‘Good ideas, good work and good luck’: Australian grassroots campaigners on how they got it done | Crowdfunding

MeIf you’ve signed a petition, wrote a grumpy letter to a local legislator, or participated in a protest, you’re most likely in a grassroots campaign, but you’re actually launching the campaign. What do you need for How do you bring people together to solve common problems and increase your chances of success?

We asked some of the people behind the success of the three campaigns for the practical advice they learned in the process.

Organizer of a small town

In 2009, Bundanoon, a small town in New South Wales, was the street before today’s ban on disposable plastics. The world’s first municipality that refused to sell bottled water..

Huw Kingston worked with neighbors in the town of Bundanoon to successfully ban PET bottles in 2009. Photo: Huw4Hume / Facebook

Locals overwhelmingly supported the ban at town meetings, voting 354 to 1 and consolidating long-term opposition to multinational bids to extract 50 million liters of water annually from nearby bores.

The “Bundyon Tap” campaign became international news, and local businessman Huw Kingston mentioned “a combination of good ideas, good work, and good luck.”

At that time, Kingston ran a bicycle shop and cafe in the town. He raised the idea of ​​a ban in a letter to a local newspaper, suggesting that it was hypocritical to oppose mining while selling bottled water. The idea has taken hold and a committee has been formed for the investigation.

Education on the environmental impact of bottled water was key to supporting everyone, including businesses and local event organizers, but they faced severe opposition, Kingston said. ..

He says that a respectful discussion with the industry helped their purpose. “It was good to have a lot of discussion on talkback radio and help them dig bigger and bigger holes.”

When the world noticed, what started as a fairly simple plan began. We will get rid of the product, put some autographs on the town and get a little extra bad publicity. “

However, international media attention meant that the company that wanted to be the winner provided Bundanoon with free reusable water bottles and public fountains.

On September 26, 2009, on the first day of the ban on bottled water in the Southern Highlands community of Bundanoon, schoolchildren lined up to drink from the new public drinking fountain. The town of 2,000 people pulled all bottled water off the shelves and replaced it with refillable bottles. It is believed to be the world's first ban. AFP PHOTO / Penny SPANKIE (Photo credits should be read as Penny SPANKIE / AFP / Getty Images)
On the first day of the ban on bottled water in the Southern Highlands community of Bundanoon, schoolchildren line up in a new public drinking faucet. Photo: Penny Spanky / AFP / Getty Images

Kingston did not advise others to attempt a complete ban. The main game is to get the fountain back. “

“We wanted to give people a choice. They could go to a store and waste money on bottled water, go to the street and fill it from a fountain, or fill it with a cafe. increase.”

Social strategist

The Australian Capital Territory landscape architect Edwina Robinson’s campaign to set up “Climate Cooling Microforests in Hotspots in All Australian Cities” is one of Australia’s hottest and driest summer records in 2019. It started in the year. The idea is to create a microforest, a dense pocket of climate-friendly native plants that cools the landscape, provides habitat, enhances community well-being and gives hope for the future. “

Robinson’s idea is that she participated in a social enterprise incubator program, StartSomeGood Crowdfunding campaign. She sent an email to a network of friends and environmental design colleagues and started posting on her Facebook page and LinkedIn. Raised $ 23,000 in 30 days to set up ACT’s first microforest in Downer’s “dusty weeds” public park.

Downer MicroForest Liz, Purdy and his children
Purdi Bowden (left) and Elizabeth Adcock (right) with their children in Downer MicroForest. Photo: Jarra Joseph-McGrath

Robinson worked on paperwork from four government departments to get a permit and motivated hundreds of volunteers to join bees working in four communities to build a 450m2 garden bed. ..

Caregiver groups and planting volunteers were obtained from mailing lists and local promotions created during local consultations. “We advertised in our local newsletter, posted events on Eventbrite, and linked people to social media.”

The first MicroForest quickly affected the other two. The neighboring suburbs of Watson, Purdy Bowden and Elizabeth Adcock, contacted Robinson and wanted to do the same. Robinson introduced and created a new microforest powerhouse.Trio immediately set up a dedicated Website When Facebook page We have launched our own crowdfunding campaign. They raised $ 53,000 in 40 days with the help of an extensive social network, including school families, and a QR code on a website linked to fundraising activities.

Robinson said he met with the Watson team on a regular basis to share tips and resources, and once the Downer MicroForest was established, documented the entire project and shared it with them and other interested groups.

“We tell people, no matter where you live, they team up with professionals, so they don’t have to be professionals. We tell people great in their community. I encourage you to do that, and I think people really like it. “

Relentless letter writer

A large bunch of balloons, released 300km away, is the last thing you’ll expect to find on a beach walk.But Karen Joins, a community environmental activist on the South Coast New South Wales, Found 14 contracting balloons with the Albury City Council and soccer team logos. With just a few phone calls, I found that I had drifted from the border town overnight. It was released in the game the day before. I followed up with the Meteorological Bureau and they confirmed that it was possible. “

With its discovery in 2014, Joins began counting the number of balloons launched on local remote beaches. She states that balloons are one of the most deadly debris for seabirds and marine life, even when advertised as “biodegradable.”

Joins explained these risks to marine life to a local shopkeeper who started selling helium balloons in 2016. She asked the retailer to ask the customer not to release the balloons. When the request was denied, Joins decided he had to do something himself. She connected with two other women, Victorian Amy Motherwell and Lisa Hills, Western Australia. Australia without balloon release We will start a petition to ban the release of helium balloons from the federal government and use helium to inflate the balloons.

Joins wrote to every new state, territory, or federal environment minister about the environmental dangers of ballooning, saying, “Every time a large number of balloons or some new research is published, a new letter I will write. ” I take action”. She also wrote to civil servants:

She says existing state waste laws are rarely enforced for balloon release.

After a five-year campaign, in July 2021 Joyce celebrated Victoria becoming Australia’s first state. Outlaw balloon release: “I hope to understand that it is a turning point and that other states are able to do it and have a good reputation.”

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