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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 2017

First-Ever Clean Energy Credit Union Raises Critical Start-up Funding

Leading national non-profit E4TheFuture provides financial backing to credit union as it gets ready to open for business

Press Release – The nation’s first-ever Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) today announced that it has received critical startup funding from E4TheFuture, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing clean energy to all Americans. E4TheFuture has granted a $50,000 seed funding and an initial savings account for $100,000 to help capitalize and accelerate the implementation of the new and exciting CECU.

As part of its purpose, CECU aims to enable consumers to make energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades to their homes when they otherwise may not have been able to. See a two-minute video.

E4TheFuture President Steve Cowell said this award is an investment in the future of energy efficiency as well as other distributed energy resources such as wind and solar power. “We are supporting this organization because we believe it will help remove barriers to widespread adoption to clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Cowell.

“This decision fits our mission to bring the energy efficiency industry to greater success,” according to Cowell. “We are collaborating to bring benefits to a broad spectrum of Americans who want clean energy and energy efficiency but may not have the available cash to invest in improvements.”

“Support from E4TheFuture will allow the CECU to leverage more funding and will strengthen our ability to help people participate in the clean energy movement,” said board chair Blake Jones. “People are seeking new ways to make a difference to help our environment and usher in a clean energy economy. Our new credit union provides an easy way for people to be a part of the solution.”

“As a new organization committed to the common cause of building a robust clean energy industry, the CECU is proud to be a recipient of E4TheFuture funds,” said CEO Terri Mickelsen. “These dollars will go a long way toward helping all of us unite the clean energy participants to help consumers finance clean energy resources.”

The CECU received its federal charter from the National Credit Union Administration in September 2017, and plans to open its (virtual) doors by the end of 2017. A crowdfunding campaign (see video) is under way through November 12, 2017. Initial membership recruitment is targeting members of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES); impact investing and Socially Responsible Investing communities; consumers interested in purchasing a solar PV system, electric vehicle, or home energy efficiency retrofit; and credit unions with underutilized funds available to deposit in CECU and/or who are interested in participating in its loan portfolio.

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“Helpings from the Heart” to Serve More Than 20,000 Meals at 25th Annual Thanksgiving Feast in Orlando

Golden Corral Will Host Event at Salvation Army on Thanksgiving Day

Press Release – ORLANDO, FL (Nov, 2017) – For the 25th consecutive year, Golden Corral, along with the generous support of several Orlando-area businesses, will once again serve free meals to the public on Thanksgiving Day as part of the annual “Helpings from the Heart” program. The event is expected to serve more than 20,000 meals to deserving residents in Central Florida on Thanksgiving Day.

The event will take place beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 23, in the Salvation Army gymnasium located at 440 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL. The dinner is a collaborative effort between Eric Holm, owner and president of Metro Corral Partners, and several area business partners and community groups.

Giving Back

Holm founded “Helpings from the Heart” in 1992 as a way to give back to the community and thank The Salvation Army, which provided a Thanksgiving meal to the Holm family when he was a child. Holm experienced the need for help first-hand. He grew up in a single-parent family and worked to help support his mother as a busboy in a restaurant where she was a waitress. This annual event now gives Holm the opportunity to help others who may not be able to afford a full Thanksgiving meal.

“This year’s Helpings from the Heart event takes special significance in that it is the 25th straight year we have had the privilege to organize it,” said Holm. “It started off years ago as an opportunity to share the holiday with others and give people a good meal on Thanksgiving. Although the event has grown considerably over the years, the purpose remains the same and we look forward to spending time with everyone that comes out that day.”

The dinner is a joint venture between Holm and area nonprofit organizations, corporations and local businesses, including The Salvation Army, Cheney Brothers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McLane, Ardent, Mills, Harvill’s, Bubbalou’s, Puff n Stuff, Universal and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which provides protection for all guests and volunteers. More than 1,100 Salvation Army volunteers will arrive throughout the day to assist with serving the meal this year.

“The Helpings from the Heart event is something we look forward to all year,” said Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef of Helpings from the Heart. “A lot of preparation goes into it, but it is a team effort that brings a lot of joy to many people. We look forward to being able to serve a great meal that day to so many deserving people in the Orlando community.”

Gronlund and his staff will prepare more than 3,000 pounds of turkey and 3,000 pounds of ham along with plenty of mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, corn, pie, fruit and beverages. Meals are also available for carry-out or will be picked up and more than 8,000 meals will be delivered to nursing homes, shut-ins, local churches and other facilities throughout the Orlando area.

“The Salvation Army is proud to partner with Golden Corral to serve up thousands of Thanksgiving meals for people in the Orlando area,” said Major Ted Morris of The Salvation Army, Orlando Area Command. “More than 1,000 volunteers will assemble at The Salvation Army to serve good food, love and compassion to area residents and make this a true day of giving thanks.”

Those wishing to donate to The Salvation Army to fight hunger year-round are encouraged to text “Helpings” to 41444 to continue feeding the disadvantaged men, women and children in their shelters.

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Need Your Help to Protect Vulnerable Children in Colombia

Crowdfunder: Mercedes Fernandez of Primero Lo Primero

Campaign type: We’re looking for donations to support a cause

Campaign link:

Twitter: @PLPCOL

Goal: 10,000

Progress: 1,690

Project: Our project will help victimized mothers, primary caregivers, and children affected by the armed conflict in Colombia through mental health intervention.

Use of funds: The funds raised will be used to implement the Semillas de Apego mental health program in Tumaco, Colombia. It is a 15 week curriculum which provides tools that victimized mothers and primary caregivers need to process their own trauma. Then, the program focuses on allowing a proper understanding of the child’s development trajectories and how they are silently being affected by the experience of adversities. Finally, the curriculum works towards fostering child-rearing good practices. Together, Semillas de Apego aims to foster the healthy child-parent attachments that promote appropriate emotional development.

Anecdote: The Colombian people have suffered decades of violence, and displacement. The Semillas de Apego program is the only program in place that works specifically with the victimized caretakers and children.

Learn the secrets of crowdfunding for social good with our free webinar.

Support This Project to Provide Borneo People with Ultrasounds

Crowdfunder: Trina Noonan of Health In Harmony

Campaign type: We’re looking for donations to support a cause

Campaign link:

Twitter: @HIHngo

Goal: $18,000

Progress: $13,500 (75%)

Project: 120,000 people living around a rain forest in Indonesia by providing them with access to an ultrasound machine.

Use of funds: We will buy three new ultrasound probes and the software for a new ultrasound system for our hospital.

Anecdote: Our Indonesian-run hospital provides high quality health care for 120,000 people who live around a rainforest in Borneo. We are the only clinic that has ultrasound technology in the entire region. Maternal health care is one of the highest needs of this community, and one man we know, Pak Sofian, had to cut down 60 huge rainforest trees to sell to pay for an emergency c-section. At ASRI, not only do we provide high-quality care that is not available elsewhere, we also give discounts to villages not involved in logging and allow alternative payment methods like seedlings, so no one is ever turned away and no one ever has to destroy the forest in a health emergency. We have been in the region for 10 years, but now that we have a new hospital building we are able to provide a new suite of care, and in the last year 10 babies have been born at ASRI!

Learn the secrets of crowdfunding for social good with our free webinar.

Support National Parks and A Student’s Education

Crowdfunder: Brigham Cheshire of Atlas Learning Academy  

Campaign type: We’re looking for donations to support a cause

Campaign link:

Twitter: @ATLAS_Learning

Goal: $3,500

Progress: $165

Project: I am raising money for my independent study/ outdoor education school, and to raise awareness of overcrowding in National Parks. This project is helping me earn high school graduation credits and real life skills. The money going to my school will help supply us with the gear and means to get students outdoors and into nature.

Use of funds: I will use the money I am raising to hold a photo gallery to support my school and national parks. Most of the money will be donated directly to my school and national parks.

Anecdote: I have personally been helped by this project. It has allowed me to complete my high school in a non traditional way and has really opened up my eyes to new ways of learning as well as other students. The trips we go on as a school range from 5 day backpacking trips in Yosemite to simple snowshoe walks in the winter. Going on these trips give students more freedom and can give people new opportunities.

Learn the secrets of crowdfunding for social good with our free webinar.

RE-volv Wins Prestigious Green Power Leadership Award

Innovative program recognized for making significant advances in training America’s youth to spearhead local solar energy projects

Press Release – San Francisco, CA (November 2, 2017)RE-volv – an organization that manages crowdfunding campaigns to help nonprofits switch to solar energy – has won the 17th annual Leadership in Green Power Education Award for its innovative and effective Solar Ambassador Program. The award, given by the Center for Resource Solutions, was presented at the Renewable Energy Markets 2017 conference in New York on October 23rd.

“RE-volv has created an exciting new model of solar education and implementation, focusing on students as a catalyst to expand solar in their communities,” said CRS Executive Director Jennifer Martin. “We are pleased to be able to present them with a Green Power Leadership Award this year for their commitment to giving young people a leadership role and solid foundation in the transition to clean energy.”

RE-volv’s Solar Ambassador Program has been in action for three years and has engaged over 100 students representing 12 universities in eight states. The year-long fellowship trains college students to spearhead a solar project in their community. Students attend a leadership summit, receive training on how to manage a successful crowdfunding campaign, and engage their communities to bring clean, affordable solar energy to a local nonprofit.

“We are thrilled to receive an award shining light on our Solar Ambassador Program,“ Executive Director of RE-volv Andreas Karelas said. “Now more than ever, it is vital to engage, empower and train the next generation of clean energy leaders.”

Founded in 2011, RE-volv is the first and only U.S. nonprofit to employ a revolving fund to finance solar energy installations for community-serving nonprofit organizations. Through RE-volv’s web platform, users can donate to specific nonprofit solar projects that pay RE-volv back over time through a solar lease agreement. Each month, donors who gave to a particular project receive their share of the lease payment in their portfolio, through which they can continually reinvest in new solar projects on the RE-volv platform. This pay-it-forward model helps to accelerate solar energy deployment in local communities around the country.

RE-volv, a two-time U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative awardee, has received its largest grant to date from the personal foundation of Academy Award winning actor and outspoken climate change activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Of the $120,000 grant, $60,000 will be used to support RE-volv’s operations and the remaining $60,000 will be used to match RE-volv’s upcoming solar energy crowdfunding campaigns dollar for dollar.

About RE-volv

RE-volv empowers people to take direct action on climate change by crowdfunding solar energy projects for nonprofit organizations. Donations made to RE-volv’s crowdfunding campaigns grow a revolving fund that provides solar financing for nonprofits across the nation. RE-volv raises awareness about solar energy through its flagship Solar Ambassador Program, which trains college students to solarize nonprofits they care about. RE-volv is an inaugural member of the White House National Community Solar Partnership and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Learn more at

About the Green Power Leadership Awards

The annual Green Power Leadership Awards (GPLAs) are competitive awards that recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace. By choosing green power instead of conventional electricity, consumers, businesses, and organizations can support increased deployment of renewable energy technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation and increase energy security. The GPLAs are presented by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the annual Renewable Energy Markets conference. Learn more at

About Center for Resource Solutions

Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) is a national nonprofit with global impact. CRS brings forth expert responses to climate change issues with the speed and effectiveness necessary to provide real-time solutions. Its leadership through collaboration and environmental innovation builds policies and consumer-protection mechanisms in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and energy efficiency that foster healthy and sustained growth in national and international markets. For more information about its programs, visit

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Help AIDS Orphans Become Self-Reliant

Crowdfunder: Tanya Weaver of American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Campaign type: We’re looking for donations to support a cause

Campaign link:

Twitter: @AFCAids

Goal: $10,000

Progress: $2,100

Project: This will support girls orphaned by HIV/AIDS and who are wanting to learn how to become self-sufficient.

Use of funds: We will purchase and set up a greenhouse in a girls’ home in Zimbabwe. This will be a training ground for girls to learn how to prepare land, set up drip irrigation systems, grow and transplant seedlings, grow and harvest vegetables, mulch, etc.

Anecdote: Our greenhouse project is growing! What started as a dream to educate girls in farming, marketing, selling, and budgeting is growing from one greenhouse to, hopefully, 10. Fourteen young ladies, who lost parents to AIDS and also sustained abuse in the hands of their guardians, did the huge job of moving manure and dirt into our first greenhouse, making it ready for planting. After their seedlings grew and were planted, they expectantly waited for their yellow and orange peppers to grow. And, grow, they did! While providing their home with food, they sold extra veggies in the open market, earning some money for their savings accounts while saving money for the next crop. Each girl was tired at the end of their work days, but they were excited to learn and to know that once it is their time to leave the home, they are able to farm and to start small businesses, due to the training received.

Learn the secrets of crowdfunding for social good with our free webinar.

How You Can Support Survivors of the California Wildfires

Crowdfunder: Stephanie Bowers of Jake’s Diapers

Campaign type: We’re looking for donations to support a cause

Campaign link:

Twitter: @jakesdiapers

Goal: $6,037

Progress: $3,012

Project: The California wildfires have left thousands homeless and in dire need. We are working to provide vulnerable women & children survivors with basic hygiene needs: diapers & feminine care items. These items are often overlooked, both in disaster relief and traditional poverty alleviation. No disaster relief or federal safety net programs (WIC, food stamps) cover these much needed items.

Use of funds: This fund will provide relief to children & women in the form of cloth diapers & re-usable feminine hygiene items as part of longer-term recovery assistance to help those impacted meet basic hygiene needs. All donations to this fund will exclusively support relief and recovery efforts from these fires.

Anecdote: “We lost our home and my husband’s job. Thank you for helping. “ ~ Tubbs Wildfire Survivor, after receiving a kit of cloth diapers from Jake’s Diapers to last from birth to potty training.

Learn the secrets of crowdfunding for social good with our free webinar.

HomeBiogas 2.0 Turns Yesterday’s Kitchen Scraps Into Tomorrow’s Cooking Gas

HomeBiogas launches its clean energy home solution on Kickstarter, giving households the power to transform food waste into clean cooking gas and natural liquid fertilizer – and reduce their carbon footprint.

Press Release – Nevada – November 2017HomeBiogas, the clean energy solutions provider, launches its latest biodigester, HomeBiogas 2.0 transforming leftover kitchen waste into reusable, clean gas. After a successful first crowdfunding campaign, HomeBiogas launches its latest at home biodigester HomeBiogas 2.0 which works at twice its original speed. Each system produces up to three hours of cooking gas per day. Now, more durable, cheaper, and easier to assemble, HomeBiogas 2.0 launches on Kickstarter with a ready to use stovetop.

Imagine how much waste households around the world produce each year. Every family dinner prepared, school lunch packed, and leftovers spoiled contributes to the 1.3 billion tons of food that is wasted every year! In fact, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a staggering one-third of food produced for human consumption worldwide is either lost or wasted. For households looking to go green, the best alternative is traditional composting, which requires constant upkeep, smells unpleasant, and can attract pests. With HomeBiogas 2.0, your household’s leftover organic waste can be effortlessly deposited into a closed, odorless appliance which converts waste into biogas to fuel your kitchen cooking needs and fertilizer to nourish your plants and garden.

Most biodigesters on the market today are either large and bulky, limited to certain areas, or specifically for commercial use. HomeBiogas took the outdated existing technology and updated it, so modern families can have an affordable and user-friendly experience. HomeBiogas 2.0 makes going green easy with its DIY appliance, allowing you to:

  • Save Green – HomeBiogas 2.0 supplies free energy all year round from material you already have at home: your organic waste so you don’t have to pay for energy to power your stove.
  • Cook Green – HomeBiogas 2.0 provides a clean and sustainable alternative to electricity, propane, and natural gas. Each system produces up to three hours of renewable cooking gas daily.
  • Live Green – HomeBiogas 2.0 up-cycles food and animal waste that normally would be decomposing in landfills emitting potent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, a major contributor to climate change. By collecting these gases, HomeBiogas 2.0 alleviates dependence on harmful sources of energy, turning your household into a self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • Grow Green – HomeBiogas 2.0’s system recycles nutrients from your household’s organic waste into a natural liquid fertilizer which is rapidly absorbed into the soil for happier, healthier plants.

Each appliance, equipped with a water-resistant outer layer, is fed with equal parts food waste and water. Installation is simple, just fill the digester with water, mount the gas container with the sandbags HomeBiogas supplies, and the machine is ready to go. Inside the system, the waste is broken down naturally by bacteria, releasing biogas. The gas tank gradually inflates with ready-to-use gas. Through a patented mechanical pressure mechanism, the gas is delivered at a uniform rate from system to the stovetop.

HomeBiogas 2.0 also creates the opportunity to provide clean energy and natural fertilizer to the millions of families who live in underserved communities in nations around the globe. In underdeveloped regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean, very few have access to clean energy, and formal waste removal services are uncommon. The standard practice in these areas is to cook on wood or charcoal, which creates harmful indoor air pollution and causes long-term detriments to respiratory health. On top of the health concerns, cooking with these materials also contributes to deforestation and climate change. HomeBiogas provides a clean, easy alternative to these cooking fuels.

“We are a socially conscious company at our core,” says Oshik Efrati, CEO & Co-Founder of HomeBiogas. “Our initial campaign gave eco-conscious, western consumers the opportunity to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and start using renewable energy at home. We believe that with our new campaign and the lowered price point, HomeBiogas 2.0 will have an even bigger impact on communities across the globe, whether it’s used in the U.S., the Philippines or Senegal.”



HomeBiogas, founded in 2012, is the first company to produce and sell DIY family-sized biodigesters. Located in Beit Yanai, Israel, HomeBiogas has set out to offer every household easy access to renewable energy. Founded by Oshik Efrati, Yair Teller, and Erez Lanzer, HomeBiogas’ mission is to enable those in both developed and developing nations to lead a more sustainable life through cooking, growing, and smarter energy production.

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