The Bread & Butter Project recently completed their first crowdfunding campaign for asylum seekers and refugees. We share the outcomes.

In February this year we wrote about a social enterprise, which had historically been reliant on philanthropy, rolling out its first crowdfunding campaign. The Bread & Butter Project (TBBP) is an NFP bakery that invests 100% of profits from bread sales into training people seeking refuge and asylum in Australia to become bakers – and this year they decided it was time to get the community involved. 

Bake for a Baker commenced on 28 February 2022 with a simple proposition: experience baking like a refugee trainee, following bread recipes inspired by different cultures from around the world, whilst raising money that will train the next cohort of Bread & Butter Project participants. 

While the three-week campaign was primarily about raising money, the organisation also hoped it would help connect people – at home and in the workplace – after two years of lockdowns and self-isolation. 

The campaign raised $90,000, including a $50,000 major gift, and represents a healthy chunk of the $250,000 it costs to train a cohort.  

We caught up with the Bread & Butter team to ask these crowdfunding campaign first-timers what worked well, what they learnt and what will be carried forward into next year’s event.  

Your top team and individual fundraisers raised significant funds between them – $6,000 and $3,150 respectively. What did these bakers do to achieve their fundraising success? 

Our top fundraisers were expert in rallying their personal and professional networks to support the Bake for a Baker campaign, sharing not only their baking efforts but also messaging about the trainees the campaign is benefitting. Through videos that shared the stories of the different refugee trainees, our fundraisers were able to bring to life the human side of the campaign and make it real for donors.  

In addition, our fundraisers were great ‘TBBP Ambassadors’ in their own right, communicating the story of how the very timely challenge of refugee settlement in Australia was being addressed in a unique way by TBBP and by the campaign. A few even resurrected the pre-COVID art of morning tea fundraisers at work and asked for gold coin donations for their delicious creations. 

Finally, a bit of baking-inspired creativity in naming their teams resulted in even more hype (for example, Baking Consulting Group, Not Nigellas, The Bread Winners and Robert Brownie, Jr!).  

Do you know which promotional channels secured the most interest and sign-ups for the campaign? 

We used Raisely as the campaign platform – it was essential for not just the fundraising element, but also in disseminating information as the campaign progressed. We created a linked Facebook group/page as well, where our fundraisers posted images of their baked goods, allowing teams to communicate and encourage one another, as well as drive even more donations through their posts. 

LinkedIn was very helpful in drumming up corporate support, and pre-launch PR through articles from Broadsheet, Pro Bono Australia, Baking Business and F&P helped raise awareness and credibility. 

Bake for a Baker culinary creations.

What were your learnings from the campaign – what went well and what didn’t? 

What worked well:  

  • A strong link between the brand and the campaign (baking and community building) 
  • The literal ‘hands-on’ approach that let participants step into the shoes of the refugees they were supporting to experience the baking journey 
  • Providing a window into the culture of the refugees – participants loved making recipes such as the Syrian flat bread and Iraqi dessert – and seeing videos of refugees baking these in their homes 
  • Allowing participants to demonstrate their creativity by asking them to garnish, plate and add their own touches (parallel to our refugees assimilating into Australian culture) 
  • Constant and consistent communication to rally participants to keep baking and raising funds, using known personalities who generously shared their time and talent (for example, TV journalist Sam Lane who posted encouragement videos every week) 
  • Weekly awards to give a sense of accomplishment and skilling up (thanks to food critic Terry Durack and chef/writer partner, Jill Dupleix who announced weekly ‘Most Instgrammable’ and ‘Epic Fail/Best Rescue’ awards in very funny videos!) 
  • The participation and support of a well-known chef and a baker, Peter Gilmore and Rhiann Mead of Bennelong, who created a recipe video just for us at the iconic Bennelong. They even came up with their own signature tagline – “BAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT”, to encourage everyone 
  • The prospect of a grand prize offering a masterclass with Peter and Rhiann at Bennelong as an encouragement to become the top fundraising team 
  • A graduation gala where our baking community came together online and shared their experiences and were able to ask questions of our TBBP refugee bakers, with Terry Durack and Jill Dupleix awarding the ‘dux of the class’ (top fundraising team) 
  • A clear strategy to target ‘foodies with a purpose’ – those who love helping the community through their passion for food and drink  
  • The support of a dedicated project team behind the scenes to keep the campaign on track and collaborate on content, fundraiser questions and strategy 

What did not work as well: 

  • Initial reliance on corporate supporters as team participants – due to COVID, this was a challenge so we switched and allowed individuals to participate as well 
  • Difficulty in policing/monitoring minimum donations to be able to participate – there were a few very keen and talented bakers who did not reach the minimum $250 to participate but we nonetheless welcomed them in the spirit of community 
  • Limited opportunities to build ‘real-life’ connections due to COVID 

Will you repeat the campaign next year and, if so, what new initiatives and tactics will you implement? 

There was overwhelming feedback from fundraisers at our online graduation gala demanding a repeat next year!  

The aim in 2023 would be to generate greater corporate support and commitment from environmental, social, and governance (ESR)/HR heads upfront, before finishing with a real-life bake-off at the end of the campaign with Peter Gilmore and Terry Durack judging. 

In addition, we could potentially partner fundraisers with refugee trainees across the campaign where they will bake either with or for a specific refugee, so relationships can be built. 

Of course, we also want to feature even more great recipes from our trainees’ cultures, and share these through an even wider social media campaign, including a dedicated Instagram channel. 


To watch the campaign highlights video, click here.  

To read our full article about the Bake for a Baker campaign, click here.  

To read more about the Bread & Butter Project and the funding they have secured, see: 

Collaborative funding model drives job creation 

Hilton Effect Grant 

Australian Ethical grant 

Westpac support here and here.   

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