How did you come up with the great idea for your app?
Kate, one of the Directors at Ariel Community, was the inspiration behind the concept of the Ariel App. After working for many years as a Disability Support Worker, she recognised that there was a lack of useable and easily accessible tools to help the disability community.
The development of the current Ariel App prototype has very much been a co-design process with key stakeholders within our local disability community. We have worked with support services, people with a disability, carers, family members, disability support workers, and IT professionals to refine our app idea.
We recognised very early on that if we wanted to deliver a valuable product to the disability community, it had to be a collaborative approach with those who would be the end-users of Ariel App.
Have your plans for development been impacted in any way by COVID19?
Restrictions, due to COVID19, resulted in both Kate and I having reduced working hours. This initially worked in our favour because we both work full-time as well as running Ariel Community. It gave us some time to get the foundations of our app setup.
However, now we are in a position where we are ready to commence development, we have found that fundraising activities we would have usually undertaken have been hindered due to COVID19. Funding is the final missing piece to get our app into development. So we will probably take a little longer to get there, but all good things are worth the wait.
What made you decide to use crowdfunding?
We wanted a platform to promote our cause and raise money through a collective effort of our supporters and our community. As an organisation that has been working to collaboratively develop an app concept with our key stakeholders, we also wanted to give them the opportunity to be involved in raising funds to develop the app. From our perspective, it helps our community feel an additional sense of ownership when it comes to what we are trying to achieve.
Are there other benefits of having a crowdfunding campaign other than just raising the funds?
It provides us an additional marketing platform where we can provide details on our cause. With ReadyGoFund the campaign can easily be shared by yourself and you supporters as well. It works well to get the word out there about what we are trying to achieve.
Once you had decided to use crowdfunding how long did it take you to create your campaign?
It was a simple process. I think it took less that 24 hours to setup the crowdfunding page, submit it for approval, and get confirmation that the page was ready to go-live by our requested date. To setup the page with all the necessary information for our campaign, from memory it took about 1.5 hours.
What was the most difficult part of creating your campaign page?
I think it was probably picking a photo to go with our campaign page. Kate and I are very laid back and generally get awkward when anyone asks us to get serious in front of a camera. The rest of the process was easy.
Did you have an audience built in advance of your campaign and if so how had you acquired them or are you using the page so you can show people as you make the journey of building awareness?
We had a smaller audience already established on our social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Instagram). Tour pre-existing audience has been built over the last few months through our friends, families and colleagues sharing our posts. Since holding info days and online surveys, our organisation and app concept has begun to become known in the disability community.
We have noticed that our audience has grown a little more rapidly since the start of our campaign. With our supporters circulating our ReadyGoFund page on their social media, we have been able to reach a wiser audience.
What marketing activities have you been undertaking since your campaign went live/are you planning?
We have not facilitated any specific marketing activities since our campaign started. We are aiming to work with some local media outlets and business promotion platforms in the next few months.
We do have a lot of local businesses within our community that support our cause. They circulate information and promotions about Ariel App across their platforms.
What has been the best part about running your campaign to date?
Seeing all the amazing and positive engagement with our campaign has been the best part. People sharing our campaign, the donations we have received, and the people reaching out to us since seeing our campaign to encourage us. It helps motivate us and solidifies that what we are working towards will be so beneficial to so many people.
How did you get to hear about and why did you choose ReadyFundGo?
We found ReadyGoFund through a bit of research on Google. We were trying to identify what crowdfunding platforms were best for businesses and startups. For us, ReadyGoFund was the best option because it catered specifically Australian startups and businesses. Since using the platform, we know we made the right choice. The support we have received from the ReadyGoFund team since joining has been outstanding.