I did some analysis of what happened during our recent crowdfunding campaign that I want to share.
But first, I want to note a couple things that do not appear in the numbers. Several Snapshot Serengeti fans told us that they wanted to donate, but could not. This was because the Indiegogo site is set up to only accept major credit cards, and will not accept PayPal payments for campaigns (like ours) that send money to non-profits. As many folks outside the U.S. do not have credit cards, this was a barrier. We were unfortunately unable to figure out an alternative method of donation during the campaign, and as a result, a number of you couldn’t donate (or get the perks). And we’re sorry for that; lesson learned.
There were also several people who found our campaign after it had ended. They, too, couldn’t donate via the Indiegogo site. But we do have a webpage set up to accept any future gifts you might like to make. Donations go directly to the University of Minnesota Foundation; simply write “Snapshot Serengeti” in the text field after checking the “yes” box, and we’ll get the money.
And now for the numbers.
We raised $36,324 on Indiegogo, with 701 donors contributing. Of these 701, about a quarter (187) provided a mailing address for their perks. These 187 donors hail from 18 countries and 155 cities, most of them in the United States. We had donations from 27 U.S. states plus the District of Colombia. Here are some maps of where they are. Don’t forget that this is just a quarter of our generous donors! (And also, I just fell in love with MultiPlottr. It took me about a minute to make these maps.)
When we look over time, we see that some interesting things happened. This graph looks a bit busy, but hang in there while I explain it. (And many thanks to Rob Simpson, who helped put this graph together.) Click for a larger version.
Along the bottom, we have the days of the campaign, starting on July 14 and running to August 9. The dots along the lines are daily dots. The green line shows the total dollar amount raised that day, and you can see the dollar values on the left side of the graph. The red line shows the total number of (unique) visitors to the Snapshot Serengeti site on that day. And I got Indiegogo to send me the data on visitors to the Indiegogo webpage; that’s the yellow line. You can see the values for the red and yellow lines on the right side of the graph.
So what do we see? Here are some things I’ve noticed; maybe you can point out some others. Our initial donations came from our hardcore supporters in the first few days – those of you who read this blog or have liked us on Facebook. The National Geographic article that came out the same day was cool, but didn’t have any links to our campaign for several days.
On July 26, we sent out a newsletter to everyone who’s ever worked on Snapshot Serengeti, announcing Season 6 and our crowdfunding campaign. You can see an immediate uptick in donations (green line) that remains elevated for the next few days. Traffic to Snapshot Serengeti (red line) also increases, but not by a lot. On July 29, we got some coverage at KSTP, our favorite local Minnesota TV station, which may have contributed a little.
But the big event was the following day, when the Zooniverse sent out a newsletter to all of its users. You can see the impact. Lots of folks rushed over to check out Snapshot Serengeti (red line), some of them also checked out the Indiegogo page (yellow line) and 107 of them contributed $4,700 (green line).
All that activity, helped secure us a spot on Indiegogo’s front page on August 1. You can see that for the next few days, visits to our Indiegogo site (yellow line) – and funding (green line) – increased, while attention over at Snapshot Serengeti itself waned. This suggests that being on Indiegogo’s front page was useful and helped keep donations flowing.
On August 4, National Geographic gave us some more great coverage, this time with appropriate links to our campaign. And on August 5, a piece I wrote about the campaign was published on a blog that is frequented by scientists interested in crowdfunding. Both things appeared to give us a boost.
On August 6, we marked down the damaged camera traps, and had a bunch of takers. We also had coverage on BoingBoing the same day, but they initially linked to our About page, so I’m not sure how much impact that had on our fundraising.
It was August 8, our second-to-last day, that sealed the deal. We made Indiegogo’s top “Last Chance” projects. And the Zooniverse sent out another newsletter asking for help getting us the last part of the way to our goal. And the Zoonites (Zoonorians? Zooners?) responded. That day, 219 people gave almost $10,000!
Thanks again to everyone who contributed and also to those who tried but weren’t able.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent in their favorite photos. We’ve submitted the following 12 to BBC’s photo-of-the-year contest. Of course, there were many, many more we wish we could have used!
and one of my new personal favorites:
In other news, we are *almost* at halfway to our Indiegogo fundraising goal!!!! Thank you all for your support so far! And please don’t forget to check out the meme generator at http://www.SaveTheMemes.org! You can now make a meme directly from the talk pages!
Calling all camera trap captures!
BBC’s annual camera-trap ‘photo of the year’ contest is drawing a close – and we’re pretty sure Snapshot Serengeti has some winners. So we’re asking for your help to find them!
The contest has three relevant categories:
- Animal Portraits Images taken during the course of research that capture the character or spirit of the animal
- Animal Behaviour Images captured during the course of research that show interesting or unusual behaviour.
- New Discoveries Images that show something new to science, such as a species never before photographed in the wild or outside its known range, or behaviour never before recorded. The caption must make clear what the discovery is.
We can submit up to 12 photos across these three categories. Long-time Snapshot Serengeti moderator lucycawte has already pinpointed a couple of fantastic photos:
…but we’d like your help to find some more!
So send us the subject ID’s or urls of your all-time favorite Snapshot Serengeti pics (via comments here). One of them just might wind up front and center in the next issue of BBC Wildlife or make Snapshot Serengeti the proud winner of a monetary prize to keep the cameras clicking.
And speaking of Snapshot Serengeti funding, I wanted to take a minute to say thank you all who have supported our Save Snapshot Serengeti campaign so far. Yesterday we passed our 20% mark, and we’re marching forward! For everyone out there who loves looking at these incredible photos, please take a look at our campaign — we have some really fun perks that you might enjoy. And whether or not you’re able to make a donation, please help us spread news of the campaign by sharing our link: igg.me/at/serengeti — the more people we reach, the better our chances of bringing you these photos for years to come. Thank you for your support, your effort, and for being as addicted to Snapshot Serengeti as we are!