The pup-mobile appeal

When Hearing Dogs for the Deaf needed a new vehicle to replace their worn-out van, they knew who to turn to – Crowdfunder.

The charity’s PupMobile campaign smashed its £15,000 target in one month, thanks to a series of money-can’t-buy rewards which inspired hundreds of backers to dig deep.

The result was a shiny new sign-written van – printed with the names of the Crowdfunders – which transports puppies, dogs, trainers and deaf adults and children to events around the country, as well as raising the charity’s profile.

In just 35 days of its Crowdfunder campaign, 342 backers had raised £16,155 for its new PupMobile van, against a £15,000 target.

The charity helps profoundly deaf adults and children by training dogs to alert them to important sounds, like the doorbell, alarm clock and telephone, and danger signals, like smoke alarms or burglars.

More than 960 deaf people have already been matched with canine companions, and thanks to Crowdfunder’s involvement, it aims to create another 140 partnerships every year.

“We were over the moon that we hit our target so quickly with Crowdfunder,” said a spokesman for the charity.

“It was so exciting for us to watch the funds pledged grow every day, and we couldn’t have done it without Crowdfunder and the Crowd.

“The support has been amazing.” 

Now that campaign is helping drive another: Crowdfund Buckinghamshire.Its aim is to spark a funding revolution and power community projects across the county, and Crowdfunder wants organisations in need of a cash and marketing injection to come forward.

Crowdfund Buckinghamshire has already raised £50,807 for 67 diverse projects including saving 5,000 rare Anglo-Saxon coins for an Aylesbury museum, launching a maths activity box designed to inspire children to love numbers and funding prostate cancer-detecting dogs.

A film festival in High Wycombe, artisan spirits distillery in Milton Keynes and a village pub in need of refurbishment are also on board. 

Hearing Dogs, based in Princes Risborough, was one of the first to sign up.

Now Crowdfunder is working with the Bucks New University (BNU), charity champion The Clare Foundation, Community Impact Bucks and Action 4 Youth to hand out £10,000 to social enterprises.

The cash will be split between 10 student, charity or community projects which aim to plough at least 50% of their profits back into their project, to fuel growth.

Those who attract the most pledges – five of which will be BNU students or alumni – will be in with a chance of receiving the extra funding.

The Clare Foundation helps charities become more efficient and effective and promotes excellence within the sector.

Martin Thornton is the foundation’s partnerships manager and is championing Crowdfund Buckinghamshire.

He said: “Our main aim is to help people who want to give back to their communities, which is why we have partnered with Crowdfunder and BNU to help them raise the much-needed funds they need to bring their ideas to life.

“This is a great opportunity to raise funds but also spread the word about your cause.”