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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Api Podder

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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 http://wavemaker.vc/crypto.


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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 Amazon.com® 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 VirginMobileUSA.com.

$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 virginmobileusa.com/legal#network-management 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 virginmobileusa.com 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 virginmobileusa.com. 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 virginmobileusa.com 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 virginmobilerebates.com

*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 ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.”

“Intimidated.”

“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.”

“Envious.”

“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.”

“Meh.”

“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.”

“Bad.”

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.85.111.73.91.18
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: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pangea-empowerment-patience-s-beads/x/17606703#/

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:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pangeaempowerment/?ref=br_rs

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:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabyporras/

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
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pangeaempowerment/
Website: byuh.edu

byuh.edu

501(c)3 Nonprofit

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson’s bio:

Twitter: @paulwilson
Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/mymarketer

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 DevinThorpe.com!

“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 https://donate.thehotline.org/campaign/crime-watch-daily-campaign-for-dv/c158204 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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Classy Introduces Classy PassportTM: The First Cross-Currency Fundraising Solution for Nonprofits

Starting today, U.S.-based nonprofits can instantly take their fundraising efforts global with Classy Passport.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif., Dec. 7, 2017 // On the heels of a record-setting #GivingTuesday, Classy, creator of world-class online fundraising solutions, is launching Classy Passport—the only international fundraising solution that offers “cross-currency” capability—allowing for multi-currency donations, multi-currency peer-to-peer fundraising, and international currency processing, all under one platform.

Classy Passport enables nonprofit organizations to instantly take their fundraising global, while providing worldwide supporters with a seamless giving experience for the causes they care about.

“The problems our nonprofit partners are solving are global in nature, so it’s no surprise that individuals around the world are looking to rally around these important causes,” said Scot Chisholm, Classy CEO and Co-Founder. “Nonprofits have been using disparate systems to manage their international fundraising efforts, hindering them from fully tapping into the potential of their global supporters. With Classy Passport, we’re excited to help them transcend those borders and engage supporters to raise funds seamlessly around the world.”

Classy Passport was created in collaboration with Room to Read, an organization focused on improving literacy and gender equality in education across 14 countries. Unable to identify a product on the market that could meet their international online fundraising needs, Room to Read saw a unique opportunity to work closely with Classy on creating the ideal solution.

“With Classy Passport, Room to Read now has the dynamic ability to harness our global investor base and provide a seamless and integrated experience all on one platform,” said Dr. Geetha Murali, Chief Development and Communications Officer, Room to Read. “We can now create a global fundraising campaign that accepts gifts in all of our major fundraising currencies, with the additional benefit of providing donation receipts in the currency the gift was made in.”

Classy Passport is designed to help any nonprofit go global, whether or not they have an existing international supporter base. For organizations like Room to Read that are already receiving international donations and/or operating in other countries, Classy Passport can streamline operations and overhead costs, consolidating their international giving efforts into a single platform, while allowing for international receipting and global brand consistency.

Conversely, organizations that have not yet tapped into an international supporter base can use Classy Passport to grow their movement globally—without the costs or risks often associated with global expansion.

Classy Passport also improves the global giving experience for supporters worldwide who are responding to global issues. By leveraging donors’ browser language settings to automatically convert the donate button into their native currency, as well as display their native currency and address fields during checkout, Classy Passport offers donors a more familiar giving experience.

International supporters are also able to create individual and team fundraising pages in over 130 currencies to encourage donations from their friends, families, and colleagues anywhere in the world, truly tapping into the global-scale networks people are fostering in today’s social and digital-first landscape.

“For example, a Room to Read supporter can commit to raising funds from Australia; set up a fundraising page to ask family and friends in London, San Diego, and France to make a donation; and each individual donor will be able to automatically interact with the page in their native currency, then receive a tax donation receipt in pounds, dollars, and euros, respectively,” Murali noted. “There’s no other platform for nonprofits that offers this in one place and under a single campaign.”

As part of the launch, Classy is waiving Classy Passport’s associated transaction fees until January 31, 2018, to empower clients to explore international growth opportunities and reach a broader network of supporters during the crucial year-end giving season.

To learn more about Classy Passport, visit https://www.classy.org/passport-international-fundraising.


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Miranda Lambert Invites Fans and Animal Lovers to become citizens of MuttNation Beginning on Giving Tuesday

Press Release – For Giving Tuesday, Grammy-winning country star Miranda Lambert has launched a new initiative with her Mutt Nation Foundation. With a 100% tax deductible donation of $25 or more you become a MuttNation Citizen and join dog lovers from all over in making life better for mutts.

Members receive a downloadable Certificate of Citizenship signed by Miranda Lambert, their name on the Citizens page, a photo of their pet in The Dog Park (section of the website), a 20% discount on all MuttNation products on Petmate.com (the proceeds of which benefit MuttNation Foundation), and most importantly, the knowledge that they are helping to make a real difference in the lives of animals and helping a shelter pet find a forever home.

About MuttNation Foundation (501(c)3 non-profit organization)

Miranda’s love for animals has always been an important part of who she is. Miranda and her mom, Bev Lambert, founded MuttNation Foundation in 2009 to shine a spotlight on rescue animals, assist shelters, and to ensure that as many dogs as possible would have a safe and loving place to call home. All donations are 100% tax deductible. The Lamberts, along with a passionate board of directors ensure that your hard-earned dollars go towards improving the lives of animals.

About Miranda Lambert:

Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert is the reigning ACM Female Vocalist of the Year, having been bestowed this honor for eight consecutive years. Her accolades include 2 Grammy Awards, 12 (CMA) Country Music Associations Awards, and 28 (ACM) Academy of Country Music Awards as well as many other honors, including the prestigious Harmony Award from the Nashville Symphony.

The Texas native released her most recent effort, a double album titled The Weight of These Wings in November 2016, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. She touts six studio albums to her repertoire; Kerosene (2005), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007), Revolution (2009), Four The Record (2011) and Platinum (2014), the latter earning Lambert a GRAMMY Award for Best Country Album, in addition to her previous GRAMMY win for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2010 for “The House That Built Me.” The first song released from The Weight Of These Wings, “Vice,” received multiple Grammy and ACM Award nominations. Her third single, “Tin Man”, is currently at Country Radio. www.Mirandalambert.com


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Crowdfunding Campaign To Solarize East Oakland Church Reaches Goal In One Day

Press Release – OAKLAND, Calif. – November 29, 2017 – Supporters of solar across the country donated enough on #GivingTuesday to bring solar energy to East Oakland’s Faith Baptist Church through a crowdfunding campaign from the solar nonprofit RE-volv. The campaign exceeded its goal of $14,400 in less than one day, a first for the organization, with the support of matching funds from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

“Lowering our electricity bill will add to the bottom line in our organization’s budget,” said Rev. Curtis Robinson, Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, which feeds over 300 hungry families every month and distributes more than 100 tons of food every year through their bi-weekly Food Giving Program. “With the savings from solar energy, we plan to better serve our youth and young adults and our seniors, some of our most underserved populations.”

The planned 5.8kW solar array will save Faith Baptist Church more than 30 percent on their electricity bill in the first year and over $40,000 over the life of the system. In addition to Faith Baptist’s monthly savings, RE-volv’s unique revolving fund model means the church’s solar payments will be reinvested into more solar energy projects for nonprofits across the country.

“RE-volv is working to make sure that the benefits of solar can reach everywhere, including nonprofit organizations working to benefit underserved communities,” said Andreas Karelas, Executive Director of RE-volv. “Faith Baptist Church is an inspiring example of people in a community coming together to help their neighbors who are less fortunate.”

RE-volv is a grantee of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. This project is one of 10 that RE-volv aims to showcase as part of the DOE’s Solar in your Community Challenge, a contest to identify new financial models for bringing solar to low-moderate income communities and nonprofits.

Yesterday’s campaign was bolstered by matching funds from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The Foundation awarded RE-volv $120,000 this year, which doubled individuals’ contributions. The solar panels were generously donated from solar manufacturer Jinko Solar.

RE-volv supports solar energy projects for nonprofits that lack access to financing options. An estimated 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. face financial barriers to obtaining solar power, as they do not qualify for solar tax credits or are too small to attract traditional investors. These nonprofits miss out on the financial benefits of solar which they could use to further support the communities they serve. RE-volv bridges this funding gap for organizations that provide valuable public services to vulnerable communities, including homeless shelters, schools, community centers, and houses of worship, like Faith Baptist Church.

RE-volv’s unique crowdfunding platform is the first to employ a revolving fund for solar energy. Donors select a specific nonprofit to support – like Faith Baptist Church – and, as the project pays back dividends through a solar lease agreement, the user can then reinvest in new solar projects through the RE-volv platform. This pay-it-forward model helps to accelerate solar energy deployment in local communities while keeping donors engaged in growing clean energy across the country.

To date, RE-volv has raised over $300,000 from over a thousand people in 22 countries. It has crowdfunded 11 solar projects (150+ kW of capacity) in four states, include Harbor House in Oakland, which serves refugee, immigrant, and low-income families with after-school programs and ESL classes, and Morris Chapel Baptist Church, the oldest African American Church in Philadelphia. Thanks to the solar installations, these nonprofits are expected to save between 15 and 40 percent on their electric bills. In total, these 11 nonprofits will save more than $1.5 million over the life of their solar energy systems. RE-volv’s solar revolving fund, the Solar Seed Fund, is now worth over $700,000 in future lease payments from these 11 projects – payments which will be used to finance at least 20 more solar energy projects.


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Michaels Donates 10,000 Starlight Brave Gowns to Hospitalized Children Nationwide this Holiday Season

Press Release – LOS ANGELES (Tuesday, November 28)—In honor of #GivingTuesday, Starlight Children’s Foundation announced today that The Michaels Companies, North America’s and Canada’s largest arts and crafts specialty retailer, is donating 10,000 fun, comfy and colorful Starlight Brave Gowns to hospitalized children nationwide throughout the holiday season.

Starlight Brave Gowns are revolutionizing the way children experience hospitalization. The gowns are soft and breathable instead of stiff and scratchy, comfortable and easy to wear instead of awkward and revealing, and they are fun and colorful instead of plain and boring.

As the program’s 2016 launch partner, Michaels created ten inaugural designs that bring smiles to hospitalized children by making them look and feel like an astronaut, an explorer, a scuba diver and more. The gowns also feature snaps on each sleeve and ties down the side to make it easier for doctors, nurses and other caregivers to do tests and procedures.

“We’re in awe of Michaels’ support as our longtime partner in bringing joy and comfort to hospitalized kids,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “Being a sick kid stuck in the hospital is really tough, especially during the holidays. But thanks to Michaels, we’re able to bring even more smiles to kids and families when and where they need it most.”

“Michaels is proud to continue this important work with Starlight Children’s Foundation and to build upon what we started together last year,” said Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin. “With this donation of 10,000 Starlight Brave gowns, we hope we can help to inspire and uplift children across the country, in our own small way, during their hospital stay with these innovative and imaginative gowns.”

“These gowns bring smiles and as a parent, I can’t begin to tell you how valuable a smile is on my child’s face and mine especially during our darkest of times,” Kelly Blumenthal said. Her two-year-old son, Finn, wore a Starlight Brave Gown during open heart surgery earlier this year.

Originally conceived by entrepreneur and philanthropist Summer Germann to honor her 10-year-old brother who passed away from pediatric cancer in 2002, Starlight Brave Gowns are designed for boys and girls ages 2 through 12. Made in the USA, the gowns are manufactured to meet strict hospital infection and safety protocols, and are specially designed to allow for easy access to heart monitors as well as IVs on both sleeves.

For just $25, anyone can donate a Starlight Brave Gown to hospitalized child in need by visiting Starlight online at www.starlight.org.

ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION

Starlight creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Brave Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT THE MICHAELS COMPANIES, INC.

The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America’s largest specialty provider of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor, and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator.

As of April 29, 2017, the Company owned and operated 1,364 stores in 49 states and Canada under the brands Michaels, Aaron Brothers, and Pat Catan’s. The Michaels Companies, Inc., also owns Artistree, a manufacturer of high quality custom and specialty framing merchandise, and Darice, a premier wholesale distributor in the craft, gift and decor industry. The Michaels Companies, Inc. produces a number of private brands including Recollections®, Studio Decor®, Bead Landing®, Creatology®, Ashland®, Celebrate It®, ArtMinds®, Artist’s Loft®, Craft Smart®, Loops & Threads®, Make Market®, Foamies®, LockerLookz®, Imagin8®, and Sticky Sticks®. Learn more about Michaels at www.michaels.com.

ABOUT #GIVINGTUESDAY

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. This year, #GivingTuesday falls on November 28. #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together


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