Roberto Milk and Paul Hower are raising money on Kickstarter to rebuild soccer fields around the world for kids. Recently, we connected with Christina Bacock to learn more about the effort; here what she told us.
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
The CEO/Co-founder of NOVICA, Roberto Milk and a Colorado-native, Paul Hower set a challenge to rebuild soccer fields for kids in developing countries.
Milk is on a mission called the #100Anywhere Challenge. Milk is going around the world juggling a soccer ball 100 times, filming it, and raising money to build new soccer fields in developing countries. When Hower, an avid hiker and long time friend of Milk’s, saw the videos, he challenged him to undertake the juggle at 14,000 feet for the cause. Milk will complete the challenge atop Redcloud Peak in Colorado. He’ll be joined by members of a Search and Rescue team, along with participants from the Adaptive Sports Center in Colorado. The money raised will first go to build a soccer field in Ghana, Africa where the kids currently play in a slanted, dirt patch. More soccer fields are planned around the world.
Once the challenge is completed, Milk will sign the ball and kick it into the mountain wilderness. The ball, equipped with a tracking device, will be recovered by the Western State Mountain Search and Rescue Team. Everyone who subsequently completes the #100Anywhere Challenge and posts a video of their accomplishment will have their name added to the ball. This commemorative ball will be the first game ball on the new field in Africa.
Milk and Hower are actively looking for a corporate sponsor for the #100Anywhere Challenge. It is anticipated that the sponsor will contribute $100 for each #100Anywhere Challenge that is completed, filmed and posted online.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
The first soccer field in Ghana will cost $5,000 and 100% of what they receive from Kickstarter will go directly into building the field in Ghana plus supporting the Adaptive Sports Center in Colorado, a cherished local organization that supports disabled athletes.
To date, $710 has been raised.
Milk and Hower are building soccer fields for kids in developing countries, starting with a field in West Africa. They plan to build a LOT of fields, not only in Africa, but all over the world.
The Dream: Players all over the world take up the challenge and juggle to 100. It could be #100Anywhere.
Then kids around the world could have fields. As a youth soccer coach, Milk knows how transformational soccer can be in terms of building confidence and developing teamwork. Through this project, kids around the world will be empowered through sports.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
Pledge $25 – ‘Supporter’
Pledge $50 – ‘Field Builder’
Pledge $100 – Receive the ‘Soccer Champs’ Auto Parts Soccer Sculpture from NOVICA
Pledge $250 – Receive the ‘Okyeame’ African Mask from NOVICA
Pledge $500 – Receive the ‘True Unity’ African Sculpture from NOVICA
Pledge $1,000 – Receive the ‘Soccer Pro’ Auto Parts Sculpture from NOVICA
New York, NY — Today, at FinovateFall 2015, investment research firm Crowdability, Inc. unveiled CrowdabilityIQ, the world’s first ratings and research service designed specifically for the equity crowdfunding market.
With over 100 million retail investing households in the United States, equity crowdfunding-the online offering of private company securities to accredited and non-accredited investors-could become a $300 billion industry, according to TheStreet.com. CrowdabilityIQ is designed to help protect and guide those investors. The software provides ratings and rankings on hundreds of private equity investment opportunities from all across the web.
“Soon, all U.S. citizens, regardless of their net worth or their financial sophistication, can invest in unproven, privately-held start-ups they discover online,” said Crowdability co-founder Matt Milner. “We’ve created this software to protect them. Our mission is to help individual investors avoid the riskiest start-up investments, while drawing their attention to the ones with the most potential. By using this one simple tool, investors can dramatically reduce their risk.”
“There are currently hundreds of different crowdfunding websites where start-ups raise money,” added Crowdability co-founder Wayne Mulligan. “We’ve created one central location that aggregates the highest-quality opportunities and provides investors with a simple way to rapidly evaluate each one. Essentially, CrowdabilityIQ is a stock screener for private companies.”
CrowdabilityIQ allows investors to quickly search for deals that are being backed by prominent venture capital funds or angel investors. Other filters allow users to find crowdfunding opportunities based on factors like the company’s valuation, geographic region, sector or even the company founder’s education level.
By using a proprietary “Risk of Ruin” ranking algorithm, CrowdabilityIQ can also quickly compare and contrast companies by their likelihood of going out of business.
Each company listed in the CrowdabilityIQ database also comes with a 10-to-15 page research report that includes information about the company’s funding history, its key investors, team members and much more.
CrowdabilityIQ subscribers include retail investors, institutional money managers, wealth managers and venture capitalists who are looking for potential investment ideas.
About Crowdability, Inc.
Founded in 2014, Crowdability Inc. is an independent research company dedicated to identifying and evaluating the most promising early-stage equity crowdfunding investment opportunities. Crowdability.com provides individual investors with education, information and insight into the equity crowdfunding market. Its free website and email newsletter aggregate and organize deals from an ever-expanding universe of online crowdfunding platforms. Crowdability’s goal is to save investors time and simplify the process of discovering and evaluating crowdfunding opportunities, while helping fund the next generation of entrepreneurs and companies. Crowdability is privately held and does not maintain a relationship with the platforms or any of the companies it features. The firm is focused on providing information, data and analysis that is 100% independent and unbiased.
Washington D.C., September 15, 2015 – Rare Genomics Institute (RG) is launching ten separate crowdfunding campaigns to help patients with rare diseases pinpoint the causes of their illnesses. All amounts raised will go towards exome sequencing, which is a cutting-edge method of partial genome sequencing to find the genetic causes of diseases.
This effort is part of Amplify Hope, initiated by RG to determine the most effective crowdfunding programs and measure their effect on scientific education. Amplify Hope is a new RG study funded by the John Templeton Foundation that provides crowdfunding training to rare disease families and tracks the overall reach and scientific impact to help rare disease patients.
“Rare Genomics Institute has helped hundreds of families with rare diseases,” said Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, MHS, President of the Rare Genomics Institute. “This project encourages the community to join our continuous efforts to help the families who have literally exhausted all other options. By donating and spreading the word about these campaigns, we’ll be able to fund the exome sequencing to uncover the exact cause of their illness.”
Some examples of the campaigns launching today include a beautiful 5 year old girl with an extremely rare and yet still undiagnosed condition that has caused her to have overall developmental delays.
“At five years old, Ria has yet to take her first step, has yet to say her first words or call for Mommy or Daddy,” said her father, Rod Booker. “Ria has severe hypotonia and cannot control her arms and leg movements. She cannot eat solid food and cannot grasp toys to play with them as a typical 5 year old.” Her parents hope exome sequencing will find answers to help Ria.”
Rare Genomics is inviting patients, families, friends, industry partners and everyone to support the Amplify Hope Initiative. Please join us in these campaigns featured on CrowdRise, Indiegogo Life and YouCaring. All money raised above the goal amounts will go to help undiagnosed rare disease children get exome sequencing.
Rare Genomics’ crowdfunding partners on this project include three leading industry pioneers: CrowdRise, Indiegogo Life and YouCaring. Our partners also include two life sciences technology leaders: Ambry Genetics and Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories.
For more information about the Amplify Hope, please visit http://amplifyhope.raregenomics.org/
About Rare Genomics Institute
Rare Genomics is an international 501(c) 3 non-profit that makes cutting edge research technologies of genome sequencing, physicians and scientists around the world accessible to rare disease patients. Rare Genomics helps families source, design and fund personalized research projects for diseases not otherwise studied helping rare disease patients find hope for a cure. By providing an expert network and an online crowdfunding mechanism Rare Genomics works alongside patients and their families, providing them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and connections so that they can better understand the cause of their disease.
For further information on Rare Genomics, please visit http://www.raregenomics.org.
— Monthly originations from Funding Circle’s fast-growing strategic partner ecosystem experience 313% growth since January 2015 —
San Francisco (September 11, 2015) — The thousands of small businesses who already use H&R Block for bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and other accounting services now have access to a new online service: business loans up to $500,000, thanks to a new referral partnership with Funding Circle, the world’s leading marketplace for small business loans.
Through the partnership, Funding Circle loans are the preferred solution for H&R Block Small Business customers seeking financing to grow.
The new agreement bolsters Funding Circle’s diverse strategic partner ecosystem, which has experienced a 313% growth in monthly originations since January 2015. Other key partners integrated onto the platform recently include Intuit, Tri-Net, LendingTree, Credit Karma, Creditera and the National Small Business Association.
“Funding Circle offers strategic partners across multiple verticals the opportunity to build value-added services by leveraging our core technology, strong underwriting and customer-first approach to deliver unique financing solutions for their small business customers,” said Funding Circle co-founder and US managing director Sam Hodges. “Building a rich and diverse partner ecosystem is a core part of our growth strategy, and we are proud to welcome strong brands like H&R Block onto our platform who share our values and mission to help small businesses grow and prosper.”
“The missions of our two organizations are very similar,” said Jeremy Smith, director of Block Small Business. “We both provide services to small businesses that enable successful, sustainable growth. Given that we do the accounting for service businesses with less than $20MM in revenue, our clients have found it difficult to get loans from traditional banks. Well, Funding Circle specializes in lending to these types of businesses; so now our clients have a go-to source for capital to grow their businesses.”
Through the Funding Circle marketplace, businesses looking to borrow up to $500,0000 are matched with accredited and institutional investors. By bringing together industry leading risk management and cutting edge technology, Funding Circle’s proven marketplace model enables businesses to access financing in under 10 days compared to months with a bank.
About Funding Circle
Funding Circle (www.fundingcircle.com) is the world’s leading online marketplace for business loans, matching small businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the UK and the US. Since launching in 2010, investors at Funding Circle – including 40,000 individuals, financial institutions and even the UK Government – have now invested more than $1 billion in 10,000 businesses globally. Funding Circle has raised $273 million in equity capital from the same investors that backed Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Alibaba.
Organizations and individuals create fundraisers to respond to growing and disparate needs of refugee and migrant crises
The recent tragic drowning death of Aylan Kurdi, a 5-year old Syrian boy has directed much-needed attention to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. CrowdRise, the world’s largest fundraising site for charitable causes, has seen a recent increase in efforts to help in the crisis, and has launched a microsite at crowdrise.com/refugee-relief so that those looking to donate can easily sort through the many options.
For instance, actress Salma Hayek created a fundraiser with Chime for Change specifically focused on Syrian Children. She notes on her fundraising page, “With the conflict in Syria in its fifth year, for the youngest children this crisis is all they have ever known. For adolescents entering their formative years, violence and suffering have not only scarred their past; they are shaping their futures.” Her hope is to help UNICEF provide Syrian children with access to school and psychosocial support.
Save the Children, the international nonprofit working on the ground to help to refugee children has raised over $11,000 on CrowdRise.
Non-profit Humanity Without Borders exceeded its goal of $10,000 raising $16,275 to help provide food, shoes, and toys to the war-torn refugees and families in Syria. International Rescue Committee, Inc. has raised $14,638 to get uprooted families medical care, clean water, sanitation, education, women’s protection services and other vital aid.
Humanity First USA is focusing its efforts on helping displaced families in Jordan and Turkey by providing them with means to settle down. The most prominent initiative of Humanity First has been two schools for Syrian refugee children in Jordan for the past one year.
Additionally, many individuals have been compelled by the stories of the refugees in the media and have set up fundraisers to enable them to help in various ways. Adriana Xhakli is going to Istanbul with her parents and plans to deliver jackets, socks, blankets, diapers, soap, baby formula, and first aid kits. On her CrowdRise page she says, “I plan on making multiple trips back and forth to the store until my feet give out…I just can’t think of a more direct way to help.”
Similarly, Judith Ansara Gass is traveling to the island Leros in Greece where over 100,000 refugees, primarily from Syria and Afghanistan have been pouring in, risking their lives to escape war and violence. She is selflessly CrowdRising to try to help meet refugees’ urgent basic needs as they wait for papers to allow them to move on to other parts of Europe where they can try to make a new life.
To learn more about these amazing fundraisers and several others dealing with the Syrian crisis, visit www.crowdrise.com/refugee-relief.
This article was original produced for Dive In Social and is reprinted here by permission.
In Berlin, do it yourself culture takes unbelievable proportions for the ones who (like ourselves) can’t assemble even an easel. There is a friend building his own ship (!), another one making boombox out of old suitcases. And there was also the day when we step out of our flat to find a temporary woodwork in our backyard. This is Berlin being Berlin. And the do it yourself lifestyle found its perfect match in Cucula, a brand that sells furniture made by refugees living in the city. The twist: all the pieces are based upon italian designer Enzo Mari’s original work, who developed a line focused on educating the consumer market about design discipline.
“Cucula” means “doing something together” and is a term borrowed from hausa, the original language of a vast area in Africa and the second language in Nigeria. Inspired by Mari’s idea that everyone can make furniture, designer Sebastian Däschle took the italian’s design to a refugee camp in Oranienplatz, Kreuzberg, so that they could build up their own pieces. “But their reaction was that they don’t need furniture, they need work and money, Corinna Sy, co-founder, says.
Corinna joined Sebastian from the starting point of the company, which aims at promoting inclusion and providing education to victims of global disasters. Jessy Medernach and Barbara Meyer complete the founding team. Cucula intends to be an association, a workshop and educational program, altogether. Now, it works as a pilot. “It is complicated to establish a social business around here, I really can get why it is so hard. And even if we are starting a company, we have five refugees working with us. They have completely different needs and have been through diverse experiences, there are so many issues, says Sy.
In order to ensure the Cucula’s mission of including refugees, they try to include in the articles of incorporation the requirement of having immigrants in their staff. Besides being the only firm in the world authorized to sell ready made Enzo Mari items, the designer granted this right only for the cause. In his own conception, design has to do with utopia and the furniture proposed by his “Autoprogettazione” have been planned for a different society.
Mari’s idea shocked the design scene and when Cucula had its crowdfunding campaign available online, having a Sedia Uno as a rewards, it was a hit. 70,000€ collected in 6 weeks, enough to ensure scholarships to 5 trainees-refugees. The company-school-organization offers all the structure (home and health) to all five of them.
“We took Mari’s concept and put it in another context. Our goal is to emancipate people. By then, no one could produce and sell his pieces, but they were widely known in design books. Our entrance in the market was good, because we had a very well known designer and a social cause, Sy says.
But the product designer and now entrepreneur highlights the tension of dealing with a social problem that is an open wound in Europe. As if it was not enough, another problem caught everyone unaware: about a month ago, the workshop — that was working full-throttle to deliver the crowdfunding rewards caught fire. They not only lost a massive part of raw material, but had to suspend its operation until they find a new address so that they can resume work.
Despite the hardship, Sy speaks in a passionate way, and one can see the passion for work and for the cause through it. Without breathing, she tells all about her adventures in conducting the project. “Now we are very busy trying to stabilize our sales structure, since it is a bit different than the usual. We want the project to scale up, but it is not easy. We have to consider political, economic, social aspects, it is not only a matter of selling. Sometimes the refugees want to go back hoe sometimes they want to stay here. We need to listen each and every one of them. Our work is only the tip of the iceberg in their stories”, concludes Sy.
Venture Funding Hubs, which have already blazed a trail across the UK and beyond, will this month take flight to California landing in one of the country’s most deprived communities in South Central LA via London and the world’s tech hub: Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Entrepreneurs across the UK and the world have already come together creating 74 hubs in places as far afield as Australia and Vietnam, Auckland & Oxford so far this year. Working with crowdfunding and community development organisation ‘Crowdfund Better’, architect and cofounder Barry James, who’s CEO of The Crowdfunding Centre, is taking this to the next level in LA.
“LA communities like Compton and Watts have been left behind by the traditional economy and so are among the most financially deprived in America” commented crowdfunding expert Kathleen Minogue of LA’s Crowdfund Better “and we know that Crowdfunding holds the keys to empower people and communities to help themselves and recreate the local economy. Which is why we are delighted to bring together one of crowdfunding’s foremost pioneers, from the UK, with community leaders who are already making a major impact in the region, to support and accelerate the great work already taking root here”.
Piloting The Entrepreneurs Flight School
Creating and piloting the new “Entrepreneurs Flight School” adds a powerful new element to the funding hubs by embedding an innovative perpetual seed fund, code-named the PIE fund (Perpetual Inception & Entrepreneurship) capable of supporting and up skilling a continuous stream of budding but raw entrepreneurs through their first steps into crowdfunding and business or social enterprises and community projects.
Communities & Entrepreneurs Sowing the Seeds of a Better Future
Entrepreneur and community leader Gary O. Shelton is helping spearhead the creation of this new fund to accelerate the work he has helped lead developing living wage and entrepreneurship opportunities for the unemployed, and underemployed in the new on-demand economy. “It is unheard of, until now, for churches and community development organisations to come together in this way to act as ‘Angels’ and create what amounts to a seed investment fund. This would usually be the preserve of bankers, financiers or ‘angel investors'” says Shelton “but we know that crowdfunding can help prepare and create more fertile soil here and help do a power of good in rebuilding lives and communities in the 21st century. This is the kind of collaboration these communities need to help them help themselves.”
Each Generation Seeding the Next
The PIE fund, a new model developed in the UK by James and his team at The Crowdfunding Centre, uses crowdfunding to both support and up skill new, raw, entrepreneurs and to, when they raise the money they need, enable the next wave, the next generation. This makes the scheme ‘perpetual’ – self fuelling and sustainable into the medium and long term.
California Thinks Differently
James commented “Crowdfunding is perhaps the most important element of the ‘FinTech’ (financial technology) revolution of which London and San Francisco are the global epicentres and I’m looking forward to meeting many of the leading pioneers and innovators in both of these world cities. But it’s as much about opening new doors for those left behind by the old economy as the technology or the changes to banks and funding. I’m looking forward to working with Kathleen and her team”. Adding “Because California thinks differently it has led the world from both LA and San Francisco in different ways, with the movie industry and then Silicon Valley. I greatly value this opportunity to collaborate to explore and establish new ways to empower people to regenerate their towns and cities, help themselves building their own livelihoods independent of government or outside help. This is the potential of crowdfunding, for the many, and I believe California will play a pivotal role in changing the world again, in a very important and much needed way.”
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
In what could be a sign of the maturing of the crowdfunding industry, NonProfitEasy has acquired Fundly, the crowdfunding site widely used by nonprofits, and simultaneously rebranded the entire business Fundly.
Fundly President, Mark Feinberg, explains, “NonProfitEasy, the integrated and affordable data management solution for nonprofits, has acquired Fundly, a top online crowdfunding platform for individuals and organizations. With this acquisition comes an opportunity for NonProfitEasy to capitalize on the strong Fundly brand, so the entire NonProfitEasy product line will be rebranded to reflect the Fundly image.”
“The goal is to bring consistency across all products and to offer any organization, regardless of size, a seamless and affordable way to manage all their data needs,” he concludes.
No price has been disclosed for the private transaction.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at noon Eastern, Feinberg will join me for a live discussion about the transaction and its implications for customers and employees of the combined entity. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Fundly:
Through its suite of products, Fundly is revolutionizing social impact by delivering enterprise level technology for peer-to-peer fundraising, donor relationship management, volunteer management, membership management, and event registration at a fraction of the price as competing platforms. The extensive, cloud-based product line offers subscription levels that can be tailored to any budget from the smallest organization to the largest enterprise with big data needs. With an innovative modular design, customers can use and pay for only the functionality they need,. Unlike competing products, this keeps organizations within budget and gives them full control over the user experience.
Prior to Fundly Mark was founder and CEO of Uruut, a crowdfunding platform focused on the nonprofit sector. Uruut was acquired by NonProfitEasy in 2014. Before starting Uruut, Mark was General Partner of Feinberg Capital Advisors a multi-family investment firm where he managed assets for high net worth families (across asset classes). Mark also held senior level positions with IBM and Ernst & Young. Mark has been involved as an investor, board member and operator of a number of companies across industries. Mark currently sits on the board of the Greenhouse Foundation and is a Founding Member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Mark holds a BBA and MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Aug 27, 2015 – Chicago Rising is a unique fundraising campaign that allows donors to contribute to key social issues being addressed by their favorite charities while also allowing these charities to register for free services.
Donations made to Chicago Rising support the work of Executive Service Corps (ESC), a nonprofit with a mission to make nonprofits successful, leveraging the career knowledge and skills of nearly 200 volunteers to assist over 130 nonprofits each year.
Each donation, regardless of amount, counts as one vote towards a selected social issue or cause category. Easy to do and encourages donors to involve their favorite charity in an opportunity for help they might need to meet their latest challenges in a competitive environment for dwindling resources.
At the conclusion of the campaign, three organizations, one from each of three cause categories with the most votes, will be selected to receive free consulting services.
Nonprofits interested in registering for Chicago Rising simply need to visit the registration tab on www.crowdrise.com/chicagorising and submit the form. Donors also have the opportunity to suggest a nonprofit they support to register.
ESC is a nonprofit organization with a singular mission to make nonprofits successful and a holistic approach to its consulting work. Nearly 200 ESC consultants are highly-skilled and trained nonprofit specialists, working with over 130 Chicago-area nonprofits and public agencies every year. They work in teams, building, leadership, strategy and solutions that have an impact on the lives of 3 million men, women and children in our communities. www.esc-chicago.org
Light for Kinama School initiative has been launched by Sylvere Mwizerwa to bring solar power to Kinama School situated in Rwanda. They are raising money on GoFundMe. Recently I caught up with him to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:
What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?
The social benefit that I hope to achieve is that at the end the school have powered to the electric grid because The lack of electricity means that students cannot stay at school after dark to complete their studies, hindering their performance in national exams, and, consequently, their chances for university admissions, employment, and the economic development of their community. It also means that teachers cannot charge their phones or the school’s 3 laptops or printer, making it more difficult for them to access and disseminate resources for learning.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
I really want to to raise 6000$ which will be enough to lighten the entire school. After a research made, 6000 $ will be enough. I have raised 1050@ so far.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
I am trying to help students and teachers to get light so that student perform really well in classes.The lack of electricity means that students cannot stay at school after dark to complete their studies, hindering their performance in national exams, and, consequently, their chances for university admissions, employment, and the economic development of their community. It also means that teachers cannot charge their phones or the school’s 3 laptops or printer, making it more difficult for them to access and disseminate resources for learning.