VegFund attended London VegFest and the Northern Vegan Festival in Manchester this October to meet with vegan activists from around the globe.
Find out more about VegFund’s programs to support vegan activists across the globe, and help us reach out at more events like these during 2016 by donating to support our work.
Back to the UK Vegfests… Amanda Riley, VegFund’s Operations Assistant based in the U.S., traveled across the pond to attend these events and spread the word about VegFund’s grant programs to support the work of grassroots activists.
London VegFest, Europe’s largest vegan festival, attracted 12,000 attendees over the two days of the event. Along with information booths and tantalizing foods, the festival featured a Health Summit and an Activist Summit that offered attendees a diverse program of talks on vegan-related issues and topics.
As part of the Activist Summit, Amanda presented a talk on cost-effective activism:
“How a Little Money Can Make a Big Difference.”
This talk highlighted the value of focusing on a low cost per person as means of reaching as many people as possible within a budget. Amanda provided activists with helpful tips, among them:
- Estimate your reach and don’t pay for more than you need.
- Ask for donations and discounts for your expenses, such as literature and food samples. You might be surprised what organizations and businesses are open to offering you!
- Do comparison shopping for the items needed for your event, ensuring you are getting the best price possible.
- At your outreach events, provide people with follow-up opportunities to maximize your impact. For example, offer them a leaflet linking to a website.
- Make use of VegFund’s online advertising program. Online advertising is a low-cost form of advocacy with the potential of reaching a large audience. For example, one of VegFund’s grantees reached more than 38 million people through their online ad, with more than one million of these requesting a vegan starter kit as a result!
- For larger events, refine your strategy to make the most of your available budget.
Food Sampling Outreach:
- Stick to small sample sizes.
- Limit the number of types of food offered to a few good quality products.
- Seek good-value venues that enable you to reach as many people as possible for a reasonable cost; for example, a $150 venue capable of holding 1,000 people.
- Try to estimate your audience size accurately to ensure license costs are kept to a minimum — this can be a big savings point.
- Promote your event! Don’t neglect this area, and keep in mind that lots of promotion can be done at zero cost via social media channels.
The Northern Vegan Festival attracted 3,500 people over the course of the one-day event. Amanda presented a talk titled “Using Microgrants to Spread Veganism around the World” at this festival, providing an overview of VegFund’s international work supporting activists in their vegan outreach. Microgrants, as she emphasized, have the power to reach communities across the globe by funding events and projects that touch hundreds and thousands of individuals at the local level.
Amanda, with the help of volunteers, distributed more than 500 brochures at these festivals, and about 100 folks signed up to find out more about VegFund’s programs. The booths were active all day with truly inspiring conversations from both experienced and new activists who are making a positive change.
Thank you to everyone who came by to say “Hi” and listened to our talks in the UK. We look forward to funding your activism in the future!