Shark Trust

Blue Sharks are fished without catch limits, with some species now close to extinction.

The No Limits? campaign aims to highlight the threat of uncontrolled fishing and share the solution through implementation of science-based catch limits. 

The big idea

The No Limits? campaign has been running for several years with ongoing support from the UK public. But ultimately, this is a European problem which needs a European wide solution. 

Project owner Paul told us: "As we are making good progress with the campaign in the UK, we have drawn up a plan to take the campaign to Europe and to gain support of public and stakeholders in key European countries.  

"This plan requires us to get materials translated, to establish a presence and create impact. For this we need money."

The big idea is to take the No Limits? campaign to the heart of key European cities this summer. 

There they'll get the public on board and aim to secure political support. In October the pop-up event will pop up in the European Parliament in Brussels to present the case to members of the European Parliament. 

What happened

The campaign needed an injection of funds to help them rapidly spread the message across Europe. 

In order to maximise the appeal and traction, they decided to time their campaign with the airing of a documentary on the Blue Shark (the flagship species for their campaign). 

Paul told us: "We made the decision to run alongside the airing of the Britain's Sharks documentary so the timetable was, to a certain extent, out of our control." 

Even scarier than a short timeframe? 

"Any funding venture has the potential to fail, but with Crowdfunder the whole process is very public." 

Fortunately for Paul, the crowd were behind them, and they raised a grand total of £16,259 (exceeding their target of £15k) from 383 backers in 42 days. 

The pledge rewards

The pledges were enormously varied -- from £10 to £1,250! And all of them were, of course, shark themed. 

Rewards included a shark adoption pack, an invite to 'Night of the Shark' event, shark cage diving experience and original artwork from British Sharks Poster (only one available). 

In the press

The campaign was timed to go live with a documentary called Britain's Sharks

This was an astute move, as the documentary highlighted the issues involved and educated the public, making them more understanding of the problem. 

The campaign was also covered by local press, such as The Plymouth Herald which includes an interview with Paul. 

What's next?

The Shark Trust is currently busy planning an event in Brussels for the autumn and another UK based event in the summer.  

Paul told us: "We will be expanding the reach of the project through European aquariums and we will keep up the pressure until we see an end to uncontrolled shark fishing.  

"It's not going to happen overnight but we will get there with the help of a crowd of shark fans."

Tips to project owners

We asked Paul for advice for fellow project owners. He had these nuggets of wisdom to share. 

Listen to the mentors at Crowdfunder: They know what they are doing and how the psychology of crowdfunding works. Don't think you know better than they do or that they are just saying stuff for fun! Follow their advice as closely as you can. 

Be tenacious: I was all set to give up at one point as we had several days where nothing came in but then we picked up towards the end and had an incredible final day that brought in 1/3 of our target in 24 hours. 

Thank everyone: All the time. The project succeeds because of the crowd. Keep engaging the supporters and they will do a lot of the work for you -- and they'll really feel the buzz of success at the end.

Get a few big supporters lined up: This will help you get over some key psychological barriers. You will see the pledges getting "stuck" at various times and it's useful to have someone that you can call on to give the campaign a boost. 

Oh, and get some sleep before you start - it's exhausting!

•Visit Paul's project page to find out more about the Shark Trust

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