Crowdfunding Snapshot Serengeti

I recently returned from Serengeti with all of my limbs intact and hard drives full of camera photos in tow. The images on these drives comprise Season 6 – the season I welded spiky nails to the cases to discourage hungry hyenas from chomping on them, didn’t get stuck every 3 days for a change, and also my last trip as a Ph.D. student. (Now I’m back in Minnesota trying to make sense of all the data and write my dissertation!) The Season 6 images are slowly making their way through the cloud to the Zooniverse team, and we’re expecting to have them online by the end of the month.

Unfortunately, things are not all butterflies and rainbows for us. In fact, Season 6 will mark a rather dire situation for Snapshot Serengeti. As Margaret wrote back in May, our National Science Foundation funding has run out – and our application for renewed funding was rejected. Unless we raise enough money to keep our Land Rovers limping along, our cameras will turn off, and we’ll lose our secret window into this incredible world.

The good news is that we have a plan. Today we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, our first step in keeping the project going. We are asking people around the world to help us raise money to keep the Snapshot Serengeti cameras clicking for another three months after our funding ends in September. That will get us to the end of the year and give us a Season 7.

So, if you love Snapshot Serengeti and are able to contribute something, we’d love your support. And check out our perks. We’ve got some fun ones you might enjoy! If you’re unable to help out financially, please spread the campaign link around to your friends and family. The more people we reach, the more likely we are to make our goal. The link is

And meanwhile, happy hunting in Season 5. Thanks!

Meanwhile, happy hunting!


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About ali swanson

I'm an ecologist studying how large carnivores coexist. I spend way too much of my time trying to stop hyenas and elephants from munching my camera traps!

16 responses to “Crowdfunding Snapshot Serengeti”

  1. Keith Hearn says :

    Wow, I’m surprised to be the first contributor! I’m sure I won’t be the last, though.

  2. Lorri WT says :

    Ali, thanks for the post. I just went to crowdfunding and donated to Season 7. I also submitted a matching donation request to my employer — double your money. Good luck!!

  3. ali swanson says :

    Thank you Keith and Lorri! We’ll be keeping folks updated on the Snapshot Blog and Indiegogo campaign site. It means a lot to have your support.

  4. Aradia Farmer says :

    I am totally in love with this project. I hope it goes through Season 7 and beyond!

  5. Allen Slue says :

    I’m definitely rooting for you. its an awesome crowdfunding project! You should add a $1 perk. Something like “If you like this and can’t gives the project much, anything helps! the perk will be knowing you are helping fund an awesome project!.” I’ve seen alot of success with this. I plan on using crowdfunding for a project in the near future.

  6. Joy Braun says :

    How about producing a book out of the more endearing photos. Profits from the sales would fund the project? There are such great candid shots!

    • ali swanson says :

      Hi Joy –
      We’d really like to produce a coffee-table book at some point down the road. Who doesn’t want a cheetah staring at them from their coffee table?! It’s a big undertaking though, so we’re postponing it for the time being.

  7. Pawel Jackowski says :

    I wish there was paypal payment option. Last time I supported or rather tried to support crowd funded space telescope, but credit card payment was rejected. Apparently because amazon (for Kickstarter) did not allow me to put special/national characters in card owner details. Most of my payments are rejected or I am asked to send photocopies of my card to verify that I am owner, so I never use it abroad 😉 Instead I use paypal, but I can not see such option in igg…

    • Yannick says :

      Well, thats my point. Without paypal no way for me to make a donation.

      • ali swanson says :

        Hi Yannick and Pawel – I’m sorry we don’t have a paypal option! Although Indiegogo does support paypal for some projects, since we’re fundraising for registered non-profit, we’re only able to accept direct credit card payments. But thank you for trying to support us!

  8. Bennycatgirl says :

    Hi Ali, I’m in the same boat as Pawel and Yannick. Once I got the word that you folk were running an indiegogo crowdsourcer I sent funds to my Paypal account because I don’t have a credit card. Then came the wait for the money to transfer in…and now I am sad because I can’t contribute via igg. The nonprofit thing makes total sense, but maybe there’s a mailing address where a cheque could be sent? It won’t be much more than a drop in the bucket, but still, I’d love to give some support. 🙂

  9. Pawel Jackowski says :

    Ali, do you have personal Pay Pal account? I really want to support project and I would consider donation to private person. You could make proper payment with credit card trough indiegogo 😉

    • ali swanson says :

      Hi Pawel –
      Thanks for pursuing this. I don’t have a paypal account but am checking with Margaret and other folks on the campaign and will get back to you ASAP. Thank yoU!!!

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