WildCrowd – a unique non-profit fundraising platform with nature at its heart

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otter-prayingOur Wild Idea

Crowdfunding is hot. It started with Kickstarter back in 2009 and now a new crowdfunding platform seems to pop up every day.

If you’re not familiar with crowdfunding, it’s a way of raising money for a project or cause by getting friends, family and, if you’re lucky, complete strangers to donate.

On some platforms like, Just Giving, all you get is a warm glow in return, but on others, like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder, the project owner offers rewards as an incentive for donors. What you get depends on the size of donation and can range from an acknowledgement on the company website to an early prototype of a new product.

It’s a competitive market dominated by big players with deep pockets. A challenging environment for a self-funded start up you might think and you’d be right. For much of the past year we’ve alternated between pushing water uphill with a fork and nailing jelly to a wall!

So why are we launching another crowdfunding platform? Well basically because we think charities are missing out. There’s no denying that managing a crowdfunding campaign takes time and effort, but, compared with other fundraising channels, it’s inexpensive and a great way of reaching a younger audience that’s less likely to respond to more conventional approaches like direct mail or cold calling.

By only focusing on the environment, conservation and animal welfare, our aim is to create a community that’s passionate about these issues and to connect them with charities and researchers that need their help. WildCrowd is about more than fundraising, we want to encourage people to get involved in volunteering and citizen science and to think beyond just giving money (although money is good too!) to donating their time and expertise.  

We’re a not for profit company limited by guarantee, so we don’t have shareholders and our objective is to generate just enough money to cover our costs. If by some miracle we do ever make a profit, we’ll use it to reduce our fee (currently 5% of funds raised) and make the platform free for smaller charities.

We do offer rewards but, instead of asking project owners to supply them, we’ve partnered with small, ethical companies. When you donate to a project on WildCrowd you might be able to claim a free organic vegetable box or take advantage of exclusive discounts on re-cycled jewellery or organic cosmetics. This is great for the project owners because they don’t have the cost and hassle of offering rewards and great for companies because they get to market to an audience that shares their values.

We finally launched WildCrowd a couple of weeks ago so please visit us and let us know what you think, if you can make a donation that would be fantastic and if you do please claim a reward. We also need more projects, particularly opportunities for volunteers and citizen scientists, so get in touch if you have something suitable or if your company is interested in joining the reward scheme – info@wildcrowd.org.

We know that it’s going to be a long uphill struggle to make our wild idea a success and frankly we’re going to need all the help we can get. Now, where did I leave that fork….

 

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