About "The Dream Big Foundation" and the "Education 4 Conservation" project
The Dream Big Foundation is a brand new start-up charity ( ... literally! We're moving mountains to get everything in place for the #VOOM contest so you really are joining us from Day 1 of our journey!)
Education 4 Conservation is our very first project but we have very big plans & big ambitions for the future.
Learning about conservation projects around the world has typically been boring & not very engaging; especially for school children. I once sponsored a White Rhino. It felt like a nice thing to do but I quickly found the quarterly newsletters were a bit... well... boring.
The news in them was already old by the time the articles had been written, printed and distributed, and I couldn't help think of all that extra paper being wasted, not to mention the costs and logistics involved which could have gone directly to helping the conservation projects on the ground.
We want to change that.
Our aim is to launch a new "Education 4 Conservation Day" which will use cutting edge technology to STREAM LIVE VIDEO from some of the coolest, technology driven conservation projects around the world, directly into the classroom.
- to show how drones with night vision cameras are being used to combat poachers;
- how recycled mobile phones are being used to fight illegal logging;
- or how the Catlin SeaView Survey team is working with Google to map oceans and reefs.
Think of it like the BBC’s “Big Blue Live” program, but bite sized & for kids.
It will take place in a single day each year, which for 2016 will be Monday 31st October 2016. This also happens to be “World Lemur Day”.
What species & projects will it cover?
For us as a charity, our main focus is helping protect:
- Lemurs (as that is our own charity's focal point)
- and other wildlife which falls under the category of “Critically Endangered”.
However, Education 4 Conservation Day is all about ensuring the children are fully engaged. As a result, that will ultimately determine which projects we feature each year as technology evolves so rapidly.
Confirmed species & projects so far:
We are still working on the full agenda for the 2016 event but:
- I’m delighted to announce we have partnered with Sir Richard Branson’s very own Wildlife Conservation Manager; Vaman Ramlall, Vaman will be presenting an EXCLUSIVE, LIVE Q & A session directly from Necker or Moskito Island!
In addition, we are currently in talks with teams in:
- South Africa (Working with Rhinos, Elephants & Lions)
- Madagascar (Fighting illegal logging)
More details will be shared as soon as the partnership details have been confirmed.
How will it work?
- Schools pre-register for the event (Registration will be available shortly).
- On the day, schools around the country will login to a web based platform which is where the first part of our day takes part....
- The first part of the day will be dedicated to LIVE interactive sessions complete with Q&A sessions.
- The second part of the day will involve more classroom based activities where children will take what they have learned and get involved. This will include creating social media campaigns to raise awareness, and fundraising campaigns to help support the projects they’ve learnt about.
- In addition to the live feeds, we’ll also provide a number of easy to digest “infographics” to provide interesting facts & stats for the children
... but the benefits for children & conservation projects go beyond the day itself
Throughout the remainder of the year, we hope to be able to keep the children engaged by providing access to regular additional updates on how their money has directly had an impact on the ground. For example - some of the money raised will help us to purchase a number of drones (which cost around $12,500 each) to help tackle poaching. Our aim is that children will be able to view live feeds from the very drones they helped to buy!
This means children:
- are connecting with projects in REAL TIME
- can directly see how the money they raised is making a real difference.
- are actually engaging (as opposed to having a soft toy gathering dust on their bedroom shelf)
What Age Groups can take part?
In year 1, we will focus on reaching 7-11 year olds (Key Stage 1-2) but as we grow we hope to add extra "streams" to provide tailored, age specific content.
That's currently over 2,000,000 children in the UK alone.
We have already had interest from abroad too, so as we expand we hope to provide live streams and resources in other languages.
Our goal is to reach 500,000 children in this age group for our 1st event, and winning #VOOM2016 will allow us to rapidly expand to reach children in other age groups and countries in year 2.
Isn’t live streaming expensive?
Traditional terrestrial broadcasting on the scale of something like “Big Blue Live” would make this prohibitive for all but the largest charity.
Our approach is essentially to use, wherever possible, FREE or low cost solutions.
For example, we’ll be:
- Capturing the footage using a mix of:
- drones (which many of the projects in the field already have)
- mobiles with HD recording capabilities (such as iPhones)
- Digital Cameras (which we already own as individuals)
- Sharing the footage will take place on FREE platforms such as:
- Youtube Live
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Live Using the services above means that we don’t have to pay for expensive bandwidth charges which helps us ensure every possible penny can go to the projects themselves
- UK Schools generally will require no additional technical knowledge or equipment as most now have broadband internet suitable for video streaming and projectors, laptops, or interactive whiteboards.
This approach ensures:
- Every possible penny goes to the projects on the ground rather than being spent on traditional, expensive communication methods.
- We're able to provide updates quicker (often real time)
- Conservation projects can use our approach to create their own, new, additional revenue streams!
How will winning #VOOM 2016 help us?
Where do we start!?
Our biggest need at the moment is to raise awareness so the advertising, coupled with the mentoring, will allow us to rapidly increase our exposure, and ultimately, increase the amount we can raise!
It will also enable us to roll out worldwide in a matter of years rather than decades.
But more than that, we'll be inspiring future generations of engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists, which has a benefit we simply can't measure.
SO IF YOU LOVE OUR IDEA PLEASE, VOTE & SHARE TO BE PART OF SOMETHING EXCITING & AMAZING FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!
What's that?..... you want to do even more to help!
Wow, you really are awesome! OK, here are details of how you can help us get off the ground with our Virgin VOOM Crowdfunding project.
How will the CrowdFunding donations be spent?
The innovative approach we're taking means we can keep our operating costs to an absolute minimum, but we do still have a few things we need to cover for our first event.
We're currently self-funding the launch of the charity but there are a few expensive (boring!) things such as:
- Setting up the legal structure (approx £2k - £3k)
- Accounting first year (approx £5k)
(Yeah, we know that's not exciting, cool, or glamorous but without YOUR help we simply don't have the finances to get this off the ground)
We're aiming to raise £10k to cover the core costs BUT everything above that will go towards helping our partner projects around the world.
Will any of the Crowdfunding go to salaries?
Hell no! #Simple
About our Rewards!
As a charity (especially one trying to help the environment), it doesn't seem right that we take the traditional route of providing T-Shirts, etc.
These types of reward typically:
- cost money ro create... which means less of your donation actually does any good
- consumes resources & ultimately ends up as rubbish
- require a lot of manual input (order processing, packing, delivery, etc) which means even less goes to causes on the ground
- adds to pollution (both in terms of making and shipping the goods)
.... so we've decided to offer a range of "NOT" rewards.
For example, if you donate £10, we promise we will NOT send you a T-shirt, or a soft toy that will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere!
We WILL however provide you with some pretty cool alternatives such as naming one of our drones or, in an AMAZING EXCLUSIVE.... wait for it....
...thanks to the very kind generosity of Sir Richard Branson himself and his Wildlife team, we have managed to secure the opportunity for YOU to adopt one of the lemur's on Necker Island for 12 months!
We don't have many.... but as this is a family show the only rule we have is around naming of the drones and linking to profiles / showing pics. We can't include anything which is either offensive, rude, ethically against what we're trying to achieve and generally other "bad" stuff.
You'll be glad to know though... if you want to name one of our drones "Boaty McBoatface" that's fine by us!
How will winning #VOOM 2016 help us?
Where do we start!?
* The £50,000 cash prize - As a new charity, we urgently need seed investment to help get us going. This will be enough to set-up & fund the charity for the first 2 years, but which time, we will have had time to establish ourselves & become self sufficient, thus ensuring we are sustainable long term.
* The £250,000 advertising - As "Education 4 Conservation" is predominantely web base, we can expand worldwide with actually very little additional costs. However, do need to let people know we exist! So the advertising, coupled with the mentoring, will allow us to rapidly increase our exposure as quickly & efficiently as possible, and ultimately, increase the amount we can raise for conservation projects around the world!
We'll be inspiring future generations of engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, scientists, which has a benefit we simply can't measure This will benefit everyone long term..... so by VOTING FOR US & DONATING, we'll all be giving back on a grand scale as opposed to just creating profits.
SO PLEASE, VOTE, DONATE, SHARE & BE PART OF SOMETHING EXCITING & AMAZING FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!
One final thing:
We are still going through the process of setting up the legal structures for the charity and until that has been done we can't register for a bank account, which in turn means we can't link this CrowdFunder project to an account yet for the charity.
Therefore, in the interest of full disclosure we wanted to let you know that to enable us to take part in the VOOM contest we've temporarily set it to link to a personal account. ALL MONEY WILL GO TO THE CHARITY AS SOON AS THE BANK ACCOUNT IS IN PLACE. This is just a temporary solution due to the timeframes involved & to ensure peace of mind, we will forward all supporters a copy of the new account bank statement/transfer receipt to show the money raised has been transfered to the charity account.(See, we're great at adapting & thinking on our feet to take full advantage of opportunities that will help the charity, even if the timing isn't ideal!)