It is with great pleasure that we are able to report the success of our first-ever Crowdfunder – our 28-day 'Maintain the Union 2019' – appeal, which closed Thursday evening (17-1-19) at a Grand Total of £2,015...or 168% of our original £1,200 goal!
This is an undoubted success for us, and a slap in the face to all the ScotNats who were willing for us to fail!
Over the course of 28 days we received 80 separate donations from 76 Supporters, and we want to say a Big British Thank You to every one of them. These people really came through for us and we are so grateful to you for doing so. Thank You!
We'd also like to thank our colleagues and supporters who helped to publicise it on the internet, and who promoted it on their Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts.
Here are some Statistics which we've compiled from the publicly-available material which is available for anyone to view at our Crowdfunder page (which is now closed to donations).
RANGE of DONATIONS
The smallest donation, and still very gratefully received, was £4, and the largest was £400. To the anonymous person who gave £400, we say a massive Thank You! That person's donation helped to boost our total and take us past our goal, which in turn would inspire others to give, to the point that we raised £815 more than we bargained for!
At £2,015 and 76 donors, the average-per-person was £26.50. If we remove the generous £400 donation which was an outlier, it works out at (1,615/75) = £21.50. As it happens, we were told by Crowdfunder that the average donation was likely to be around £20.
Of the 80 donations, interestingly, almost half, 35, were anonymous.
Of the 45 donations where people left their name, 10 were from people known and met personally by us, meaning that a lot of new people have come forward.
Of the 45 donations where people left their name, several were from people who are also giving to us via our monthly Union Supporters Programme at https://www.aForceForGood.UK/union-supporters meaning that such people are extremely committed, and we value them so very much!
DISADVANTAGES, WORKING AGAINST US
1. Ongoing Facebook Restriction
We were able to successfully complete this Crowdfunder while continuing to suffer from a Facebook restriction (which is preventing any of the Shares from our page from getting into the Newsfeeds of the Friends of the people who share our posts). Facebook has been doing this to us since we stopped financially advertising with them last year. (Our official Page Likes have stuck on 23,517 since we stopped advertising with them on 20 Nov 2018.)
In other words, on Facebook, our Crowdfunder was only being publicised within the people who already officially "Like" our Page, or who visit it specifically, or who see it in various Facebook Groups that we share our material directly into. That restricted outreach remains a serious handicap which Facebook has put upon our page for reasons best known to itself. Nevertheless, we prevailed!
2. No General Unionist Culture of Online Political Giving...yet
This was the first online "Crowdfunder" that, to our knowledge, an active, organised pro-Union organisation in Scotland has ever run. (Correct us if we're wrong.) We were naturally concerned about it since we really had no idea how it would go.
Unlike the ScotNats (who were looking for us to fail) we knew that the unionist 'movement' in Scotland (such as it is) does not yet have what we might call a widespread "culture of giving" online for pro-Union causes!
We're not talking about charitable giving. We're talking about regular political giving, online, for pro-Union causes, such as ours. And of course we're talking generally here – and certainly not about the wonderful people who are already giving to AFFG! (These people are amazing!)
One of the reasons for this is that online crowdfunders for the pro-Union cause are simply not there in the first place! Such a culture hasn't been instituted in our movement yet. Ours was the first!
For the ScotNats, though, giving politically – and especially giving politically online – for "the cause" is a part of their political culture.
Online giving for their cause is "instituted" in their political life! It's like donating at Church. It's seen as "the thing to do" if you're part of their congregation, and if you believe in what it's all about, and you want to see your beliefs affirmed and made manifest in your wider society!
Furthermore, we who are 'for the UK' are not possessed by a revolutionary fervour in the sense that ScotNats are. We don't wake up in the morning with an excited desire to "change things" or "overthrow things" in the way that ScotNats do. Consequently, the ScotNats have people who will always reach deep for the revolution – often to extraordinary levels.
They have no problem at all about raising huge sums of cash for their destructive and divisive purposes, even if it is to be blown on hot air (quite literally).
Talking of which...when the 'All Under One Banner' group announced that they wanted to raise money for a Pipe Band (!) to lead their marches this year, they raised over £10,500 from 415 supporters in 14 days.
When Alex Salmond announced he was seeking a Judicial Review, his Crowdfunder reached over £100,000 from over 4,000 people in 72 hours.
We were reading a report this morning of a planned ScotNat "Conference" in Aberdeen in February which states: "The Scottish Independence Convention, an umbrella organisation of pro-independence groups has raised around £100,000 since October 2018. The funds are to be put towards staff, resources and research on how to improve the independence movement's capacity to reach more Scots." They achieved this largely through crowdfunding!
But for us, we have to rely on the more level-headed members of society. We have to rely on the people who are thinking sensibly about the long-term and who are prepared to give money to help stop the Nats potentially fouling things up sometime in the future! That can be a harder "ask".
So we really didn't know how this was going to go for us. We knew we were taking a chance.
But what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be!
76 people came through for us, and stepped up for this first-ever pro-Union Crowdfunding appeal.
By our actions, together, we're starting to institute the beginnings of a new "Unionist Culture of Online Political Giving". It has to start somewhere, and together we've started it. So thank you so very much!
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE...
As a consequence of this success – and as part of our on-going attempt to institute this attitude – we will make our 28-day appeal an annual event.
At the end of each year, for 28 days, we will have 1 major "Great British Christmas Crowdfunder". This will aim to raise enough to cover our basic monthly outgoings (excluding retainers and campaigning materials). That is, what we need to cover our Mobile costs, Mail Box, Domain and Website hosting costs, Email Marketing facility, Compliance costs, etc) for a 12-month period. We've succeeded in doing that with this one!
In addition, of course, our 'Union Supporters' monthly-giving programme will continue to raise the modest retainers we need for our 3 assistants who keep us researching, publishing and street campaigning, and without whom everything would immediately shut down.
In addition, throughout the year, when necessary, we will supplement this with appeals for campaigning materials, via One-Off donations at https://www.aForceForGood.UK/donate2
Or cheques sent to "AFFG Productions Ltd" at:
A Force For Good
48 West George Street
Glasgow, G2 1BP
If necessary, we will also have occasional, smaller and shorter Crowdfunding requests to fund campaigning materials and resources needed for specific days of action (cameras, tabards, posters, banners, diesel, PA system, etc).
Finally, thank you again to all those who stepped up to make A Force For Good's first-ever Crowdfunder such a unionist success, and who have helped to institute the beginnings of a Unionist Culture of Online Political Giving!