What's Up Wednesday

Making Wildfires with Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell is a folk-country songwriter hailing from the Deep South. She crowdfunded her first album with PledgeMe when she was just 15! Now, she’s back (just in time for Christmas!), calling on her crowd to help her produce a new album called ‘Wildfires’.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

This is actually the second time I have crowdfunded an album. I was a bit nervous before I launched because I wasn’t sure how people would react. But from the start, my crowd has been really supportive. They understand why I am crowdfunding: making music independently is hard!

My last album has taken me to some amazing places and I’m so grateful for that journey. However, I do feel that I’m now really confident in my musical skin and know the artist I want to be and the music I want to create. I’m so lucky to be working with one of Australia’s best producers and I can promise that I couldn’t be more proud of every word in Wildfires. Hence why I’m so excited to release it!

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

I was only 15 when I released my first album. I didn’t have a plan about what the future might look like at that time. But three years down the track, I’m ready. I have had so many experiences and opportunities in music since releasing my first album. This is an opportunity to show my crowd how much I have learnt about crafting songs and everything that goes with that – the lyrics, the music, and the feelings they evoke.

I’m really passionate about the songs I have created for this album, and the possibility of sharing that passion with my crowd is definitely a driving factor behind this campaign. And the best thing is that I have had so many people jump on board since I launched the campaign. I would love to see my crowd grow even more, as every single pledge goes to funding just half the cost of my album.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

My favourite reward is the $40 ‘All Access Pass’ that I devised when I was trying to think of rewards that I would want to pledge on. Basically the Pass gives you access to a secret Facebook group where I post exclusive behind the scenes content – like the first draft of my album cover. There is something new each day. It is where I will first release the album track list, videos of my song recordings in the studio, and sneak peeks of what it is like backstage at my gigs. I love this reward because my crowd is invited on my journey of making the music they love to listen to.

When I was planning my campaign, I knew that rewards should be valuable; something I would want to buy. This is the fortunate side effect of being a crowdfunding alum! I have tried to create some exciting rewards for my Gore/Southland-based crowd that include live concerts and tickets to locally held gigs like the NZ Country Music Awards. Other rewards can be sent anywhere in New Zealand, like a gift box where everything is handpicked by me. I’ve tried to make everything personal for my crowd, so please check it out!

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

At the moment I am actually in Ireland. The time difference means that pledges come in while I’m asleep. It is so exciting to wake up to notifications from my awesome crowd! I am so lucky to have a great partner-in-crime, Katie, who has been holding the (campaign) fort while I am away.

As I mentioned, I was feeling nervous before I launched this campaign but every pledge that comes in makes me feel more and more excited. My crowd wants to invest and me and what I have been working on – so definitely want to shout out to everyone who has pledged so far! It has been so interesting to see who has supported me – new friends from my first year of uni who don’t have much money but still want to help me; old time supporters; and total strangers – these people blow my mind!

My final shout-out is to those in my crowd who might not have gotten around to pledging, or know someone who might be interested. My campaign finishes on Sunday and I would love to for us to invest in Wildfires, together.

To treat your ears to some excellent country-folk music, jump onto Jenny’s campaign page here

All we want for Christmas is… a new team member!

This year has been a big one for the PledgeMe team. Our Own Ron smashed our record for the most money raised in a project campaign. We exported our expertise to Australia. And chocolate lovers united to snaffle up $2 million of equity to Own The (OCHO) Factory in 32 hours.

After all that hard (albeit exciting!) work, we reckon we deserve a Christmas present. And this year, all we want for Christmas is someone to help us with our day-to-day admin. In short, a solid administration/reconciliation/verification extraordinaire. Instead of placing our bets on Santa, we are going tried and true; back to you! We would love our crowd to help us find our next team member. We’ve even given them a name: the ‘Admin-ister’.

This is going to be the Christmas present that keeps on giving. Our new Admin-ister will be the one that lets us do more of what we love doing, while doing what they love doing: making our spreadsheets look ship-shape and our banking seem seamless.

Are you interested in working with us? Or do you know someone who could make our Christmas come early? Read the job description below, and then send me an email by Sunday 7 January with:

  • your CV; and
  • a note on what you would bring to the PledgeMe team, and why you want to work with us.

We’ll be setting up interviews for the second week of January and hope to have someone on board in January (though we can wait for the right person). We can be flexible about timing, and interviewing online, as we know most of New Zealand is travelling in January.

Position description:

The Admin-ister

Hours: 16 hours per week (with flexibility to increase hours over busy periods)

Location: Auckland (though flexibility to work from home)

Rate: $25 p/h (depending on skills and experience)

Help us help Kiwis fund things they care about! We are looking for a part-timer to join our team as our awesome Admin-ister.

Here’s what we’re looking for in the perfect Admin-ister:

  • Not afraid to be a bit quirky. We occasionally wear onesies to the office (but only on Wednesdays).
  • Attention to detail – passionate about inbox zero (TBH, inbox ten is fine too).
  • Tech able. No, you don’t need to be able to code C#, but you should be able to work your way around embed code and excel spreadsheets.
  • Empathetic. You need to want to help people, and get the best out of every project creator that comes through your inbox / our office.
  • Able to think on your feet (and office chair). Happy to point out things you think could be improved, then leading the charge to fix ‘em.

What this actually means day-to-day:

  • Working a few hours each day a week, with hours likely to increase at the close of successful campaigns.
  • Being available on Wednesday mornings to coincide with our team meeting.
  • Supporting the team by taking on the financial processing workflows.

Some specific responsibilities you will take on include:

  • Reconciling Xero for projects, equity and lending.
  • Leading the reconciling (payments and verifications).
  • Processing credit card payments from successful campaigns.
  • Helping to process investor checks for equity and lending campaigns.
  • Managing the invoices and payments processes, which includes our invoices for services and our client fund account.
  • Suggesting/introducing new ways for us to improve processing and reconciling
  • Answering tech-related enquiries from campaigners / pledgers when able in a timely manner – and forwarding on when help is needed.
  • Owning the beloved general phone 24/7, 365 days a year (and even that sneaky extra February day every few years)! Not really, just weekdays during office hours (though we are looking at setting up an answering service too)

One more thing…

We hold our values pretty close to heart in the office, and they are:

  • Support transparency and trust
  • Be constantly evolving
  • He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
  • Be seriously fun(ding) humans
  • Do good and do well

We want someone to come into the team who resonates with those values, but brings their own perspectives and skill sets. We don’t all need to think or act the same way, but we all need to care about our common mission of helping Kiwis fund the things they care about.

So, keen to join Team PledgeMe? You can email me with your CV and cover note here

What's Up Wednesday

The Dukes of Sandwich

The Dukes of Sandwich first grew legs in Christchurch. While the Dukes’ home is now in Welly, the duo behind the scene – Laura and Rob – have their eyes set on returning to the great (sandwich-hungry) people of Christchurch for the Buskers Festival in January 2018.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

Christchurch has been through some rough times in recent years. We had reason to move to Christchurch for an organic horticulture course but when the earthquakes happened we definitely thought twice. We decided that it would be an exciting transitional time for the city and came anyway. We watched as so much of what was left was taken down around us over the next few years

It was a low time for a lot of people. Yet we started to see new life, ideas and business ventures pop up in the cracks left behind by the quakes. These early start-ups were instigated by people who often had more passion than money, not your typical business owner, who never would have gotten the opportunity in other circumstances.

The Dukes of Sandwich was one of these start-ups. The idea behind Dukes and others like it succeeded because of the love and support of from various organisations, a growing new entrepreneurial community and the population of Christchurch.

This campaign is important because it is a thank you tour to all our friends, supporters, suppliers, and sandwich appreciators in Christchurch who helped make the Dukes of Sandwich what it is today.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

The people of Christchurch kept asking if we would come back and letting us know they miss us. We thought that was pretty sweet but never seriously considered it. After all, it would be a pretty high cost to move it! When we discovered how crowdfunding actually works we realised we could negate the risk of the venture by pre-selling our pretty cool goodies. Suddenly this crazy idea to return to Christchurch didn’t seem so crazy after all – thanks to the support of our crowd.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

Keep an eye out because we have a couple of new rewards in the works. To let you in on the secret, one is Rob’s “behind the scenes” hot sauce. It’s that sauce in the recycled bottle with no label that you get if you want to add a bit of spice to your sammie!

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

As one of our pledgers commented, “think of it as an investment as opposed to a donation. You don’t just get something for the money you pledge, you get the guarantee that you will actually get that sandwich with all that Dukes goodness.”

We also want to shout out to all the pledgers so far… I believe we can do this! We need you to help spread the word so keep on sharing it around

One final thing: this campaign is not just for the Christchurch folk. Our Welly region supporters have made us so welcome. We would love you to continue that support and pledge on this campaign (and of course the same rewards apply!).

Finally, thanks to everyone who’s had one of our sandwiches – and especially the ones who come back to tell us how they felt about it. That’s really important to us!

To get a taste of what Duke’s is all about, check out their campaign here.

What's Up Wednesday

Unlocking potential with the Kilmarnock Academy

Kilmarnock Enterprises believes in a world that values diversity. It is changing attitudes towards disability through education, employment, and opportunity. It has just launched a campaign that is going full throttle on its social mission of empowering people with disabilities to lead purposeful and dignified lives: the Kilmarnock Academy.

People with an intellectual disability will come out the other side of the Academy with NZQA qualifications, empowering them to find purposeful employment and a valued place in the community. Want to know more? We did too, so read on!

Why do you think this campaign is important?

We know that a lot of people with disabilities are not getting the same opportunities for education and employment as others. A lot of disabled people are leaving school with no option for further education that will suit their style of learning.

Through our campaign, we are opening up the opportunity for us – and our community – to cut to the root of this problem. We take a hands-on practical approach to helping our students develop work readiness and gain NZQA qualifications.

We ran a pilot of this programme and were so blown away by its success that we had to do more. We realised that we have a unique environment that sets us, and our students, up for success. At the start, a lot of our employees felt failed by the education system and didn’t want to get involved. It was amazing and humbling to see those very people go through the programme and come out the other side buzzing.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We have spent the last three years putting a lot of energy into engaging with our community. This has included working to brand what and who we are in connection with our crowd and gathering support and feedback along the way. We recently built a new Basecamp which in itself happened entirely with the support of our crowd.

We have taken courage from all this support to create an opportunity for our supporters to get involved. We have had so many people telling us they really want to back us. We really value this, but it hasn’t been the right time to take up those offers as we have been focused on using our commercial arm to leverage social impact. Now, the time is right to give our crowd a chance to build something meaningful with us.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We have a few awesome rewards! We have flights to Fiji up for grabs. Every single person who pledges over $50 and shares on social media with the tag #kilmarnockacademy goes into the draw to win return flights to Fiji for two.

We also have a ‘Wonderful Wine Lucky Dip’ reward for people who love good, South Island wine. A Black Estate 2014 Pinot Noir, anyone?!

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

We would love you to join us in building up Kilmarnock Academy! We are genuinely making a difference to people’s lives by taking them through an education programme that works for them. By pledging to this campaign you are directly changing someone’s life. You are giving them the opportunity and confidence to lift up their lives in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

Success breeds success, and this is exactly what we have seen in our pilot. We had one lady who was practically ready to run in the opposite direction when we suggested she be part of our second cohort. School had failed her, and she didn’t want to go through a similar experience. We managed to get her onboard. Now, halfway through her NZQA Level One she is already saying she wants to go for Level Two.

So many of these wonderful people have been told all their life they can’t. By pledging, you are showing them that they can.

Show the Kilmarnock community that they can by pledging to the campaign here.

What's Up Wednesday

GoodFor New Zealand

How much plastic do you use when you do your weekly supermarket shop? GoodFor took a deep dive into this wicked problem earlier this year when its founder, James Denton, decided he wasn’t content with merely replacing plastic bags with reuseable bags on his weekly shop. GoodFor is a slick, stylish and super convenient store that replaces any need for plastic packaging with jars, bottles and warm fuzzies. James shares his plans for expanding GoodFor and the movement towards shopping sustainably.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

For us this issue is very black and white. We have an astronomically large plastic waste issue on our hands and it is not slowing down. The way our consumer behaviour is and has been for far too long is completely unsustainable and it is crucial that we start making immediate change. If our company is successful with its plan, it will give consumers around Aotearoa the ability to take action. Even better, it will influence other companies to follow GoodFor’s lead in tackling other aspects of the waste issues we have. We are doing something very necessary and we are trying to do it is as fast as possible because it is already well past its due date. This campaign is going to be a catalyst to creating some big changes in New Zealand over the next five years.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Our crowd are awesome. They are informed people who are aware of the problems we face. They care about the future of our planet and they want the environment we live in to be beautiful and clean for future generations. GoodFor is inundated with requests to go to places all over New Zealand and we are answering that call, knowing that these people are willing to get behind us.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We have just teamed up with Eat My Lunch who have kindly offered some really cool rewards. We are also working on adding a few more interesting rewards to get people excited so keep an eye out! And a GoodFor insight: we are extremely busy with a small team and getting our foundations set for growth is zapping a lot of our time so we are doing the best we can with this campaign to keep people engaged.

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

GoodFor is an environmental ambassador and we will be throwing everything we have as long as we exist into creating real environmentally positive change. We would like our crowd to get excited by the knowledge that our mission won’t stop with nationwide zero waste stores. We will continue to innovate and make living sustainably easier and easier. Getting behind us means getting behind a company with really solid values and great intentions because they are few and far between!

To help GoodFor launch its second store in Parnell (and beyond!), click through to the campaign here

Loans repaid with pride

Auckland social enterprise advocate, Bevin Fitzsimons shares his experience of social lending and the importance of interconnectedness when it comes to impactful lending.

How did an international loan fund make hundreds of loans over twenty-six years with 100% repayment?

Here’s the story….

For six years, I was Director of the Geneva-based Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF). It raised money from church donors – initially for schools, hospitals, churches etc. In 1968, it began making economic development loans to communities and social enterprises in thirty-two countries. A local committee of bankers and experienced community developers, in each country, publicised and helped loan applicants plan their projects. Typical projects were: fish farms in Myanmar; tractor purchases in Tanzania; cycle rickshaws in India; wells and plantations in Malaysia. The local committee kept in touch with each borrower.


Soon after approving the fish farm loan in Myanmar, the local committee also approved a loan to a similar community fish farm a short distance up the coast. The interesting thing was that the committee told the second fish farm their loan would begin fifteen months after the first fish farm borrower (and other projects) had repaid a part of their loans. The second fish farm was immediately in touch with the first one. “Can we come and see how you do it? Can we come and help you? Please repay your loan – you’re helping us when you repay”. As a result, the two communities had a good rapport.


With repeated thank-yous from borrower two, borrower one had real pride in helping borrower two by simply repaying their own loan! They were not repaying to an anonymous foreign rich organisation. They repaid to help their neighbours and to feel the pride and helpfulness of this! Borrower two also learned a lot from borrower one before their similar project began. The system also worked well two borrower’s projects were naturally complementary. For instance, when one borrower’s loan was for a tractor and another’s was for an agricultural well.


The Ecumenical Church Loan Fund also had skilled local bankers in each national committee to ensure good planning, so those bankers’ reputations were also at stake should any loans fail. Bankers were always willing to be on the national committee to help their countrymen.

Bevin Fitzsimons

Bevin Fitzsimons now coaches social enterprises and helps them be unique in their marketplace through his company, Breakthrough Strategies. To pick his brain, you can contact him at bevin@breakthroughstrategies.co.nz.

What's Up Wednesday

Sophie Feels Like Me

If you’re a parent (or was once a kid), then you will know every young child experiences uncomfortable feelings from time to time. Adam Millen crafted a way to teach kids how to name these important-but-tricky feelings with his first crowdfunded book, ‘Jack Feels Big’. Now, Adam is doing it again; this time with new feelings and a new heroine; Sophie.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

I think it is important that kids know the names of their feelings. This book is a tool to help kids learn how to do just that. We use illustrated short stories that kids relate to, either because they have been in a similar situation or simply because they enjoy listening to the story unfold. And I know the kids enjoy them, because I have been busy doing school readings across the country!

The really cool thing about this campaign is that it has been co-created with my crowd. ‘Sophie Feels Like Me’ contains five stories that each focus on a different feeling: embarrassment, humility, grief, empathy and rejection.

These feelings were chosen by the people who have been supporting me since my first book, ‘Jack Feels Big’. I have really enjoyed talking to people about my project and the fact it has been shaped by my crowd makes it feel like a real community effort.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Crowdfunding is a really exciting tool because it helps to make crazy ideas into a reality. When I reach out to my crowd I am making sure that I am going to produce something that people will actually back.

As well as validating an idea that I might not otherwise pursue, I am giving my crowd the very thing that they want. The way I have written ‘Sophie Feels Like Me’ is the perfect example of this. I could write 20 or even 30 stories for words that I think are important. But in reality, I can only do five. By reaching out to my crowd, I am bringing them into the decision-making process. The result is a perfect fit between what I produce and what my crowd wants.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

I have a number of school readings across Aotearoa in the next couple of weeks. This is a really fun part of my creative process. The kids’ responses have been really helpful in telling me where I am on track.

As well as visiting schools, I am doing a few public readings at libraries across the North Island. On Monday 20 November I will be at the New Plymouth library at 4.30pm. On Monday 27 December I will be at the Botany Library at 10.30am and on Tuesday 28 December I will be reading at the Epsom Library at 11am. Anyone is welcome so please do come along with your child to have a listen.

Finally, keep an eye on my Facebook page; I have been releasing videos of ‘Jack Feels Big’, which give a great taster of my books. There will be a few more videos released over the coming days.

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

I would love to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me so far. Please do keep sharing my campaign page and tell all your friends about it!

To help Kiwi parents explain tricky feelings to their kids, you can pledge to the campaign page here.

What's Up Wednesday

The Scruffy Bunny

The Scruffy Bunny smacks of something a bit fun and unconventional. And this is exactly what its founder, Rich Hoffman, is all about. The Scruffy Bunny is going to be Wellington’s centralised hub of improv theatre; a place that puts the spotlight on evening entertainment and daytime education. With over 20 years experience in the entertainment and food industries, Rich is amped to bring the two together to improve the world through improv!

Why do you think this campaign is important?

The Scruffy Bunny represents a much bigger goal than simply a theatre. It is going to be an education space. Our team are excited about bettering the world through improv classes (improvisation for those non-thespians out there). We know that the potential for improv to educate is endless; it teaches communication, awareness and confidence. It increases your ability to think under pressure and embrace spontaneity.

The Scruffy Bunny also represents a culture this world needs more of; “yes, and..”. Improv is based on the premise that we should always answer an idea with a “yes”. Accept whatever idea is being presented to you and, even if you detest it, add something to reframe it as a positive. The end game is to move things forward. I think improv is a wonderful metaphor for how we should live life outside the theatre as well as on the stage.  

This campaign is important because it will enable us to create an experience that transforms the Scruffy Bunny – a little pocket of the community – into the happiest place in the known universe.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

I have travelled a lot – across the world and now to here in New Zealand. I have talked to countless people about my dream to create a community hub that focuses on improv. I decided to create a campaign so that all these people who got excited about my idea can now be part of making this dream come true.

The Scruffy Bunny is being built for Wellingtonians. This is another reason why we wanted to reach out to the Welly crowd; it is a hub for all of us. We want to bring the spirit of Wellington into the theatre. By pledging to this campaign, you are helping to establish a hub for life improvement through theatre and learning.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We are putting out a few more videos over the final days. You can keep an eye out for the links through our PledgeMe page and also by liking our Facebook page.

Please also keep an eye on our rewards page over the next couple of days. You never know what the Scruffy Bunny might come up with!

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

We love you all – thanks for following our journey! We hope that you can be a part of the campaign by pledging now. Time is ticking and we would love you to help us reach our goal. And of course, you are always welcome to come along to watch (or be in!) our shows.

You can pledge to the Scruffy Bunny Improv Hub here.

What's Up Wednesday

Our Own Ron

Art brings people together. This is something the folk that bought the Bull back to Christchurch learnt when they raised over $200,000 to make the iconic Chapman’s Homer a permanent symbol of Christchurch’s strength.

Now they are doing it again, this time with Our Own Ron. Sometime in between the two major earthquakes that rocked Canterbury, the Christchurch Art Gallery held a Ron Mueck exhibition. For a lot of people, this exhibition stands out as a last memory of the city as it was. For others, it stands out simply because of the shock reminder Ron’s sculptures give us of our own humanity.

We chatted to the Our Own Ron team to find out why Christchurch needs its own Ron.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

We have heard so many stories from people who remember “that exhibition with all the big people”. Sandwiched between two earthquakes, Ron Mueck’s exhibition was the best attended that Christchurch has ever seen. The line snaked out the door, across the gallery forecourt and around the other side!

Ron has only made 40 works in his life. And now he has agreed to make one just for Christchurch. He actually visited the city in November last year. Together with Jenny Harper (director of the Christchurch Art Gallery), Ron walked the city and felt his way through how everything was going. His experience and conversations with Jenny taught him that Christchurch is in a state of cautious optimism.

The incredible thing about this work is that even we don’t know what it is yet; noone but Ron knows! We didn’t want to have any influence over what it could be, and it will be a beautiful moment when we all find out together.  

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We have run a campaign like this before, when we bought Michael Parekowhai’s bull back to Christchurch. It was incredibly successful (in fact, a PledgeMe project campaign record!). The whole city was behind the acquisition of the work.

Just like in 2013, the city is really behind getting Our Own Ron. As soon as we announced the campaign, we started getting checks in the mail. Our mission is to raise a total of $1 million. We’ve had some amazing supporters and enjoyed a great success with our annual gala dinner. Now, it is over to the great people of Christchurch to bring home Ron.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

Yes we do! We just released a late entry but very special reward: a limited edition Our Own Ron Vespa Sprint, thanks to CMB Motorcycles, VESPA and Mod’s Hair. No more RONning around for one lucky pledger!

We have also been holding a number of “pledge parties” throughout the campaign. We are holding our biggest one yet on Sunday night to see out the campaign.

We would love to invite all our friends, supporters and pledgers-to-be to RONdevous with us at Dux Central on Sunday from 4pm. Tickets are $25, and all proceeds go to Our Own Ron. You will be greeted with a welcome drink, free food and DJs. Kids are most welcome too! We would love everyone to come along, celebrate and show us that they are “on for Ron”.

Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?

We would love to finish up with an enormous thank you to everyone who have gotten “on for Ron”. We would also like to ask all our supporters to spread the word that we only have four days left to get Our Own Ron!

To show that you are “on for Ron”, you can pledge to their campaign page here.

What's Up Wednesday

The Lucy Foundation: Phase Two

Meet the Lucy Foundation, a social enterprise that empowers people with disabilities through inclusive and accessible business. Last year, the Lucy Foundation ran phase one of their Coffee Project with us, and raised over $24,000 to empower five coffee-farming families in South Mexico. This year, they’re back for phase two: to increase production, and bring enough coffee back to New Zealand to enjoy.

But this is about much more than coffee. It’s about growing a business model that’s based on inclusiveness, that supports a community, and provides for income, opportunities and growth. But don’t just take it from us – we got in touch with Robbie from The Lucy Foundation to tell you all about it himself.

Why do you think this campaign’s important?

This campaign is important because disabled people make up the largest minority in the world. If you live to a good, old age, you’re going to develop at least one disability. It affects all people regardless of age, gender, class, nationality, religion or geographical location. In fact, it’s pretty much the only minority in the world you can unwittingly join at any time.

Yet, people with disabilities face higher levels of unemployment, lower levels of education and less access to healthcare than any other sector of society.

Recent results released by Statistics NZ show that disabled Kiwis are twice as likely to be unemployed in New Zealand and earn only half the average weekly income of non-disabled New Zealanders.

Disability rights are human rights. It’s what we do. It’s important. It affects us all.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

In 2016, we launched a PledgeMe campaign for Phase One of the Mexico Coffee Project and thanks to the kindness of friends, family and supporters we raised nearly $25,000. Every dollar of this was used to empower coffee farming families to adopt inclusive and sustainable farming practices, bring together entire families regardless of (dis)ability, and to deliver specialty Pluma coffee to New Zealanders.

But that was just a taste of good things to come! We are again reaching out to those who know us, and those we have yet to meet, with an invite: let’s work together to expand and grow a business model that we know works. Besides, who wouldn’t want to get some pretty awesome pledge rewards from Mexico, while having a tangible impact on the environment, sustainability, and the lives of people with disabilities in New Zealand and Mexico!?

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

A couple of weekends ago we released the first batch of ethical, sustainable and inclusive Pluma Coffee and Cascara Tea (made from the coffee cherries) in Aotearoa New Zealand. We still have a limited amount left to share with you all, which we’ll be auctioning off in the coming week. Rumour has it, boxing gloves signed by Sonny Bill Williams will also be up for grabs (swoon!)… keep an eye on our Facebook page for forthcoming details!

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

It works! Inclusive and accessible business works! We’ve proven it! Now we need to make it an actual ‘thing’. We need your help to grow business and impact, and show more people how it’s done, so they too can develop a culture of inclusion and diversity within their businesses and communities.

Support our campaign, make a pledge and tell all your friends about the importance of sustainability, inclusion, equality and diversity within business.

To pledge to The Lucy Foundation and support inclusive, accessible business, check out their page right here.