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Crowdfunding for a New Whale

News Release 23 July 2013

Crowdfunding for a New Whale

Spring marks the start of the busy stranding season in New Zealand and whale rescue charity Project Jonah is focused on providing its whale rescue training to volunteers across the country. However, their inflatable training dolphin ‘Moko’ is worn out and has to be replaced and they need your help.

Daren Grover, General Manager of Project Jonah explains, “Our life saving work depends on having trained volunteers across the country ready to respond to a stranding. One of the skills we teach is marine mammal first aid using our lifelike inflatable dolphin. We need to replace Moko before our training season starts in October.

“We are working closely with a boat builder who has designed the replacement – mimicking a juvenile pilot whale in size and weight. There’s only one snag, we don’t have the funds to buy this new replacement”. So what do they do?

Rather than try traditional methods of fundraising, Project Jonah has embraced the concept of crowdfunding, using the website ‘PledgeMe’.

Crowdfunding is a relatively new concept in New Zealand and works by an individual or an organisation like Project Jonah posting their project on the PledgeMe website. Potential donors who wish to support the project can then pledge a donation which is paid once the target is reached. Depending on the size of their pledge, donors will often receive gifts relating to the cause they are supporting.

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“We thought we’d take people along on the journey” said Daren. “Our goal is $5,000. We set a minimum pledge of $6 so almost anyone can support us. Depending on the amount a donor gives, they will receive gifts for their support. Plus, we’ve also added a creative element to the fundraising, by offering each pledger an entry into the draw to suggest a name for our new whale.”

You’ll need to be quick if you want to help Project Jonah’s appeal. The deadline to pledge your support is Friday 2nd August.

“Project Jonah is looking to break the fundraising mould and consider new fundraising models. We believe this collaboration with our supporters will give them a better idea of what we do and a chance to really come along on our journey. We’re one of the few animal rescue organisations that allow you to participate in their front-line work” says Daren.

While the crowdfunding appeal is a one off for a specific piece of equipment, Project Jonah continues to rely on donations from the public and small businesses.

To make a pledge to support their cause, go to or to make a traditional donation to support their tireless work and to find out more go to .




Project Jonah has been saving whales since 1974. They work closely with the Department of Conservation, the government agency responsible for managing strandings in New Zealand and rely on volunteers and donations to carry out their life saving work.


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