Let me begin by saying that this post is long overdue.
As you may be aware, several months ago the Farm To Fork team began an experiment in terms of finding research funds to carry us through the beta testing phase of the project. To be specific, we started a crowd-funding campaign via Microryza. For those unfamiliar, Microryza is similar to KickStarter and Indiegogo, except that it is specific to research.
The campaign started off slow – spreading via word-of-mouth, and via the Farm To Fork social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and the Farm To Fork blog). To say that it was a nail-biting experience would be an understatement. But despite the damage sustained by my cuticles, despite the long hours, and despite the nerves, the efforts paid off. More accurately, the efforts of so many engaged community members paid off.
By the end of the campaign we had collected $15116 – exactly $116 more than we had asked. Citizens and businesses from Guelph and surrounding areas kicked in and provided financial support. For those who couldn’t financially support the cause but recognized the significance of the program, spreading the word became a prophetic mission. In short, it was the perfect storm of engaged citizens, dedicated students, and the idea that we can make a difference in the lives of others if we just get up and do something.
Behind all of this, however, was an amazingly dedicated and professional team of individuals at Microryza. Honestly, I’d never worked with them before and I really had no idea what to expect. Regardless, they’re efforts and support were well beyond anything that I could have hoped for or imagined.
They were there from the start – encouraging us, and providing us with great ideas to get the word out to the public. I had several conversations with them throughout the campaign (via email, Twitter, Skype, and Google+), and they were always on top of where the campaign was. Ethan – our main point of contact with Microryza – was constantly providing words of encouragement, updating me on statistics related to the campaign (especially near the end when momentum was really taking off), and suggesting strategies to keep things moving. They made the fundraising process as comfortable as it possibly could have been.
In short, the Farm To Fork fundraising campaign was successful because we had such a solid base (i.e. engaged citizens, businesses, and the Microryza team) on which to build our message.
- Farm To Fork – The Fundraiser (danielgillis.wordpress.com)
- Thank You – We Are Inspired (farmtoforkguelph.wordpress.com)
- One In Forty Is One Too Many (consumedbywanderlust.wordpress.com)
- How Can You Support Farm To Fork (farmtoforkguelph.wordpress.com)
- Research-Funding Web Platforms – Microryza Crowdfunds Innovative Science Research Projects (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)