Having spent time with a group of Syrian Women seeking refuge in Lebanon, film-maker Susie, crowdfunded to help fund an independent film she wanted to make about them.
Hi Susie. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I'm Susie. I’m a freelance documentary maker from London and make programmes for broadcasters like the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.
How did you find out about JustGiving Crowdfunding
and what prompted you to set up your page?
I set up my page to raise money for an independent film I wanted to make about a minority group of Syrian Christian Refugees living in Lebanon. As a personal project I needed to raise money for my translator, driver and fixer in Lebanon for a month so thought crowdfunding would be a good way to do it.
“As a filmmaker I believe in the importance of storytelling and giving a voice to those who are oppressed. At times like these, when ethnic and religious groups are being increasingly divided, it is crucial we hear from those who are trapped by forces out of their control."
By the time your page closed, you raised an amazing
£5,765. How did you initially come to decide the
target amount on your page?
I knew how much I needed to pay a translator, driver and fixer which came to £5000, so I set that amount as my target.
What did you learn throughout the process and was
there anything that surprised you?
Raising money isn’t always an easy thing but because I believe in the project so much I could speak about it more objectively and not worry about reaching the target. Some people are so incredibly generous and donated huge amounts anonymously which was a real encouragement.
What did you do to promote your page?
I emailed all my friends and family and people I know professionally and told them about the project with a link to the Just Giving page. People then shared it on Facebook and Social Media. I also put on an event to tell people more about the situation Syrian refugees find themselves in Lebanon and showed them a short film I had previously made there last year. This really helped people to engage with the idea and support it financially.
Was there a particular moment where you felt as though you had hit a milestone? If so, what did it feel like?
After I held my event people gave more donations, both on the Just Giving page, and in cash which meant I raised much more than the £5000 I aimed for which was wonderful.
What top 3 tips would you give to someone who was going to set up a Crowdfunding Page?
Be specific about what you are fundraising for so people can easily envisage where their money is going to
If you can, hold an event and promote the cause in other ways alongside an online presence
Keep reminding people about the page as people are often busy and need a gentle prompt!