How the Kindness of Strangers crowd funded my Hacking Trial coverage

Now that my second crowd funding campaign has ended successfully, I’m fulfilling a promise to share the data from Indiegogo, and publicise (without naming individual contributors) the source of funding from across the world, the most effective social networking platforms and sharing tools. I’m not doing this to sound my own trumpet but because I know there are many people interested in how to raise money for journalism.

Mine was a very specific campaign, with a clear deadline set by the phone hacking trial, and a clear service to be delivered – live tweeting from the court. I suspect it might be harder to fund something less immediately topical and time dependent. On the other hand, most people paid for a service which was not exclusive, and others would be getting for free.

So follow me below the fold for the data.

As you can see from the spikes in contributions, there was a initial flurry on interest (mainly through direct emailing previous contributors and a lot of manic tweeting and asking for retweets) which died down, only to rise again in the middle of the campaign – probably due to the arrival of Dan Evans at Court 12 of the Old Bailey, and more eyes on my twitter feed. I also made it obvious there was no minimum contribution at that time, by adding a £2 perk option.


The breakdown of contribution by country is a little more surprising. There has been interest from abroad, but the obvious followers and commenters on my twitter timeline are from Australia

The domains are less of a surprise. T.Co is twitter and – given I was asking for funding of live tweeting – it’s no surprise most the donations should have come through there. The direct mail was probably my mailout to previous subscribers. Nice work by David Hencke and Press Gazette though. Big shout out to you guys. Drinks soon.


Indiegogo also measures individual activity of promoters who use the share tools. At least half the funds were raised by individuals promoting the campaign on my behalf, and not using a website. I don’t know some of these people. So now I owe strangers a drink. But meanwhile hugs and high fives to Claire, Tom, Jon, Gabrielle. Rosie, Steven and Anastasia.

I’m happy to answer any questions about this – and provide guidance for any journalist thinking of launching another campaign. Promoting and marketing the campaign has been an additional burden while trying to cover the trial, and I’m glad I don’t have to pimp myself again for a while. On the other hand, the engagement with an audience, understanding what they wanted and how I could deliver it, has been a pleasure in itself.

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1 thought on “How the Kindness of Strangers crowd funded my Hacking Trial coverage

  1. Pingback: Phone Hacking Trial: Defence case to begin on 19 February 2014 with Rebekah Brooks’ case | Inforrm's Blog

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