And a fairly spectacular one at that… Unfortunately Horses Helping Young People has now closed, raising only £327 against its £3,000 target. As this was a “flexible funding” option on Indiegogo, the full amount pledged will now just go to the organisation towards its work. In this case, I don’t mind as I’m sure they can make good use of the money, but I have to wonder how this works in more “commercial” projects – for me a donation to a small business or entrepreneur wouldn’t feel the same.
Also, sadly another update, regarding #7 Heart4More campaign. I had a notification that Toby Alabi, the campaign founder had another collapse recently and is now due to have a pacemaker fitted. It goes to show what serious problems can remain dormant for many years and makes the pressure for testing of professional footballers even more relevant.
The Project - Send Mark and Dan to School
What is it?
A campaign by a young woman who met two children while volunteering in Kenya, who have been excelling at school and are keen to progress, but whose mother has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. The campaign is to cover two years’ school fees for them both.
Why choose it?
The story just grabbed me. As is the basis of this blog, I love to learn and value the opportunities I have to do so, both formally and informally. I have heard many stories of children in difficult circumstances who are desperate to progress their education but are prevented by their circumstances and can see that this is just one such case that I had an opportunity to contribute towards.
The Platform – Zequs
Why choose it?
I’ve been curious about this one for a while as I first became aware of it through a large poster advert on the London Underground. There I was, scanning the wall opposite the platform as usual, expecting to read the same old ad for the umpteenth time when Zequs caught my eye. It seemed to me an eccentrically traditional way for an online platform with a social networking focus, to be promoting itself and yet it clearly did the trick for me and might just crack the conundrum of drawing in new interested parties who don’t use Twitter, Facebook and the like…
The “User Experience” – Pros
- It’s a really “clean” looking site – the pages are not too cluttered and I liked the way that it was possible to hover over the pictures and get a brief synopsis of the project without having to click in.
- That said, there is plenty of information easily available for those who want to dig below the surface.
- From my perspective, I really liked this one as while not exclusive to charities it is free to use making it particularly suitable for them, although its more of an amalgamation of an “organisation” based crowdfunding site and something like Just Giving where individuals are fundraising for a cause. Either way, the site is free for charities -something I’ve not seen offered at all elsewhere and that the team are clearly proud of (usefully comparing their costs against the competition, which I may use in later posts!)
- Linked to the point above, although the angle of this series of blog posts is to capture more of a “supporter” experience, it looks like it would be a really good site for campaign owners to use due to the zero outlay, simple layout and promised support from idea to inception the team of Zequs “Angels”. There is apparently not even a requirement for a video or to issue rewards – in my case neither of these things are factors that motivate me and as such, I have previously relinquished rewards, hoping that it might save the campaigner a few vital pennies. While some may find recording a video and dreaming up and administering imaginative rewards quite easy, I’m sure it’s a layer of complexity that others would be pleased to avoid.
- There’s a really simple tick box option at the end of the pledge asking whether or not one would like the money to be returned in the case of the project not meeting its target. I thought it was great to give the supporter this element of decision making, and should hopefully encourage relationship building between campaign owners and supporters in an attempt to maintain support whatever the outcome.
- In terms of ease of use, I also appreciate the chance to use Paypal to make my pledge
The “User Experience” – Cons
- I found it quite difficult to find a project initially – the searches I did clicking on the broad “charity” category brought up projects at complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of progress towards targets – many had met or surpassed them whilst others seemed barely off the ground
- In addition it’s only once I removed most of my search criteria that I was able to find a set of projects that were clearly for charitable causes but must have been categorised differently and I couldn’t seem to get the filters to work either.
- I had also clicked on “Partners” expecting there to be a selection of “curated pages” on display but these don’t seem to be in place at present, although such participation is invited with an explanation of the benefits
In all though, while I think there is a lot of scope for this one to develop and I hope it does although I can’t help being curious about the business model…