Tips from a successful suffragette crowdfunding campaign

The Pankhurst Centre Manchester is involved in a whole year of events in 2018 to celebrate some women getting the vote through the Representation of the people Act a hundred years ago. In December 2017 they embarked on a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfunder to raise funds to build a Suffragette Garden to commemorate the work of Emmeline Pankhurst and the incredible Suffragette Women 100 years on, and foster the well-being of women still experiencing social injustice today. On 14th Dec 2017 we successfully raised £24,172 of £20,000 target with 524 supporters in 35 days.

I interviewed Bex Shindler about their campaign.

Why did you decide to crowdfund the project?

Because we were at the critical point of the project not being able to go ahead unless we raised the money quickly. We also wanted to build wider engagement for the project and identify new contacts who could potentially become future advocates and donors. It was a great way to expand our networks.

What was the main challenge?

Not having a large database of contacts to begin with and having to be on it and totally reactive 24/7! We didn’t have a big team working on it so it was pretty much achieved by 2-3 people in the organisation.

What plans did you put in place?

  • Prepared staff, volunteers and trustees ahead of launch
  • Prepared others in our immediate networks ahead of launch and asked them to donate straight away
  • Developed a video pitch and additional video content for the campaign
  • Social media strategy and scheduled blog posts
  • Created a folder of images, content and marketing material that we could draw upon throughout the campaign
  • Built a list of key advocates with large networks who we could tap into during the campaign

Where did your backers come from? 

Some known to us, the majority new contacts but mostly local to Greater Manchester.

What are the key learning points?

Be prepared!!! Ensure whole organisation is engaged and on board. Allow enough time ahead of launch to properly map networks.

What would you change with hindsight?

A bigger lead in time. If we’d had more time we would’ve created a more effective video pitch and would’ve properly prepared staff and the CEO to help them understand the urgency of tapping into all networks during the campaign. We could’ve found ways to spread some of the workload across the whole team. Maybe we would’ve also gone for a bigger target had we known the amazing support we were going to receive!


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