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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: November 2014

Your Spouse Has Cancer, Now What?

Author raises funds to create an educational DVD series, helping spouses of cancer patients find strength, support, and a better understanding of what comes next after diagnosis

SANGER, Calif., November 2014 — What would you do if your spouse were diagnosed with cancer? While there are pamphlets, support groups, and organizations for the patients, where can spouses find answers to their questions? With the help of Kickstarter, author Carson Boss is raising funds to create The Couple’s Cancer Project, an interactive and educational DVD series for couples where one spouse has been diagnosed.

The project came to life after Boss wrote about the confusion and struggles he faced when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. In his book, Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?, he discusses the emotional roller coaster that followed her diagnosis. With few resources to help him understand, adjust, and prepare for his wife’s cancer, he began to note all the things he wished someone had told him. While the book is written specifically with husbands in mind, the DVD series provides information for couples to draw from together.

“I want to bring the hope and information directly to the viewer,” says Boss. “These DVDs are something I wish I had when I started the journey through my wife’s cancer.”

Using personal experiences as outlined in the book, The Couple’s Cancer Project will help spouses learn how to:

  • Overcome the shock and fear of diagnosis
  • Talk to family about diagnosis and treatment updates
  • Choose the right doctors
  • Give support and know where to find it
  • Understand the cost of cancer both financially and emotionally
  • Continue and nurture their romance
  • Balance a full-time job and new household duties

The series will include 4 DVDs with 45 minutes of content on each disk. Interviews with patients, their family members, oncologists, nurses, and leading cancer experts from the Huntsman Cancer Institute provide a well-rounded look at how to face cancer as a couple. At the end of each chapter is an “Action Plan” and “Check List” for viewers to complete together. This encourages couples to ask questions and implement what is taught.

“Every cancer is different and so is every couple,” says Boss. “These DVDs will be made for couples to watch together so they can stop and discuss certain points. Then they customize their own plan of action in dealing with whatever kind of medical trial they are facing together. Independent of which spouse has been diagnosed, this series will help both husbands and wives. It’s like they’ll have a support group right in their own living room.”

While filming has been completed, raised funds will be used for editing, packaging, and mastering. If you would like more information on the DVD series, feel free to visit our Kickstarter site (see below). If you are interested in seeing this project completed and released, please consider purchasing one of the pledge packages listed in the link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1160678616/the-couples-cancer-project

Site Created For Nonprofits By Former Nonprofit Leader

Anisa Mirza created Giveffect to address the problems she faced in fundraising for nonprofits.

“After graduating from McMaster University, I began working with various not-for-profit organizations,” Anisa explained. “Despite my passion for giving back, I absolutely despised the fundraising and data management aspects of my job. The software we were using at these nonprofits was certainly not user friendly – to say the least”

“Created as a tool that would help nonprofits engage with donors, especially Millennials and vice versa, Giveffect combined my passion for technology and my knowledge of nonprofit fundraising management, and became a powerful operating system for nonprofits,” Anisa continued.

“The nonprofit industry is seeing the same magnitude of disruption that online retail experienced 10 years ago. Donors (esp Millennial donors) have the same expectations of their online giving experience as they do with ebay, paypal etc. The digital disruption is here and many nonprofits are seriously looking for ways to respond and adapt,” she concluded.

On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM Eastern, Anisa will join me for a live discussion about Giveffect and the impact it is having for its users. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Giveffect:

Giveffect is the leader in enterprise white-labeled fundraising software. With Giveffect, every nonprofit can have their very own crowdfunding platform built into their website. Our software is a complete end-to-end donor management and fundraising system which includes essential features like automated tax-receipts, ticket sales, built-in donor social-network, integrated donor management CRM and the peace of mind in knowing that every dollar raised goes directly to the nonprofit, and not the individual who started the campaign.

Anisa Mirza

Anisa Mirza

Anisa’s bio:

Anisa Mirza is the CEO and Co-founder of Giveffect, the leading innovator in enterprise fundraising software for nonprofits across North America. Specializing in crowdfunding and donor management experience, Anisa brings six years of nonprofit industry experience, including managing the youth department at the third largest settlement and refugee nonprofit in Canada. Anisa holds an Honours undergraduate degree in neuro-psychology and philosophy from McMaster University.

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Devin D. Thorpe

Filmmaker Seeks To Become Peacemaker

What if we trained peacekeepers the way we train generals? That’s the question that Burundi asked and answered with formal training for government and military leaders on building peace.

Filmmaker Jamil Simon is producing a documentary called Fragile Island of Peace about that effort and raising money for the production via Kickstarter.

Commenting on his reason for making the film, Jamil said, “Peacebuilding efforts are currently stuck in a negative cycle rooted in lack of awareness, that severely restricts their potential. Peacebuilding is not recognized as a viable solution to conflict. To reverse that cycle, we need to use media to promote the great, often heroic, work peacebuilders are doing.”

“We need to connect the work of peacebuilding and peacebuilders with the achievement of peace, in the minds of diplomatic and military leaders, as well as the pubic,” he continued.

“I look forward to the day that we send peacekeepers into conflict areas before we send in bombs or soldiers,” he concluded.

On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Jamil will join me for a live discussion about his new film. Tune in here to watch the interview live.

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

More about Spectrum Media:

Spectrum Media has made award-winning documentary and educational films on a wide range of topics that have been broadcast on PBS and commercial TV stations and have been screened in schools, colleges and other venues. Recently, we produced several award-winning videos in the Central African Republic for USAID to promote a new methodology for affirming property rights for artisanal diamond miners. These videos are now being used in programs worldwide. For over 20 years we collaborated with Harvard’s Center for Teaching and Learning on a series of videos on college-level teaching that are distributed nationally and internationally. We also have broad international experience designing multimedia public awareness programs to promote reform in more than 20 developing countries. We have promoted conflict resolution skills in Jordan, sustainable agriculture in Malawi, crisis communications in Haiti, democracy in Mali and water conservation in Tunisia.

Jamil Simon

Jamil Simon

Jamil’s bio:

I have spent 40+ years of working in media production and public communications. I’ve spent 25 years designing innovative and content-sensitive public awareness programs to support environmental, social, and economic reforms in developing countries. The work has given me opportunities to design programs that use media tools in creative ways to support reform in different domains and challenging situations.

Currently, we are in the early stages of production on a documentary about peacebuilding in Burundi, called Fragile Island of Peace. It will tell the story of 10 years of work training over 8,000 Burundian leaders from presidents, generals and parliament leaders to police chiefs and rural mayors in conflict management and leadership skills. Our aim is to tell the stories of the individuals who participated in the process and to see how their personal transformations affected the nation.

In April of this year, I collaborated with the Alliance for Peacebuilding to put together a daylong workshop called Under the Radar that focused on creating a global communication strategy to significantly elevate awareness of peacebuilding as a practice, and as a viable alternative to military solutions to conflict. We convened a high level group of peacebuilders, media producers, broadcast and print journalists, philanthropists and others to develop plans to use media to explain peacebuilding—what it is and how it works—to leaders in diplomacy, development and the military, as well as to the general public. Our event was very successful and we are now planning follow up events in NYC and LA in the fall. Making our documentary, Fragile Island of Peace, is an important step in this process.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

Mouse Ver 2 Is a Revolutionary New Re-Imagining of the Traditional Mouse Peripheral

The mouse has long been the control tool of choice, but the traditional design has come under fire in recent years. The palm down position necessary to operate a traditional mouse creates unnatural torque on muscles and joints in the arm, contributing to chronic pain and fatigue for many users. A new device dubbed Mouse Ver 2 eliminates this issue because it enables users to operate the mouse in a variety of positions. The Mouse Ver 2 is conceptually similar to using two legs to move, while the conventional mouse is limited to single leg mobility.

The Mouse Ver 2 has unique design that allows users to operate it in the traditional, palm down position. However, the Mouse Ver 2 can also operate in a palm up position, with the thumb controlling the mouse via a catpad. This catpad is similar to a touch screen of a mobile device or laptop, but possesses greater responsiveness and more functionality. The catpad will also serve as the interface for smart televisions and mobile devices like iPhones. The revolutionary design of this catpad enables users to move across a screen with 360 degrees of freedom and mouse-like speed.

Using this innovative design and performance, the Mouse Ver 2 will soon become the peripheral of choice for office and technology professionals. However, the Mouse Ver 2 is still in development and requires additional funding to enter mass production. The Mouse Ver 2 production team has sponsored a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to secure $55,000 necessary to fund the initial production phase. In return for supporting this project, backers may receive rewards like the Mouse Ver 2 for only $69 (a $30 discount) prior to its retail launch. Certain backers may also obtain representative or official sponsor status.

To learn more about the Mouse Ver 2 or to make a financial contribution, please visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mouse-ver2

For more information on this press release visit:
http://www.getnews.info/mouse-ver-2-is-a-revolutionary-new-reimagining-of-the-traditional-mouse-peripheral_7741.html

Help Those Who Are Coping With A Cancer Diagnosis

Familius is trying to help families who struggle with the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis and they need your help! They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently, I caught up with Christopher Robbins to learn more about his work; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

A cancer diagnosis effects more than just the patient. It effects their entire family, especially their spouse who is just as shocked and scared as they are. The spouse will have questions they need answered, and fears they need addressed.

The Couple’s Cancer Project will do just that and become the resource to help them know what to expect when the unexpected happens. A DVD series (4 disks that are 45-60 minutes long) will answer questions many spouses have. With expert interviews and interactive portions, couples will be able to work together and plan the best ways to handle the changes in their lifestyle that come with cancer. It will become a support to help them as they journey through cancer as a couple.

photo-main.jpg-1414768497

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

We are raising $15,000. The filming for the project is complete, but the funds are needed to cover the costs of video editing, DVD packaging, and DVD mastering.

The project launched yesterday, and we’ve raised $595.


Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

Based off the book, “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?”, The Couple’s Cancer Project will help the spouses of recently diagnosed cancer patients. While cancer patients have hotlines, therapy groups, and organizations created to support them, their spouses need help too.

This project will be a resource guide for the spouses as it discusses their unanswered (and sometimes unasked) questions. The DVDs will help spouses understand how to:

  • Overcome the shock and fear of diagnosis
  • Talk to family about diagnosis and treatment updates
  • Choose the right doctors
  • Give support and know where to find it
  • Understand the cost of cancer both financially and emotionally
  • Continue and nurture their romance
  • Balance a full-time job and new household duties

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

  • Name listed in the DVD credits as a project supporter
  • Copies of the book “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?” signed by author Carson Boss
  • Digital copies of the entire series
  • Physical copies of the entire series
  • Four book titles involving cancer and terminal illness from Familius: “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?,” “Chemo-Therapist,” “Refined by Fire,” and “Life Happens.”
  • A donation of the entire series to an organization or hospital of your choice

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @familiustalk

Help The Helper Get To Nepal To Help

Sara Waugaman is trying to join a service expedition with CHOICE Humanitarian to Nepal and to extend her time there volunteering for another NGO. She is raising money on DepositAGift. Recently, I caught up with Sara to learn more about her trip; here’s what she told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

I am crowdfunding to go on a humanitarian expedition to Nepal with CHOICE Humanitarian. This opportunity not only directly benefits the communities we work with while in Nepal, it also further develops my background with poverty alleviation efforts, which global extreme poverty alleviation is one of my greatest passions. I intend to pursue it as my life’s work. This past year and a half, I have had an incredible experience working with CHOICE Humanitarian at their U.S. headquarters. Participating in this expedition will take my experience full circle by allowing me to see the entire process from fundraising to the execution of projects in-country. Gaining this experience will thus not only benefit the Nepali people we will work with, but also all of the individuals I aspire to help in the future.

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How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

I am just over a week away from launching my campaign, so I have not yet raised any money. I am hoping to raise $6,000 which will cover the expedition, flight, living expenses for the time I will be working with a local NGOs after the expedition, and the laptop I will use for communication, reports, and other research both in Nepal and during my time in the Peace Corps for which I have just applied.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

I am trying to help those who haven’t been dealt the best hand in life. These are individuals that struggle to have their basic needs met. The goal is to help these individuals help themselves by working with them as opposed to for them which causes the all too common aid phenomenon of dependency. While on the expedition, we will be working with the villagers of the communities CHOICE works with.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

I have offered rewards as a way to help stimulate excitement and make my contributors feel more connected with the expedition. Contributors are still free to donate without any amount without a reward. The reward opportunities include, at the lowest, a pair of handmade earrings by me. Making handmade, beaded jewelry has always been a passion of mine and it is a great chance for contributors to both donate and receive a gift to give for a loved one for the holidays. This ties in with another reward I have which is a unique, handmade, beaded necklace with beads I will bring back from Nepal. Beyond the jewelry I will create, I have rewards which include Prayer Flags, Prayer Wheels, Nepali hats, and a unique, Nepali gift I will find once in Nepal for a donation of $300. These items are all realistic to bring back with me, thank the contributors, give them a taste of Nepali culture, and hopefully serve as a reminder of the value of humanitarian efforts.

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.

Deposit a Gift Joins the #GivingTuesday Movement to Inspire Spending with Purpose

Pledges to Waive Platform Fee and Donate Back to Charitable Campaigns

New York City, New York, November 4, 2014 – This week, crowdfunding platform, Deposit a Gift (http://www.depositagift.com/raise-money-for-a-cause), announces it’s #GivingTuesday Give Back program to inspire users to engage in the 3rd annual global day of giving on December 2nd. Deposit a Gift joins the ranks of businesses, charities, communities, religious organizations and individuals who are transforming the holidays with this powerhouse day of giving.

In the spirit of the season, Deposit a Gift will be giving back too. The site is happy to announce that it will waive its platform fee and donate it back to participating campaigns.They will also be offering a free webinar prep course, extra marketing support and special social media spotlights. Founder and CEO, Dana Ostomel, is thrilled to offer this to our customers, “One of the greatest joys of running Deposit a Gift is our ability to help people on a mass scale. It’s our pleasure to take this opportunity to galvanize our community to give back and offer our support on #GivingTuesday.”

Deposit a Gift and #GivingTuesday are a natural fit. #GivingTuesday is practically built for crowdfunding and who better to lead the charitable charge than Deposit a Gift, a company who’s name is based in giving. Deposit a Gift is dedicated to making the process of getting involved with #GivingTuesday as simple as possible. It’s perfect for kicking off a year-end appeal or fundraising for a specific need.

To learn more about how it works, please visit: http://www.depositagift.com/raise-money-for-a-cause

About Deposit a Gift

DepositaGift.com is the most flexible funding platform for organizational and personal fundraising. The all-in-one platform for donations, sponsorships and ticket sales is built to leverage social networks and viral sharing! For anyone looking to raise money and rally supporters, Deposit a Gift offers the perfect way to showcase exactly what you want money for and incite people to contribute. Launched in 2010, Deposit a Gift serves the growing need to raise money online for anything from charitable organizations and disaster relief, to school fundraising, help with medical bills, memorial funds, pet rescue or crowdfunding a personal project. To learn more and start your fundraiser today, visit: http://www.depositagift.com

Prodigy Network Launches New Transactional Real Estate Crowdfunding Website

NEW YORK (November 20, 2014) – Prodigy Network has announced the launch of its new real estate crowdfunding website, which will feature a secure transactional platform to permit accredited investors – certain investors who have regular income of over $200,000 or net worth, excluding their primary residence, of over $1 million – to invest in real estate opportunities.

Prodigy Network and its affiliates have pioneered real estate crowdfunding for years. They have led six international and U.S.-based projects, raised more than $300 million from 6,200 investors around the world and are currently developing projects, together with well-established operators and developers, with a projected value of more than $850 million. In the past, the Prodigy Network website only featured information about these projects as well as educational materials that explain crowdfunding and its impact on the real estate industry. Prodigy Network’s new website brings its crowdfunding model, and the entire subscription process, online.

Crowdfunding in real estate became more readily available to accredited investors in September 2013 with the implementation of SEC regulations pursuant to the JOBS Act that now permit general solicitation and advertising of private securities offerings through open-access websites, such as Prodigy Network’s. Accredited investors can log in to review offerings from affiliates of Prodigy Network directly through the website. Such potential investors are provided with information intended to facilitate an informed investment decision. This includes offering memoranda and financial statements as well as updates and market reports, which are provided through a personalized dashboard. Only verified accredited investors are permitted to invest.

“Prodigy Network is committed to giving domestic and international accredited investors access to what we believe are prime real estate assets in New York City,” said Rodrigo Nino, CEO and founder of Prodigy Network. “Through the new platform you can buy into what we believe is this country’s greatest asset – commercial real estate.”

Major banks such as Deutsche Bank, CIBC and Bank of America have provided traditional first mortgage financing for Prodigy’s Manhattan projects. Well-established operators and developers such as Korman Communities have partnered up with Prodigy in the development of two Manhattan properties, AKA Wall Street and AKA United Nations.

“The new platform allows us to further support our community of investors and provide additional access to accredited investors around the world,” said Nino.

Recently, Professor Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School published a case study on Prodigy Network’s work titled, Prodigy Network: Democratizing Real Estate Design and Financing. Prodigy Network believes that crowdfunding will democratize commercial real estate by providing smaller investors with better access to a new type of investment, revolutionizing the industry.

To view the new website, and for more information, please visit www.prodigynetwork.com.

RAZ Mobile Celebrates #GivingTuesday With Free Services To Kansas City Charities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mobile fundraising platform RAZ Mobile and Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM) have partnered to give free services to Kansas City charities for #GivingTuesday, the biggest fundraising day of the year. Connections To Success Kansas City, The Jewish Federation Of Greater Kansas City, Natalie’s A.R.T. Foundation and Blue Ridge Christian School in Raytown Mo. are currently receiving a free RAZ Mobile mobile giving site and free social media services from JSMM, totaling approximately $12,000 worth of in-kind donations.

Dale Knoop, CEO and founder of RAZ Mobile, said, “The giving season is fast approaching and as the Internet quickly becomes a mobile-centric experience. Today, many nonprofits are still unfortunately relying on a PC-based giving experience. Many trusted third-party reports have shown that a PC giving experience on a mobile phone is a path to lost donations and poor Google search rankings. Easy-to-use platforms like ours here at RAZ Mobile can solve these challenges for nonprofits and help them with easy, secure and frictionless giving on mobile phones. Any nonprofit can be up and live on our platform in less than 30 minutes and reap the bounty of giving in seconds on any phone, tablet or PC.”

#GivingTuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, began in the U.S. in 2012 and quickly grew to become a widely popular global day of giving, with over 320,000 tweets using the hashtag. In 2013, charities raised over $19 million dollars with a $142 average donation compared to $10 million and a $101 average donation the year before.

RAZ Mobile allows nonprofits engaged in fundraising to quickly create a branded, content-rich mobile optimized site for more effective supporter communications and increased fundraising opportunities. Every donation goes immediately to the nonprofit’s existing merchant account and repeat donations can be made in seconds with a few taps on the donor’s smartphone or tablet.

Launch of Unique New Crowdfunding Research Web App Makes Crowdfunding Easy For All

Crowdfunding gets simplified today with the launch of Krowdster, the world’s first crowdfunding analytics, research and supporter discovery tool.

Taking the guess work out of decision making, campaign creation and supporter engagement, the unique Krowdster web app is powered by big data, machine learning and predictive analytics – for projects that pack a punch.

Krowdster founder Josef Holm said, “I created Krowdster to help the hundreds of thousands of people who run crowdfunding campaigns each year. I wanted to help budding entrepreneurs make evidence based decisions, optimize their campaigns and discover supporters more easily on social media and in the blogosphere.”

Easy to use, affordable and securely cloud-based, the tool makes it easy to plan and run a successful crowdfunding campaign, without being a big data guru. The power of Krowdster gives anyone with a budding project immediate access to professional crowdfunding research, optimization tips and supporter list building. It supports every major platform including Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Tubestart, Rockethub and Pozible with benchmark set ups and useful metrics such as competitor volume, funding ranges and success rates.

Krowdster also allows would-be crowdfunders to predict the success of their campaign before a single pledge has been made by leveraging insights from more than 480,000 past projects. Using the Krowdster web app, campaign owners can maximize their chances of success with expert strategic guidance across every aspect of their campaign. From uncovering the platform with the most favorable success rates in specific categories to pinpointing average funding achievements, Krowdster makes crowd funding effortless.

Holm said, “With platform, category, campaign, rewards, creator and supporter analytics, it has never been this easy to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.”

Krowdster Features:

  • Social Capital Gauge:  Calculate likely funding raised based on social media following
  • Supporter List Building: Find, connect and engage with those who have supported similar campaigns using social media
  • Campaign Optimizer: Campaign improvements guided by big data analysis of more than 480,000 crowdfunding campaigns
  • Success Prediction: Review chances of success before launching the campaign
  • Platform Analytics: Compare platform performance metrics including success rates, average funding values and audience statistics
  • Campaign Analytics: Campaign performance in real time including monitoring of social media and news mentions
  • Perk Analytics: Discover which perks are more powerful, sell most and perform better
  • Category Analytics: Statistical crowdfunding category analysis across multiple platforms.
  • Supporter Analytics: Active and repeat supporters segmented by platform

There are three Krowdster plans to choose from. View the website to get started: www.krowdster.co

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