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New funding platform

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crowd funding platform

Get yourself some money

Media Release

February 2015


StreetSmart  launches crowdfunding platform to secure grassroots projects

Melbourne based not-for-profit, StreetSmart Australia, is branching out from its DineSmart and CafeSmart fundraising events to launch an online crowdfunding platform and boost support for community organisations.

Adam Robinson, the founder of StreetSmart Australia, says crowdfunding is an innovative way to support local, grassroots projects that help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Since 2003, StreetSmart has raised over $3.1 million to fund 938 small-scale local projects by running its successful national events (DineSmart and CafeSmart). According to Robinson, this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the need for funds for local community-based organisations.

“We are now taking StreetSmart’s fundraising out of dining venues and taking it online using our ‘Projects’ website and harnessing the power of the social web,”  Robinson said.

“The new ‘Projects’ platform enables us to directly connect donors with community organisations that need support right now.  As State and Federal funding is cut our smaller community based organisations need our support.

“We want to build a community of supporters who see the benefit of supporting the smaller, independent not-for-profits. These organisations are out there on the front line, delivering critical support, often operating on tiny budgets and too small to raise a crowd themselves,” said Robinson.

Robinson said that crowdfunding gave the community a way to support this work and make a meaningful contribution, directly, while raising awareness for these smaller organisations.

StreetSmart is staying true to its roots and focussing the ‘Projects’ site to assist smaller charities, social enterprises and organisations that help people who are homeless or at risk.

“Homelessness is something we need to urgently address. While there are major structural changes that need to be made, such as building more affordable housing, we also need action to help people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk right now.

“We are keen to work with and support smaller organisations who are interested in this type of fundraising.  We also want to hear from corporate partners who want to join us, and the public, to direct their community support to where it is needed most” said Robinson.

For more information contact StreetSmart CEO Adam Robinson 0488 336419 or

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A rollicking MUST READ for charities, fundraisers and regulators.

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Needless to say, we believe every word posted on the Hootville website is a gem to be read and treasured by our citizens. Then of course there are the genuine must-read items. This alarming piece of investigative journalism spotlighting America’s 50 worst charities is such an item and should be consumed by anyone who cares about fundraising and charities, those in the profession, serving on NFP boards or our new regulator the ACNC.

Rating Australian charities

Vital statistics, at donors' fingertips.

Sadly we didn’t write the article – the Tampa Bay Times in Florida did with the assistance of The Centre for Investigative Reporting. The paper has a pugnacious reputation and this multimedia extravaganza of data-driven journalism has award-winner written all over it.

Essentially America’s 50 worst charities have been named and shamed. These are ‘charities’ which raise much but donate little. They purport to represent all the right causes – sick kids, women with breast cancer and of course, this being America, police, fire and the military. Funds raised however, go mainly to the founders ands their kids, sons-in-law and best friends.

One note: when you read “solicitors” think fundraisers soliciting for donations by phone or mail not lawyersAnother note: this article is about downright corrupt, fraudulent charities – not merely the inept, lacklustre or meaningless.

It could never happen here – could it? Of course it could. And it does. The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) should read this to know how the bad guys operate.

Though this media project is laudable as hell and will have impact (mainly by giving prospective donors reasons to not give) America is already blessed with an ongoing non-profit organisation devoted to breaking down charities’ balance sheets and rating their effectiveness. It’s called Charity Navigator and it is astounding. We’ve raved about it here before.

America's worst charities

James T. Reynolds Sr does not come out of the article looking very good.

Six thousand charities are rated and compared against rigorous criteria: admin costs, debt levels, fundraising costs, CEO salaries. Solid apples-with-apples comparisons. The site trawls the financial returns and annual reports and breaks them down. The information is available quickly and simply 24 hours a day.

Charity Navigator does not just concentrate on weeding out totally dodgy operators – it’s mission is far broader and more valuable than that. It rates 6000 charities showing the mediocre as well as the mendacious. It is all about transparency and effectiveness.

For instance – imagine if we could compare every Australian charity in terms of the CEO’s salary as a percentage of total turnover. What an interesting reads that would make.

We desperately need something just like Charity Navigator here in Australia. Now. It would do more to educate and reassure the giving public and weed out the half-baked and ill-conceived than just about anything else, perhaps even the ACNC.

(Thanks to the ever on-line Roslyn Grundy for alerting us to the article.)


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Some wiki, wiki good copywriting

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great copy writing for fundraisers

There are few more successful nonprofit ventures.

We don’t know this thankyou letter from Wikipedia was written in-house or via an agency but it’s a great example of good fundraising copywriting. We have the great Tom Ahern to thank for bringing it to our attention. (If you fundraise, read Tom.)

If only all copy were as passionate, personal, grateful and grand as this. Great Wiki copy.

Our only criticism is that it might, just might be 100 or so words too long. But who cares? It’s great copy.




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Fundraising platform recommendations wanted

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A client of our wants a personal recommendation on fundraising platforms. You know – the sites that allow passionate supporters to raise money from their networks via running marathons and the like such as Everyday Hero etc…

fundraising advice wanted

There's nothing unusual about this. Nothing at all.

Our client is a small over-achiever of an organisation, run entirely by volunteers. They were recently taken aback by the steep commission taken by one leading site.

We also want them to use a site that makes it easy for fundraisers to raise more funds through social media and other cunning features. Of course we want a site that has runs on the board and is proven to work.

Please – no direct approaches from such services. We want the Citizens to speak. Email


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Crowdfunding: advice worth reading

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It grows on the interweb silly - not on trees.

‘Crowdfunding’ is one of those terms that the digerati and social entrepreneurs like to throw around. We suspect that it is similar to showbiz and dotcom case studies – one tale of success inspires thousands of failed attempts.

Regardless, this piece from Social Media Examiner is worth reading if you’re into free money from people who you have never met.

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Very direct mail

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Direct mail is a universe unto itself. Still the backbone of most fundraising programs, it’s a mix of skills, science and gut instinct. The creative must meet the right segment of the right list at the right time. If not, there’s no pretending otherwise – dollars don’t lie. The Arts Centre in Melbourne outdid itself with this effort, personally addressed to our Mayor and self-professed patron of the arts Brett de Hoedt.

Direct mail fundraising effort

Cute kid, quaintly illustrated, personally targetted.


Arts Centre fundraising

At 16 pages, there's quite the narrative arc.


arts centre

Sadly Baz Luhrmann outbid Martin Scorsese for the film rights.

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Fundraising appeal benefits from personal appeal

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This banner outperformed all others.

Fundraisers and campaigners take note of this analysis of various banners. All had the same intention – raise money for Wikipedia but one iteration stood out above all others. That was the appeal that came from the top – specifically a person at the top who readers recognised. Think about this the next time you send out an appeal letter, eNewsletter, invitation or direct mail. Make it from one person – not from your organisation. Start creating your own Jimmy Wales now. (Close cropped beard optional.)

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