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Devin D. Thorpe

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This category includes articles that apply to crowdfunding in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

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CanDo Launches Crowdfunding Platform To Support Local Humanitarians In War-Torn Syria

Press release: July 2017: CanDo, the not-for profit organisation behind the first crowdfunded hospital in Syria, is launching a new crowdfunding platform, where 100% of all money raised for health projects in Syria, will go directly to the people who need it most.

Via people-to-people aid, CanDo challenges the current system where despite 75% of aid being carried out by local humanitarians, only 1% of funding gets to them. By supporting local humanitarians, through projects on the CanDo platform, war-affected communities will receive access to life-saving healthcare services and help reduce the suffering of innocent people.

CanDo led the People’s Convoy last December which, thanks to public display of generosity and solidarity, saw almost £250,000 (270% of the fundraising target) raised in just 12 days to rebuild the last children’s hospital that had been bombed out of action in Aleppo, Syria.

Hope Hospital will continue to be supported by CanDo and public funding via the new platform, this ensures the Independent Doctors Association can provide ongoing neonatal and premature infant care, intensive care and inpatient and outpatient services to Aleppo’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

Throughout July and August, CanDo encourages the public to make positive changes in Syria by supporting humanitarian health related projects, including:

  1. Ghiras Al Nahda – Growing mushrooms as a sustainable source of fresh food in a besieged area. Life conditions in in Al Ghouta, Damascus are very harsh and people are suffering from starvation and malnutrition. A team of Mycologists, biologists and technicians, will deliver a 3-day training workshop to teach locals how to grow mushrooms at home so they can provide for their family and neighbours. The project will support 135 families, and therefore help feed over 800 people.
  2. Insan (meaning ‘human’) – A psychosocial programme supporting vulnerable women suffering from the psychological effects of war. This self-help programme titled “12 steps to deal with crisis”, will help Syrian women cope and come to terms with the difficulties facing them during the war.
  3. Hurras (meaning ‘guard or protection’) – A children’s magazine which aims to help children protect themselves during conflict through storytelling. The magazine distributed in cities across Syria and available online, also provides puzzles and games to help children gain knowledge and develop important skills.
  4. Bihar (meaning ’spring’) – Protection services for vulnerable women who may have faced sexual violence. Funding will help train health workers on the ground to conduct workshops with the surrounding community on psychosocial support, reproductive health and gender-based violence.

CanDo’s Founder and CEO, Dr Rola Hallam commented “‘Hope Hospital’ was a clear victory for humanity. While it might seem like a small victory in the face of the continued adversity in Syria, it demonstrated that positive change can occur with hope and the power of people.

CanDo’s new crowd-funding platform gives everyday people the chance to contribute to the work of local humanitarians, including doctors, teachers and volunteers, and help prevent the suffering of Syrian people. We believe people are the next super power. When we come together and join up our efforts, everyone can create transformative and positive change”.

CanDo provides global humanitarians, that’s normal generous-minded people, with an opportunity to save lives and reduce suffering in war-affected communities. Ignite positive change by becoming a CanDoer and support a crowdfunding campaign, visit www.candoaction.org plus like @CanDoAction on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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Meyers Research Surpasses $500,000 Raised For HomeAid America

Housing Forecast Events Provide Funds to Fight Homelessness

Builder panelists at recent Meyers Research forecast event.

Press Release – Newport Beach, CA. (August 1, 2017)HomeAid America is a major national building industry charity and one of the largest builders of housing for the homeless in the country. For the past three years, it has also been the beneficiary of the generosity of Meyers Research, a Kennedy Wilson Company, one of its top national partners.

Meyers Research has been holding housing forecast events to benefit HomeAid America for over three years. The recent event in Denver held on July 19th was the 10th such forecast event, and including an additional event held by its parent company Kennedy Wilson to launch HomeAid’s LA chapter, the company has now raised $500,000 through ticket sales and sponsorships for the homelessness charity. Jeff Meyers, President of Meyers Research and HomeAid America Board member said, “It’s important to our team to champion a cause greater than ourselves. Our partnership with HomeAid allows us to make a difference in the fight to combat homelessness. We are thrilled to reach the $500,000 mark.”

The Meyers Research forecast events started in Orange County CA in January 2014 as a way for the company to make an on-going contribution to HomeAid and also help the charity spread the word on its work throughout the industry. The events proved to be incredible successes, with subsequent events held in Las Vegas, Northern Virginia, Atlanta, and Denver. Orange County completed its 4th annual event this past March. In total, approximately 1,800 people have attended these events with the proceeds from the ticket sales as well as sponsorships all being donated to HomeAid.

HomeAid America CEO Peter Simons said, “What started as a singular effort to help support our cause of ending homelessness has turned into a real mission, and a labor of love on behalf of the entire Meyers and Kennedy Wilson organizations. Jeff Meyers’ personal service on our Board of Directors further enhances and deepens this bond. HomeAid and Meyers Research have been a great team and are making a difference together.”

HomeAid was foundedby the building industry in 1989 as a way to give back to the community by addressing the issue of homelessness. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness, each year over 3.5 million Americans experienced homelessness at some point. Nearly 1.5 million of them were children. HomeAid’s program identifies charities in the community working to help the homeless that need additional facilities in which to house people and provide programmatic resources such as job skills training and financial counseling, as well as physical and emotional support. HomeAid then finds builders who are willing to take on these projects and build them at a deep discount by enlisting their trade partners to give their time and materials as in-kind donations.

ABOUT HOMEAID AMERICA

HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals, founded in Southern California in 1989. Through the generosity of builders, their trades and their suppliers, HomeAid has completed over 500 housing projects nationwide at a value of more than $220 million, of which nearly 50 percent has been donated by the building industry. HomeAid currently has 60 additional projects in development across the country. Over the years, HomeAid has added nearly 9,300 beds in facilities helping the homeless, housing over 280,000 people. HomeAid works through a network of 17 active chapters in 12 states across the country. For more information about HomeAid, call 1-888-3HOMEAID or visit www.homeaid.org.

ABOUT MEYERS RESEARCH

Meyers Research, a Kennedy Wilson Company combines experienced real estate and technology advisors with leading data to provide its clients with a clear perspective and a strategic path forward. Based in Beverly Hills, California, Meyers is home to 150 experts in 10 offices across the country.


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Indiegogo Launches Education Center and Experts Directory To Help Campaigners Bring Projects from Idea to Reality

To Provide Entrepreneurs With Pre and Post-Launch Resources And Offer Support with Every Stage of a Project’s Journey

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, August 3, 2017Indiegogo, the global platform for entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life, announces the launch of a newly revamped Entrepreneur hub to enhance the campaigner experience through resources and education materials.

Indiegogo for entrepreneurs will be home to an online Education Center, serving as a one-stop destination with advice for startups bringing their projects from concept to market, and an Experts Directory – where entrepreneurs can access organizations and expert content that will help bring their project to life.

The Education Center by Indiegogo will provide engaging webinars, articles, podcasts and guides that cover every step of the crowdfunding campaign process. Indiegogo is launching the new online resource to help entrepreneurs be more successful on the platform, with support for:

  • Campaign Creation – Does an Indiegogo page have what it takes to succeed? This section highlights key characteristics of successful campaign designs, including how to design a compelling Indiegogo page with memorable product images and a clear call-to-action.
  • Product Development – Is a product design ready for manufacturing? Experts offer advice on improving user experience for design, engineering and manufacturing challenges.
  • Campaign Management – A well-managed campaign creates happy backers. This section uncovers the power of building backer loyalty and outstanding customer service by focusing on transparency and regular communication.
  • Marketing & PR – Learn how to effectively spread the word about campaigns through social media, direct media outreach, digital and other marketing efforts.
  • Campaign Planning – Success starts with having a plan, months before launch. This section outlines how to prepare for crowdfunding victory. Helpful guides cover every step of the planning process, from building an all-star team and developing a social presence to creating perks for backers.
  • Pre-Orders & Selling  – What happens after the campaign is over? Learn how to keep momentum going through the transition from crowdfunding to commerce with InDemand, which enables entrepreneurs to continue taking pre-orders for their products right on their Indiegogo page.

Indiegogo’s Experts Directory features a select group of quality companies and services, vetted by Indiegogo and highly recommended by campaigners and staff alike. These experts offer advice on a variety of topics, with new categories being created over time, including:

  • Creative Services – Top creative experts like Early Bird Studios and Lemonlight Media offer insight to successful portfolios that have utilized their services.
  • Marketing – Expand your reach and build an audience with digital marketing services, like Agency 2.0, a full-service marketing agency specializing in crowdfunding campaigns.
  • Prototyping & Production – Seamless product development and cost-efficient recommendations from  trusted partners like Arrow, whose experts provide resources for prototyping, procurement  and production.
  • Retail, Licensing & Distribution – Plot retail strategy leading brands and agencies, like Indiegogo partners Brookstone and Newegg Marketplace.

“Since Indiegogo was first founded nearly ten years ago, we’ve been committed to offering a launchpad for entrepreneurs and helping them turn their ideas into reality,” said Indiegogo CEO David Mandelbrot. “We’ve launched the hub Indiegogo for Entrepreneurs to provide startups with the tools they need to bring groundbreaking projects to market as quickly and seamlessly as possible, whether you’re launching your first project with us or are a seasoned pro coming back to Indiegogo to launch your next idea.”

Since being founded in 2008, Indiegogo has introduced new products and services meant to support entrepreneurs beyond the crowdfunding stage of their business, including InDemand – which enables campaigns to continue accepting pre-orders after their crowdfunding campaign ends – and Marketplace – an Indiegogo storefront for business owners to sell products that are shipping now. Collaborations with Brookstone, Arrow and Amazon also help entrepreneurs on Indiegogo get their products to retail quicker and more easily than ever before.

For more information on the Education Center by Indiegogo, please visit https://entrepreneur.indiegogo.com/education/.

About Indiegogo

Originally launched as a crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo is the place for entrepreneurs to move their ideas quickly from concept to market and for innovation-seekers to find and support new and exciting products. Entrepreneurs on Indiegogo are able to showcase their ideas directly to users, take orders for products early in their lifecycle and ultimately build direct relationships with their first customers. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit Indiegogo.com and follow us at Twitter.com/indiegogo and Facebook.com/indiegogo.


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Kimbia and Strength in Members Partner to Release New Report Uncovering 2016 Online Donor Data Trends for Everyday, Peer-to-Peer and Giving Day Donation Channels

Press Release – AUSTIN, TEXAS (August 1, 2017) Kimbia, a leading provider of online fundraising solutions, events and high-volume crowdfunding events, has partnered with Strength in Members, a digital marketing agency specializing in innovative solutions to grow supporter audiences and amplify nonprofit impact, to release, “Donation Trends by Channel: 2016 Donor Data Report.” The report analyzes donor demographics from the roughly $240 million of online donations made through the Kimbia platform in 2016 to uncover trends between everyday, peer-to-peer and giving day donors and the donations they make.

“Even before the dawn of the Internet, philanthropic giving has always been a social activity – from organizing school fundraisers to tithing with other congregants at a place of worship to selling raffle tickets around the neighborhood to support a sports team,” said Peter Genuardi, Founder and CEO of Strength in Members. “Working with Kimbia, we’re now able to show how social connectedness can be used by organizations to improve their fundraising results. We’re excited to share this research with the field.”

Key data by giving channel revealed in the report includes:

  • Donation trends for average gifts and mobile giving
  • Donor demographics for sex, age, education and social presence
  • Organization category types

“We know that adding peer-to-peer and giving day campaigns into the fundraising mix, alongside everyday giving, is crucial for online fundraising growth, but we wanted to look to the data to help organizations and institutions better target their audiences for each campaign type,” said Mark Perkins, Kimbia CEO. “We have built proven practices over the last decade of providing online fundraising solutions and services to the nonprofit space, and we are so pleased to provide the data to support these ideas.”

The companies will be hosting a webinar to discuss the findings of this report on Thursday, August 3 at 1 pm CT. You can register here.

Copies of the report can be downloaded anytime here.


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Northwest Startup Groundswell Provides Sustainable Funding Model For Nonprofits

Company to raise $1 million new crowdfunding laws to launch first customers

Press Release – WASHOUGAL, Wash. — GroundSwell, a Washington State social purpose corporation based in Washougal, Wash., is shaking up the philanthropic world with a sustainable revenue-sharing approach designed for nonprofit organizations. This month, the company–whose mission is to sustainably fund organizations that make the world a better place–kicked off its final round of investment crowdfunding to raise $1 million for its public launch this fall.

“Other companies, banks, and credit unions offer traditional debit cards. We created GroundSwell because we saw a better way to put technology, banking, and philanthropy together,” said Dr. Daniel Rubano, co-founder and CEO. “To date, we have raised more than a million dollars, and are now in our final phase of fundraising to allow everyone to become part of this movement and support our public launch this fall.”

Money on a Mission

Each time we swipe our credit or debit card, a transaction fee is generated, providing more than $60 billion in revenue to banks. Licensed as a bank, GroundSwell’s business model redirects these fees from big banks back and shares them with partner nonprofits through customized Visa debit card programs. Each time a card is used to make a purchase, the profits generated from the processing fees are shared with the nonprofit partner..

The result is a sustainable revenue stream that helps address the needs of the 1.5 million nonprofits that are underfunded, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Nonprofit members’ Visa debit cards act just like a checking account, with no credit checks, fees, or interest, and are FDIC insured.

“We looked around and saw there was a need to act fast to make our world a better place,” said Joseph Graves, head of Operations & Program Development. “GroundSwell gives us a way to live out our commitment to making a difference and allow anyone to support the organizations they love by simply doing the things they would normally do every day already!”

Become a GroundSwell Investor

Anyone passionate about giving back and supporting nonprofits is invited to become part of the groundswell to share the wealth with those who will use it best. Participants can buy ownership through our partner Wefunder, an investment crowdfunding platform. These funds will support operations for the next 12 months to develop services, expand our nonprofit partner network, and conduct initial testing with early adopters. The minimum investment is $100. Owners will be the first to receive their Money on a Mission VISA debit card pre-loaded with thank you funds to start making a difference. They also will gain access to company updates, insider information, and company store. To learn more or make an investment, visit www.groundswellworld.com/media.

Nonprofit organizations interested in becoming partners, please visit groundswellworld.com/partner-faq

About Groundswell

Established in 2015, GroundSwell is putting money on mission by servicing nonprofit organizations dedicated to doing good in the world. By creating the opportunity for all of us to make a difference every day, GroundSwell provides sustainable revenue for underfunded nonprofits by redirecting visa debit revenue from big banks. To learn more, visit GroundSwellWorld.com and follow us at facebook.com/GroundSwellSPC, twitter.com/GroundSwellSPC and linkedin.com/company-beta/17955042.

Sources:

https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/debitfees_costs_2015.pdf

https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2017/04/13/this-is-how-credit-card-companies-hauled-in-163-billion-in-2016/22038773/


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BidPal® Powered Fundraisers Soar; Spring Proceeds Reach $162 Million

Press Release – INDIANAPOLIS — (July 11, 2017) —The number of mobile bidding fundraisers powered by BidPal rose 27 percent through the 2017 Spring fundraising season compared to a year ago, and total proceeds raised by nonprofits increased 22 percent to $162 million. BidPal, the leading mobile fundraising platform helping nonprofits raise more money, also announced that they powered 464 net new events during the period, an increase of 30 percent. Click to Tweet.

Growth was driven by do-it-yourself fundraisers (“DIY”), which increased by 76 percent. Full service fundraisers made up the majority of BidPal’s events and rose 10 percent during the period. Online fundraisers were up 16 percent and Text2Give campaigns rose 31 percent.

“Fundraisers don’t end with the event. This is why BidPal continues to be the technology of choice for nonprofits looking for a full-featured, easy-to-use solution that allows year-round online fundraising,” said BidPal CEO Steve Johns.

BidPal develops software that helps nonprofits manage their fundraising campaigns throughout the year, including events and auctions; online giving; online stores; Text2Give; and soon to include walk, run and ride campaigns. BidPal’s robust reports provide the insight needed by nonprofits to work more efficiently and improve fundraising efforts.

This year, BidPal expanded BidPal Connect™, an app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, to include integration of individual donor activity—such as ticket and auction item purchases, donations and raffle participation. This detailed information gives nonprofits better insight into donor engagement.

“BidPal is leading the way building the best mobile software, integrated payments and tech-enabled solutions for the nonprofit market. Stay tuned. We will be rolling out some exciting new features in the coming months,” said Johns.

About BidPal, Inc.

BidPal creates mobile fundraising software that helps nonprofits engage donors and raise more money. Our cloud-based mobile and payment solutions have helped thousands of organizations raise more than $1 billion through 10,000 events and connect with over one million unique donors. Located in the marketing technology hub of Indianapolis, BidPal has been recognized on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Companies and has received a Techpoint MIRA award for Mobile Technology Excellence & Innovation. Connect with us on Facebook at Twitter.


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Madonna Set To Officially Open The Mercy James Institute For Pediatric Surgery And Intensive Care On July 11, 2017 In Blantyre, Malawi

Centre Is The First Of Its Kind In The African Nation

First Patients Admitted June 29, 2017

Press Release – New York, NY – July 7, 2017 – Madonna today announced the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open on Tuesday, July 11th at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care is the first unit of its kind in Malawi. It is named for Madonna’s Malawi-born daughter, Mercy James, and is developed in partnership with Madonna’s charitable organization, Raising Malawi and the Malawian Minister of Health. The first patients were admitted on June 29, 2017.

“When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,” said Madonna. “As we approach the opening of the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Announced in November of 2014, The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care is a state-of-the-art pediatric surgery and intensive care unit. It will help Queen Elizabeth hospital double the number of surgeries performed on children each year and will increase the chance of survival after critical surgeries. In addition to serving more children, this new facility will become a training center of excellence for Southern Africa, with more local doctors acquiring the skills needed to perform pediatric surgery. In a country with only four pediatric surgeons and 50% of the population under 15 years old, this new facility could make a significant difference in the lives of Malawian children.

“Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined,” added Madonna. “It’s important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together, humans have the power to change the world for the better.”

In addition to being a world-class medical facility, The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will have extensive dedicated spaces making the time children spend in the hospital as comfortable as can be. These spaces and elements include a playroom for children to be engaged and learn, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and created by artists that she’s brought to the country, and more.

For more information on the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care visit: http://www.raisingmalawi.org/health/

For more information on how to donate visit: http://donations.raisingmalawi.org/


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Williams College Professor’s Research Shows Thank You-Gifts Undercut Charitable Giving

Press Release – WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 5, 2017 — Research recently published by Williams College assistant professor of economics Matthew Chao in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that offering thank-you gifts during fundraising campaigns may actually reduce the number of contributions made.

Chao partnered with a public radio station to test the effectiveness of thank-you gift offers during the station’s monthly membership renewal campaign. The campaign mailed 3,641 previous donors a solicitation letter once they were approaching the one-year anniversary of their last donation. All recipients received a standard solicitation letter and remit form, and some recipients were randomly selected to also receive a large, colored insert advertising an opt-in thank-you gift in exchange for a donation of at least $180. In some cases, the station offered a tumbler as the gift. In other cases, the station offered to donate meals to the local food bank as the gift.

His research found that those who were randomly chosen to receive the gift offer were less likely to contribute than those who received no such offer. This occurred for both types of gift offers. Common theories in economics and psychology suggest that this may occur because the gift makes the donation feel less selfless, leading to decreased motivation to donate. However, this explanation does not hold for the food bank gift that the station offered, since donating meals to the needy would not reduce the perceived selflessness of the donation.

Instead, Chao’s research points to attention-based models of choice to explain the results. “The eye-catching, colored insert draws attention toward the gift and away from all of the intrinsic reasons one might have for supporting the station,” Chao says. “When individuals open the envelope, they face a split-second decision on whether to donate or to instead throw the mailer out. At this critical point, they may be thinking about whether the tumbler or the meals gift is worth $180 instead of how much they enjoy the station’s original programming.” Since both gifts had market values in the range of $15 and were clearly not worth $180, this change in attention and mindset may explain why both gift offers led to fewer donations.

While these results caution nonprofits to be more wary of these types of fundraising strategies, Chao warns that the results do not suggest that these techniques should never be used. Gift offers that are more appealing to donors could still increase donations. Gifts may also be more effective when targeting those who have never donated before, instead of recent donors as was the case in this study.

Finally, the study emphasizes that an attention-based mechanism is not the only way in which these types of results may come about. Other explanations may fit results found in other contexts. The study simply demonstrates that in this particular context, an attention-based mechanism is the most likely explanation for the observed results.

Chao earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in economics from the California Institute of Technology. His research is in behavioral economics, judgment and decision-making, and empirical microeconomics. He has been at Williams since 2015.


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Kiva.org Reaches $1 Billion Milestone in Crowd-Funding Loans Disbursed Globally

Kiva announces new World Refugee Fund to support refugee communities

Press Release – June 26, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time: SAN FRANCISCO–Today Kiva.org, the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good, announced that it surpassed $1 billion USD in loans supporting borrowers around the world. More than 2.4 million entrepreneurs, farmers and students globally have been able to launch and expand viable businesses or pursue an education thanks to loan support from 1.6 million people, lending just $25 dollars at a time.

Kiva provides financial support to low-income borrowers, enabling individuals from all over the globe who have few other opportunities for financial assistance to receive a critically needed loan. Through lending, Kiva is alleviating poverty and addressing the critical social issues of our time, particularly the refugee crisis, climate change, and gender inequality. Specifically, Kiva has disbursed loans to 2,013,194 women borrowers; 19,082 to borrowers in green and clean energy spaces; and 4,544 to refugee borrowers. Kiva has also expanded to support social enterprises addressing community-wide issues such as access to clean water and sustainable farming.

“Kiva proves that when each of us takes small actions, our collective efforts can transform the world for millions of people in meaningful ways. Kiva started with a simple idea, to provide people with an easy and transparent way to support the people, places and causes they believe in,” said Premal Shah, President and Co-Founder of Kiva. “As we surpass $1 billion in loan support, we are looking at how to push open doors of economic opportunity in new ways. And with our continued growth and commitment to serve the most vulnerable, we are thrilled to announce Kiva’s new World Refugee Fund, providing a way for individuals, corporations and foundations to support refugees and host communities around the world.”

Recently on World Refugee Day (celebrated globally on June 20), Kiva launched a new World Refugee Fund, a $250K matching fund to be followed by a rotating fund of up to $9M in loan capital to provide support to refugees and host communities in countries including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. While immediate and urgent humanitarian assistance is important for refugee and displaced communities, the reality is that the average length of displacement is 26 years, according to the United Nations. There is a growing and long-term need among refugees and host communities to access financial services and jobs. Yet, very few traditional financial service providers are serving refugees, leaving them with limited economic mobility and opportunities.

The World Refugee Fund seeks to fill this lending gap and is being developed by Kiva and the Alight Fund, along with founding partners the Tent Foundation and USA for UNHCR. To date, Kiva has crowdfunded $4.3 million in loans to 4,544 refugee borrowers globally.

Visitors to Kiva.org can view stories and profiles of borrowers and choose who they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Individual loans are collected until the borrower’s full loan request is crowdfunded. The average loan request on Kiva is $450 and Kiva funded borrowers have a 97% repayment rate.


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New Documentary By Award-Winning Director Stephanie Soechtig And Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock To Feature Environmental Activist Erin Brockovich

“THE DEVIL WE KNOW” Chronicles One Of The Biggest Environmental Scandals In U.S. History, Involving One Of The Most Recognizable Brand Names Ever: Teflon

An Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign Launches This Week To Support The Completion Of This Groundbreaking Documentary

Press Release – New York, NY – June 21, 2017 – Two forces in the documentary film world — Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) and award-winning director Stephanie Soechtig (FED UP) – have teamed up on an eye-opening new film that tells the story of an unprecedented chemical contamination that started in one of their hometowns before spreading around the globe. Today marks the launch of their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, in order to raise the funds needed to finish the film, which is currently in post-production.

After taking on, respectively, fast food behemoth McDonald’s and the food and beverage industry, the filmmakers have turned their attention to the chemical industry in THE DEVIL WE KNOW.

Soechtig is the director, producer and writer of the project, with Spurlock coming on board as the Executive Producer, Jeremy Seifert (GMO OMG) co-directing, and Mark Monroe as co-writer. The film features environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating the drinking water in Hinckley, California, and has remained an outspoken advocate for citizens across the country and around the world whose water has been poisoned.

THE DEVIL WE KNOW focuses on one such story that unfolded in Parkersburg, West Virginia. For decades, the makers of Teflon, the multi-national chemical corporation DuPont, exposed its workers and an entire community to C8, a toxic chemical used to make its non-stick superstar and countless other consumer products. Now, according to the CDC, C8 is found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans.

“C8 is one of the most prolific contaminants we’re seeing. It’s popping up every place,” states Brockovich. “It’s in everything. I’m dealing with so many communities right now who are sick. Many have suffered with illnesses that science is starting to link with C8.”

“As a native West Virginian, this story and the struggle the people of this community endure is one I could not ignore,” adds Spurlock. “I am hopeful that with this movie, we will continue to get them all the justice and closure they deserve.”

“I’m so excited about the team we’ve put together on this film,” says Soechtig. “Morgan is a very generous and gracious collaborator, and his support of the film is especially meaningful given that it takes place in his hometown of Parkersburg, WV. And working with the incomparable Erin Brockovich has been profoundly important to the telling of this story.”

With the project in post-production, the filmmakers today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to finish the film. Those interested in supporting THE DEVIL WE KNOW can find out more at http://igg.me/at/thedevilweknow. Unique perks for participating include a 2-night stay, plus dinner, at The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY; an opportunity to pitch a film and/or television project to a major production company; a pair of tickets to a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers in New York – including a meet-and-greet with Meyers; and a lunch meeting with director Morgan Spurlock.

“This film is an incredibly fascinating story that unfolds very much like a narrative film,” adds Soechtig. “While it is similar to my other films – UNDER THE GUN and FED UP – in that it explores a very complex, very urgent social issue, stylistically it is much different from those films and that has been an exciting challenge for me. I am hopeful that THE DEVIL WE KNOW will be a wake-up call to the public about the complete lack of oversight on tens of thousands of industrial chemicals in this country.”

THE DEVIL WE KNOW represents the second film on which Spurlock’s Warrior Poets has partnered with Indiegogo to support the funding of documentaries on the crowdfunding platform.


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