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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: December 2017

Yachad Raises More Than $1 Million On 2nd Annual Giving Day

International Organization Ensures Inclusion for Individuals with Disabilities

Press Release – New York, NY, DEC 28, 2017 — Yachad, the National Jewish Council for Disabilities, raised $1,371,942 in just 24 hours during its 2nd Annual Giving Day 2017, which began at 3 pm EST Monday, December 11. The organization used the crowdfunding site for the effort.

These funds will be used to boost the organization’s goal of creating a more empowered and inclusive Jewish future for people with disabilities. This includes day-to-day work to ensure that more programs and inclusive events are offered in our network of Jewish communities.

Ken Saibel, Associate Director of Yachad, said: “We are enormously gratified by the outstanding response from across the country and internationally, to our Charidy campaign. Over 1,700 donors, and many more who contributed just after the 24-hour period, supported our message about the importance of inclusion. Every donation is meaningful, whether from individuals who gave a few dollars from their tzedakah boxes, fundraised off-line or collected from others. It all goes to help Yachad continue its important mission.

I’m so proud of all the staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make this day the tremendous success that it was.”

Funds raised from Yachad branches:

  • New York: $350,004
  • Florida: $40,570
  • New Jersey: $87,344
  • New England: $276,232
  • Chicago: $215,580
  • Los Angeles: $100,581
  • Toronto: $126,961
  • Israel: $101,116
  • National: $73,554

The fundraising campaign’s tagline, ‘We Belong,’ reflects Yachad’s commitment to building communities of connection, strength and friendship – communities where everyone can learn and grow and reach their potential.

“Yachad wishes to thank everyone who donated to this campaign and helped raise awareness about the need for inclusion,” adds Saibel.

Learn more about Yachad’s services at:

About Yachad

Yachad, The National Jewish Council for Disabilities, is a thriving global organization dedicated to addressing the needs of all Jewish individuals with disabilities and ensuring their inclusion in every aspect of Jewish life. Our inclusive design aims to ensure persons with diverse abilities take their rightful place within the Jewish community, while helping to educate and advocate for a greater understanding, acceptance, outreach, and a pro-disability attitude. Yachad is funded by the Orthodox Union, led by President Moishe Bane.

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Partnering With the DiCaprio Foundation, Re-Volv Completes Crowdfunding Campaign in 1 Day

Leonardo DiCaprio helped Faith Baptist Church raise more than $15,000 in a single day with support from his foundation and a few well-timed tweets on #GivingTuesday. The funds will be used to put solar panels on the church, helping it fulfil its mission to feed the hungry at lower cost while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Preliminary Interview with Andreas Karelas, the Executive Director of RE-volv.

The following is a brief pre-interview that provides context for the recorded interview you may watch or listen to at the top of this article.

Crowdfunding page:

What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?

Faith Baptist Church plays a critical role in the East Oakland community. One of the ways they serve the community is through their Food Giving Program, where volunteers give out food to those less fortunate. Faith Baptist Church gives out over 100 tons of food every year. Every other week, people from East Oakland and beyond line up at the Church to receive free food to feed their families. Faith Baptist church feeds over 300 families every month with its Food Giving Program.

By supporting this crowdfunding campaign, donors are helping Faith Baptist Church feed even more people. The goal of this campaign was to raise enough money to put solar panels on Faith Baptist Church. This 5.8kW solar array will cover 100% of their electricity usage and save them over 30% on their electric bills. That’s money that can be put into serving more people in the community with their incredible Food Giving Program.

More about RE-volv:

Twitter: @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 also raises awareness about solar energy through its flagship Solar Ambassador Program, which trains college students to solarize nonprofits they care about. RE-volv is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative and is an inaugural member of the White House National Community Solar Partnership. Learn more at

For-profit or Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Andreas Karelas

Andreas Karelas’s bio:

Twitter: @RE_volv


Andreas Karelas is the founder and Executive Director of RE-volv. Andreas is a dedicated renewable energy advocate with over ten years of environmental and renewable energy nonprofit experience. Prior to founding RE-volv Andreas worked with a number of leading organizations including the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the National Audubon Society, blueEnergy, and the Center for Resource Solutions. Andreas holds Master’s degrees in International Affairs and in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is a 2013 Audubon Toyota TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow and a 2016 OpenIDEO Climate Innovator Fellow.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

Operation Agua Donations Reach $1.5 Million, Providing Safe Drinking Water for More Than 270,000 Students in Schools in Puerto Rico

Halfway to Fundraising Goal, Project Has Distributed Water Filters to Nearly All 1,106 Open Schools in Puerto Rico and to Families and Communities; First Large-Scale Reverse Osmosis System Installed in Hospital in San Juan

Press Release – WASHINGTON — Since Operation Agua launched in October, the partnership is halfway to reaching its fundraising goal, and the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has distributed 3,849 Kohler Clarity water filters to nearly every open school in Puerto Rico to provide safe drinking water to the 272,131 students enrolled. The remaining 25 schools will receive their water filters when the schools reopen after the holidays.

“The AMPR is here for our students, our members, our schools and our communities,” said Aida Diaz, AMPR president. “We started our efforts in the schools because we wanted to ensure our students and staff had safe drinking water. This is a continuing plan to help Puerto Rico recover and rebuild and to support public education on our island.”

Responding to the water crisis in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the AFT; Operation Blessing International; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the Hispanic Federation; the Seafarers International Union; and TOTE Maritime launched Operation Agua to crowdsource contributions and provide a reliable source of safe drinking water across Puerto Rico.

“This week, we delivered Operation Agua water filters, clothes and gifts to students and faculty at Puerto Rico public schools—some still without electricity and only intermittent access to drinking water for the past three months since Hurricane Maria,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “I am in awe of all the educators and students here who are striving to move forward in the face of such daunting circumstances. I am equally inspired by the generosity of people all across our country, including students like the members of the Manchester Elementary fifth-grade student council in Omaha, Neb., who have collected dimes and dollars for Operation Agua and collectively helped us get halfway to our goal in just a few weeks. We will continue to support Puerto Rico to help make sure that our children are safe, that they receive all the help they need and that this crisis is not invisible, and the federal government should do the same.”

To date, Operation Agua has raised $1.5 million—halfway to its initial goal—to purchase and distribute 100,000 individual water filtration systems for households and classrooms, and to install large-capacity clean-water devices to a network of nonprofit organizations, union offices, schools and other community-based groups to provide stable and reliable sources of safe water.

This week, Weingarten is making her third trip to Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria to join AMPR leaders in delivering water filters to students and schools in Salinas and Ponce. In addition to lacking safe drinking water for students and staff, a large number of schools in Puerto Rico do not have reliable access to electricity, creating sweltering classrooms. Many teachers have spent their own money to purchase bottled water for their students.

Based on current donations, Operation Agua has committed to purchasing 55,920 Kohler filters, and so far 27,680 have been delivered to Puerto Rico or are currently en route. The Seafarers International Union and the shipping company TOTE Maritime are working together to ship these water filters to Puerto Rico for free.

A single $30 contribution covers the cost of an in-home purifier, the Kohler Clarity filter, which requires no electricity and provides more than 10 gallons of safe water per day to a family. And $5,000 delivers a disinfectant generator that can disinfect 150,000 gallons per day—enough safe water for thousands of people.

“This week, we worked with the AMPR to install a reverse osmosis water system in the Hospital Del Maestro in San Juan, which is now producing 27 gallons of safe water a minute for its patients and staff,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing. “We are in the process of installing several large-scale chlorinators in communities across the island so people have reliable access to ample safe water to drink, bathe in and clean with to prevent infections and disease.”

Along with water filter distributions to schools, Operation Agua partners are leading distributions directly to families and communities across the island. Members of the Servidores Publico Unidos, an AFSCME affiliate, are delivering thousands of filters to special education students and their families at worksites in Aguada, Arecibo, Bayamon, Caguas, Carolina, Coamo, Guayama, Humacao, Las Piedras, Mayaguez, Ponce, San German and San Juan.

The Hispanic Federation has distributed hundreds of filters at a community college in Yauco and to community organizations in Humacao, Salinas and Yabucoa and is planning to deliver more in Las Marias and in the Caño Martin Peña neighborhood of San Juan.

To see photos and video footage from Operation Agua distributions to schools, families and communities, click here.

To make a donation or become an Operation Agua sponsor, go to

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Asierus IT Firm Delivers 10,000 Hygienic “Santa” Bags to Homeless Shelters Throughout Utah

Utah IT Firm, Asierus Carefree Technology, joins natural health product manufacturer Xlear to provide 10,000 hygienic “Santa” Bags to homeless shelters throughout Utah.

Press Release – LEHI, Utah, Dec. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Christmas came earlier for Utah’s homeless as 10,000 hygienic “Santa” Bags were delivered to several service agencies by employees of Lehi based IT Firm Asierus Carefree Technology and American Fork natural health care products manufacturer Xlear.

In a mutual endeavor, employees from both companies, and volunteers deputized by Santa, spent the majority of last week filling bags with donated items from Xlear’s product line of Spry toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and other essentials many of Utah’s homeless go without. “We hope this small gift for better oral health can help many disadvantaged people in our communities,” said Nathan Jones, CEO of Xlear Inc.

Asierus Carefree Technology CEO Jeremy Hale Simmons created the bag giving program as a service opportunity with his employees and a way to help those struggling during the holiday season. “When I began reaching out to service agencies to tally up how many bags they might need, the numbers came in around 10,000,” Simmons said. “We are grateful for all the amazing people that have contributed to this project and we hope to continue helping people all year around.”

Simmons, at one time honored on Utah’s 40 under 40 List of Entrepreneurs, has expanded his company’s charitable involvement throughout the state and dedicated additional resources to help provide basic necessities to Utah’s homeless. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist in their efforts

About Asierus

Asierus provides world-class support in IT, marketing, scaling, and manufacturing. With 24hr real-time support, Asierus has created one of the most successful business platforms for varying technological applications, while maintaining speed and accuracy for clients all over the world.

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David Siemer and Wavemaker Partners Publish State of Crypto Global Overview Deck following Private Presentations at Crypto Conferences around the World

Press Release – Los Angeles, CA – December 14, 2017 David Siemer, Co-Founder of Wavemaker Partners, a cross-border venture capital firm, dual headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore, today published his State of Crypto Global Overview.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency dominate the headlines today. Understanding these sectors and their potential is now fundamental for investors, technology and finance leaders, and public policy makers.

In his meetings around the world with top investors and finance professionals, David was asked the same questions about the implications and impact of cyptocurrency on global industry and economic organization, as well as the potential growth of the space. Investors also seek carefully sourced data about the strength of the sector and representation in the space. In response to this information demand, David and his team created the report: State of Crypto: A Global Overview. He has been presenting this report at private conferences around the world, from the Draper Venture Network Investor and CEO Summit in San Francisco, to the Hybrid Summit in Macau, to Blockshow Asia in Singapore. He is now making the deck public.

“Never before has there been such a large sector, with so much growth potential, that was simultaneously so misunderstood,” said David Siemer. “I went on a speaking tour to educate the world’s top investors and financiers and thought that I should share my findings with the public.”

The 82 slide report touches on many topics, including:

  • The size, depth and momentum of the sector
  • Industries affected
  • Currency focused tokens
  • Platform and marketplace “utility” tokens
  • Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
  • The increasingly broad cryptocurrency demand
  • The rise of smart money
  • The challenges to overcome

The deck can be accessed on the Wavemaker Partners website by visiting

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Virgin Mobile USA Members Generate Donation of 1 Million Meals to Feeding America via Holiday Promotions

Join Virgin Mobile, get a $150 Visa Prepaid Card, six months of service for $6, free shipping and company contributes 10 meals to Feeding America

Press Release – Kansas City, Mo. (Dec. 12, 2017)Virgin Mobile® USA, part of the Virgin Group of companies with a shared purpose of changing business for good, announced today that its members produced a donation of 1 million meals* to Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, through recent holiday promotions.

“Virgin Mobile is honored to support Feeding America in its mission to help end hunger in the United States,” said Doug Smith, chief operating officer and general manager of Virgin Mobile USA. “As a Virgin company, we’re part of a long history of giving back, so we’re committed to continuing that tradition and finding new ways to make a difference.”

Normally, Feeding America — the nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provides food and groceries to more than 46 million people — receives the support of 10 meals from Virgin Mobile for every person who signs up for the Inner Circle plan.

However, as part of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving, Virgin Mobile first increased its donation twentyfold to 200 meals per new member to match its $200 Visa® Prepaid Card offer from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The company followed its Black Friday offer with a free $75® Gift Card to anyone who signed up from Friday, Dec. 1 to Thursday, Dec. 7 and donated 75 meals per new member. In total from these two promotions, Virgin Mobile members produced a donation of 1 million meals to Feeding America that will be distributed through its network of food banks across the country.

“We are grateful for our friends at Virgin Mobile and the employees who will help provide food to people in need through the Inner Circle plan,” said Nancy Curby, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and operations at Feeding America. “Virgin Mobile’s support will help Feeding America provide more meals to people in need. We thank Virgin Mobile for its commitment and look forward to continuing our work together.”

Anyone can keep Virgin Mobile’s donations coming into Feeding America throughout the remainder of the holiday season by joining the Inner Circle and the company will donate 10 meals to Feeding America. Join between Friday, Dec. 15 and Thursday, Dec. 21 and new members will receive a $150 Visa® Prepaid Card, six months of unlimited wireless service for $1 per month ($6 total) and free shipping of phones.

If you’re not a member, you can still support Feeding America during the holiday season. Simply use your phone to help end hunger in the United States by sharing a photo of your meal on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #DonateMyPlate and Virgin Mobile will donate one meal to Feeding America for every photo posted.

About Virgin Mobile USA

Renowned for providing unique and exceptional customer experience in diverse industries, Virgin is one of the most desirable brands in the world. At Virgin Mobile USA, we connect people to the things that matter in life. That’s why we created the Inner Circle, changing the way that our members experience mobile and, in the Virgin spirit, changing our business for good. For more information, please visit

$1 Per Month for Six Months Offer: Phone purchase and number transfer required. AutoPay enrollment required for Inner Circle plan. After promotional period, $50 per month regular rate applies. Virgin Mobile reserves the right to change or cancel offer at any time.

Unlimited Voice and Data Services are On-Network Only. Unlimited 4G LTE data where available. Plans are domestic only and include unlimited data, talk, text, 800 domestic voice roaming minutes and 100MB domestic data roaming. Int’l services extra and subject to applicable rates. Quality of Service (QoS): Unlimited customers who use more than 23GB of data during a billing cycle will be de-prioritized during times and places where the network is constrained. See for details. Other Terms: Virgin Mobile has no annual svc. contracts; svc. is subject to terms & conditions. Offers/coverage not avail. everywhere or for all phones/networks. Prohibited network use rules & other restrictions apply. See for details. ©2017 Virgin Mobile USA, L.P.. All rights reserved. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

$150 Visa® Prepaid Card Offer: Offer valid 12/15/17-12/21/17, while supplies last and only at Req. iPhone purchase and activation on Inner Circle plan by 1/15/2018. After activation, acct. must remain active & in good standing for two monthly acct. payment cycles to receive Prepaid Card, then card will arrive by mail within 14 days. No substitutions, cash back or rain checks. One Prepaid Card per household. Virgin Mobile reserves the right to change or cancel this offer at any time. See for details. Prepaid card is issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. No cash access or recurring payments. Can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Card and funds expires after 6 months. Card terms and conditions apply. See

*Feeding America: $1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. Virgin Mobile has committed to contribute a minimum of 1,650,000 meals (monetary equivalent of $150,000), with a maximum of 2,750,000 meals (monetary equivalent of $250,000) to Feeding America and member food banks from 06/20/17-03/31/18.

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Ken Martin: Bitcoin: tulip or railroad?

The writer is co-founder and chief financial officer of Honeycomb Credit and a senior adviser to Cryptiv, an investment and technology company.

Press Release – The price of bitcoin broke the $11,500 mark this week, then promptly fell back under $9,500, leaving many asking whether the bubble will finally burst. But a better question would be, “Is bitcoin more like tulips or railroads?”

The nine-page white paper that launched bitcoin now supports a $167 billion market capitalization and a daily volume approaching $10 billion. Bitcoin is like gold in that it produces no cash flow and has value only because people collectively believe it is valuable. But since gold rarely appreciates more than 50 percent per annum, it is reasonable to ask why bitcoin’s 877 percent return in 2017 is anything more than a speculative bubble.

To be clear, there are speculative forces at work in driving the price of bitcoin higher. However, in the same way that long-term stock price trends appear to be gambling to the untrained eye, the price movements of bitcoin are ultimately governed by the same laws of supply and demand.

The supply side of bitcoin is quite clear. The rules of bitcoin dictate there can only ever be 21million bitcoin created, with 16.7million having been mined to date. Unlike gold, whose price has occasionally moved dramatically based on newly discovered mines, the supply of bitcoin is transparent and widely known.

Where is the demand coming from, and why is it happening now? The clearest answer is that institutional investors have begun to notice crypto assets. A steady stream of top money managers have launched crypto funds during 2017. According to research firm Autonomous Next, 99 hedge funds dedicated to crypto assets launched in 2017, compared with just 26 in the previous six years combined.

Despite the significant institutional money pouring in, crypto assets are still nascent when compared to traditional asset classes. Bitcoin is by far the largest, representing over half of all crypto asset value. But bitcoin’s total value amounts to just 19 percent of Apple’s $882 billion market capitalization, and it is insignificant against the $22.6 trillion market capitalization of the Standard & Poor’s 500.

In traditional capital markets, U.S. Treasuries enjoy a price premium as the world’s reserve asset. The size and liquidity of the Treasury market makes it the overwhelming choice for keeping large sums of money. Bitcoin is the de facto reserve asset of the crypto markets. Over time, new and existing crypto assets may grow and capture investment dollars, but for now no other crypto asset comes close to bitcoin in providing the liquidity to absorb large injections of institutional money.

So, is this institutional money purely speculative, and is the bubble soon to burst? Analogies to previous financial manias have been drawn, particularly the 17th century tulip bulb mania in the Netherlands.

Dutch speculators paid ever-increasing prices, and in one case values rose 2,200 percent in just four months. However, the soaring prices were based merely on a consumer fad and bear little in common with bitcoin’s potential for industry realignment.

Perhaps a different boom and bust story better illustrates bitcoin’s current rise.


The first modern commercial railroad was established in 1830 by the Liverpool & Manchester Company of England. It is hard to overstate the impact of railroads on the 19th century economy. Much like the IT revolution of the 20th century, railroads revolutionized and reconfigured the entire economy.

Railroads are a backbone infrastructure, and much like the Internet, ecosystems and industries built on that backbone have had profound and lasting impact.

Forward-thinking investors and entrepreneurs of their day recognized the enormous opportunity and rushed to establish railroad companies. Millions of miles of tracks were laid and thousands of locomotives manufactured.

This rush to market sometimes produced boom and bust cycles. Famously, the United States’ railroad boom of the 1880s ended spectacularly in 1894 with the bankruptcy of nearly one-quarter of all U.S. railroad companies.

Both tulip mania and the railroad panics exhibit classic characteristics of financial crises. An initial demand shock drove prices higher, and a combination of financial leverage and human nature created an unsustainable trajectory that ultimately crashed.

However, railroad bubbles occurred because risk-taking investors saw the potential for a radical transformation of the economy. Even as some companies failed, the assets they left behind were often absorbed and largely put to productive use. Tulips, on the other hand, were largely a consumer fad that had little lasting impact on the world economy.

Is the price of bitcoin today overdue for a correction? Yes. But are many investors betting on a transformational moment that makes a lasting impact on the world? I believe so.

This article was originally posted here.

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Worries About Fraud Top List Of Crowdfunding Concerns

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

In an informal survey of 192 people, only 20% agreed with the statement, “The ‘crowd’ does an effective job of preventing fraud and abuse on crowdfunding sites.” More, 23.9%, disagreed with the statement while a majority, 56.1% were neutral.

The responses were among those received to an unscientific survey I conducted for the purposes of this article in hopes of helping entrepreneurs and others better understand the thinking of the general public, or in the other words, the crowd.

The first question of the survey was to ask respondents, “What is the first word that comes to mind when you see or hear the word crowdfunding?” Kickstarter (including slight variations) was the most common word (17). Money was the second most common response (16). Fundraising was third. No other word came up ten or more times. The following word cloud includes all the responses.

The first word you think of when you hear the word crowdfunding.

Responses to the question, “How do you feel about crowdfunding?” were all over the map. Many responses were strongly positive, highlighting the benefits to entrepreneurs and investors or backers. Some interesting negative responses that can help crowdfunders understand their audience included:

“Mixed. Some seem worthy causes; others are lame and too self-serving.”

“I have good and bad feelings on crowdfunding. I’m afraid of it being too much like pan-handling on the corner, but I see how it can benefit those in need.”

“Indifferent – more likely to give to crowdfunding for someone in need than for a business.”

“I feel inundated with crowdfunding campaigns. Maybe every now and then one will cross my path that I feel is worthwhile, but I could easily miss it due to my initial instinct to ignore them.”

“Like the idea of many being able to support a good cause. Concerned about being scammed by a fraudulent request.”

“I think it’s deceiving.”

“Don’t know yet.”

“A great idea, but requires big social and profession networks. A bit discouraged.”

“OK, but exposes me to more opportunities than I have capacity to fulfill.”

“50/50. It is a good way for people to have needs met that they don’t have the ability to meet – scammers.”

“Skeptical.” (This came up several times.)

“I think it has gotten too pervasive. I have seen people crowdfunding for personal expenditures rather than for investment in a business/idea.”

“Great way to get support. But there is so much of it, it can become annoying.”

“Meh. Unsure if it works.”

“Love the idea, execution is daunting.”

“It seems gratuitous when people ask for money for themselves.”

“I would like to understand it better.”

“Good, but we need insurance for most things and can’t rely on crowdfunding for disasters.”

“It is hard to know that funds will be used the way they are intended. No follow up.”

“I like it, but feel it has already become slick, difficult.”

“I’m interested but not sure how to begin.”


“Crowdfunding works well for issues or products that have gone viral or that already have a large following, but typically isn’t the best option.”


“Concerned about the quality of opportunities.”

“Only good for companies that sell physical products, not services.”

“To be frank, like an obligation. I have had to contribute to so many friends’ crowdfunding projects that don’t amount to anything.”

“Not interested.”


“Mixed feelings. I’ve seen a lot of campaigns recently that seem like people trying to escape their irresponsible choices.”

“Mixed. As a donor, giving days like Love Utah Give Utah feel frenzied to me, and too resource intensive vs. the rewards for most nonprofits I know. By contrast, I’ve supported crowdfunding campaigns joyfully when I feel like I’m funding artists, innovators, & grassroots activists & scholarships, where my early donation can jumpstart them toward their filmmaking, invention, conference or professional development, which typically are underfunded.”

“Lots of good but also abused and big opportunity for fraud.”

“Not really sure what it really is.”


The survey asked respondents to indicate whether they agree, are neutral or disagree with each of ten statements. The statements and the responses are summarized in the following table.

Statement Agree %Neutral %Disagree %Average Score*
Crowdfunding is a legitimate way for entrepreneurs and other creatives to finance their work.84.413.03.21.18
Crowdfunding is a legitimate way for people in need to get help, especially when they lack insurance.61.728.610.41.44
Crowdfunding is a legitimate way for nonprofits to acquire new donors and raise more money.
Crowdfunding is fun for the person raising money.24.756.519.51.95
Crowdfunding is fun for the backer or donor.39.648.712.31.75
Crowdfunding is hard work.69.522.1 9.11.36
Crowdfunding usually works.14.958.427.32.16
People raising money via crowdfunding sites really need the money.23.465.611.71.90
People raising money via crowdfunding sites are usually honest people.27.960.4 12.31.82
The "crowd" does an effective job of preventing fraud and abuse on crowdfunding sites.20.156.524.0 1.98

*The average score is a simple average of the agree, neutral and disagree responses assigning the values 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Note that acceptance of personal or peer-to-peer crowdfunding statistically lags acceptance of entrepreneurial and nonprofit crowdfunding. Survey results also indicate that only 24.7% of people think crowdfunding is fun, at least for the one raising money. That is consistent with the proportion, 69.5% who says crowdfunding is hard work.

Skepticism is evident in the data. Only 23.4% of respondents said people raising money really need the money. Only 27.9% said crowdfunders are “usually honest people.” As noted above, only 20.1% think the crowd is effectively preventing fraud.

Given only a blank (not a choice from a list), the survey also asked respondents to name the crowdfunding site they most trust. Up to that point in the survey, no question had included the name of a crowdfunding site and no prompts were offered. Still, 53 people identified Kickstarter. Similarly, 41 people identified GoFundMe as the site they most trusted. Four people named both Kickstarter and GoFundMe despite the invitation to choose one.

The survey asked which sites they had used to back a project, invest or donate and provided the following list in this order: GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Crowdrise, Razoo, Fundly, Classy, Fundrazr, CaringCrowd, StartSomeGood, WeFunder, Crowdfunder, None or other. The top three responses were GoFundMe (142), Kickstarter (121) and Indiegogo (64). No other sites came close. The next most common response was none.

The survey also asked which sites the respondent had used to raise money. Respondents were presented with the same list. The top response by far was none (112). The top four sites were GoFundMe (21), Indiegogo (15), Kickstarter (13) and Razoo (10).

Finally, the survey asked, “What else would you like to say about crowdfunding?” Many people expressed enthusiasm for crowdfunding. Some of the responses will help crowdfunders respond to doubts and concerns in their campaigns. Here is a sampling:

I find it confusing that charities use crowd funding for good causes, but entrepreneurs use crowd funding for profit and individuals seem to be to set up crowdfunding without checks for all sorts of things.”

“I am puzzled why I think of it as innovative when startups and companies use it but uneasy when people, even friends, use it to try to cover their excessive medical expenses.”

“It needs to definitely be a self-regulated industry or scams and lack of disclosure will run rampant.”

“I often feel like it’s the modern equivalent of Tupperware parties or multi-level marketing. A lot of pressure to donate, especially for medical expense fundraisers, even if I barely know the person.”

“[I] think it can be a good idea, but it also has potential for abuse.”

“I’m worried it’s becoming the nation’s largest insurance provider.”

“There is a lot of distraction and noise with no great way to sort the good from the awful, it is a lot like ebooks.”

“How much revenue does the crowdfunding site earn on average when raising funds for things like disaster relief, fighting hunger, or other humanitarian projects?”

“My answer for accident finding may seem callous but I want to see the underlying problem and issue solved through single payer. I feel if I give that the issue will not be as strongly felt.”

“I feel jaded due to recent experiences seeing people trying to crowdfund trips, vacations, bills they forgot about, etc. I feel like those campaigns have pushed crowdfunding into the realm of avoiding consequences, which I’m not a fan of.”

“Transparency for the donor! If I have to tell another person that 100% of their donation is NOT going to the cause (basically telling them Santa isn’t real) I’m going to scream!”

“You are at risk that the funds you donate will be misused regardless of the website/platform used. Crowdfund donations should be considered a gift that hopefully the entrepreneurs will use appropriately.”

“There needs to be easier ways to receive equity”

“It seems to be very popular but often lacks the level of scrutiny / details that I would prefer to see before investing in a product/project/company.”

“It frustrates me that people feel that others should fund their ideas. Many don’t seem to want to put in the work or use their own resources.”

“I tend to back projects of entrepreneurs rather than donate to charitable causes; with an actual business project, you can see and learn more about the idea and the progress so far and there is less opportunity for fraud. I only donate to causes through a crowdfunding site when I know the people involved personally.”

“I’d like to run a crowdfunding campaign. I’m finding though that it seems very difficult to come up with the funds to run a successful campaign in the first place.”

“I think it is getting saturated. Everyone does it. It’s lost its appeal.”

“Most small grassroots Nonprofits I have donated to on Giving days have never followed up with me after that auto-thank you to keep me informed/engaged in their work. Also, I tune out of social media on that day, because my social media is flooded with leader board tallies and hype. I’ve often wondered if giving days cannibalize or divert the donors’ regular giving, to play the leader-board games. After 3 years of LUGU, I sat out this year. Razoo was too cumbersome to make multiple donations in one sitting, and if I made donations in honor of someone I couldn’t have the NP thanks and emails go to them.”

“The rates some crowdfunding sites charge are outrageous.”

“When crowdfunding, entrepreneurs need to follow through on the promises they make to donors no matter how small their contributions might be.”

“There should be some cert of authenticity or verifiable integrity around these sites. Some campaigns are sheer fraud and hard to discern.”

“I have mixed feeling on these. I know people need help but some of the things I see are pretty crazy. I sometimes want to tell people to go fund themselves. LOL. ”

“I would like to learn more but right now I’m cautious about engaging.”

While crowdfunders may be tempted to dismiss most if not all these concerns, addressing them satisfactorily could have a significant positive impact on crowdfunding results.

Hundreds of nonprofits learned to successfully use online fundraising to reach–or surpass–their goals with my crowdfunding training. Get my free guide to attracting media attention.

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BYU-H Students Lead Crowdfunding Campaign for Ghanaian Entrepreneur

Interview with Gabriela Porras, the Project Manager / Student Lead of Pangea Empowerment and Paul Wilson of Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

Gabriela Porras and a team of students at Brigham Young University of Hawaii are raising money to help an entrepreneur in Ghana raise the money she needs to launch a business selling handicrafts via the web to consumers in the developed world.

Crowdfunding page:

What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?

The money raised on this campaign will all be going directly to Patience, a young entrepreneur in Ghana. Patience dreams of growing her small jewelry company but lacks the resources to get her raw materials and get quality pictures. By the end of this campaign she will empowered with not only the funding but the tools to continue her enterprise online. Patience is just one person but by helping her we hope to further empower entrepreneurs in her community.

More about Pangea Empowerment:


All across the world entrepreneurs are diligently working to come up with new ideas, create new products, and build a legacy for the next up and coming generation. In some areas though, issues such as poverty, hunger, crime, war, and violence impede the entrepreneurship dream. These hampered aspirations could do so much more if entrepreneurs had access to the right tools and opportunities. Pangea Empowerment’s purpose is to fuel the creativity and dreams of entrepreneurs everywhere, but particularly in locations where access to funding and specific technology is severely limited. To accomplish this goal, an academic model of research and teaching is being coupled with entrepreneurial principles and application.

Gabriela Porras

Gabriela Porras’s bio:


Gabriela Porras, a senior at BYU-Hawaii and from Colorado, is majoring in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in public relations and marketing. She is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to create positive change in their communities. Throughout this project she has lead the team through project management and helped with the research and curriculum development.

What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?

After IndieGoGo and the credit card fees all money is being sent to Patience, the Ghanaian entrepreneur who the crowdfunding project was for. Our first objective of the crowdfunding project was to assist Patience in launching her bead company. Our second objective was to study the struggles of crowdfunding in Africa. We are teaching crowdfunding at an entrepreneurship conference in Congo, Africa December 18-21, 2017 and we wanted to best understand the issues that arise when an African entrepreneur tries to crowdfund.

More about Brigham Young University – Hawaii:

Twitter: @empowerpangea

501(c)3 Nonprofit

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson’s bio:

Twitter: @paulwilson

Paul Wilson, the BYU-Hawaii faculty sponsor of Pangea Empowerment, teaches both social entrepreneurship and digital business in the Entrepreneurship Department. For the last 20 years Paul has been a digital technologist, specializing in search, content strategy, and application development. He has managed digital projects for hundreds of small businesses, and has held senior marketing positions for large corporations. Paul recently became full time faculty at BYU – Hawaii and utilizes his industry experience to help the students explore the vast potential of earning a living on the Internet.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

“Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen” Launches Special #WeAreGiving Donation Campaign In Partnership With The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Show to Raise Funds for Victims and Survivors of Relationship Abuse

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, Calif. (December 7, 2017) — Emmy® Award-winning show Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen announces a new #WeAreGiving donation campaign in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) to raise funds for victims and survivors of relationship abuse. As the only crime show in daytime syndication, Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen is furthering its mission to help victims and survivors of crime. Relationship abuse affects one in four women and one in seven men, and also affects children, parents, friends and other concerned family members. The Hotline is a national nonprofit that receives 1,200 calls per day from people affected by relationship violence.

“Every day we hear another tragic story of someone trapped in a violent relationship who desperately needs help. Enough is enough. We are the show that crusades for victims and we can’t think of a more worthy cause for our Crime Watch Daily audience. We hope this initiative raises awareness and provides a lifeline for women and men in danger,” said Crime Watch Daily’s Executive Producers.

“We know that many of the people who reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline are one phone call or chat away from serious, if not deadly, violence,” said Katie Ray-Jones, CEO. “We are grateful to Chris Hansen, the Crime Watch Daily team and their viewers for helping to shine a light on domestic violence and dating abuse – an epidemic that impacts more than 12 million Americans a year.”

Please visit to learn more about the campaign and donating.

Through Crime Watch Daily and the support of our viewers, we can help ensure that when a survivor is ready to speak, someone at The Hotline is there to listen. One call to The Hotline costs about $20 to answer. Any donation amount can help answer the call to support and shift power back to the thousands of people who contact The Hotline each year.

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