Kickstarter link - please help fund this site

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Big Push

Anyone remotely interested in this kickstarter will know I've decided to push on from my initial target to see if I can reach £12K to report not one, but TWO class action trials. The first is in November and then there is March. Click the kickstarter link here for more details.

I don't want to ask those who have backed me financially to back me again. That's not what this is about.

I am, instead, relying on two things:

a) people spreading the word to those who may not know about this kickstarter project

and

b) helping me create new, exciting, kickstarter rewards before 15 Oct.

There are already lots of rewards on offer (click on the link), but they're not that quirky or interesting. They are basically emails from me, talks by me, or training from me.

I have limited ability and access.

This is where you might want to come in.

Can you help with/suggest something I can offer as a reward?

It might be that you could offer something which you and I could spend an fun day helping a backer enjoy eg an Afternoon Ice Skating With Darcey Bussell, Potholing With Nick Knowles, a paragliding lesson, 8 hours in A&E, Cake-Making with Gin for Beginners, an hour's PT for free etc etc

This is complicated as it has to tie in with what people have already bought rewards for as I don't want those people to feel short-changed. I also want you to offer something that you want to do that will be fun for you (and not cause you to lose any money), otherwise there's no point.

I will be there to chaperone the backer. Don't worry.

For instance: Let's say you run a miniature railway. If you could offer a backer the opportunity to drive your miniature railway engine, plus give them a behind-the-scenes guided tour, which I could then follow with lunch for you, me and our backer as part of the £x reward price - let's do it.

If nothing else it'll be a chance to catch up whilst a backer gets an opportunity to do or see something they couldn't normally get to do. Everyone wins.

I am already offering an "everyone back to mine" evening for £100 as one of my rewards, which, given we already have a number of wildly disparate backers at that level, could be quite interesting.

So if you can offer to hand over the controls of your commercial jet liner to one of my backers for a few minutes, or perhaps give them a cooking lesson, an hour's legal or financial consultation, or teach them how to swim or juggle and you want to get involved - please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. I would love to hear from you even if you're not serious and just want to post your specialist skill and how much you think it's worth in the comments below.

The best I've got is public speaking/media training or an hour long rib-tickling talk on A Year Without Alcohol/Truth In The News/Powerpoint Paranoia or How to Report a Class Action Trial.

I'm sure there are potential backers out there who would pay a couple of hundred quid to watch you teach them how to defibrillate someone or take apart and rebuild a Triumph motorbike in three hours.

If you want to get involved - email me or use the contact form on this web page. It could be fun. Even if there are no takers, it'll be fun constructing the reward and the price point. You never know. it might press someone's buttons.

Monday, September 24, 2018

An open message to the Post Office Trial kickstarter backers

To pledge money to this kickstarter or to find out more - please click here. Message to backers starts below.

Dear all

Thanks very much to all the new backers who have put (quite a lot) of money in over the last week.

Your actions have inspired me.

I did not expect the kickstarter to get funded so quickly. I had booked a lot of work in for September but left gaps in my diary in the days leading up to 15 October in order to push really hard to try to get over the £3000 minimum funding mark.

Instead I have the admittedly happy problem of watching the crowdfunding total mount up without a strategy in place to deal with it.

Last week, despite making it clear I would no longer shoulder a loss on this project, more than £700 came in. 

I need to use this money responsibly. The question is, do I use it to do some work before the trial starts - extra research, running profiles of some Subpostmasters on the PostOfficeTrial.com website, digging out and spending money on court documents etc.

Or do I put it by with the aim of going for a bigger prize - spending another month in court next March reporting the second (and final) trial of this class action?

Last week I made a decision (on the hoof) to go for the latter. I am now trying to raise £12K to cover the second trial as well as the first.

£12K is an ambitious target, but I believe it can be done. I don't want any more of your money, but I really do need your help. I'll explain why in a second, but first I just want to take you through my thinking as to why £12K is the figure to go for.

I am a freelancer. I get paid varying daily rates for the work I do. The least I currently get paid for some of the work I do is £250 a day.

If I set my daily rate at an arbitrary £250 a day to cover the trial, and it's a 20 day trial, that's £5000. 

When this kickstarter reached £6K, I was happy. Kickstarter would take its cut (around £600), £5K would cover my time during the trial and with the remaining £400 I would be able to spend one day prepping for the trial and have £150 for court documents etc.

So I reckon by doubling the £6K to £12K, I can do exactly the same for the second trial.

This is where you come in. The first thing to say is - DO NOT PLEDGE ANY MORE MONEY. I am not rattling the bucket. Your generosity has got me into this position, it is not right to exploit it. I say again - please do not donate any more cash.

However I do need your help. Please have a good long think about organisations or individuals you know personally who might have the capacity to chuck this kickstarter a few quid. 

I need leads. A name, an email address, and some information on why you think they might be tempted to help get an amazing story told to the wider world. I can do some research on them, but the more information you can give me the better. At this stage of the campaign, my crowdfunding efforts need to be entirely focused on individuals or organisations who could put £20 or £50 or £500 in the bucket because they think it is the right thing to do. 

One of the rewards I offer is to go and tell this whole story from it beginnings back in the late 90s to a group or association for £500. I will make it a gripping evening and the money your group or association pledges will be spent on being able to deliver this project. They can become part of the story.

So please (w)rack your brains. Think - who could I send a polite, persuasive email to which might unlock some funding. Also - can I mention your name when I send the email? A personal connection always helps, but if you'd rather not be associated with my initial contact I would fully understand and approach them cold. Just let me know.

I will spend the next three weeks doing my own research to see if I can approach some funding trusts to see if they might be prepared to give me a grant. The money you have already pledged is a wonderful calling card. It proves there is public interest in this story. It will certainly help make my case.

Even if I don't make it to the £12K by 15 October I will try to find a way of reporting the second trial for you. I don't want to promise that yet, but every penny raised between now and 15 October will make that decision easier.

Whatever happens to any extra donations, the way I spend it will be published so everyone can see where it has gone. Handling other peoples' money is a significant responsibility, and I will ensure the entire process will be transparent to all my backers.

Thank you once again - and please - get me your thoughts about how I can progress this as soon as possible so I can start the process of making contact with more potential backers.

Kind regards


Nick

To pledge money to this kickstarter or to find out more - please click here

Monday, September 10, 2018

Press release - kickstarter 200% funded

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 10 September 8pm

Mission to report the forthcoming High Court trial over the Post Offices Horizon IT system 200% crowdfunded in nine days

A crowdfunding campaign to cover a forthcoming class action trial between members of the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance and the Post Office at the High Court in London has been 200% funded on kickstarter in nine days. The dispute has its roots in the roll out of the Post Offices Horizon IT system.

Freelance journalist Nick Wallis raised his £3000 target in four days. The current total at 8pm on Monday 10 September stands at £6001. The crowdfunding window remains open until 15 October.

Nick has been following a campaign by the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance over its members' treatment at the hands of the Post Office for eight years. He has fronted several investigations on the subject for the BBC, covering parliamentary debates, a select committee inquiry and an (ongoing) review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Nick said: “I was the only journalist to attend a pre-trial hearing at the High Court on 26 January 2017. During that hearing, the Post Office admitted something it had told the BBC’s Panorama programme was untrue. Details like this are the reason I feel it is in the public interest to have a journalist in court covering the trial.

Nick decided a crowdfunding campaign might work.

I had informal conversations with editors at a number of publications. They agreed it was a great story, but couldn’t commit resources to report proceedings when they didn’t know what was going to come out of the trial. It’s a bit chicken and egg. If there is no one in court reporting what’s going on, nothing will come out of the trial.

Nick launched his kickstarter campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nickwallis/reporting-the-high-court-post-office-trial late on Friday 31 August. By the evening of Tuesday 3 September it had reached its £3000 target.

I thought I’d launch quietly over the weekend, test all the links and then start pushing it on the Monday. By the time I’d woken up on Saturday morning, more than a thousand pounds had been pledged. I had fully expected to spend the days leading up to 15 October scrabbling around for cash. I was astonished.

Nick will report on the trial via a website he set up called www.postofficetrial.com. The reports will be available to everyone, not just his backers. 

Nick is considering using the remaining period on kickstarter to raise more funds for further journalistic activity around the story - tracking down court documents, profiling some of the participants in the class action, interviewing key participants and putting in the necessary work before/after the trial and after any rulings.

Nick is available for interview. Contact details:

Twitter: @nickwallis

Notes to editors: