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

The Ultimate Crowdfunding Guide For Animal Rescue Groups

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

Dogs and cats


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

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

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

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

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

Animal campaign examples


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

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

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

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

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


Here’s how they did it

Before you start: Choose a crowdfunding platform


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

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

Step 1: Choose a single animal

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

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

Step 2: Get a good quality header image

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

Before you launch your campaign:

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

Example header image

After the campaign ends:

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

Header image example

Step 3: Write a strong title and compelling story

The Title

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

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

The Pitch text

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

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

Here’s a good example:

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

The Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Campaign page example

Step 5: Promote your campaign

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

The crucial touch-points for promoting your campaign include:

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

The 3 main channels we recommend using are:

1. Facebook

Where to post:

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

What to post:

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

2. Email

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

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

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

3. Messages and Campaign Updates

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

Step 6: Receive the funds

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

Step 7: Tell people what happened

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

Frequently asked questions:

How much does it cost to run a campaign on

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

How is this different from a standard fundraising appeal?

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

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

Raising funds for a bigger project?

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

More tips:

The Full Crowdfunding Guide

Crowdfunding Case Studies and Deep Dives


All the best of luck with your first Campaign!


Thank you!

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

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


Forever Friends Animal Rescue


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

– Saskia from Forever Friends Animal Rescue


Maneki Neko Cat Rescue


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

Samantha from Maneki Neko Cat Rescue

Photo Credit

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


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

5 Steps to get PR for your Crowdfunding Campaign

Hand on Microphone - PR Guide

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

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

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

  1. Find the right journalists

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

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

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

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

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

Search articles

2. Engage with the journalist before you pitch

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


Engaging with Journalists

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

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

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

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

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

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

A great example:

Media Release Example

Some more great story examples :

4. Write a compelling pitch email

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

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

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

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

An example email could look like this:

Pitch email

5. Follow Up

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

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

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

When is the best time to contact Journalists?

We recommend contacting journalists either:

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

What if your story gets featured?

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

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

Other websites and tools:

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

Feeling inspired? Start your own campaign today.


Crowdfunding for Legal Action – Australia for Dolphins Case Study

Team AFD

Australia for Dolphins (AFD) is a not-for-profit dolphin protection organisation with just two full time staff members. Even though they’re a small team, they pack a powerful punch.

In 2015, they brought legal action against the world’s peak zoo body, resulting in more than 60 Japanese aquariums being forced to stop buying dolphins from the violent Taiji hunts. They also successfully sued the notorious Whale Museum in Taiji, the centre of the bloody dolphin hunts.

In 2017, they had their sights focused on an Australian marine park, who still held dolphins in captivity. The team decided that they were going to sue the park for false advertising – their ads that said dolphins were happy and healthy, they just aren’t true. 

Here’s how they did it:

Team AFD

Tactic 1. To tackle a global issue, focus on one story

The global dolphin captivity industry is such a large scale global issue that it can be overwhelming and lacks an emotional hook.

Rather than focus on the industry issue, AFD focused their story on one particular dolphin at Dolphin Marine Magic.

“We realised that the best way to raise awareness about this complicated issue and drive the campaign forward was to give it a singular narrative. We focused the story on one particular dolphin, called Ji, to give people a better idea of what the bigger picture is about. The title, video, the name of the legal action were all focused on this one dolphin, Ji.”

AFD campaign image

Tactic 2. Get to new audiences by leveraging your existing ones

For AFD, whenever they run a crowdfunding campaign, they focus on using it to reach new audiences. How?

Two ways:

1. Ask their existing audiences (people who they know are passionate about the cause, including people who had previously signed petitions or signed up to their newsletter) to share their campaigns with their family, friends and networks

“We have a number of supporters that already donate to us on a regular basis, and others that have donated substantial amounts in the past. We don’t want to ask them for more funds and will often exclude them from our other fundraising asks and campaigns. We will, however, keep them updated on what we’re doing: send them an email to let them know we’ve launched a new campaign and to thank them for helping us get this far (we treat them as if they’ve already supported our campaign, because in all honesty, they’re the ones who’ve gotten us this far already!). We may still ask them to like and share our posts on Facebook, so they can help us reach more people.”

2. Run Paid Facebook Ads: Advertising petitions and crowdfunding campaigns on Facebook to selected targeted audiences. They focus on people who are interested in animal welfare or specific dolphin captivity issues.

Here’s an example of a Facebook Ad they promoted during the campaign:

This segmented approach to communications, making their core supporters feel valued and included while focusing on reaching new audiences, is a powerful strategy that has allowed AFD to grow their audience to a strong community of over 200,000 people passionate about dolphin welfare over the past few years.

“Before each campaign we benchmark our database numbers. When we advertise our petitions and advocacy campaigns – we don’t want people who’ve already signed to sign it again – so we exclude them from our email communications to make sure that all the people we are getting involved are new. With this particular campaign (which was a combination of petitions and the crowdfunding campaign), we got 20,000 new people on board, which was really great.“


Tactic 3. Get PR and media on board

The fact that AFD found an avenue of Consumer Law that allowed them to sue the marine park for misleading people to believe that their dolphins were happy and healthy was not only incredibly innovative, but also newsworthy. They knew the story had a good media hook and could get a lot of PR attention.

“A national TV show called The Project produced an exclusive segment explaining the pending legal action and the underlying issue of dolphin captivity. So, when we launched the legal action there was already interest surrounding the case.”

By having all the PR contacts and press releases lined up before launch, and letting journalists know beforehand, they were able to generate awareness during their campaign which they could then use to contact their supporters again and raise more funds.

For more tips on how to get PR on board, check out ‘5 steps to get PR for your Crowdfunding Campaign‘.

Tactic 4. Secure match funding as the ultimate incentive for giving

Perks and rewards are a great way of incentivising supporters to support your campaign or to give more than they usually would. However, because of the nature of their campaign, AFD decided that getting matched funding instead could be the ultimate reward for people to support their campaign:

“Prior to this campaign, we had run a campaign to put up billboards in Tokyo to blast real images of the dolphin hunts. Each dollar raised during that campaign was matched by This time, however, the nature of what we were fundraising for was quite different and we felt we had to come up with more engaging content. We realised we had to come up with a good video and spent some time on that. But we also thought about prizes and rewards. Because matched funding had worked well in our previous campaign and the nature of the campaign, and the need to keep admin costs low prohibited us from creating fancy perks, we decided to look for match funding instead of prizes.”

This is how the match funding on their first campaign was communicated:

AFD Ethical jobs

“We’re a really small charity, there’s only 2 full-time staff and although that has its challenges, it allows us to take a very personal approach to our donors. We’ll personally call everyone who gives more than $250 and will meet as many of them in person if we can. We’re in touch with them all the time and really build personal relationships with them. Almost like a community of people. Because we build a great relationship with donors, we find out what they’re passionate about (ie. Taiji or captivity issues). When something comes up that we think they might be interested in, we get in touch with them and see if they want to get involved. Keep them updated throughout – make them feel very involved.”

This is how they communicated the match donation to their supporters on the campaign page:

Match donation info

Small change, big impact

Although the crowdfunding campaign was focused on one particular marine park, the success of the case could have wide ramifications.

“This will send a very loud warning bell to big marine parks like SeaWorld. It will also set a precedent, which we hope will bolster global efforts to end dolphin captivity and help convince politicians this cruel practice has to end.” – Jordan Sosnowski

To learn more about AFD and their Crowdfunding campaigns on, here are their campaigns:

To support AFD’s legal action, sign their petition:

If you are a charity, nonprofit, community group or a caring individual who wants to use crowdfunding to tackle a global issue or a local one, reach out to us at We’re here to help.

How to Run a Campaign so Successful You Hit Two Stretch Goals

Case Study Campaign Artwork

Do you wish you could share your passion with the world?

That’s exactly how Nat Panzarino and Fer Wicker felt. Both knew the struggles of greyhounds, and wanted to spread the message they lived out by volunteering for local greyhound rescue.

To do so, they decided to collaborate on a children’s book called Pointy Pembleton—written by Nat and illustrated by Fer—raising awareness about greyhounds in an appealing way. They’d also donate a portion of the book’s sales to greyhound rescue.

Their campaign required $15,000 to get the book to market, and it took off quickly. Once they noticed the success, Nat and Fer extended the goal to $20,000—then met it. They set a stretch goal of $25,000—and met it as well.

By the end of the campaign, they had raised $28,871 for the Pointy Pembleton campaign—almost twice as much as their original target.

Pointy Pembleton Campaign Page

But of course, the magic was behind the scenes.

Nat and Fer used three specific techniques to garner interest in the project and draw support.

Let’s jump in!

Tactic 1: Use videos to engage supporters

Throughout the entire campaign, Nat and Fer used videos to inform and rally supporters. The videos were vital to the campaign’s success, and really made it stand apart and develop relationships with readers.

To succeed with this medium, Nat and Fer followed a few principles.

  1. They kept the videos positive and encouraging. Instead of including startling images of abused dogs, they chose to tell the story through uplifting stories of rescued greyhounds and Fer’s illustrations from the book. In the videos, they specifically asked people to share the project with friends to help the dogs.
  2. They provided plenty of background information. To Nat and Fer’s surprise, they learned that many people didn’t know the background of abandoned greyhounds. The campaign explained everything in simple, concise language. “You don’t want to leave people with questions at the end,” Nat says, “so you want to try and answer all of their questions right there.”
  3. They made the videos personal and informal. While the main promotional videos have a high production value, most of the videos Nat and Fer created for the campaign were casual, smartphone-filmed snippets of them and their dogs. Nat calls the videos she posted on Facebook groups “overly cheesy,” and some of the more popular video showed them working behind the scenes.

Tactic 2: Consistent communication

Nat and Fer were strategic with how they communicated to supporters, and it paid off big time.

Here’s how they succeeded.

  1. They chose channels that already worked for them. Nat knew that Twitter wasn’t a strength for her and wasn’t as popular in Australia, so she focused just on Facebook and Instagram. A month before the launch, Nat and Fer created a Facebook page for Pointy Pembleton, and focused most of the promotion there.
  2. They posted regularly. They posted a minimum of one time per day on Facebook and Instagram. But these weren’t all just requests for support—they gave behind-the-scenes detail and entertained followers with humorous and interesting videos.
  3. They reached out to influencers. Every day, Nat spent about an hour messaging and posting to Facebook groups and pages to related organisations in the dog rescue and children’s book spaces. Only about one out of every 100 influencers responded, but those that did shared it themselves or encouraged her to promote to their followers.

You can check out all of their Facebook posts and videos here:

Pointy Pembleton Facebook Page

Tactic 3: Leverage your connections

One of the biggest factors leading to the success of the campaign was the large body of support Nat and Fer had before beginning.

Here are a few of the ways they rallied support with those who had already expressed interest before the campaign.

  1. Enlisted volunteers to help. They already had 100 volunteer connections, and weren’t afraid to leverage them to join the cause. These volunteers helped spread the word and helped with some of the manual labor required to get the campaign going.
  2. They used their follower’s content in their campaign. Nat created a guide for other to create their own videos for the campaign, and included those videos in the promotion. This built up a community and encouraged others to participate.
  3. They encouraged existing followers to join the cause. Nat and Fer chose to not be shy about their request from support with their followers. After launching their Facebook page, they encouraged their existing 20,000 social media followers on the Greyhound Rescue page to like Pointy Pembleton. Nat also personally messaged her friends asking them to share the campaign.
  4. They didn’t underestimate the funding of their existing supporters. Instead of expecting funding to come exclusively from others new to the campaign, Nat and Fer reached out to those who had closer ties to the campaign in the same way as those new to it—and it paid off! The biggest donor was an existing volunteer, and the second-biggest donor was Nat’s father-in-law.

Volunteer Video

Lessons learned…

Along the way, Nat and Fer also learned a number of strategies they weren’t expecting.

  1. You don’t need experience to succeed at crowdfunding. Despite being brand-new to the crowdfunding space, Nat carefully studied the campaign strategy videos. “I probably watched them like a half a dozen times,” Nat says.
  2. Build as large a team as you can. Even with the sizeable number of volunteers helping them, Nat and Fer would have built an even bigger team in hindsight. Once the campaign started, they could have used even more volunteers to manage the huge volume of communications.
  3. Promote to influencers early. Most of the bloggers and influencers Nat emailed didn’t get back to her for 2-3 weeks. “If I had to do it all over again,” Nat says, “I should have started attacking sooner and got them kind of on board before we wanted to launch.”

Nat and Fer learned a lot in the campaign process, and inspired countless others to their cause of helping rescue greyhounds.

With a strategic use of video, powerful communication, and an effective use of their connection, Nat and Fer led a project that surpassed all expectations.

Start your campaign on today. We provide free mentoring and support for anyone looking to crowdfund a social cause project.

Pointy Pembleton is now available for pre-order. Head to their website for more information. 

5 Team Crowdfunding Campaigns That Blasted Through Their Targets

Crowdfunding is a team sport. Our new Team Crowdfunding feature takes it that extra step further.

A whole new way to crowdfund!

Each of your champions (the core bunch of people most passionate about your project) can take their passion for your cause that extra mile by creating their own crowdfunding page that’s connected with your main campaign page. The team pages inherit any perks from the main campaign and can be customised by each champion.

Check out some of our top picks for campaigns that have taken their crowdfunding to the next level by joining forces with their champions and setting individual targets.

1. Great Ocean Walk with PROJECT FUTURES

2. Small Change Big Impact

3. Climate for Change

4. Toss the Boss 2.0

5. Macquarie Mad Dash

We’re always on the lookout for new ways we can support campaigns in raising more funds, and this feature will do just this.

This is how: Team Crowdfunding lets you set up a normal crowdfunding campaign with several sub-campaigns for each of your team members below it. Everyone on the team gets their own page, which all sum up to the total on the main page.

We think Team Crowdfunding’s perfect for not-for-profits and social enterprises who:

  • Are worried that they don’t have a big enough audience to launch a crowdfunding campaign
  • Want to leverage their supporters’ audiences to get noticed
  • Are keen to be innovative with their fundraising

Interested in reaping the benefits of Team Crowdfunding? Just start drafting a campaign here.

The future of regular giving is rockbands

After delivering a pretty good social cause event in Brighton (if I do say so myself), we were approached by a guest who was quite concerned about this whole “crowdfunding” thing.

“Crowdfunding is all well and good,” he said, “but nonprofits should really be focusing on more regular forms of income, like regular giving. It gives them certainty, rather than just fundraising for projects.”

In the first evolution of charity crowdfunding, this was a fair criticism. But in the current state of play, some innovative campaigners are using crowdfunding to create an even better version of regular giving. First, while regular giving is often seen as a goldmine for charities, it’s normally an average experience for donors. You’re ‘acquired’ by street fundraisers, door knockers, telemarketers; sent your welcome pack and signed up to the newsletter until you make the new year’s resolution of inbox zero and choose to unsubscribe or cancel over the phone and are then passed on to the recovery team.

The main complaint that donors have isn’t the sales tactics, it’s the lack of clarity they have around how their particular donation is being used.

Compare that to what one of our campaigners does.

Forever Friends Animal Rescue has a queue of animals who’ve come into their care that they feature on On 9th April 2016, it was Jacko, the sweet Jack Russell Terrier who had sadly been hit by a car. They needed to raise $2,800 for Jacko’s surgery: everyone could see exactly how much they’d raised at any point in time, how much they needed to raise, and who else has donated. In less than a month, twenty-two supporters came together and funded the surgery.

Forever Friends

On 29th May, Shannon from Forever Friends reported back about the surgery to all the donors.

First UpdateImage Update

Then on 5th July, donors received this update. Jack found a forever home!

Campaign UpdateThe forever home

For the next month, Forever Friends introduced us to the sweet two year old Staffy mix named Nugget. Once again donors raised the funds because they knew that their donations were going to have an impact.

This kind of transparency is infinitely more inspiring than X% of my donation going to the cause and that’s what keeps them coming back to give again and again and again.

All of Forever Friend's Campaigns

Now of course, it’s not the exact same individuals funding each campaign – donors dip in and out. Rather than causing ‘donor fatigue’, it has the opposite effect, with every cycle the donor base grows. The fanbase expands as supporters share the campaign and refer their friends – I like to think of it like a rock band.

Rock bands put on a concert and their fans turn up. But then their fans go away and tell their friends about how great a band this is, so next time there’s a concert, they bring their friends, and the band’s fanbase grows. Of course, not every fan comes to every show, but overtime, they build a following that gives them a regular income.

That’s what the future of regular giving looks like – a rock band.

What we’ve learnt from over 100,000 donations on

In December 2012, when we first pitched the idea of to the Telstra Foundation, our Big Hairy Audacious Goal was to raise $10 Million across our first five years of operation. I remember writing it in our presentation and thinking it was so outrageously large as to be unbelievable. At the time, we had no product, no traction and no customers.

Today, less than three years since we launched, this happened:

The path to $10M

We are so proud of the thousands of campaigners who’ve chosen to use to do everything from reuniting a refugee family who’d been separated for 23 years to helping stop coal seam gas exploration across Australia to getting a ban put on greyhound racing.

To celebrate, we decided to do something decidely geeky and delve into those 100,000+ donations to see what they could tell us about donors who give to crowdfunding campaigns.

Here’s our five fun (and sometimes surprising facts):


Fact 1. Women give more than men

As a man writing this, I find this both highly unsurprising, but also a tiny bit disappointing for my gender. I’ve had so many debates about why this gender split happens, but if you’ve got any theories, drop them into the comments.

Women donate more than men


Fact 2: Online giving isn’t a young person’s thing

I hear far too often that the growth in crowdfunding is because millenials are all moving online and charities need to adapt so that they don’t miss out on this next generation of donors. As it turns out, that’s not quite true. Charities need to learn how to crowdfund because the majority of their middle age and older donors prefer it.


Fact 3: People anywhere in the world are happy to give to your campaign

Ok, so we’re not holding our breath on North Korean donors flooding onto, but hey, maybe one day. We’ve only run campaigns in 20 countries, yet donors have come from 152. The fact that your campaign can be based out of a country town and get donors from dozens of countries around the world – that’s what excites us.


Fact 4: Thursday’s the day for giving

Alright, we’re opening this one up for conspiracy theories. Maybe more people get paid on Thursday, maybe it’s because it’s nearly Friday, maybe it’s the day I most like surfing for crowdfunding campaigns on the internet, but well, there’s something noticeably more generous about Thursdays.

Day of the week for donations


Fact 5: People love a bit of pre-bedtime donating

This is probably my favourite. Right before bed, people pull out their phones, and well, donate. We suspect that they saw it at work when they got in – the 9am peak, check before they go to bed, notice that the donation total has jumped up, get FOMO, and grab their credit card.

People are most likely to donate at 9pm

Thank you again from all of us here at We can’t thank you enough for believing in the dream and trusting us with your projects. Can’t wait for the next ten million.

– Prashan, Seb, Dave, Bec and the family


PS, if you have better theories on these donor behaviour stats, tell us in the comments below


[Podcast] – Episode 2: Home STREAT Home


In Episode 2 of the Home STREAT Home podcast series we dig into STREAT’s second crowdfunding campaign as they battle through that perennial non-profit question: how much information do donors really want?

The full transcript is below, but here are top 3 highlights:

1. STREAT CEO, Bec Scott on why earnestness sucks in charity fundraising:

“Yeah I hate earnestness. I really, really hate it. If the only way we ever got you to become involved in something was just to make you feel so god damn guilty about living in a house or having your own home, that would be crazy”

2. Naomi from STREAT on why philanthropists should trust charities more:

“I feel like that pisses me off in general about philanthropy that donors want to say, “Well, here’s some money and I’d like you to do this with it,” rather than saying, “You know what, charity? You do great work. Here’s some money and I trust you to make a good decision about what to do with it ’cause you know much better than I do, how to use that money effectively.”

3. Ian from STREAT on the cheapest rent in Melbourne, ever:

“We were fortunate enough to have someone buy the property and gift us use of the property so that’s $2.5 million property that we’re able to use for the next 50 years for $5 a year”


Listen to the podcast here (17 min):



Here’s a lightly edited transcript

If you walk down Cromwell St in Collingwood, Melbourne, it feels like you’re walking past light industrial brick façade after light industrial brick façade. There’s a stream of roller doors that gives you the sense  you’re in a loading bay for a printing shop. But if you go far enough, there is one building that stands out.

Naomi: So the front of the building is actually an old manor house. I think it was built in the 1800s or maybe the early 1900s. But this is beautiful old manor house that was actually the largest brothel in Collingwood. And they’ve retained the entire facade and I think parts of the side of the building as well but a lot of the inside has been gutted.

Prashan: What does the front of the brothel look like?

Naomi: You would never guess it’s a brothel.

Prashan: Right now, as we record, the old manor house looks like the middle of a construction site, because, super-excitedly, it’s the site of STREAT’s newest and biggest venture – their brand new site, their Home STREAT Home. There’s a café, there’s a bakery, there’s a roaster, there’s all their offices, their training space – it’s the dream site that STREAT’s always wanted to build and it’s hard to understand just how big the site is.

How STREAT ended up with this  site is the stuff of non-profit fairy tales. Someone reads a media piece, calls them up, gets to know them, and then decides to buythem a $2.5M property to turn into a youth training academy. . Ok, I’m sure it was a bit more complicated than that, but that actually happened.

Here’s Ian from STREAT.

Ian: We were fortunate enough to have someone buy the property and gift us use of the property so that’s $2.5 million property that we’re able to use for the next 50 years for $5 a year. So that’s the first big win and that came purely from a media story. And the gentleman read that story and engaged with us the next week and has been our major backer and supporter since.

Prashan: Yup. now,  we could create a whole episode about that, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to talk about what happened next.

As it turns out, getting gifted the use of a site for 50 years is great, but then there’s a whole heap of other expenses. When they first got the site, the whole place was still set up as a brothel. It was like they were getting ready for a night of action, and then everyone just hurriedly had to leave, leaving their leather, their poles and everything else you’d imagine in a brothel right there in place.

So STREAT had to knock down stuff, build new stuff, make sure other stuff stood up – which is all expensive. And so they managed to fundraise $1.5M in grants from trusts and foundations and raised another $2.5M in debt from NAB and Social Ventures Australia – making the grand total somewhere near $4M.

Now STREAT wants to run a new crowdfunding campaign to raise $100k for the final stage of the site – which, well, is hard because, as Ian so eloquently puts it:

Ian: A lot of people may well assume, “Well gosh, they’ve got the land, they’ve got the loan, they’ve built the place, they really don’t need the money,”

Prashan: So, how do you sell a $100k campaign for a $4M site? Today on Episode 2 of the Home STREAT Home podcast, we delve into exactly that question as we follow STREAT trying to figure it out. I’m Prashan from, if you haven’t listened to Episode 1 of this podcast series, head to and check it out first. Otherwise, stay tuned.

STREAT’s been thinking about this second crowdfunding campaign for a long time – remember their last one was four years ago.

Rebecca: We’ve known we’re going do a campaign for probably a year and half, so we always said, right near the very end of the build project, we wanna find a way that we can raise a lot of it will be for the money, but also just let everyone know that, “Hey, after years, and years, and years of hearing about this thing, it’s finally here,”

Prashan: Of course, things get in the way, money takes longer to raise, but in early January STREAT seconded in Naomi Barson whom you heard at the top of the episode to help them run the campaign.

Unlike the first campaign, where it was very clear what the money was going to build, this one was a lot more complicated, because well they could’ve chosen anything. They needed money for vans, they needed money for the bakery, they needed money for programs, for the fitout, for the café – the list was endless.

Naomi: We’re blessed that we got many, many options as to ways we could take that, be it bakery, be it focusing on trainees, be it impact, whatever it was. And it was really just nutting out what’s the one core idea we want to hinge this story on, and the rest will fall out from there.

Prashan: The quest was on, to find that one story. And there was a lot to choose from. Step one though was deciding whether they should be selling the higher-level vision, something like this:

Naomi:. Conscious consumerism, so the concept of changing lives through meals, which is Quarter STREAT. A fair go for all, highlighting that some people through no fault of their own start on the back foot and STREAT’s here to give them a fair go at education, a career, a life. Looking at hopelessness and youth homelessness, compassion, so again looking at poverty and disadvantage and something that STREAT can have a shot at remedying. Looking at inclusion, so everyone deserving to be included and STREAT contributing to the community in that way. About education and training and hospitality and giving them job-readiness skills and on the job training. Collective impact,

Prashan: … Or should they be selling the practical laundry list of what the money was going to buy:

Ian: I look through the entire construction activity and thought, “Maybe it could’ve been the solar panels, maybe it could be this, maybe it could be that.” So we went through those things. I’ve listed all, in general terms, all the things that we need to get it up and running. And there’s $100,000 or more where it could’ve been the two vehicles that we need. We need two second hand delivery vehicles, one refrigerated and one not, so it can deliver coffee and catering and bread and those sorts of things.

Prashan: Anyone who’s ever pitched a social good project knows this dilemma – do donors want to know exactly what their money is actually buying, line item by line item, or do they want to be part of a bigger vision of what those things actually sum up to  create?

The big picture vision camp normally argue that people want the emotional engagement, that sense of connection that a laundry list doesn’t provide. And that if you want the organization to create that vision, the best way is to just trust them to do it.

Naomi: And I feel like that pisses me off in general about philanthropy that donors want to say, “Well, here’s some money and I’d like you to do this with it,” rather than saying, “You know what, charity? You do great work. Here’s some money and I trust you to make a good decision about what to do with it ’cause you know much better than I do, how to use that money effectively.” And I feel like that, for people to genuinely give and genuinely be philanthropic, unless they’re involved in the sector they should just trust the charities to get on with their work. It’s like when you buy shares in a company, I guess you get a bit of a say, but you trust the way the CEO’s guiding the ship and you trust the board. And you hopefully trust the decisions they’re making. That’s why you invest.

Prashan: The other camp, the show me the budget people, argue that you have to give people transparency – you have to show them what their money is going towards.

Ian:. I’m more the practical side. I want people to know that what we’re doing here, the money’s going to go directly to purchasing and building some things which are really important.

Prashan: For the record, I think the tension is a good thing to have in an organization. Unsurprisingly, people need both, for slightly different reasons.

Donors get inspired by the big vision; that you’re doing something bold.  They want to be part of doing something aspirational. That’s why new shiny things sell better than things that are derivative or the same as something I’ve already seen a hundred times before. And probably, more importantly, I’m way more likely to tell my friends about something big and bold than I am about something unambitious and dull.

Once you’ve got the vision in place, the line-by-line budget-level transparency is great to establish credibility. It says to people, ‘hey we’ve thought this through, we know we can achieve what we’re saying. In fact, we’re so confident that we’re going to tell you exactly what we’re going to spend the money on’. If I can see the line between what you’re spending money on and achieving that big bold vision, that’s when everyone’s happy.

So big bold vision to inspire everyone, the line-by-line budget to add credibility. To get to the line-by-line though, you have to start with the big vision – and everyone seems to have a different way of getting there.

There’s the start broad with as many ideas as possible approach:

Naomi: so when I go into meetings, I come up with a whole bunch of ideas just to be devil’s advocate, some of them, but just to present as many options, that’s clearly not exhaustive, but to prompt the discussion and debate around what feels right and what doesn’t feel right, so… Yeah, again, just playing with a lot of copy, there was “Help STREAT Build a Home,” “There’s No Place Like Home,” “We’re Moving to Cromwell STREAT,” that’s crap isn’t it, and “Help Us Build Cromwell STREAT,” as in S-T-R-E-A-T.

Prashan: And then there’s the deep dive into one concept approach.  Basically the thinking is that it’s hard to have a real response to multiple high-level concepts – they all sound good – you get a  much better understanding of what your gut instinctively likes and dislikes by deep diving into one concept and seeing how you react.

One of the deep dives that STREAT took was on a ‘Bake a difference’ concept. The bakery was the new thing that STREAT was doing and because people like funding shiny, new things, it seemed kind of logical.

While the concept could have worked, by deep diving into it, STREAT’s collective gut felt a bit uncomfortable about it. Here’s Bec again.

Rebecca: So, all of that, I think, could have really worked. But it’s only one part of, it’s one-fifth of that new big amazing building. So, we didn’t want you to feel like… Actually, it’s one thing and then you turn up on site and you’re just expecting a bakery and then there’s kind of surprise. So, trying to make sure it was bigger than any one part.

Naomi: To me, it was focusing on the bricks and mortar element of what we’re doing, rather than the emotional themes about what a home encompasses, so belonging and safety and somewhere that provides community. I didn’t feel that a bakery was broad enough to include all of that. And don’t get me wrong, I feel like it could have worked. Like it was more, “Let’s move down this other path and see if we come up with something else that resonates more.” It was more of a “You know what, that doesn’t feel really right, right now. Let’s explore this home idea a bit more. If we get back there, great. If not, let’s see where else we get to.”

Prashan: After 2 long workshops over a good fortnight of debates, the team started to coalesce around a vision.

Rebecca: Yeah, we probably threw around two or three or maybe even four concepts. We started throwing them around in meetings and just said, “What about this? And what about if we did that?” And just keeping the ideas really open, and I don’t even know where the idea of kind of a housewarming came from. I’m not quite it was about that particular idea that had just kinda stuck in my mind. But there’s something, no matter how many times we kinda think of new ideas, in my mind I always come back to what our young people don’t have. They have an absolute lack of some where that’s safe and they belong and somewhat… Yeah, that sense of belonging. So what I didn’t want, is I didn’t wanna do a campaign that was kind of cute and had a cute theme around it. We were missing an opportunity if we didn’t give people a chance to belong as part of the very process of the campaign.

Naomi: it was actually Bec that came up with Home STREAT Home, she illustrated it on the board and Bec’s very creative and is forever drawing. But she illustrated it as a home and then STREAT, the word and then home and talking about our trainees come from a home that’s generally not somewhere they feel safe or belong or particularly want to be. They come to STREAT in the middle of their day and spend their day training with us, and that’s where they’ve actually for the first time in their lives felt like that they have that sense of community and support and love, and all that great stuff.

Naomi: And then they go home at the end of the day, so it was almost this STREAT book-ended by homes.

Prashan: Once they had agreed on ‘Home STREAT Home’ as their overarching vision, things started to fall into place. They ordered coffee cups with the Home STREAT Home branding. They created a pitch about how STREAT was creating a new home and recorded a video to match.

Then came the perks. Now the perks in a crowdfunding campaign are normally seen as auxiliary – an additional way for donors to give to a campaign. I might get a t-shirt if I donate $25, or to get my name on part of the project for $500.

Prashan: What struck me when I was listening to Ian and Bec talk about the perks was that for them, the campaign was in many ways defined by the perks. The campaign wasn’t just  about “asking for money”. It was also about telling customers that their new site was there, and training them to be, well, customers.

Prashan: Here’s Bec.

Rebecca: We’re trying to get people across into that new site. So, it’s a way about kind of priming a customer-base and getting them enthused about this new project. So, even though when the campaign comes to an end, it won’t be the following day they can walk straight into that site and buy something from there. But it won’t be too long after

Prashan: If you remember back to their previous campaign, Ian was trying to do the same thing:

Ian: One of the main reasons I wanted to run the crowdfunding campaign was to start the customer behaviors that we really wanted. Up until then, STREAT had been a couple mobile carts and you would go up to Federation Square or Melbourne Central and Melbourne Union and buy a coffee from us. This was the first time you could actually go to a café and have a meal, take coffee home, start to get some catering. I wanted people to start purchasing in the way that our business was heading. We started some of those behaviors which continue on now

Prashan: By framing it around creating more customers for their new sites, STREAT wasn’t just tapping into people’s spending purse, instead of their philanthropic one, they were also taking a much longer term view about where the value of the campaign is. They were hooking people in via the campaign, not just for the money they get today, but for the hundreds of coffees someone will buy in the future.

There was one more thing that was really important to Bec. This – I should say – is probably my favourite 30 seconds of interview across this entire podcast series and I think captures the secret of why some campaigns succeed online and others don’t. Ready? Here we go.

Rebecca: Yeah I hate earnestness. I really, really hate it. If the only way we ever got you to become involved in something was just to make you feel so god damn guilty about living in a house or having your own home, that would be crazy. So I want you to feel so positive about being part of this campaign, that it’s something that you look forward to, it’s fun, or it can give you a laugh. It’s not just this dry topic that’s gonna make you feel like the world’s about to end and there’s nothing you can do about it. Actually, there’s a heap of things that you can do to help us stop homelessness and we can have a heap of fun along the way as well.

Prashan: That’s the secret to a great campaign. Make stopping homelessness fun.