdonald
Solidarity Park

Head to Rob’s crowdfunding campaign page to find out more about this awesome campaign and fascinating part of history:

Australian South Sea Islanders’ Symposium to Remember their History



“My name is Emelda Davis and I am the president of voluntary organisation Australian South Sea Islanders (Port Jackson). This project represents a continued legacy in telling the truth of Australia’s Black-birding history, as we are the forgotten people.

Our forefathers were slaves in the cane fields of Queensland and as part of a trade that kidnapped some $62,500 Melanesian labourers from the eighty islands of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Some 15,000 died as a result of common disease and despite authorities knowing this, the trade continued to its fullest capacity.

Mum’s dad Moses Enares was 12 years of age when he was taken from the beach on Tanna Island, Vanuatu and today we are still trying to find our families.

Our board was established in 2009 and is made up of descendants of the Blackbirding trade who’s heritage is a diverse representation from the islands that demonstrates the ‘distinct’ cultural group as recognised by the 1994 Commonwealth of Australia.
Our history is excluded from the Australian narrative and unknown to the majority of the population. Our evident kinship with Indigenous Australia is due to the Aboriginal Protection Acts which absorbed our people on stations, reserves and plantations.”
Australian South Sea Islanders will be at the MUA Offices at 6pm on the 8th of September for a symposium that commemorates the year 2017 as 170 years since Benjamin Boyd first brought their people to NSW in 1847. 2017 marks 110 years since the mass deportation of over 7,000 men and women back to their respective islands.
Learn more about this inspiring cause and the symposium in September here:

Kearsage Food Hub: Creating a Community Space in Bradford!

Community Team

Community Team

“Just about 4 years ago I found myself living back home, all fired up about changing the world, with a blend naïveté and fearlessness typical of a 20-something fresh out of college. During my college experience, I had several “aha” moments where my understanding of the world around me really began to take shape. I studied things like animal rights, environmental and natural sciences, and philosophy, all of which brought me back to one seemingly simple thing: food. But the most important thing I learned was that food today is anything but simple. How we produce, distribute, and consume our food is, in fact, at the heart of most of the issues we face globally.

I returned home from school to discover I was not the only one who came to this realization. Several of my old high school friends had all reached a similar understanding. The good news is, after commiserating for a time, we landed on a solution: local food. This epiphany, while certainly not a reinvention of the wheel, did hold significant repercussions for us, for we all landed back in our hometowns in the Kearsarge region of New Hampshire to discover that there was a big need and desire for organization within our local food system.

We started the Kearsarge Food Hub in Bradford, New Hampshire, in the fall of 2014 as a collective effort to help orchestrate and strengthen local food efforts in our area. We wanted to create better access to local food and make local food production more viable. More than that, though, we all had a deep, intuitive understanding that food could be, and in fact always has been, something that brings people together.

Three years later and we’ve made tremendous strides in furthering our mission. We’ve opened a local food retail outlet, Sweet Beet Market, started distributing to restaurants and food pantries, and taken action in our community to promote our cause through community events, partnerships, and educational efforts. Now we have a unique opportunity to help revive the old Bradford Inn, a building that has been sitting idle on the corner of West Main street in Bradford for over 10 years. We are transforming the space into a local food and community resource center, aiming to create a physical representation of the food hub where people can come together to share company, conversation and local food. Specific plans are still developing, but the old Inn needs a lot of work, so we are raising funds to contribute to renovations as phase one of the building’s revival.”
Hanna Koby Flanders
Director of Marketing and Outreach
Kearsarge Food Hub

Learn more about the awesome Kearsarge Food Hub cause on their crowdfunding campaign page:

JaMels: Dedicated to Rehabilitating Horses in Queensland

“JaMels is a fully registered ACNC charity located on the Tablelands Far North Queensland. We are passionate and dedicated to the rehabilitation and rehoming of horses, providing education and training opportunities to the community and to support horse owners in crisis.
JaMels is only able to operate with the support of the public, businesses and with the continued efforts of our small but dedicated and passionate volunteer team.
Our founders have been rehabilitating horses privately for more than 20 years. Since coming together as a team and forming as a charity, together we have been able to successfully help more horses and owners then we ever dreamed possible.
With Jamels being the only registered Equine Rehabilitation Charity in the North and Far North Queensland, we provide assistance to horses and owners as far as 1000+km away!
It’s dry season in QLD now and for horses that means the grass has died off and they require extra feeding. For some owners, the extra expense of feeding over dry season is not affordable. We see a substantial increase in the number of horses needing our help over dry season.
Equine rehabilitation is extremely costly, basics like food costing $15 a day per horse, veterinary care and treatment quickly exceeds $1500 and the horses typically require 12 to 24 weeks of care before being ready for rehoming.
In the past 7 days alone, we have received requests from owners for assistance with a further three horses and whilst we have the room and the time required to help these horses, we simply do not have the required funds to commit to them.
We are yet to turn horses away and desperately don’t want to start doing so. This is why we have chosen to run crowdfunding campaigns with Chuffed!”
Learn more about this cause by heading to JaMel’s crowdfunding campaign pages:

Rare Revolution: Empowering Young People Affected by Rare Diseases

Nicola & Eddison

Nicola & Eddison

“In February 2014, my life changed forever when my son Eddison, at aged just 13 months was diagnosed with the ultra-rare disease of xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). We were told that he was at a 10,000 time increase risk of skin cancer and would need to spend the rest of his life protected and shielded from all daylight, as well as at risk of complex neurological involvement!

After the initial shock and adjustment, with my sister Rebecca we set about forming an XP charity, which has grown from strength to strength and now supports families globally.

Five years later we decided to turn all we had learned to date on our rare journey, along with our joint passion for writing, to create a self-funded and free subscription rare disease magazine – Rare Revolution Magazine. Our goal to bring vital rare disease information and support to those who need it in an accessible language and format, while being a valuable source of peer and community education around all things rare disease. We aim to give the 350 million people globally affected by rare disease a powerful voice, in the voice that matters -theirs.

As a dedicated team of two, we operate as a not-for-profit publication whilst also still running our rare disease XP charity.

Realising the gap for children affected by rare disease to be heard, we teamed up with some other key players in rare children services to create the #RareYouthProject. This project will not only give thousands of children and young people a publication that represents their lives and struggles, but it is also a project that brings together a unique youth team of young people all living with rare disease, who will shape and create the publication, gaining real life experience, friendships, contacts and confidence. Annually the outgoing team, will mentor the new incoming team, building their communication and leadership skills, while being part of something very special.

Since project concept launch in February 2017 we’ve secured £23,000 grant and sponsorship funding, but need to raise another £17,000.00 to fully deliver this, first of its kind project and get what we hope will become an ongoing project, well and truly kick started. For this we turned to crowdfunding in the hope of others seeing the value in this project, which we hope will in time enhance the lives of many children who participate directly in the project and who access the finished publications.”

Learn more about this wonderful cause on their campaign page: