Coppafeel! took a multi-pronged approach to crowdfunding, with great results. Maren Hallenga shows how they did it
For this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to try something new. We’d seen other charities run successful crowdfunding campaigns, and thought we could give it a go too. However, we wanted to try something a bit different from the usual approach, and so we asked our boob ambassadors to each promote the campaign in their own way using their own personal stories.
Our 17 'Boobettes', most of whom have had or still have breast cancer, use their stories to educate other young people about the importance of getting to know their boobs, and they do a fantastic job. Many of them hadn’t fundraised for us before, and so they had a big community of friends, families, colleagues and local businesses that they could target and speak to about their work with CoppaFeel! and the crowdfunding campaign.
Rewards with a personal touch
A feature of crowdfunding is that you offer supporters rewards in return for their donations. The bigger the donation, the bigger the reward, and it’s proven to work very well as it gives people that little extra motivation to give. Our rewards ranged from a simple personal thank you note from the Boobettes, to homemade brownie deliveries and custom-made cheese boards, to hotel stays and dinners. One Boobette even offered her singing services! Having the opportunity to personalise some of the gifts in this way gave the whole campaign a great community feel.
As this was our first crowdfunding campaign, we felt it was important to set realistic targets, and so we asked our Boobettes to each raise £500 in a month. Because the target was achievable, they became very focused on smashing it, and there was a healthy amount of friendly competition between them to raise the biggest amount. It was quite phenomenal to watch, because they put so much energy and time into it.
Maintaining the pace
The biggest challenge from our perspective was ensuring the momentum was kept up throughout the whole month. We raised over £1,000 within the first two days, and were a bit worried at first about how we could maintain the momentum throughout the month, as we’ve seen that giving levels tend to drop off after the initial buzz. We tackled this by consistently think of new ways to bring the campaign to life and in front of new audiences.
After the first week, we started to include personal stories about the Boobettes, from diagnosis to becoming a Boobette. This gave supporters something to relate to in order for them to feel more compelled to give. Towards the end of the month, we managed to gain free advertising space in the Metro through a contact we have at the newspaper, and two of our celebrity patrons tweeted about the campaign.
Keeping lots of marketing ideas up our sleeve and rolling them out over the course of the month worked, as the regular fresh bursts of support throughout the campaign got everyone talking about it again. Ultimately, it came down to the Boobette's sheer motivation and tireless efforts; without that, it wouldn't have been as successful as it was.
17 approaches in one
Our format for the campaign - where we had 17 ambassadors raising funds at the same time - was the first campaign of its kind with Crowdfunder, so it was a learning curve for their organisation too. I believe it was a benefit to have 17 different approaches, each bringing their own stories and reasons for supporting CoppaFeel!
In total the campaign raised over £16k, which was more than we hoped for. But beyond the funds we raised, we’ve also seen how our Boobettes have become even closer and even more dedicated to our cause. It was a real team effort and their community spirit has left a lasting impression on the group, which ultimately will help us raise even more funds and awareness for breast cancer in the future.
Maren Hallenga is co-founder of Coppafeel!