Jane Binnion column

Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.
Jane Binnion from Lancaster, social media trainer.

Last week we had a wonderful few days traveling around Scotland.

It’s such an interesting time to be there with the referendum just a month away.

While we were there we went to the Edinburgh Festival to see Lancaster’s Annie Neat who is a quarter of the theatre company Three Mugs of Tea, in their production The Jungle Referendum, a brilliantly researched and very entertaining look at the issues of the referendum.

Annie and the other members of the company were all first year students at LIPA so taking a performance to Edinburgh is a wonderful achievement but very expensive, so they decided to try to raise the money needed via crowd funding using the online tool, Kickstarter.

As they were new to Crowdfunding I asked Annie how it worked and if she would recommend it to others.

They decided to use Crowdfunding because it was an accessible way for friends and family to donate money and learn about their project.

They could reach more people with Kickstarter and it meant all the money was in one place so was easier to manage.

Crowdfunding also publicises the show so other people online can see it.

But hard work and persistence is required. For Annie and her team it involved a lot of time promoting the page through Twitter and Facebook to get it known, but as people became aware of what they were doing the donations trickled in.

On Kickstarter you can reward people for donating to you, and Three Mugs of Tea made a thank you video to let everyone know how much they appreciated the money and made goody bags for those who donated £100 or more.

One of the lovely things that Annie said was that they learnt about the generosity of people; strangers, friends and family alike.

Crowdfunding feels safe and easy for people to use.

I’ve donated to a number of projects this way, including the group purchasing of a piece of jungle to protect orang-utans. I love that people can raise money online to kick start their career or fund a project. We all get to feel good that we helped and you never know, the likes of Annie may even remember us when they’re rich and famous.