Edge Pledge TV Episode 25

This episode Sam Marwood, Founder, talks about:

  1. 50/50 progress We are moving ahead with the 50/50 program. Where schools and community groups can take on a challenge and raise funds for themselves and a local animal. Our web developer, Andrew, is updating the website to allow this to happen, we are finalising arrangements with our lawyers to ensure our charity status is adjusted to include education and we are working with a great environment organisation who are going to help us to get the trial going.

We want to get 20 schools on board and ready to go before Christmas. Then we will launch the trial late January/early February. The aim is to ensure the schools get the concept, are supported, the website works well and donors love being a part of it.

We are confident this 50/50 concept will work because over the past two years we have learnt that the general public do care about people a lot. They care about the environment, but their passion isn’t as strong as it is for humans, so we feel they are more reluctant to donate. So we think that if we can support schools to fundraise, they learn about wildlife and also help raise funds for wildlife, that the general public will be more likely to donate. We know that the stats back up our experience - for every $7 raised for charity, $1 is raised for the environment. We want to increase the amount of funds raised for wildlife- that is why we exist and that is why we are giving this a crack.

  1. How to get schools on board
    We are putting a call out to all our followers - if you work for a school or have some connection with a school we would love to hear from you. We want your support to help us get your school signed up for the trial. We think it is a massive win-win for everyone, and we need some early adopters to help us get there. We have a small list of schools already, but we aren’t to the 20 yet.

  2. Activating environment lovers
    We are on a crusade over the next 6 months to figure out how we can provide even more value to our environment partners. We want them to focus on fixing our environment, so we need to find a bunch of ways to help them out. One big way is by activating their followers. All of them have a big following online and we think there are a stack of ways we could activate them to help out and have fun. One is obviously taking on a challenge, but we are finding more.

We have been talking about a concept of equity crowdfunding. There are businesses like DomaCom and BrickX which allow people to invest into property for as little as $100. So the crowd buys these properties. Why aren’t we thinking about how the crowd could help to invest into environment-focused properties? This is really exciting. Maybe there are properties out there that have high environment values which sit alongside productive farm land. Could we invest to protect the land and ensure good farming practices, which then helps to fund the conservation effort? Or maybe we purchase wildlife sanctuaries which attract tourists which allows us to continue to support endangered animals and is a viable business. There are these sorts of businesses out there, but they haven’t been connected with equity crowdfunding. This to me sounds really exciting and something we want to keep exploring to see how we can be a part of bringing even more money and connection with humans, for our environment.