Secret Diaries - crowdfunding tips from Art with Heart

Crowdfunding tips from the Heart


Once in awhile a workshop facilitator gets a fantastic participant - one who gets the topic (warts and all), is enthusiastic, asks loads of questions and more importantly has loads of creative ideas to share. Sarah Evans, from Art with Heart, was one such at one of my crowdfunding workshops in February 2012. Then I heard nothing more - except she backed local crowdfunding projects, showing herself to be a supporter as well as a creator of projects.

But Sarah was building up to her campaign along with her colleague Rachel Moorhouse and now it’s launched - Secret Diaries (a coming of age story from the Heart!)

Secret Diaries has had very good reviews and they want to take the play to venues around the country but need support to make this happen.

Sarah and Rachel have set up their project well - by day one they’d got nearly 50% of the funding needed and so it’s time to share their story (and a very funny video!) and tips.

The campaign and the film has an 80s theme - so are you old enough to remember gonks or Wham (including the other one?) or leg warmers ? Then this campaign is for you - and if you are really lucky then they might do a dance for you …


I asked them a few questions about the 80s, hairstyles, gonks  - and their campaign.

1. In under 140 characters - your WHY - i.e. why the project is brilliant

Secret Diaries is going to help make a change with how people see themselves, their world and the LGB​T​ community.​ ​

​​2. You want to raise £2,500 - what do you want to do if you get the money?

It’ll​ be towards our​ ​national ​tour ​of ​Secret Diaries the play ​for both adults and young people​ to theatre venues​, our eduction package for 14-19 year olds and a British Sign Language interpreter​ at every venue​.​ It will help us give free resources to schools and youth groups and to have free teachers training day​​​ events where they can learn about how to ensure their environments are LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) inclusive and supportive.​

​​3. What do you want from the crowd?

We don’t just want money, we want people who care and feel passionate about it like we do. We want to create a community of advocates for ​​Secret Diaries and for us all to come together at a party near the end ​of the campaign ​so we can meet ​our pledgers​.​ We want them to give them reason to be as excited as we are about everything we’re doing.

Secret Diaries Art with Heart

​​4. How excited do you feel?

Really excited​, nervous and really humbled. ​Every time someone pledges or shares your link it gives you a huge buzz, although I’m feeling really nervous about reaching the target we’ve been really fortunate to have some early bird pledges. ​​People have been ​so generous and we’ve even had people pledge high ​and requested no rewards!​ It’s incredibly humbling that people believe in your work as much as you do, enough to part with their hard earned cash to support you. It’s an amazing feeling and we really do mean it when we say every £1 counts. For some people this will be a lot of money to spare, it’s all relative, we’re pleased that it’s us they chose to support in whatever way they can, with a pledge or an equally important link share.​

​​5. At this stage - what are your biggest 3 tips for others

We’re still very green​ in our campaign​, but I’d say:

  1. Put as much thought into the campaign as you did your entire project​, make lots of lists​​ and have loads to fun making the video.​​
  2. Launch it in stages - we’ve done 3, first to people you’ve been candid with and try and raise close to 30%​​, then to friends and family to really hit that 30%​,​ then once you have it​ only then​ send it out the public.
  3. Back other people, ​be part of the community

And .. ​it​ is as important to keep your eyes on your campaign.

Have a look at their campaign, check them out on Ideas Tap, send Sarah an email ([email protected]), like their Facebook page,  Tweet them and bother them with lots of questions about gonks (as long as you back her project).

 And the very best of luck!

Photographs (apart from the 80s ones because he’s much too young) by Nathan McDowell.


Commodore 64





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