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Help to Teach Visible Learning and Improve Not-For-Profit Schools and Education Worldwide

Alliance for Public School Technology Resources wants to make learning technology and teaching materials more equally available, to not-for-profit education organizations and public schools with very low (if any) costs to conventional education funding sources. They are raising money on Indiegogo. Recently I caught up with Steven Corey Hixson to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Well, teachers need a way to collaborate, and to determine what works best in the classroom as a team. This way teachers and administrators can improve education materials through peer-review, and also discuss best-practices in a way that improves the overall quality of the teaching and the learning materials. Assessments require technology that the NGO model can provide freely, and still have other costs, so we’re striving for a way to save time and cost while increasing efficacy and finding ways to create rubrics for visible learning. Working together does not have many costs associated with it other than time, and so teaching people a way to develop efficient and effective plans for teaching that can be shared saves the most valuable resource, which of course is the time to spend on development and planning.

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

Our goal is to pay travel and presentation costs for the Golden Key International Honours Society Education Delegation in South Africa, and also the materials and travel costs for the delegation and workshop at the Kappa Delta Pi 2017 Convocation. Any additional funds raised will create more investment in free technology for public schools in 2017, as well as the additional development of shared materials and resources. The costs for travel are the current goal, but beyond that and into the future, funds will be donated to schools for teacher collaboration activities in order to facilitate professional development as well as resource development in terms of technology and assessment. At the end of the year any unused funds will go to another public education related 501(c)(3) or public school organization as decided by a survey and our board.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

The students stand to benefit the most from teaching that is visibly effective, and school classrooms that can be equipped with blended learning technology that improves the quality of teaching. OTher stakeholders benefit from the success of the students in the larger community as they demonstrate their learning and become a part of the larger ecology and global economy. Teachers benefit from the time saved as well as the improvements in outcomes at their school, where administrators benefit from the higher performance of the overall organization even at sometimes the same or less cost. Employers benefit from the skills that students learn, businesses benefit from a well educated workforce, and parents benefit from the increased investment that their kids have in learning in the school communities and also the larger life-contexts that they inhabit; as educators can free up resources to focus on being present to better student learning engagement, the overall community creates a more functional support system for all stakeholders, especially students and parents.

Which category of crowdfunding campaign best fits what you are doing?

Donations based – no rewards, equity or repayment

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website:
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @corey_303

 

How Partnering With A Nonprofit Can Boost Your Crowdfunding Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

John Lee Dumas is one of the most successful podcasters on iTunes. Last year, when he decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for his “Freedom Journal,” he partnered with Pencils of Promise. He raised $453,000 on Kickstarter and donated $75,000 to the nonprofit. Now he’s at it again.

Dumas boasts over 1 million listens to his “Entrepreneur on Fire” podcast every month. You wouldn’t think he “needs” to partner with Pencils of Promise in order to be successful with his campaign. Dumas is a savvy entrepreneur. He’s clearly figured that this is an important part of the strategy.

His last campaign for the “Freedom Journal” raised enough to build three schools in Ghana, Guatemala or Laos, the three countries where the nonprofit operates. For his current campaign launched this morning for his “Mastery Journal,” he hopes to raise $100,000, enough for Pencils of Promise to build four schools.

John Lee Dumas, courtesy of Entrepreneur On Fire

Dumas has not only been successful as a podcaster, talking with successful entrepreneurs seven days a week (here’s his 2014 interview with me), he’s become a business coach for podcasters. He reports his revenue and profit publicly each month. Last year, he reported revenue of $2.6 million and net profit (presumably pre-tax) of $1.7 million.

He says, “My goal with EOFire is to inspire entrepreneurs to succeed, emulate success and avoid mistakes.”

The Mastery Journal is a manual for accomplishing big goals, Dumas explains. In it, he teaches entrepreneurs how to deal with their three biggest problems: lack of productivity, discipline and focus. The book includes a daily guide to building those three powerful skills.

Dumas, who served in the military, says he learned discipline there. But he recognized that he lacked focus and productivity. His business took off once he mastered those skills.

He says the biggest challenge people face is the constant barrage of what he calls “OPA” or “other people’s agenda.” One of the tricks he uses to overcome OPA is to block out 42-minute stretches of time for focused activity with absolutely no distractions allowed.

Dumas acknowledges that some people can’t use the system. For those in 9-to-5 jobs with little autonomy, the Mastery Journal won’t help much–unless they are willing to use the tool for their free time outside of work in an effort to break away from the 9-to-5. He says, “Some people are just in reactionary mode and can’t use the book unless they are ready to leave that behind.”

He believes that the Mastery Journal will help people accomplish their objectives. “A lot of people have amazing voices to share with the world, but they don’t because they don’t give themselves permission to do it. This gives people the structure to be productive and share their message with the world.”

So far on the first day, as of January 23, 2017 at 4:00 Eastern, Dumas’s Kickstarter campaign for The Mastery Journal has raised $29,009, topping the initial goal of $25,000. The campaign ends on February 24, 2017 at 10:59 PM Eastern. In order to reach his goal to donate $100,000 to Pencils of Promise, he’ll need to raise another $571,000.

Dumas clearly believes the partnership with Pencils of Promise is a win for everyone. Not only does it provide needed cash for the organization to deliver on its mission to educate underserved communities, it makes the crowdfunding campaign more appealing to backers. They get both the value of the book but also the honest sense of helping to build a school for deserving children in the developing world.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at noon Eastern, Dumas will join me here for a live discussion about The Mastery Journal, his crowdfunding campaign and the strategic partnership with Pencils of Promise. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Your Support to “United Front Against Riverblindness Campaign” Helps Eliminate Riverblindness

UFAR is a nonprofit charitable organization fighting Riverblindness. They are raising money on CaringCrowd. Recently I caught up with Charles C. Phillips to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Imagine a child living in a village so remote he/she has no access to basic medical care, even communication with the outside world beyond the village is very difficult. Imagine many in the village are already blind and totally dependent upon children to assist with almost all of their daily needs for survival. Many adults in his/her family and other families in the village endure the constant misery of unrelenting itching , teary eyes, disfiguring, visual impairment and eventually blindness, all characteristic of onchocerciasis, also commonly known as Riverblindness. Children, 5 years of age or younger, not yet infected by the parasitic worm causing the disease that is transmitted through the bites of small blackflies living and breeding along rivers and creeks, they become full-time caretakers for their blind adult relatives. With this consuming daily engagement, these children have no time left for schooling, making them doomed for illiteracy and perpetual poverty. Once the children are old enough to start doing the types of daily chores adults do along infested rivers with onchocerciasis-carrying tiny blackflies, they will get the disease and without help, they also will eventually be blind.

The good news is that Mectizan, the only effective and safe drug approved for Riverblindness can be administered as a single annual oral dose on a community-based mass treatment setting, can indeed interrupt transmission of the parasite and achieve elimination of the disease. Administered for 10 consecutive years in endemic areas with recommended treatment coverage rates and the disease can be eliminated. The drug is free from its manufacturer who has pledged to continue providing it free as long as it’s needed for worldwide elimination of Riverblindness.

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How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

Our overall fundraising goal for 2017 is $70,000, of that $20,000 through CaringCrowd. We have raised approximately $30,000 overall and approximately $12,000 through CaringCrowd so far. These funds will be used to overcome the major hurdle to the administration of Mectizan, which is the distribution of the drug to the millions of people who need it, in order to achieve and maintain recommended treatment rates for therapeutic and geographic coverage of 80% and 100%, respectively. The majority of those needing treatment live in remote villages poorly accessible or inaccessible by motor vehicles.

The high efficacy and safety profiles of Mectizan and its convenience for a single annual oral dose regimen make it well suited for large-scale mass distribution programs in remote communities by selected individuals in rural communities trained and empowered to play a major role in managing their own health and well-being.

These Community workers (CWs) or community drug distributors (CDDs) are the backbone of the community-directed and community-based strategy for mass distribution of Mectizan for onchocerciasis and of several other drugs for other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis (SCT), soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and trachoma (T). They are selected from within their community to lead the annual drug distribution campaign for the benefice of the community. Traditionally, CWs work as unpaid volunteers, receiving only small compensations from the people they serve. The increasing presence in recent years of other public health programs such as those for HIV/AIDS and malaria that provide relatively large incentives to their community workers has resulted in some instances in significant attrition among onchocerciasis CWs for the attractive paying or rewarding jobs. The new “Empower remote African villages to eliminate Riverblindness” approach was conceived as a way of reducing the attrition rates among our volunteers as well as to help the country and communities play a leadership role and appropriate the project as their own, for the goodness of the community by providing small incentives to the community workers.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

Within the Democratic Republic of Congo we are working in more geographic regions. In addition to Katanga province we have expanded our work to the provinces of Maniema, Orientale, and Kasai Orientale.

The population we are responsible for treating has grown from just over 3 million in 2014 to over 6.2 million in 2017. We must train more than twice as many Community Distribution Workers – from 20,895 in 2014 to over 45,000 in 2017!

While the United Front Against Riverblindness (UFAR) is not changing its name, we are no longer solely focused on Riverblindness and we are not focused only on the control but the complete elimination of Riverblindness from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We are now additionally tackling other NTDs (neglected tropical diseases): including lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis (SCT), soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and trachoma (T).


What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

Donations based – no rewards, equity or repayment

Check out the campaign:

Follow on Facebook.

This Guy Was Forced To Stand Out; See How It Could Be Key To His Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Ricardo Jose Bueso has a brother named Ricardo Juan Bueso. Really. His parents did that. To some, they are known as the two Ricardos.

Perhaps it was this unusual situation that inspired Bueso to look for ways to stand out and apart, to chart a unique course. He’s traveled the world, studying business administration in Texas, completing a degree as “Chef de Cuisine” in Guatemala, teaching English in Yemen, and then studying in both Miami, Florida and Shanghai.

Two years ago, Bueso and his brother Ricardo Juan, assembled a team and began developing a unique concept in social entrepreneurship. Their model is to sell responsibly-sourced, crafted products like soaps and candles via the web (nothing unique so far–wait for it) and let consumers set the price and then give the profits above a cost threshold to charity.

John Chung, an advisor to the startup called THX, says,THX is offering a unique product. It offers the opportunity for the consumer to donate part or all of the margin that would normally go to the retailer. The beneficiaries are the nonprofits and the consumers. THX can potentially make a big impact as each purchase gives the consumer the opportunity to direct the largest part of the cost of any product to a cause.”

Bueso explains the model this way. “The pricing structure for our products works differently than typical gross margin percentages. We purposely price our products excluding traditional markups and allow the customer to donate the margin matching the traditional retail value, or whatever amount they want.”

More simply, he says, THX sets a base price that is equivalent to a wholesale price. The consumer sets a price above that and the difference goes to charity. The markup THX charges to cover its costs and profits varies from 30 to 50 percent of the landed price.

The philosophy, he says, is not focused on profit. “Our company is driven by the idea that the brand and e-commerce platform is not a business seeking to maximize shareholder value in the form of profits, but rather a self-sustaining and practical giving mechanism.”

The inspiration for THX came from seeing the wide array of nonprofits serving South Florida and feeling a desire to help them all, especially the smaller ones that struggle for funding, Bueso says. “In our city of Miami alone, we have animal shelters, children’s hospitals, at-risk youth programs, as well as services for veterans, victims of human trafficking and the sad reality of homelessness.”

Bueso recognized that corporate social responsibility and cause marketing initiatives by larger companies often partnered with larger nonprofits, so he was looking for a way to sustainably help smaller ones.

He boasts, “Thx is the first brand to let shoppers transparently customize their impact by donating any amount to any registered nonprofit in America.”

“We have created collections of responsibly sourced, quality products that customers use every day like fragrances, soaps, candles, coffee, teas, etc., he says. “Through our platform, the customer can easily access our products and customize their impact by selecting the cause they care about the most.”

Charles Lee, the Founder and CEO of Ideation, has advised Bueso on business strategy and brand marketing. He says, “THX has strong value propositions for consumers, non-profits, and corporations that make it a win-win for everyone involved. In addition, as the company continues to grow as a new kind of social enterprise, its social impact will exponentially increase.”

Ricardo Jose and Ricardo Juan Bueso, courtesy of THX

Bueso understands, perhaps better than anyone, the need to stand out. He grew up as one of three Ricardos in the family–he and his brother were named after their father.

“One of our greatest challenges is being able to get our customers to fully understand the process of shopping on our marketplace,” he says. “More than ever we have to get the visitor’s attention fast and ensure their full understanding of our three-step model.”

Bueso acknowledges that there are some limitations to the model. THX can bring attention and money to small nonprofits, but, he notes, “we are not a nonprofit accountability platform.”

Chung offered some counsel for the new company to achieve success. “Like other internet dependent ideas, the critical challenge is getting the message out and for the message to stick. Operationally, THX has to offer a desired set of products (which is not easy), fulfill and deliver them smoothly.”

Lee suggests two keys will be critical to their success. “First, open collaboration with varied industries that help to shape a new paradigm for consumption and gifting, and second, unwavering commitment to stay focused on their social mission as the core ‘why’ behind their business.”

Bueso exhibits the optimism that seems to be an inherent feature among successful entrepreneurs. “Our success will undoubtedly impact the world for good. We’re on a mission to help every cause, in every city in America.”

He sees the customers as playing a key role in the new economy. “We love social enterprise and the impact that conscious consumerism is having today and we hope that our model will inspire a generation of companies to follow suit.”

Bueso is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help accelerate adoption by more socially conscious consumers.

“We seek to be the first product brand that generates significant funds with a minimal amount of units sold. We believe this is possible because of how much we empower our consumers to support the cause that’s closest to their heart,” he concludes.

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 2:00 Eastern, Bueso will join me here for a live discussion about THX and its plans. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Journalist Champions More Inclusive Community Capital

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Amy Cortese is a rare bird indeed. She is almost alone in focusing her pen on crowdfunding’s ability to build underserved communities. She is equally interested in the place-based communities and demographic communities. Her book, Locavesting, is the definitive book on the topic.

Amy’s business, also called Locavesting, serves as a source of information for communities seeking greater access to capital.

Amy explains her view of the problem, “We live in an age of massive wealth inequality and lack of economic access, especially for women, people of color and those in underserved areas. How do we create an economy that works for all, instead of the few? The first thing is to tackle finance and channel more resources into communities.”

Access to capital for underserved communities is one of the great promises of crowdfunding. By reducing the dependence of women and minorities on traditional sources of capital like banks and venture capital that have not met their needs, crowdfunding hold the potential to lift communities.

Amy says, “Locavesting has chronicled and championed the rise of community capital.”

Recently, Amy launched a new platform, she describes as “Kayak for crowdfunding” that aggregates equity crowdfunding offerings in one place. She calls the new service Investibule.

“Investibule takes that a big step forward by connecting people with investment opportunities in their communities,” she says. “We believe in the wisdom of the community. Our goal is to accelerate the movement by raising awareness and shifting the financial narrative and flow of money into these emerging community-friendly investments.”

Great challenges remain for crowdfunding to achieve its potential for changing communities. The scale of equity crowdfunding in 2016 remained far below the hopes of the industry.

Amy says the number one challenge is education. “Most people have not heard of crowdfunding, or may be intimidated by the idea of directly investing. We also recognize that in some communities, there is not much disposable income to invest. So while the will may be there, the means may not be.”

Amy recognizes, too, that crowdfunding and other related community financing mechanisms can’t solve all of the problems for underserved populations.

“Individual investing is just one slice of the pie—albeit a potentially powerful one,” she says. “Inequality, economic justice are such deep issues, we need concerted action on the part of institutional investors, corporations and lawmakers. In addition, many entrepreneurs need technical assistance and coaching before they are ready to raise money—we don’t address that part of the equation.”

Despite the challenges, Amy remains optimistic. “We hope to contribute to, in a small way, a more fair and just economy and society. You can’t have a healthy economy without healthy, resilient communities. By channeling more capital to community-based ventures, we hope to grow a new generation of job-creating entrepreneurs and empower communities to invest in themselves and they change they want to see. We believe in the idea of community underwriting, that the wisdom of the community can surface and support the best ideas and ventures.”

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at noon Eastern, Amy will join me here for a live discussion about her work to improve access to capital for struggling communities. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Amy Cortese, courtesy of Locavesting

Amy Cortese, courtesy of Locavesting

More about Locavesting:

Twitter: @investibule

Locavesting is the definitive source for news and educational content about the evolving community capital and crowdfinance fields. We shine a spotlight on the innovate models that are empowering entrepreneurs, investors and their communities. Building on that base, investibule.co is a new aggregation platform that connects investors with crowdfunded offerings in their communities—a “Kayak for community capital.”

Amy’s bio:

Twitter: @locavesting

AMY CORTESE is a journalist who writes about topics spanning business, finance & food for publications including the New York Times and B magazine. Her book, Locavesting, was one of the pioneering works on the emerging local investing and community capital movement. She is the founder & editor of Locavesting.com, a media and educational site that covers the evolving community finance space, and cofounder of investibule, a new discovery platform for community-based investments. Based in Brooklyn, Amy has been named a “Top 30 Crowdfunding Thought Leader,” and was awarded a New Capital Markets Leadership Award by the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Association. She was honored to present at the historic April 2012 Rose Garden signing of the JOBS Act.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

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!

 

Mother of Quads Faces Cancer; Receives Outpouring of Support


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Kayla Gaytan, the wife of a soldier, was expecting four healthy babies–conceived naturally–when something went wrong. She began recognizing the symptoms of her Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The doctors confirmed her worst fears and quickly delivered the babies at 30 weeks so she could begin chemo–again.

Pegine Echevarria, CEO of Team Pegine, a keynote speaker and mother of two servicemen, quickly recognized that Kayla and her husband Charles, who is stationed at Fort Campbell, were going to need a lot of help. She found their GoFundMe page asking for $5,000 and immediately realized that the family would need much, much more. She’s made it her personal crusade to help the family raise $100,000.

Pegine’s efforts, combined with some great media exposure, are helping. As of January 9, 2017, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $15,365.

People did a story about Kayla and you can watch their video here:

The Today show did a story. You can watch their video here:

WKRN  did a story and you can watch it here:

MSNewsNow.com – Jackson, MS

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Kayla and Charles told WKRN that the doctors had given her a 50 percent chance of surviving five years. The couple already has two children. Pegine quickly realized when she heard the story that the young couple is facing more than any couple could be expected to handle alone. She’s virtually adopted them and their GoFundMe effort. She says, “I have fallen in love with this family and am on a mission to help them.”

Pegine calls her effort “Be Part of the Miracle!” She encouraging everyone she knows to donate and is reaching out to her powerful stable of corporate clients to step up with matching donations to both help fund the needs and spur more individual donations.

Kayla set up a Facebook page where you can follow the progress of the four babies.

On Tuesday, January 10, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Pegine will join me here for a live discussion about Kayla, her battle with cancer and her six children. Pegine is convinced she can help the family raise $100,000 to help them with the challenges they will certainly face. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

Pegine Echevarria, courtesy of Team Pegine

More about Team Pegine:

Team Pegine, Inc. is an award-winning leadership development, training and marketing firm that educates leaders in a diverse world through extraordinary interactive experiences. Team Pegine works with corporations and government as well as military and corporate leaders to engage, train, develop and market, both internally and externally, to women and multicultural leaders.

Pegine’s bio:

Twitter: @PegineMotivateU

Pegine is one of only 8 women and the only Latina inducted into the 58 member Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame (Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield are also inducted). Named 1 of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management). www.Pegine.com is a leadership, inclusion success expert. Using interactive experiences both in her speeches and large scale live situational exercises, Pegine creates memorable lessons providing leaders techniques that they can use during high stress, high value moments, gaining influence and confidence in a diverse world. Her company, www.TeamPegine.com, was named North Florida’s #3 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Company. She is a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women in Business Champion of the Year. Hired by Fortune 500, government and the military, Pegine offers clients fresh ideas to leaders to engage diverse markets to help them achieve their goals, presenting her ideas vividly with unusual stories and metaphors, captivating listeners. Politicians, executive leaders, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executive hire her coaching service that include role players and live situational exercises to increase their effectiveness, charisma and confidence communicating in a diverse world. Companies use Team Pegine to engage and nurture diverse leaders.

Pegine is one of fewer than 700 speakers worldwide to earn the designation of Certified Professional Speaker® less than 1% of professional speakers worldwide hold the designation. The DoD awarded her company the rarely given CPAR rating of excellence for contracts over one million dollars. Pegine thrives on big ideas and big productions. She designed, led and implemented a live simulation leadership cultural negotiation training exercise with 50 role players, 12 villages, with over 12,000 officers participating, from all branches of the military and 12 ally countries. Pegine holds an MSW in group and organizational behavior and has authored several books. Her book “Sometimes You Need to Kick Your Own Butt” was a SHRM Best Seller four years in a row. On the cover of Minority Business Entrepreneur as a “Women in Business Who Rocks” she is also quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Hispanic Business Magazine.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding 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!

 

Support Christopher’s Haven and Escape with Chris Evans

AutoLotto wants to support Christopher’s Haven. They are raising money on omaze. Recently I caught up with Matt Clemenson to learn more about the effort; here’s what he told me:

What is the social benefit you hope to achieve with or through your crowdfunding campaign?

Boston-based Christopher’s Haven is working with philanthropic platform Omaze on a campaign offering donors the chance to win an adventure with Captain America (Chris Evans) starting at just $10. The winning donor will be flown out to Boston with 3 guests to complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans.

Christopher’s Haven operates a supportive community consisting of nine temporary apartments and a community recreation area for families of children being treated for cancer in nearby Boston hospitals. Over 300 families to date have stayed in the fully-furnished and equipped apartments located across the street from Massachusetts General Hospital. The Loft is utilized to provide programming for children undergoing outpatient treatment, as well as their siblings and parents. Activities coordinated primarily by volunteers, include massage therapy, pet therapy, arts & crafts, movie nights, birthday and holiday parties, bell-ringing ceremonies, outings to sporting events and excursions to local attractions.

How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?

As much as possible!  The more we can assist childhood cancer patients and their families, the better.  The campaign ends on January 20, 2017.

Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?

Christopher’s Haven and, in doing so, childhood cancer patients and their families.

What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?

The winner (+3 friends) are flown out to Boston and put up in a 4-star hotel. They complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans as Captain America plus a burgers and beer dinner.

Donors get various perks depending on the level of their donation. For example, donors who give $1,500 get an autographed copy of Captain America: Civil War DVD signed by Chris Evans. Donors who give $2,500 earned an outgoing voicemail message from Chris Evans.

Check out the campaign.

 

To Crowdfund Successfully, Think About More Than Money


You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Kathleen Minogue is passionate about using crowdfunding for social good. She created her business, Crowdfund Better, to help social entrepreneurs and nonprofits raise more money via crowdfunding.

Kathleen is a former teacher. She puts those skills to work today by helping people learn how to crowdfund for their cause or business.

Kathleen shared three tips with me that I’m honored to pass along to you.

To crowdfund successfully, think about more than money

1. It’s all about the network.

Crowdfunding is about the network, not the funding. This is what I find most people get backward. They focus on the funding and they miss the potential of their current crowdfunding efforts to fuel their social, creative or financial capital needs long beyond this initial campaign.

2. Crowdfunding isn’t free.

It costs time – yours, your team’s or a team you hire to help you. It’s also important to budget enough time ahead of your campaign launch to prepare your network. Technology moves our messages faster but trust is built in human time.

3. Crowdsource other resources.

Crowdfunding creates opportunities for people to contribute more than money to your campaign. Other types of capital (i.e. social, creative, intellectual, community, relationship) may be just as vital to the long-term success of your business, cause, or creative project.

On Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 3:00 Eastern, Kathleen will join me here for a live discussion about her tips for crowdfunding more successfully. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Kathleen Minogue, courtesy of Crowdfund Better

Kathleen Minogue, courtesy of Crowdfund Better

More about Crowdfund Better:

Twitter: @crowdfundbetter

Crowdfund Better provides crowdfunding education and strategic consulting to empower entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and local communities to develop stronger networks for ongoing social, creative, and financial support. Crowdfund Better also develops crowdfunding educational tools and programs for business advisors and platforms.

Kathleen’s bio:

Twitter: @kathleenminogue

Kathleen Minogue is a crowdfunding educator, speaker and strategic business consultant. After running her own successful crowdfunding campaign in 2012, she founded Crowdfund Better to guide entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and creative artists on how to use crowdfunding strategically to help them attain their financial, marketing, and business goals. A thought leader in crowdfunding, Kathleen is particularly focused on utilizing crowdfunding to encourage entrepreneurship, economic development and job creation in local communities, especially for women and minorities.

Kathleen is a dynamic speaker who uses her skills as a former teacher and financial professional to run highly interactive workshops that address the needs of novice crowdfunders as well as experienced veterans, and has worked alongside project creators on highly successful campaigns on platforms ranging from Kickstarter and Indiegogo to niche platforms like Seed&Spark, Barnraiser and Hatchfund. Kathleen has been invited to speak at venues including: General Assembly, Impact Hub, Pepperdine University, the Director’s Guild of America, CAMEO, SCORE, SBA, the Global Crowdfunding Convention, Crowdfunding Deep Impact UK and Crowd Invest Summit.

Prior to Crowdfund Better, Kathleen spent time at JPMorgan where she helped build relationships with leading technology venture capitalists and worked as a consultant for an LA-based crowdfunding start-up.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding 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!

 

Don’t Even Think About Crowdfunding Without Doing These 3 Things First

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

B Cavello is a key part of the brains and brilliance behind the Exploding Kittens’ $8.8 million success on Kickstarter. Having moved on from that project, B is now working as a crowdfunding consultant through B is for Business. B, who prefers the personal pronoun “they,” will share a bit of their genius with us.

According to Fox Business, Exploding Kittens raised $8.8 million on Kickstarter from 219,382 backers. This Wikipedia page ranks Exploding Kittens 15th biggest in the history of crowdfunding.

Here are B’s insights:

“Don’t even think about crowdfunding without doing these 3 things first.”

1. Know your audience.

It’s easy to focus on funding, but to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you must focus on the crowd. You must honestly evaluate your reach and your network. Optimism works against you, here. Work with what you KNOW you have.

2. Clearly understand the realities of success.

When you start a crowdfunding campaign, you are making a promise, and you want to be sure you can keep it. Not only does knowing what’s ahead give you credibility with your team (your crowdfunding backers), it also gives you a clear head when evaluating opportunities and challenges. Know your timeline and your costs and give yourself plenty of padding because unexpected things WILL happen.

3. Build a strong team.

The reality of crowdfunding campaigns is that even (or especially) when they are wildly successful, they are a LOT of work. If you’re setting out to run a campaign, running it alone is dangerous. That said: you need to ensure that everyone on your team is as passionate about and capable of serving your cause as you are.

On Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 2:00 Eastern, B will join me here for a live discussion about their three tips and more insights about crowdfunding. B is passionate about causes and our discussion will focus on using these insights for good. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

B Cavello, courtesy of B is for Business

B Cavello, courtesy of B is for Business

More about B is for Business:

Twitter: @b_cavello

B offers guidance, counsel, and even hard truths for those seeking to create a crowdfunding campaign.

B’s bio:

B Cavello is a crowdfunding veteran whose work as Product Development and Community Director at Exploding Kittens helped catapult the game startup to its record-breaking 219,382 backer success. As the voice and primary liaison for the nearly $9 million campaign, B cultivated and empowered the huge community inspired by the game. Following the Kickstarter, they also oversaw product design and testing of the physical card game, expansions, the iOS and Android apps, and even plush and wearable merchandise.

B has since departed from the Exploding Kittens team and now works as an Engagement Leader with IBM Watson. B also works independently as a crowdfunding consultant. They have advised on a variety of crowdfunding campaigns including Zach and Zebby Wahls’ “Woman Card[s],” the Artiphon, and the Lelo Hex condom.

B has their own projects as well, primarily focused on social good: from crisis housing materials to computer education and security and even an interactive circuitry book for kids.

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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!

 

Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd Offers Crowdfunding for Public Health Efforts

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical behemoth, operates CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding site for global public health initiatives. The platform provides a way for nonprofits and others working in public health to seek funding for their projects.

Derek Fetzer, the Director of the program, notes that public health initiatives are chronically underfunded. “A considerable portion of the world does not have access to health care and many local organizations are ideally positioned to help. They possess unique knowledge of the communities they work with, thus understanding which interventions will truly make an impact on the lives of vulnerable populations. However, these organizations face a critical challenge: funding.”

Derek explains that the goal isn’t just to scale up what’s already working, but to drive innovation. “We developed CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding platform, to enable collaboration on global public health challenges, foster innovation, and support funding that can help get needed resources to people faster and more efficiently.”

The J&J team screens the projects to ensure that they align with corporate values. “All submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. CaringCrowd is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and does not charge a fee.”

As the effort is relatively new, the challenge they face is building the critical mass needed have the intended impact, Derek says. “The platform has recently launched and we are diligently building awareness of the platform. Towards this end, we are active on social media and get involved in events (e.g., we were present at the Global Citizen Festival in September 2016).”

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

This means that at least for the present, project funding will be relative modest, Derek adds. “For the immediate future, most projects will be of a smaller size, generally less than $30,000. As crowdfunding grows and consolidates, I would expect that larger scale projects take place. However, the impact of even small projects can be huge – a little can go so very far in many parts of the world!”

Derek has a grand vision for CaringCrowd. “Our mission is to provide a trusted platform for helping global public health projects get the funding they need. Imagine how we could positively affect the lives of so many neglected populations if we achieved the size of some of the other major crowdfunding platforms!”

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Derek will join me here for a live discussion about CaringCrowd’s efforts to improve public health through crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about CaringCrowd:

Twitter: @caringcrowd

CaringCrowd(R) is a crowdfunding site 100% dedicated to global public health. Individuals who want to support public health can browse projects that need funding and make a pledge to help. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit can submit a project and funding goal for consideration on the platform. Then, submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. This platform was created by Johnson & Johnson as a driver for collaboration on global public health, and as a new way to bring funding to organizations tackling key public health challenges on the ground.

Derek’s bio:

Twitter: @derekfetzer

Co-founder and Team Leader of CARINGCROWD®. Originally an industrial engineer from Peru and from Purdue University, Derek has over 23 years of strategy, consulting, and business analytics experience across different industries, spanning the US, EU, and Latin America. For the last 10 years, Derek has worked in the area of infectious diseases, collaborating on key product launches in HIV/AIDS, HCV, and tuberculosis. His career interest is in improving access to healthcare around the world by empowering the “crowd.”

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding 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!

 

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