What's Up Wednesday

Dash Rail – Canterbury Commuter Trains

Finding commuting into Christchurch impossible? Having a tricky time travelling around Canterbury? Dash Rail wants to end all of this, with the first community-owned commuter rail operation in the country. And they want you to help them get there.

Dash Rail is noticeable right off the bat, because its campaign target is huge – $1.8 million, to be precise. But for the team behind the project, they have high goals because those are the ones worth reaching for. The Dash Rail team aren’t doing this by halves – they already have plans drawn up for routes, services and timetables. All they need now is the money to get this plan on track.

We had a chat to Tane, who’s behind the project, to hear more about his ambitious plans.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

The stresses of a daily commute in a car during peak hour are unneccessary. And Cantabrians are stressed. The suicide rate has doubled. When I left for Melbourne the city was vibrant and happy, when I arrived home is was dismal to say the very least.  The experience of living overseas gave me a better appreciation for public rail and the difference between commuting with stress and commuting with social media instead and relaxing. Which is a net loss of 10 hours (ish) stress a week.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

The motivation to reach out is multifaceted.  As the generations are changing and the youth are more well travelled than their predecessors, I’m continually bumping into people that have used trains overseas while on OE’s and have wondered why they aren’t being used in Christchurch as everything is built next to the railway lines!!! They need a voice.  And as the rollingstock for such a service is available in Auckland and so cheaply. This has become a race between us (Cantabrians) and Mozambique.

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

We’ll keep getting out there and spreading the message. Thank you all for the great support so far and please keep sharing and spreading the good word.

To help this campaign keep chugging along, head over and pledge right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Double the Quota

In June 2013, the team behind Doing Our Bit launched a campaign to double NZ’s quota of refugees – a number that hasn’t increased in 29 years. While the campaign has gained an amazing amount of support, this September is the last chance before 2019 to pressure the government to substantially increase the quota. Doing Our Bit are determined to make it happen – but they need your help!

Doing Our Bit launched their PledgeMe project so that people who are too busy with work or other causes can still contribute to the #DoubleTheQuota campaign. And within a day, the campaign reached its funding goal! But there’s still time for you to pledge – so we had a chat to organiser Murdoch Stephens to find out why you should be getting involved.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

In a time of Trump New Zealand needs to take a strong stand on the values that we hold dear. This campaign is about resourcing our supporters to tell all election candidates that refugees are welcome in New Zealand, and that we wont become meek in the face of tyrants. We’ve been campaigning to double the refugee quota or almost four years. On a practical note, the campaign represents the last chance before mid 2019 to pressure the government to increase the refugee quota. It really is now or never.

At the most transactional level, increasing the refugee quota is important to me because refugees have already provided so much benefit to New Zealand. The history of refugees in New Zealand has been one of innovation, struggle, and success. If not for us taking small numbers of refugees – and we’ve never been a world leader, and won’t even if we double the quota – we’d never have the same coffee culture, developed by former refugees from Central Europe, nor would we have that much-loved recipe for Vogels bread, which was bought here by a former refugee.

At the broadest level, a fair refugee intake is about the universal application of human rights; it’s about whether if you’re fleeing violence or persecution you have the right to have your case for protection heard, or whether you want to build walls and push people back to misery and death. The quota is particularly important as it provides a way out for the most vulnerable, people who are trapped in neighbouring countries where they risk arrest and are mostly prevented from doing the simple things in life like going to school or working.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Two things: we wanted to connect to the massive range of people in New Zealand looking for a tried and tested way of assisting refugees. PledgeMe allows us to see connect to those willing to engage in the campaign, whether that’s helping out with $10 or $1500 or even just signing up to help (there is a form on the page). The funding from those who sign up and pledge will give us a base of resources to push towards the 2017 general election. So we’re really using PledgeMe as a platform to connect with our supporters as much as to fund the campaigning over the next six months.

We’ve never asked for funds before because we mostly used volunteer time and were lucky enough to have some private sponsors last year after the peak of the refugee crisis in the media. This year we weren’t able to get those funds but were desperate to make sure the campaign was done to the standard we’ve met in the past. While volunteer time is still our main resource, a few thousand dollars can be stretched really far for grassroots charitable trusts like Doing Our Bit.

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

On the final day of the campaign we’re hosting a telethon style party at 17 Tory St in Wellington from 7-10pm counting down to the closing of the PledgeMe page. We’ve got Wellington’s Mayor Justin Lester opening it up with Ibrahim Omer, music from Ruth Mundy, and readings from Emily Writes, Brannavan Gnanalingam and Marianne Elliott and more. We’ll be livestreaming it via our Facebook page for everyone unable to make it.

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Massive thanks to those who pledged in the first 24 hours. We reached out first goal in that time and we’re so very grateful to all those people who made that happen. Now we need to push on to our stretch goals to make for a really powerful campaign. All our budget details are on the page and you can rest assure that we’re making the funds stretch as far as possible. It’s also worth remembering that what will really take this campaign over the line are volunteers – if you can pledge, great; if you can’t, then still sign up to help – we’ll need all of the voices we can get.

To help double the quota and do your bit, get pledging to Murdoch’s campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

The Ōtakarō Orchard Project

Since the earthquakes shook the city apart, the local food resilience movement in Christchurch has been gathering momentum. In the event of supply chains becoming disrupted, supermarkets carry only three days worth of food – so community gardens become more important than ever. And in a time when up to 40% of Cantabrians struggle to have access to the food they need, community gardens become a necessity.

Enter the Ōtakarō Orchard Project.

The project has three parts: an edible park, a local food information centre and cafe, and a dome to serve as an indoor food production and education space. The team behind Ōtakarō Orchard want to create New Zealand’s first urban food hub – an oasis in the city producing tonnes of food each year for their community. But they need your help to do it!

Since 2015 the project has received over $300,000 in public donations and grant funding, but they need an extra $60k to get the first stage of the landscaping done. In return, they’re offering everything from a vegetable bouquet to a tree named after you! But in case you wanted to find out a little more before you got pledging, we got in touch with Chloe, the project coordinator:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

love being able to share this project I’m so passionate about with our community so that’s been a joyous process! We’ve had a really great reception so far with lots of people excited about the project and members of the business community coming on board to offer more rewards and in-kind support for the construction of the park. So although our rate of pledges will need to pick up in the coming weeks, we’re feeling really optimistic we’ll reach target.

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

We’ll be releasing more exciting rewards and also video clips of people from Christchurch and beyond telling us why they’re excited about the Orchard. Then I think we’ll also have a great wrap party!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

The thing that’s going to make this campaign a success is if we can reach the people who want to take the higher rewards – naming planters ($5000), trees ($1000) and bricks ($250). This is important for meeting our funding goal, but also in the park feeling community-owned once it is built. We want as many names on it as possible! So if you know a person, group or business that might like to make a donation at this level then please phone or write to them to tell them about this opportunity! Many thanks in advance.

To find out more about the Ōtakarō Orchard Project and get a tree named after you, check out their campaign page right here!

What's Up Wednesday

Bikes Welcome

Jan 25

Are you a shop looking to attract a new crew of customers? Or a cyclist just looking for somewhere safe to store your cycle? Well, businesses and bike-lovers alike should be paying attention to the grand plans of Bikes Welcome.

Bikes Welcome is a charitable trust focused on making businesses more bike-friendly, because regular bike use is great for people, health, business, communities and the environment. They want to help businesses recognise and value their cycling customers, and help councils, bike-users and businesses connect and work together to create change. The first step? Better bike parking.

They’ve already received some grant funding, but they’re turning to their crowd now to help roll out their plans all across NZ. If they hit their target, then they can design, print, and post window stickers out to Bikes Welcome businesses, to signal to cyclists which shops are on their side. The more money they raise, the more great, cycle-friendly things they can achieve. And what’s more, they have some fantastic rewards on offer – everything from Thunderpants to Pic’s Peanut Butter!

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We wanted to find out more about why you should be getting in gear with Bikes Welcome, so we had a chat with team member Jo:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

This is day one, so nerve wracking would be one answer!  Others answers would include: inspiring (thanks awesome people), exhausting (yes, there is a lot of work involved, and why did I decide to do this in the school holidays? it just confirms that I’m kind of nuts).  It has also been stretching (taking me outside my comfort zone) and stimulating (learning new things and meeting new people).  But I’ll go back to nerve wracking because this is a big huge leap of faith, faith that there are enough people out there who believe in what Bikes Welcome want to achieve, faith that we can connect with them and inspire them to be part of it.  Yep, in the words of the late George Michael, ‘you gotta have faith’.  Faith…… and a wonder-woman costume.

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

I’d like to summon up creative genius and add a cool reward for bike users who want something that makes the statement ‘yes, I bike’.  Not sure what it will be yet…. all suggestions are most welcome!  And it is just possible I’ll drag out the wonder woman costume again if I need to shake things up.  Maybe I can get people to pledge for me NOT to wear it?  And I’d like the #yesIbike tag to take off, so look out for your chance to have a play with that.

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

Thank you!  Thanks awesome people for helping spread the word and supporting Bike Welcome, for your faith, ideas and feedback, positive words and wisdom.  And thanks to my understanding kids and husband for all their support.  And in the words of Dr Seus’s Lorax “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  So keep on being the change you want to see in this world.

To find out more about Bikes Welcome and act on the words of the Lorax, take a look at their campaign right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Women Who Get Shit Done

dec-14

It’s hard to fund an event with “shit” in the name. But that’s not about to stop this crew.

In June of this year, the first “Women Who Get Shit Done” unconference was held in Wellington. Women of all backgrounds from all over the country came together to talk about all the shit they had to deal with, and all the shit they wanted to get done. They made connections, they formed an agenda, they were inspired and inspired others. And now they want to do it all again down in Christchurch – but they need your help.

This time around, the team behind WWGSD want to make sure that those who can’t afford the (already very low) conference fee aren’t precluded from attending. They don’t want the ability to pay to determine who gets to be in the room – but that means they need to set up scholarships in order to subsidise the conference fees. That’s where you guys come in.

In return for your support, they’re offering everything from kids’ coding classes to a six-pack of poo emoji cupcakes! And of course, you also get the awesome feeling of knowing you’ve helped some awesome ladies keep kicking ass. (Full disclosure: our very own Chief Bubble Blower Anna was a founding member of this unconference, so we’re a little biased – but we think that speaks to how rad this group of women are!)

To hear a bit more about why you should be pledging, we talked to Catarina, one of the women getting shit done in question:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Humbling to see how many people really give a shit and are willing to put their money where their potty mouth is. We feel uber loved down here in CHCH!

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

We’d love to share stories of the past events to showcase what awesome returns and results have come out of women getting shit done. And hopefully more poop-shaped rewards (notice I didn’t say shitty rewards)!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Shout out to the awesome men for putting up some cash too! It’s not an us vs. them thing and you get that. We’re all in this together to create a safe space for people who identify as women to create and learn from each other. We promise to make this event as accessible and diverse as possible with your help!

If you’re willing to put your money where your potty mouth is, and don’t mind supporting an event with shit in the name, head on over to WWGSD’s campaign page here.

What's Up Wednesday

The Taco Cleanse!

nov-16

Imagine it: a world without prejudice. A world where coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians and omnivores can all eat together in harmony. A world where the food they’re eating looks after the planet and the people making it, while still tasting really, really, good. That is the world that the team behind Boquita are creating – and they’re bringing it to central Wellington!

Boquita is brought to you by the team behind La Boca Loca, some of our favourite alumni. They’ve been feeding the fine people of Miramar with top-rate tacos for years, but now they’re ready to branch out and bring the taco goodness to all Wellingtonians.

But they’re not just asking for your money. They’re offering something wonderful in return: The Taco Cleanse. Scientists in Austin, Texas, have confirmed that a taco-centric diet is beneficial to well being – and who are we to argue with science?? So by pledging to Boquita, you can partake in the taco cleanse – replacing as many meals as you like with tortilla-based goodness. We’re yet to find a better path to a bikini body. But if you’re not 100% sure if the taco cleanse is right for you, the team at Boquita have put together some helpful questions:

  1. Do you experience recurring feelings of hunger on a daily basis?
  2. Do you experience a range of emotions?
  3. Do you like food?
  4. Do you enjoy eating your food with your hands?

If you answered yes to all of these, a taco cleanse may be right for you. But if you’re still on the fence for some reason, we had a chat to the taco team themselves to find a few more reasons why you should be pledging:

1. How are you finding the campaign so far?

Lots of fun! One of the things I love the most about crowd-funding is the incredible boost we get from having our community get behind what we are doing, even we’re doing things that are a bit out there – like launching Wellington’s first Taco Cleanse and opening New Zealand’s first 100% plant-based taco joint. We have an incredibly supportive, generous community of customers and friends at La Boca Loca, and we’re thrilled to find out that they’re as excited as we are about Boquita.

This isn’t our first campaign with PledgeMe and what we’ve learned is that these campaigns are so much more than a way to raise money. They’re about building a community of support around an idea, and giving everyone who wants it the chance to be a part of making something new happen.

Having people in our community put their money behind our ideas and plans is a huge boost in morale, and in the past we’ve also found that those people went on to be great champions for our projects once they launched.

We hope that will happen with the Taco Cleanse and Boquita as well.

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

Yup! We have some new rewards which will be added in the days to come, and we have a live event planned for next week – a chance for Wellington to learn more about the science behind the taco cleanse! More on that soon.

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

Just a massive thanks for being awesome! And remember that taco cleanses are more fun in a crowd. So if you’ve already pledged to take the Taco Cleanse challenge, make sure you get your friends to pledge too!

To find out more about Boquita and start your cleanse, take a look at their campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

The 2017 Craft Beer Calendar!

nov-2

The craft beer calendar crew are back! For the past two years, producers Megan and Jess (our very own current people wrangler!) have been collecting the best of the world of craft beer, and collating it into a calendar to raise money for charity – and for 2017, they’re back at it again.

The calendar showcases all members of the craft beer community – brewers, bartenders, and beer-drinkers – and of course, all their beards. After the team have paid their crew a fair wage, all the profits from the calendars go to SAPN (the Sexual Abuse Protection Network), which seeks to prevent sexual violence through education and preventative strategies. In the past two years the calendars raised $30,000 to help this charity – and this year they’re looking to blow this out of the water.

In order to find out more about the cool kids behind the craft beer, I messaged the other Jess in our office to get the lowdown:

1. How are you finding the campaign so far?

Every year we promise to start earlier and every year we fail, but it’s still a delight. Half the fun of getting the calendar together is scrambling to organise all the photos and sneaking off for cheeky (literally!) lunchtime shoots. The beer community is a great crowd and it’s so heartening to see them rally in support of a great cause year after year.

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

We’re looking at some new rewards for people who like butts and supporting SAPN but aren’t really into calendars. We’re also excited to be offering the chance to book in one of SAPN’s excellent ‘It’s Our Business’ sexual violence prevention training courses. It teaches hospo workers how to recognise potential issues and intervene quickly and safely. And of course, get excited for some sneak peeks (pun intended) of our fabulous models!

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

You’re all beautiful and we love you very much. Want to be in the calendar? Tweet us (@NZbeercalendar) or email us (NZbeercalendar@gmail.com). Tell your favourite bar or brewery to sponsor!

To find out more about what the craft calendar team have brewing, hop on over to their campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Pomegranate Kitchen

oct-19

 

Refugees face major hurdles in just getting to New Zealand. Unfortunately, for many that’s not where the struggle ends – finding a job, a support network, and a place in the community can all be difficult for those new to our country. This is where Pomegranate Kitchen comes in.

Pomegranate Kitchen is a social enterprise dedicated to serving the people of Wellington wonderful food – and in doing so, helping to train, employ, and provide support for former refugees. Starting this month, they’ll be delivering lunches, providing catering, and popping up all over the place with incredible cuisine for Wellingtonians to take advantage of. They just need your help to make it happen.

We wanted to hear more about why places like Pomegranate Kitchen are such a wonderful way to welcome former refugees into the community – so we got in touch with General Manager Rebecca Stewart:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

We have been blown away by the generosity of our crowd. It’s such a buzz seeing all the pledges come in, as well as the encouraging messages. As some have been directed at our cooks I have been reading them out in the kitchen on their mid morning breaks. People have been sending messages of welcome to them, and it’s a nice feeling knowing that others think our idea is as good as we think it is!

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

We are workshopping a lot more menu items at the moment so there may well be – watch this space!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

First, if you have any questions about us or the way we run Pomegranate then do get in touch – my contact details are on the website, or you can reach us through Twitter or Facebook. I had someone contact me recently who wanted to know more about our financial structure and the involvement of the cooks before they Pledged, and we are absolutely happy to answer those questions or any others.

Also, if you’re not sure yet if you’d like to Pledge (and you live in Wellington) then come down at taste our wares at the Moore Wilson’s Tory St pop-up until the 23 October! We are there every day from 11am-3pm.

To find out more about the great people behind Pomegranate Kitchen, take a look at their campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Zen’s Kitchen

oct-5A few years ago, Zen and his fiancé Polly had a dream. They wanted to serve food from all around the world to the people of New Zealand, and they wanted it to be organic, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable. So they packed up all their things, moved to Murchison, and Zen’s Kitchen was born.

They’ve been delighting the Murchison markets with international fare for a while now – but now Zen wants to step things up, and provide alternative food options and catering to the people at the top of the South Island. He has already spent 12 weeks and a lot of his own money developing the caravan, but he needs your help to take it to the next level. Zen and Polly have a wealth of experience between them – originally hailing from the Czech Republic, Zen has worked at five star hotels in Edinburgh and spent several years working here in NZ at Commonsense Organics, and Polly has a background as a vegan baker. The two are determined to translate this wealth of food knowledge into wonderful offerings for the people of Polly’s hometown.

We loved the picture this campaign painted, so we got in touch with Zen to hear a little more about it.

How are you finding the campaign so far?

The campaign has been great so far.. Its only been running for about 5 days and we’ve raised over $2000 dollars.. There has been awesome supportive, inspirantional feedback from our friends and strangers. It’s amazing to see the power of sharing and reaching people who love our project and want to eat our food.. Because FOOD MATTERS BIG TIME!!!

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign?

I am working on the caravan while the campaign is running to get as close to finishing it as possible.. I am currently building the kitchen cabinets, draws and benches. I will install the kitchen sink and once all that is done, the rest of the commercial floor vinyl will be laid. I will instal the kitchen stove and one of the fridges and do some of the finishing touches.
By that time the pledge me campaign should be finished and we shall do the rest of the work to finish it off.. In between I will be working on our web site plus keeping our followers updated with photos from the building progress. So keep an eye on this because you guys gonna like it!! I’m considering printing off some mean Organic cotton teeshirt with our logos on it as another reward option..

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

I wanna give massive thank’s to our pledgers and sharers for supporting us and believing in what we do!! It’s so good to know that there are people out there who are about “REAL FOOD” which is what we wanna provide.. I believe that I won’t disappoint you and I will make sure that you are going to be a happy customer..:o) Ciao for now and see you soon!!!!

To help Zen’s Kitchen become a reality, pledge to the campaign right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Sophie Feels Big!

sophie-feels-big

Ever found it hard to explain the concept of feelings and virtues to your kids? An apple or a ball you can point to, but the abstract concept of “disappointment” is a little trickier. That’s why last year, Adam came up with the idea for “Jack Feels Big”, a picture book to give kids the tools to talk about their feelings. And it’s why he’s back this year, with a new volume for a new character: Sophie.

Adam wanted to create stories for Sophie so that young female readers would find the books easier to identify with. The feelings Sophie will feel in each book are voted on and selected by pledgers to the campaign – so this is your chance to help determine how a book gets written!

More than that, Adam has been matching pledges with donations to Duffy Books in Schools and releasing illustrations as he goes. The stories Adam tells are sweet and sincere, and his illustrator Matt Haworth is a real talent. We wanted to find out more about why they’re back for more, so we got in touch with Adam to hear about the campaign:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Actually really hard. I haven’t been tracking well against my expectations for funding milestones. We’ve passed 10%, so I ran a poll asking backers to choose one of the feelings to feature in Sophie Feels Big. They picked disappointed. I’m really happy with that, since I think it’s an important word for kids to have in their vocabulary. But it also sums up how I’m feeling.

I’m asking myself a lot of questions. Should I have waited to build more of a crowd? Should I have waited to prepare more content for during the campaign? Have I made things too complicated with the re-cast + new stories? Did I set too high a goal trying to get both of those books in one campaign? Is what I’m making even good?

In all this, I’m being persistent (another word taught in the books) and I keep on promoting. I took a drive down to New Plymouth and visited six primary schools and ECE centres. A journalist who wrote about the first book wrote an article for this campaign on Stuff.

One thing that I’ve done that was really worthwhile was send emails or facebook messages to people when I see them pledge. This is easiest with friends and family, but there’s also people whose names I recognise from my mailing lists. As well as being a genuine expression of my gratitude, it’s also a marketing thing, but I discovered an extra reason why it’s worthwhile. Someone I’ve never met, who won a copy in a promo, replied to my thank you email, saying “We’ve loved our copy of Jack Feels Big and yesterday I found it hidden in my son’s secret lair so he must have chosen to read it to himself!”. At a time when I’ve got a lot of self-doubt going on, that was a much needed ray of sunshine. I know that the value of the first book was worth the work and worry of the first campaign. I can stick it out and make these books happen too.

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

Even though I’m not where I wanted to be, I know that the first time I crowdfunded I spent a lot of the campaign despairing and not knowing where I’d find more backers too. So now, like then, I’ll just keep trying whatever I can. I had a teacher ask about a recording of the stories from the first book being read, for use with her special-needs kids. That’s something I can probably do this weekend in one form or another. I’ll take any opportunity I can to share the campaign, and with some help from Kiwis who think that teaching kids the names for their feelings is important, I think we can get there.

 

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

Part of me dreams of someone helping me make a connection to a morning TV program or a parenting blog. But I think the reality with crowdfunding is that those sorts of broadcast aren’t what gets you there. It’s the individual, personal, word of mouth referrals and pledges. If you know someone who has kids with feelings, please tell them about this book 🙂

To help Sophie Feel Big, head on over to the campaign here and get pledging!