Together for Yes - Crowdfunding for Yes
In 2018, the Together for Yes campaign to repeal the 8th amendment was faced with an anti-reform force that was much more well-funded and the first to get their posters up.
Together for Yes was a coalition of disparate interest groups and campaigning organisations, and was mostly volunteer-run. They had tested social media fundraising already, but had never done a large-scale fundraising campaign before. And yet, it was crucial to succeed – without the money raised, they couldn’t compete with the sheer number of anti-reform posters on lampposts all over Ireland.
We opted for a crowdfunding campaign because of the importance of social proofing; particularly for such a personal and emotional topic, it was crucial that supporters could see that others were donating too. The platform also enabled donors to share their own messages – their whys – which in itself drove more donations. We considered a phone campaign as well, but difficulties with data and training volunteers meant that it was decided to focus on email and online only.
Creatively, we linked the donation both to a tangible outcome – buy posters – and also to the supporter’s identity and values. A donation was a way to use their voice and fight back:
With less than seven weeks to go to the referendum, the anti-reform forces are ramping up. We can’t allow them to dominate the conversation. But you know – money talks.
So it’s time for you to have your say.
We also tested a fixed ask compared to an open ask; to our surprise, the open ask won and that was used from then on. We also expanded the messaging during the campaign to respond to its success, moving from posters to other ways for supporters to get their voice heard.
Our initial target was €50,000. We were hoping for €100,000. Within four hours of the launch, we had exceeded that stretch target. Overall, the campaign raised over half a million euro from just under 15,000 donations. The campaign also hit the headlines, generating more exposure for the campaign.
A second crowdfunder on the same model was also successful; and both campaigns proved to be a real indication of the success of the referendum – which was passed the following month with 67% Yes votes.