Home' Local Media Today : January 2015 Contents 14 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | January 2015
Q&A Andrew Franklin
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
Of the 26 campaigns
signed up to date, we
can see a diverse cross section
from the community interacting
on our sites. Examples include;
Wildlife Rescue Centre, per-
sonal health support, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hospice Society, Foodbank, library,
political campaign, Women’s Resource Society, Centre for Child Development, Miss
BC competitor, senior support campaigns.
At this point we have been pleased with the feedback, raising approx. $10,000 in
a very short time. A third of the money has been generated through one campaign —
Wildlife Rescue Centre. The main reason , firstly, is animals. Anything with animals
attached seems to garner support. Secondly, the organization is well connected in the
community with social media and video.
Clearly the program is in its infancy and we need to do a better job informing read-
ers managing new fundraising initiatives that the program will not succeed without
their own input. This means to ‘heavy-up’ with social media, email marketing, and
providing regular feedback to online readers.
Q Looks like anyone can register their cause to get started on your BlackPress-
4Good website. Are applicants vetted and how does this process work? How
do you ensure legitimacy?
A In short, we have partnered with one of Canada’s largest crowdfunding
organizations — Fundrazr. Fundrazr provides all the back-end work for us
along with 24:7 monitoring of all new campaign sign-ups. At this point we have not
experienced any issues whatsoever. However, we are very much aware that these
things do happen. We have a system in place to deal with such an incident including a
‘pause’ button on the campaign that instantly freezes monies collected and any
further monies from being collected. There is no doubt that in our social world in
which we live in, it is much more difficult to get away with fraud, particularly commu-
nity based. Previous issues that occurred elsewhere were dealt with via the commu-
nity at large. Personal facebook pages help to avoid open fraud and acts as a commu-
In addition, should anyone wishing to raise money on behalf of a registered char-
ity, we have stringent fraud protection measures in place including written permission
required from the charity before any fundraising can occur.
Q What kind of manpower and resources are needed to operate this initiative?
A There is no doubt that this is a scalable project. The initial set-up, design, web
design, and programming were all done in-house. I am fortunate to be able to
work alongside such an innovative and creative team. The full execution was enabled
with the help and assistance of the Fundrazr team in Vancouver. There is a core team
of six staff members including management, creative, editor, web designer and
programmer. The site is now live in 32 communities and as the majority of the time
readers will self-populate the platform there is little needed from staff on a day-to-day
This platform has been cross-promoted on all platforms, print, web and social.
Currently three promotional videos are running to enhance marketing of the new
platform. We have found that there have been multiple opportunities to show the
promotional video, even in front of a crowd of 500 at a local business event. Video
production was created in-house.
Q With a few months under your belt, is there anything you know now that you
wish you knew when this project started? Any tips for others who might be
considering beginning similar initiatives?
A Allow sufficient time for initial set-up and to organize a seed campaign or two.
Be aware of the size and scope of the project. It takes time!
Remember this is a mechanism to raise money for local community initiatives.
There is no guarantee that money will be raised. However, if the organization or indi-
vidual is not prepared to ‘work’ the campaign, they can expect minimal results.
There is no doubt that the combined web, print and social campaign is getting
the message across in our various communities. Constant marketing is required to
establish the brand, no different to any other launch. The advantage we have at Black
Press is that we have established successful brands in our own community newspa-
pers and this platform is simply an extension of the core brand. We have experienced
an increase in web traffic and social media interaction as a result of BlackPress4Good
being added to our portfolio of vertical platforms.
Education external/internal is
key with this platform. There is no
magical solution or silver bullet to
fundraising. Effort and hard work
Q Completely unrelated but I
can’t resist asking...since
we’re starting a new year, can you
share what’s on your company’s
horizon? Any new projects or ideas
A It is no secret that newspa-
pers continue to evaluate
their online presence and more
importantly their online earnings.
Black Press anticipates launching
more online opportunities in
2015 with improved connectivity
with readers via mobile and other
Completely unrelated but I
horizon? Any new projects or ideas
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