All posts filed under “fundraising

Fundraising in the 21st Century

It wasn’t long ago, that aspiring adventurers would shimmy up to the Royal Geographical Society, with polite invitations, noble yet firm handshakes, and an air of sophistication, to charm the powers at be for possible funding and support for their proposed wanderings. Devoid of Powerpoint presentations, I imagine Shackleton during that heroic age of antarctic exploration, standing on a small stage at a Society function, fumbling with large dusty globes, charred maps and stories of a theoretical point on the earths surface he planned to reach – Pitching a journey from England across the oceans and ice pack, in order to trek to a point on earths surface, where the imaginary lines of coordinate parallels all converge into one: The south pole.

Today it’s a little different. For those that have watched my journey since this blog began in 2006, you may have remembered that I had a Paypal donate button (controversial for some, apparently!). I had asked people who enjoyed my writing, videos, and photos, to make a contribution to keep me going. I figured it was like a voluntary donation for reading a free book… Some months ago, I pulled all the data down from Paypal, and put it in a spreadsheet. I was surprised to see that over my sailing and blogging heyday, I had raised close to $10,000. It only ever trickled in; a few dollars here and there (with a few notable exceptions), but it really added up, and my trip probably wouldn’t have happened without it.

Some may or may not know, that I also work with Roz Savage on her website – Through my company, we sponsor Roz by building, hosting & maintaining the current incarnation of her web presence, which is her primary medium for getting her environmental message out, and maintaining contact with the outside world while she rows across oceans.

With all this in mind, we recently we launched an early release web application to assist in adventure fundraising, coming up with the idea over a few drinks at a dim bar in Melbourne, when Roz flew through en route to Perth and explained her by-the-mile dilemma. The current implementation was rapidly deployed to fit with Roz’s departure schedule some weeks ago – The project is called Nomaddica, and is currently still in private testing, but with any luck we will add features and make it public in the not too distant future. You will see Roz has been using this app to raise funds by the mile for the last several weeks, and has been quite successful… If you’re interested in learning more in the future, sign up by clicking the ‘get invite’ link located on Roz’s project page – Perhaps while you’re there, consider supporting her efforts! You could also contact me personally if you had a specific and upcoming project in mind where Nomaddica might be useful.

And so on the topic of fundraising… My friends Ben & Teresa from the US East coast are raising funds to go on an epic sailing voyage in search of an iceberg, and to make a documentary on sailing, simplicity, adventure and the environment. They’re using Kickstarter to raise awareness for their project, and in just 13 days the campaign ends – So if you love sailing, want to see more documentaries from grassroots sailors and documentary film makers… Then pretend you’re at the Royal Geographical Society, sipping cognac and watching adventurers pitch their ideas at the monthly dinner banquet… And watch their pitch video:


$10,000 prize – Vote for Constellation!

My dream is to finish this voyage: To truck Constellation overland to San Francisco, sail the South Pacific, ride a bicycle across America, and sail through the heads into Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne – I’d like to achieve this by the end of 2009. ING Direct in Australia are offering a prize that could make that happen – They’re offering $10,000 as first prize for their ‘My Dream Is’ competition. This voyage fits perfectly into the criteria, and so I’ve entered. The competition rules encourage entrants to include ING branding in their photo – I’ve attempted that, and I hope the message of what I’m trying to do comes across.

Click on the above image or here to vote and rate it as ‘5’. The public choose the top 100 images for the competition, and then after that, it’s up to panel at ING to decide who’s dream is worth funding!

It will only take a minute of your time, and doesn’t require you to fill out a form, enter your details, or anything else – Just a mouse-click. Voting stops on the 14th of December. (Note: The site takes a while to load properly – Give it a second)

Thanks everyone! nick

Fundraising, Bikes, Trip Update

Several weeks ago, a small powerboat arrived in the marina, with its occupants holding up a picture of the article recently published in the Suffolk Times newspaper here on Long Island, asking for the ‘guy on the frontage’. That was me, I was found, and so there I met an incredibly lovely family who wanted to hear more about my voyage. As they left the dock, they exclaimed ‘you should come around for a BBQ!’.

A week later, they were back with a crazy idea: What if they were to throw a party, to raise money for Constellation’s trip across America? I thought they were joking. But, it was no joke, and so a stunning party was held at a gorgeous house on the shores of Greenport:

The gracious hosts
Trina, me, Carolyn & Joe

All sorts of people came, amazing food was laid out, money was raised, and I was amazed.

Not long ago I met someone whom I told about my trip, and about the generosity of people along the way. They looked at me, and said I must have such a different outlook on life, because so many people help me, and so many people are interested in what I’m doing. I’m not sure if my entire perception has changed, but a life where you’re regularly helped by strangers certainly changes your view of people in general. This party was no exception, and what a generous gesture – Thank you so much to the Ferrara family for reaching out to me, and to everyone who attended and chipped in.

At the party I also had the opportunity to announce a new addition to my travels: (Drum roll… !) As Constellation is trucked across America, I will follow by bicycle, riding from Long Island, to San Francisco. This new portion of the ‘voyage’ will turn my trip from Europe to Australia, into a wind & human powered expedition, making it unique among similar endeavours. I had hoped to start the bicycle leg of my trip in October, but as of today, I don’t think that’s possible. I still have money to make for the transportation of Constellation (among a dozen other things), as well as many logistical problems to solve with regards to repairs on the boat, and now also for cycling. I hope to ride across America spending one day a week working on Habitat for Humanity construction sites, as well as doing talks at schools in landlocked states about the sea. This all takes a great deal of planning and forethought, and so I suspect it will not be until spring that I’ll be able to depart.

With this addition of the trip, I now am in great need of cycling equipment – If anyone has any ideas, or things lying around they don’t use which you might think could be useful for a 3000mile cycle across the country, let me know!.


P.S Thanks to everyone who left really nice comments about the short film I clipped together.