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The best source for news and information about crowdfunding for good.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: July 2014

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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Announces “First Days Story Project,” an Indiegogo Campaign for Engagement and Expanded Storytelling Around Forthcoming Film, Last Days in Vietnam

(Boston, MA; JULY 28, 2014) – PBS’s acclaimed history series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE today announced the launch of the “First Days Story Project,” an Indiegogo campaign to support community engagement and create additional digital content around Last Days in Vietnam, a new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy. The film opens theatrically in September 2014 and will premiere in April 2015 on PBS. The Indiegogo goal is to raise $132,000 to capture and preserve stories of both Vietnamese immigrants and Vietnam War veterans.

Last Days in Vietnam is the harrowing story of the chaotic final hours in Saigon in April of 1975, as the North Vietnamese closed in on the city, and thousands fled through a makeshift evacuation. Through this engagement initiative, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will expand upon the storytelling in the film, answering one of the major questions it raises: What happened to those who fled? Utilizing Indiegogo to crowdfund the project will enable AMERICAN EXPERIENCE to partner with StoryCorps, the nonprofit organization known for its weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition, to gather nearly 100 interviews in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, New York, and two additional cities to be announced at a later date. The audio stories would then be showcased on the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE website and permanently archived in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

“Everything we are doing with this project is about community,” said AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series manager Lauren Prestileo. “From bringing people together around the film to gathering additional stories that expand upon the content, this project will be driven by community interest and involvement. So it seemed natural to us to turn to the community as a source of funding to get the project off the ground.”

This is the first foray into crowdfunding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. But with more than 300 films to the series’ credit, and multiple cross-platform, national engagement campaigns completed, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has an established track record of bringing history to life, and preserving stories that illuminate the fabric of American life and culture. As the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon approaches, now is the time to capture and archive this pivotal chapter of American history.

The 40-day Indiegogo campaign launches July 28 and concludes September 4. Find the campaign at


Recently honored with three 2014 Primetime Emmy nominations, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 16 George Foster Peabody Awards, one most recently for the series represented by Freedom Riders, Triangle Fire and Stonewall Uprising.

Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television Viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

More information about AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is available at, or via AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Additional information about Last Days in Vietnam is available at on the film’s website ( or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Indiegogo App Now Available for iPhone® and iPod Touch®

Empowers Users to Discover, Fund and Manage Campaigns on the Go

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 31, 2014 – Indiegogo, Inc., the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, today announced the global launch of the Indiegogo App for iPhone® and iPod Touch®, building on Indiegogo’s commitment to empower anyone, anywhere to fund what matters to them. The new app, currently available in the App Store℠, gives Indiegogo users the opportunity to engage with the Indiegogo platform through the ease and accessibility of their iPhone® or iPod Touch®.


The announcement of the app follows the unveiling of a new Indiegogo brand identity and website, and is the latest example of the company’s commitment to improving the customer experience following a $40 million Series B funding round in January. In addition, international mobile traffic to the Indiegogo platform has doubled over the last year. 

“Since day one we have been dedicated to providing our campaigners and contributors with the best funding platform in the world,” said Slava Rubin, CEO of Indiegogo. “This year has been one of tremendous growth for us and we’re investing heavily to continue improving Indiegogo for mobile users globally. The Indiegogo App is the first of many advancements focused on delivering the best mobile experience imaginable.”


Indiegogo App users have the opportunity to conveniently utilize the platform’s offerings in many ways, including the following:

Supporting Indiegogo campaigns

  • Discovering new campaigns through recommendations based on past activity and preferred categories
  • Exploring and following campaign categories
  • Claiming campaign perks
  • Sharing favorite campaigns with friends

Managing Indiegogo campaigns

  • Receiving notifications each time a contribution is made to a campaign
  • Monitoring campaign comments
  • Posting campaign updates and photos
  • Thanking contributors
  • Sending custom messages to phone contacts and Facebook friends
  • Promoting campaigns on social networks

The Indiegogo App is available for free from the App Store℠ on iPhone® and iPod Touch® or at An Android app is in development for future release and additional information can be found at

About Indiegogo

Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from almost every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is an open platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit and follow us at and

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New Company Offers ‘No-Skim’ Fundraising Tools To Nonprofits

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Social venture CommitChange has developed a new fundraising platform for nonprofits that doesn’t rely on collecting a percentage of funds raised, potentially netting nonprofits with a higher percentage of total donations.

The venture has garnered investments from power investors Mark Cuban, Tim Draper, Adam Draper and 500 Startups. Chris Sinton, founder of Network for Good and StartOut, has also invested and joined the board.

“We’ve decided to make all of our core technology available for free to help bolster charitable giving in the United States. We are also eliminating donation skimming as a business model and we will never profit by taking a percentage of donations,” said Roderick Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of CommitChange.

Tim Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said “a non-profit without CommitChange risks becoming a dinosaur.”

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 7:00 Eastern, Sinton and Campbell will join me for a live conversation about serving the nonprofit fundraising community. Tune in here then to watch the live interview.

More about CommitChange:

CommitChange provides nonprofits with a full suite of integrated fundraising tools, which can be managed from a single platform. This tightly integrated solution eliminates the need for data consolidation, significantly reduces labor costs, and can provide an unprecedented level of understanding about a nonprofit’s supporters. CommitChange significantly reduces the time it takes to perform common tasks and eliminates the 2-3 weeks of training required to operate competing systems. CommitChange also requires no setup or customization, and can be deployed in minutes.

More about Network for Good:

Network for Good is an online fundraising platform for charities and non-profit organizations. The company was founded in 2001 by America Online, Cisco Systems and Yahoo! and has processed over $1 billion in donations since inception.

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We’re Eager To Help! Here’s How

If you are trying to raise money for a cause, you need exposure for your campaign. You need attention and eyeballs, but that will only be effective after you get your family and friends to support your campaign with at least 10 percent of your goal—no one ever puts money in an empty tip jar! has created several way to help you get exposure for your campaign.

First, check out our free webinar where you can learn the secrets of crowdfunding.

Here’s how we can help you get attention for your campaign for free:

  1. Sharing with like-minded people on LinkedIn
  2. Tweets to over 20,000 followers
  3. Sharing your press release here at
  4. Hosting your interview here
  5. Podcast
  6. Covering your story for or Forbes

If you are raising money for something without a direct social impact, we regret that we don’t have an audience for you. If you are raising money for yourself, no matter how desperate your need may be, we don’t cover that either.

Because we don’t have time and bandwidth for vetting every crowdfunding campaign that comes along—no matter how noble one might seem—we will rely on the wisdom of the crowd. In other words, we won’t do anything until you start making progress on your fundraising to prove that you are willing to do the work required to be successful.

Get your close friends and family to back your campaign early and be sure to set a goal that is reasonable given your personal network. We’ll use our resources to help only after you’ve raised 10 percent of your goal or $1,000, whichever is smaller.

1. LinkedIn: Join the group Crowdfunding for Social Good we’ve created on LinkedIn and post a link to your campaign there. Please check out the other campaigns posted there and support them, too.

2. Tweets: If you have raised at least 10 percent of your goal or $1,000 and you tweet your campaign link with a mention of @devindthorpe, we will retweet it to our growing list of followers. We’ll retweet once per day as long as you tweet with a mention of @devindthorpe!

3. Press Releases: If you have a press release, please send it to and we’ll share it here on

4. Guest Posts: You can write a guest post or do an online interview for us here. A guest post for this blog should include a focus on your social impact objectives. Our readers are primarily interested in the good you hope to do in the world. A good blog post will be about 500 words and will include a good photo or video. You can find more tips for a good post here. If you would prefer to complete an online interview that we can share, click here.

5. Podcasts: In rare cases, if your story is very compelling, after your guest post goes live and your social impact is meaningful, we may be able to schedule a recorded video interview to help you share your story with a wider audience. The video would not only be posted on this blog, but also YouTube and iTunes.

6. Forbes: If you have exceeded your funding goal before your campaign ends and have raised more than $100,000 for a social cause that really excites us, we may be able to post a video interview to Devin’s Forbes blog.

The Your Mark on the World Center, which publishes this blog, is a news gathering organization and to us, your campaign for good is newsworthy. We never charge to put content on our site, but we do screen every story to ensure that we believe your efforts are legitimate.

Get our attention with steps one through four above. We’ll reach out to you for items five and six.

Belgian Transport Designer Johan Neerman Announces Intention to Revolutionize the Word of Mobility

Transport designer Johan Neerman, whose famous works include Tramway of Strasbourg, Tramway of Lyons, funicular of Tignes, The Citadis range for Alstom and numerous other means of transportation, announces his intention to revolutionize the word of mobility. Johan Neerman worked on the project since 2010.  In August his finalized design will be available at: So far Johanson3 SA Company exposed to public just structural prototypes, the latest designs are very appealing and timeless.

For more information on Johan Neerman, go to

Johan Neerman, one of the best transport designers in Europe, is pleased to announce his intention to revolutionize the word of personal mobility. Beginning in August 2014, Neerman plans to deliver his state of art vehicle to a selected crowdfunding campaign.

Johan Neerman, famous for his most innovative transport systems in Europe, had his work materialized in some of the European’s most representative cities such as Marseille, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Brussels, Dublin, Tignes, Lyons, Nantes, Paris, Porto, etc. Moreover, Neerman is currently changing totally the perception of personal mobility.

The future of mobility is eco-friendly and a real alternative to cars at a fraction of the cost enabling the traveler to commute on short to mid-range distances on a versatile flexible, fun and stable mobility platform that will have enough payload capacity to carry up to 600 Pounds. 5 different models have been created allowing you to choose the one that is destined to you.

The Johanson3 series allows people to make a difference for the Planet by lowering the CO2 emissions on an individual basis.

The highly customized frame guarantees your investment in time and can adapt to power technology evolution and your needs and expectations through time. The johanson3 concept is designed from age 6 to 77 years old. “There is no point in trying to sell you an airplane without wings and leave you immobilized in traffic”. His solution is providing you a unique, efficient, fun and reliable approach to mobility.”

The strongest version will allow you to put 3 adults and 2 kids on the frame with numerous accessories to choose from. 

Johan Neerman is looking forward to give early adopters and followers the opportunity to make a difference in personal mobility.  His business model gives also the opportunity to start a business with Johanson3.

For more information on Johan Neerman go to

About Johan Neerman:

Johan Neerman, based in Belgium, has extensive experience in transport design.

He started his transportation career within the family business: Since 1999 he created 3 companies focusing on transport systems. The unique approach to mobility underlines his methodological strength in addressing complexity through unique conceptual tools focusing on ergonomics and system thinking.  The interface man-machine is at the epicenter of his unique designs:

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Ebola Crisis: How You Can Help

The following is taken from a release from Global Giving:

West Africa is in the midst of the most lethal Ebola epidemic in history.

The Ebola virus disease is highly contagious, has no known treatment or cure, and is fatal within days or weeks in most cases. More than 1,200 people have been infected in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and now Nigeria. The World Health Organization reports that 672 people have died so far as a result of this outbreak.

This is the first major outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and communities in the region are struggling to contain the epidemic. We’ve set up the Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund so that local organizations in West Africa have immediate access to the resources they need to stop the spread of Ebola and care for the people already infected.

There are two organizations raising money on Global Giving for ebola relief, Develop Africa and IMANI House.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Britt Lake of Global Giving, Sylvester Renner of Develop Africa and Bisi Ideraabdullah of IMANI House, will join me here for a live interview to discussion the outbreak and how we can all help to alleviate it. Tune in to watch right here.

More about Global Giving:

GlobalGiving begins with the dedicated, tenacious individuals who are driving change in their communities. From running orphanages and schools, to helping survivors of natural disasters, these people are do-gooders to the core. We connect these “good idea people” with the “generous giver people” and help projects of all sizes receive donations of all sizes.

Britt’s bio:

As Director of Programs, Britt oversees relationships with over 2,000 nonprofits, including managing all of GlobalGiving’s impact measurement, capacity building work, and disaster relief grantmaking. In addition to her six years at GlobalGiving, Britt has worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and with a variety of non-profits in Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Britt holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. 

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New Program For Rooftop Solar Projects

Mosiac, the leader in crowdfunding solar power projects, recently announced a program that provides homeowners with crowdfunded loans with operations and maintenance service contracts, giving them all the benefits of a lease with a simple to understand loan.

The loans can go for up to 20 years with no prepayment penalty and require no down payment.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Mosaic CEO Daniel Rosen will join me for a live discussion about the new program. Tune in here then to watch live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Mosaic:

Mosaic is America’s first peer-to-peer solar finance company and is enabling thousands of American people to profit from clean energy. Mosaic provides home solar loans to cover the up-front cost of solar ownership for homeowners and finances these loans by crowdsourcing investments from the public.

Mosaic has been honored by Fast Company as a top ten most innovative company in energy for two consecutive years, by the Department of Energy as a SunShot Grant recipient, The Sierra Club as the Trailblazer Company of the Year, and Verizon Wireless as the top environmental winner for their Powerful Answers Awards.

Dan’s bio:

Dan Rosen – Mosaic Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dan is a serial entrepreneur with 10 years of experience leading clean energy, green building and energy efficiency companies in rural Native American communities and Israel. He is an Unreasonable Institute fellow and Brower Youth Award winner. Dan has been been on Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Energy List two times in recognition of his leadership on innovative ways of financing clean energy.

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Devin D. Thorpe

New Site Helps Small Businesses Raise Money In Local Communities

Kevin Hitchen’s left J.P. Morgan to help launch Localstake, a crowdfunding site that facilitates investments in local businesses. The platform has successfully raised over $3 million for entrepreneurs in its first year of operation.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Kevin will join me for a live discussion about the company and its focus on local investment crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about LocalStake:

Localstake is an online investment crowdfunding platform that enables startup and small businesses to raise up to $1 million in funding from individual investors in the community. Our platform allows business owners to efficiently connect with and raise funding from local investors. Individual investors of all wealth backgrounds are able to access, review, and invest in local businesses with as little as $250,something many have never really been allowed to do before. After a business has achieved funding, they are then able to utilize our Localstake to keep investors updated and engaged with helping them grow and make an impact. Since our official launch in June of 2013, we have helped companies raise over $3MM from investors.


Kevin’s bio:

Kevin Hitchen is co-founder of the investment crowdfunding platform Localstake. Prior to founding Localstake, Kevin worked in investment management at the Indiana Public Retirement System and at J.P. Morgan It was at J.P. Morgan where he and a colleague first developed the idea for Localstake.
Kevin received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Butler University. He holds the Series 7, 24, 79, and 66 securities licenses and is a CFA charterholder.

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