We've been all over the press (check out our Media Page), but I still need to get the word out there to drive up membership and compete with the big boys, like Match and eHarmony. I need $15,000 to produce a top notch commercial for the web, and another $15,000 to target advertise to singles on YouTube for one year (YouTube reaches more millennials than all the major networks combined). So I'm asking for $30,000 total. I don't have enough members to attract angel investors yet, so crowdfunding is all I have right now. I've spent all my budget on building the site, and now I need your help to spread the word. So please check out SamePlate.com, and if you think it's as good an idea as I do (and the press), please help out a first-time entrepreneur make his dream come true! Any amount donation is appreciated!
We have different reward levels for donation amounts, so check them out. And please scroll down to read about why I created SamePlate, and the personal reasons behind this fundraising campaign.
The SamePlate Story:
I've written before of my fall from financial grace on my blog, but now I'd like to give a few of the broad stroke details of how an Emmy winner went broke. It happened during the recession of 2008, when the market crashed. I lost everything. If I could have sat on my losses I would have been fine when the stock market eventually bounced back. But unfortunately my mother lost everything too, and I had to sell my stocks at an enormous loss to bail her out. I'm no saint, and I'm probably not even a good son, but she asked, and I answered. I haven't really recovered financially since, but it did start to make me think of new ways to earn a living. Show Biz is not a stable industry!
Two years later I started the paleo diet, and began my blog CookingCaveman.com. I thought maybe in 5 or 6 years, I could build a brand and perhaps start making some money from it down the road. You've all seen the recipes, and photos, and lame caveman jokes. And the feedback has been wonderfully positive. Over 36,000 readers, and a ton of followers on Facebook as well. All free for the readers. Then in 2011, a reader asked, "How do you eat when youre on a date? Do you force your dates to eat like you do?" The image of the question was funny, of me forcing a tied-up date to eat a grass-fed steak against her will. Takes bondage to a whole new level. But it did start me thinking. People like me, with restrictive diets, must ALL have this problem. Plus, I'm a major foodie and I want someone who shares my passion. There's a need for a dating site that matches people by the food they eat.
I immediately called my buddy Dave, a super talented web designer, and asked him to help me. I told him then, and I still believe this today, that SamePlate.com might truly be the only good idea I've ever had in my life. Earlier this year, a reader of my CookingCaveman blog made this very generous offer to me:
"Hi Jeff, Besides you, there is another person online who makes me laugh and adds value to my life by sharing his wisdom. Once a year he requests donations to help cover his living expenses. He figured out what it cost him to live for a day. So once a year I donate a days worth of his expenses. I am definitely the winner in that exchange...trust me. I'd probable pay 3 times the amount to get a ticket to see my favorite stand up comic.
Long story short. I was reading some recipe I'd saved from your blog and laughed for the millionth time and thought I wonder if Jeff has a Paypal button? So that's my request...Let us show our appreciation!"
I thanked her, but it wasn't my style to ask my readers for money, and I figured that if anyone wants to support me, they could buy my eBook. But now that the re-design for SamePlate is finally finished, I'm pushing hard for it to become a success, and I've decided to ask for help. SamePlate.com is a completely free site for users, but it does cost me money out of my own pocket. I can afford the upkeep, but I can't afford the costs of getting the word out there. However, I have an idea to shoot a commercial, and to advertise it smartly on the web, through targeted advertising, which I'm sure could get the word out there on a grand scale. But that costs money. Money I don't have right now.
Everybody needs help. Dave helped me build the site. My dear friend Maureen helped me get some amazing press. My cousin Alan helped me find an affordable web company to re-design the site, and the owner of that site Alex, gave me a huge discount so I could afford it. And I've met many other people along the way who have supported me because they believe in me, and they believe in SamePlate.com as an idea that could really make it in the marketplace. They're rooting for the good guys. They're rooting for the little guys (figuratively AND literally, I'm barely taller than a hobbit). They're rooting for everyone out there who takes a chance to make their dreams come true. Believe me, if I could pay for it all, I would, and never ask a dime from my friends and family. If I could get an investor involved I would, but I still need a lot more members to attract the money for that next step. And to get members, I need people to hear about SamePlate.com. That's why I need the money to advertise. Everybody needs help. And I'm no different. I can't make this happen without you. So please help.
If youre a reader of CookingCaveman.com, or a follower of mine on Facebook, and I ever gave you advice that you took, or made you chuckle, or a recipe or photo of mine ever made drool, or I made you ponder the food you eat, I'm asking you to please give $5 to my cause (the minimum amount GoFundMe allows). I have over 36,000 followers, and if everyone gave me $5 I could fund the commercial, and advertise it directly to singles across the web for a whole year, turning SamePlate.com into a huge success story. And you would be the ones responsible, and that should make you feel good, especially for only $5.
I am also creating a donors page on SamePlate where all your names will be posted as supporters of SamePlate. There would be no SamePlate without CookingCaveman, and there would be no Cooking Caveman without your overwhelming positive feedback about my blog. So please help out if you can with $5. If you feel what I've given you is worth more than $5, feel free to donate as much as you like, I will genuinely appreciate it! And if you can't (or won't) spend $5 for what I've given you over the years, then please at least share this message with others in your network. That's a free way of helping too, and that's just as appreciated by me as well!
We've gotten some truly amazing press, but here's the problem with press: it's fleeting. A one-time moment in time that you either catch at the right time, or you missed it. We get a little membership spurt when some press comes out, and then it fizzles out. I'm positive that if we can expose SamePlate to more and more singles, the membership will exponentially grow. YouTube will target the right customers based on their previous searches with our commercial (take a look at the storyboard on our GoFundMe page). This is the only way a little guy like me can compete with the big sites, like Match or eHarmony. But we can do it, together! Thanks in advance for all your support!
DonationsSee top donations
- Megan Cavallari
- Henry Barrial
- Valarie & James Algee
- Lorenzo Hodges
- Deb + Bert Shepley
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more