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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe


Stories that include video interviews.

Author, Activist Explains Participation Economy

Michelle Williams is an author hoping to make a difference in the world and she needs your help! She is raising money on StartSomeGood.. Recently, I caught up with Michelle to learn more about her work; here’s what she told me:

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

We are in the midst of a big shift from passive consumer to active aware participant and this is transforming business, govt, education and society.

This book will give you the jewels and gems you need to understand what this means for us as individuals, looking at the benefits and the pitfalls we need to overcome in a new participation driven world.

“Participation is the New Consumption”.


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

To self-publish this book I need to raise $7,500.
I am at 33% of this target now and have 12 days to go, with the campaign to end November 12, 2014.

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

The US National Security office says individual empowerment will become the dominant force and will help solve some of our mounting global issues.

This is a book for many but is more a piece to understand how these changes affect all of us, how they are linked from participant driven education, to government services designed with the community and business driven by community with an empowered consumer driving ethics.
This book will show individuals how they can navigate this new participation driven world.

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

  • $20 the eBook
    $30 A printed version of the book (signed)
    $60 A custom made laser cutting of your name, your company, and your logo. This is great signage for your co-working desk or business shop front + a copy of the book and is usually worth $80 (Vecta image of your logo is required for laser cutting) + listed as contributing author
    $100 Curated dinner with leading Changemakers (Sydney only) + listed as contributing author. This rewards also includes the book
    Plus a few more

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @mia_will.

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Teenage Entrepreneur Seeks To Feed 1000 Families For Thanksgiving

Tiana Ramos, the teenage founder of Naughty Girls Donut Shop, hopes to feed dinner 1,000 families this Thanksgiving and she needs your help! She is raising money on Fundly. Recently, I caught up with Tiana to learn more about her work; here’s what she told me:

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

I am only person but it seems as if I was put here to do so much more. I want to give back. I want to help others see the blessing in passing it forward. I am hoping to give 1,000 families a reason to say thank you and give them a reason to push forward in hopes that when they become able they too could pass the blessing forward.

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

In working with Schnecks foods. The price to feed 1,000 families is approximately $14,888. I am looking to raise $15,000. We are using a 501c3. The money will go directly into the Day of Unity Bank Account. The funds will be used to directly purchase food for these families. We are working with several nonprofits so it is a tax deduction.

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

We are currently working with loaves and fishes and the United Way in efforts to feed 1,000 hungry families throughout several counties including Warren County, Frederick County, Fauquier County and Prince William County. We are reaching out through the various food pantries in hopes to get the families who are truly in need this holiday season.

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.

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Environmentalist Crowdfunds To Save Community Forest

Nikki Brown is working to save the Kilfinan Community Forest in Scotland and she needs your help! She is raising money on Indiegogo. Recently, I caught up with Nikki to learn more about her work; here’s what she told me:

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

Our crowdfunding campaign will help save a vital community resource in the highlands of Scotland – the Kilfinan Community Forest. With every £20 donation we will be able to plant a new sapling to help reforest an area that was destroyed by storms in 2013.

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

We hope to raise £5500, which will give us enough to plant 500 saplings and many more seeds. This will be enough to replant the whole destroyed area of forest.

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

Our community forest not only created oxygen and an a habitat for wildlife – it’s a also a creative outdoor learning space for the local primary school and a recreational area for locals. We intend to build crofts and affordable housing on the land too. We believe the best way to create a living forest is to have people living in it!

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

For each £20 donated you will be able to sponsor your own sapling. You’ll be able to name your tree and will get a certificate. You’re welcome to come and visit it whenever you like, and for additional donations we can also offer a tour, packs of greetings cards featuring hand-drawn images of the forest, a plot-to-plate picnic on the site, and lots of wild camping.

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.

Entrepreneur Ready With Investment Crowdfunding For Texas

With the recent adoption of laws allowing for ordinary investors in Texas to invest via online crowdfunding portals, the number of Americans now legally allowed to invest that way has jumped dramatically and may be said to be reaching a critical mass.

Danny Kelman is eager to see. Danny is the founder of CrowdBoarders, a new crowdfunding site for equity, debt rewards and donations–a one stop cafeteria for all kinds of crowdfunding. And his timing may be impeccable.

On Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 3:00 Eastern, Danny will join us for a live discussion about the new platform and the new Texas crowdfunding rules. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

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

More about CrowdBoarders:

CrowdBoarders is a 2nd generation crowdfunding Social Investing Network that provides integrated social crowdfunding for equity, donations, rewards and lending.

Crowdboarders is a creative social network where the person raising the funds receives 100% of all of what they raise and registered Crowdboarders can invest, watch, recommend and boost Ideas directly with the network or onto other social networks.

Investment Crowdfunding For Texas

Danny’s bio:

Since getting involved in Crowdfunding 3 years ago Danny Kelman has been an advocate for connecting the fundraising world socially in one place: which is CrowdBoarders. His background in social marketing and web design have been paired to allow people to get involved and learn about this brand new industry. His vision is one network of millions of people around the world, socially connecting and raising funds on their very own CrowdBoards, while learning what being a CrowdBoarder is all about: making a difference.

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Eco-friendly Firm Launches Kickstarter For New Line

Wabi Sabi Eco Fashion Concept is launching via Kickstarter to offer it’s new organic fabrics and styles.We recently connected with founder Michele Helene Cohen to learn more; here is what she told us:

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

Wabi Sabi Eco Fashion Concept uses only the best organic materials. That means we help to protect not only the environment but also the health and wellbeing of consumer as well as textile industry workers through the globe.  We only work with skilled artisan craftsmen who create luxury quality products but work in a safe environment where they are paid fair wages.

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

We are hoping to raise $15,ooo dollars in order to go into production of our first signature collection called “sustainable City Style”. We also have stretch goals. If we reach $35,000 We can offer three more color options for the woven styles. If we reach $70,000 we can offer extended sizes.Our current sizes run from US 0 to 8.  If we reach our stretch goal of $70,000 we will be able to expand the size offering including petites.

To date we have already raised 20% of our funding goal and we still have 24 days of the campaign left to go!

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

Fashion is one of the most contaminating industries. By helping to reduce this we are creating a better, safer and healthier planet for all.

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

First of all we offer a selection of of dresses from this collection at a reduced price. We also have a t-shirt for just $25, a handmade gold jelwery set and then some fun rewards su ch a private photo shoot, a private trunk show partym or backers can even help us to design a product.

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.

Follow on Facebook.

How A Simple Hashtag Changes Everything For Nonprofits

Dale Nirvani Pfeifer has a plan to change the world: enable people to donate to a cause right from Twitter or Facebook with a simple hashtag: #donate.

By radically reducing the effort required to give to charity, Dale hopes her Good World, LLC can increase giving in parallel.

On September 29, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Dale will join me for a live discussion about her innovative effort to increase personal philanthropy. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about GoodWorld:

GoodWorld powers the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (coming soon) streams of non-profits, celebrities and others to accept donations. Supporters simply give by writing #donate.

See our animation here.

We released the latest version of our #donate technology last week — and have some big events coming down the pike.


Dale’s bio:

An entrepreneur with extensive experience in leadership strategy, social media campaigns, fundraising, communications and program management experience at the highest level of the foundation and non-profit industries.

Worked extensively with organisations across the United States and New Zealand to help them understand their purpose and deliver cutting-edge programs and communications strategies. Broad range of professional responsibilities have included: designing and implementing programs; designing, launching and managing campaigns; building social networks that engage key influencers; developing and implementing communications strategies; building communities of support; establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and influencers; publishing articles in professional journals; leading professional and organizational development initiatives.

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New Program For Rooftop Solar Projects

Mosiac, the leader in crowdfunding solar power projects, recently announced a program that provides homeowners with crowdfunded loans with operations and maintenance service contracts, giving them all the benefits of a lease with a simple to understand loan.

The loans can go for up to 20 years with no prepayment penalty and require no down payment.

On Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:00 Eastern, Mosaic CEO Daniel Rosen will join me for a live discussion about the new program. Tune in here then to watch live.

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

More about Mosaic:

Mosaic is America’s first peer-to-peer solar finance company and is enabling thousands of American people to profit from clean energy. Mosaic provides home solar loans to cover the up-front cost of solar ownership for homeowners and finances these loans by crowdsourcing investments from the public.

Mosaic has been honored by Fast Company as a top ten most innovative company in energy for two consecutive years, by the Department of Energy as a SunShot Grant recipient, The Sierra Club as the Trailblazer Company of the Year, and Verizon Wireless as the top environmental winner for their Powerful Answers Awards.

Dan’s bio:

Dan Rosen – Mosaic Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dan is a serial entrepreneur with 10 years of experience leading clean energy, green building and energy efficiency companies in rural Native American communities and Israel. He is an Unreasonable Institute fellow and Brower Youth Award winner. Dan has been been on Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Energy List two times in recognition of his leadership on innovative ways of financing clean energy.

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Devin D. Thorpe

The Women of Crowdfunding

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

While tech entrepreneurship continues to be dominated by men (see Cheryl Snapp Conner’s piece), women appear to be playing a larger role in the crowdfunding ecosystem.

Note that Sally Outlaw, included in this article, is one of my clients.

There is a growing list of influential women leading the crowdfunding industry. Sara Hanks, CEO of CrowdCheck, Jilliene Helman, CEO of Realty Mogul, Jenny Kassan, CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, Lesley Mansford, CEO of Razoo, Sally Outlaw, CEO of Peerbackers, Danae Ringelmann, Co-founder of Indiegogo, Joy Schoffler, CEO of Leverage PR, and Joanna Schwartz, CEO of EarlyShares will all join me for a live discussion about the crowdfunding industry.

The live discussion will occur at 2:00 PM Eastern on May 14, 2014. Tune in here then to watch the discussion.


Hanks’ bio:

Sara Hanks, co-founder and CEO of CrowdCheck, is an attorney with over 30 years of experience in the corporate and securities field. Sara’s most recent position was General Counsel of the Congressional Oversight Panel, the overseer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Prior to that, Sara spent many years as a partner of Clifford Chance, one of the world’s largest law firms. Sara began her career in London and later joined the Securities and Exchange Commission and as Chief of the Office of International Corporate Finance led the team drafting regulations that put into place a new generation of rules governing the capital-raising process.

Sara received her law degree from Oxford University and is a member of the New York and DC bars and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Helman’s bio:

Jilliene Helman is the Founder and CEO of RealtyMogul.com. Realty Mogul is crowdfunding for real estate, the largest online marketplace for investors to pool money and buy shares of pre-vetted real estate investments.

Jilliene is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and operation of the business.

Previously Jilliene was a Vice President at Union Bank, where the majority of her time was spent in Private Wealth Management working with the broker-dealer, registered investment advisor, real estate lenders and wealth planners. Jilliene is a Certified Wealth Strategist, holds Series 7 and Series 63 securities licenses and earned a degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University. She has been featured in countless publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, NYT and Bloomberg , and is a frequent speaker on the subjects of crowdfunding, real estate finance and entrepreneurship.

Kassan’s bio:

Jenny has over eighteen years of experience as an attorney for and creator of social enterprises. She is the CEO of Cutting Edge Capital, a consulting firm that helps social ventures raise capital in alignment with their goals and values. Jenny is also an attorney at Katovich & Kassan Law Group, a law firm that serves social enterprise. Her legal practice areas include small business start-up and financing, securities regulation, nonprofit law, and cooperatives.

Jenny earned a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School. She worked for eleven years at the Unity Council, a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents.

Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Post Carbon Institute.

Mansford’s bio:

Lesley Mansford is the CEO of Razoo, a leading crowdfunding platform for causes, with over $220M raised for nonprofits. Mansford is a seasoned CEO, marketer and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in interactive entertainment with companies like Electronic Arts. She was co-founder and COO of pogo.com, the largest online casual games community acquired by EA in 2001. In the same year she received the Superstar award from Ad Age. She speaks regularly on the power of online to democratize philanthropy. She is a powerful advocate around issues like women’s entrepreneurship and child sex trafficking in the US. Her board positions have included The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Leadership Institute for the Ecology and the Economy and Women’s Initiative for Self Employment.

Outlaw’s bio:

As co-founder and CEO of peerbackers.com, Sally has helped thousands of entrepreneurs reach their crowdfunding goals. Sally is a seasoned entrepreneur having run her own businesses for the last twenty five years. Her media and business ventures took her across the globe – including ten years of conducting business in Russia. Sally is a speaker on the topic of small business financing at various universities, business incubators, and entrepreneurial events and has been a repeated source on the topic of crowdfunding for national media outlets. Her book, “Cash from the Crowd” on how to successfully crowdfund, was published fall 2013 by Entrepreneur Press.

Ringelmann’s bio:

Danae Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo in 2008 with a mission to democratize fundraising and has since helped to propel the company into the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Today, as Indiegogo’s Chief Development Officer, Danae is focused on driving total customer satisfaction and steering the company’s employee culture and value initiatives.

Prior to Indiegogo, Danae was a securities analyst at Cowen & Co. where she covered publicly traded entertainment companies including Pixar, Lionsgate, Disney and Electronic Arts. Danae also focused on cable network, NFL, newspaper and hedge fund clientele while at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank and Private Bank.

Danae was listed on Fast Company’s “Top 50 Women Innovators in Technology” in 2011 and was named one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ in September 2013. Danae frequently speaks at conferences around the world, including TEDx, Le Web and CeBIT. Danae also testified before the United States House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations on “Financing America’s Small Businesses: Innovative Ideas for Raising Capital” in June 2013.

Danae is a CFA charterholder and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Danae graduated with a B.A. in Humanities from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar and varsity rower. She currently resides in San Francisco.

Schoffler’s bio:

Joy Schoffler, Principal of Leverage PR, is a nationally recognized author and speaker, overseeing day-to-day operations and directing strategy for all of Leverage’s public relations accounts.

Prior to launching Leverage PR, Joy consulted and worked with a number of growth-phase firms, including serving as Director of Acquisitions for the two-time Inc. Award-winning investment firm, The PPA Group. Companies Joy has worked with have been acquired, raised large amounts of capital, secured Fortune 500 accounts (from startup phase) and experienced tremendous growth through creative messaging and dynamic media strategies.

Joy has shared her knowledge in several outlets, including: Entrepreneur.com, Social Media Monthly, MO.com, The Glass Heel and MarketingProfs. She has also been a featured speaker for a number of events and conferences, such as Crowdfunding BootCamp, Startup America, Kingonomics, SV Crowdfund, Execsense, SXSW and the Crowdfunding Professional Association’s annual conference. She has additionally done behind-the-scenes work for high-profile events: Crowdfund Texas, The Crowdfunding BootCamp and a crowdfunding summit in Washington D.C. titled “The State of Equity-Based Crowdfunding,” which included a press conference held at the National Press Club, a luncheon on Capitol Hill, a White House meeting and a meeting with SEC officials responsible for Titles II & III of the JOBS Act.

In 2014, Joy’s efforts were truly recognized, as she became a Stiletto Woman in Business Awards Finalist, an Austin Under 40 Finalist and won the Women Communicators of Austin Outstanding Austin Communicator Award.

Outside of the private sector, Joy served as a Finance Officer for six years in the U.S. Army Reserves and three years as a Public Relations Officer for the Texas State Guard. Her service included a year on active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she led a 16-man team of finance soldiers and interned at the Pentagon. Joy sits on the board for Athletes for Change – an organization of NFL players dedicated to helping foster kids –the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CfIRA) – the main lobbying organization for the crowdfunding industry that works directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to help establish industry standards and best practices.

Schwartz’s bio:

Joanna Schwartz is an accomplished senior executive and entrepreneur with 18 years of experience founding and leading financial services, technology, consumer product, and e-commerce businesses. Joanna is CEO of EarlyShares, a leading funding platform that connects smart investors with unique opportunities. By enabling individuals and companies to leverage the opportunities created by the JOBS Act, EarlyShares helps small investments ignite big ideas. Prior to joining EarlyShares, Joanna served as Managing Director of small-balance commercial lender Silver Hill Financial, leading the company from inception to over $1 billion in annual volume.

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Hispanics In Philanthropy Launches Crowdfunding Site

The organization Hispanics in Philanthropy, known as HIP, has launched a crowdfunding site to empower everyone to be a philanthropist.

On Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:00 Eastern, Diana Campoamor will join me for a live interview about the launch and the other good work that HIP is doing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Hispanics in Philanthropy:

HIP invests in Latino leaders and communities to build a more prosperous and vibrant America and Latin America. We have a 30-year track record of supporting social entrepreneurs — leaders who find solutions, build communities, and who are the future. By partnering with foundations, corporations, and individuals, HIP addresses the most pressing issues facing Latinos. HIP’s mission is to strengthen Latino communities by increasing resources for the Latino and Latin American civil sector; increasing Latino participation and leadership throughout the field of philanthropy; and fostering policy change to enhance equity and inclusiveness.


Diana’s bio:

For more than 20 years, Diana Campoamor has grown a small network of funders, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), from a volunteer group of advocates into a transnational philanthropic network. HIP, which now numbers more than 600 funders and 5 regional offices, has awarded over $40 million to build the capacity of Latino-led, Latino-serving nonprofits in 19 sites across the U.S. and Latin America.
During Ms. Campoamor’s tenure, HIP was recognized with the Kellogg Foundation’s National Leadership in Action Award in 2007 and received the prestigious Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking in 2008 for its groundbreaking Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities. Ms. Campoamor has also been a leader in building bridges between the Latino and the African-American communities.

Ms. Campoamor has served on a number of boards, including the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector. She currently serves on the board of Futuro Media and the International Planned Parenthood Federation for the Western Hemisphere.

Trained as a journalist, Ms. Campoamor holds a B.A. from the University of Florida and a Master’s degree from the University of Miami. A native of Cuba, Ms. Campoamor now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her young daughter, born in China. She is happy to be surrounded by her close family: her adult son, a talented artist and musician, lives nearby with his wife, a public health expert, and their two beautiful daughters. Ms. Campoamor’s brother and sister-in-law live just next door. When not busy with philanthropy, Ms. Campoamor enjoys painting, foreign films, bicycling and meditation.

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First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City Crowdfunds Organ Repair

The First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City has the oldest organ in the state and it’s showing its age. The lungs that feed the pipes are no longer able to supply enough air. A decades old “repair” that incorporated “modern” electronic components to fill the gaps leaves the beautiful organ deficient.

The Church has raised over $200,000 from a variety of sources, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is completing its fundraising with a $100,000 crowdfunding campaign on Razoo. So far, the campaign has raised over $75,000.

On Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Church organist Scott Mills will join me for a live discussion about the campaign and the organ. Tune in then to watch the interview live.

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

More about the First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City:

First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City is home to a true community treasure. Our pipe organ is the oldest organ containing more of its original components in their original location than any other organ in Utah, Idaho and Nevada. The organ, constructed by noted builder George Kilgen and Sons Organ Company of St. Louis, Missouri, was installed in 1906 and originally contained 33 ranks of pipes. Today, 17 of those ranks are in working order. Our vision is to restore the amazing piece of living history to its full capabilities and make our sanctuary a welcoming space for the community to come together. The organ will be restored with pipes and components from another historic organ from the early 1900s, the Austin/Kimball organ that was originally housed in the American Theatre on Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah’s largest silent movie theatre during its time. Bigelow and Co. Organ Builders of American Fork, UT has been contracted to do the organ renovation. The completed organ will have around 3,300 pipes – a vision that gives our campaign its name.


Scott’s bio:

Scott R. Mills is the Coordinator of Music Ministry and Principal Organist at First United Methodist Church in downtown Salt Lake City. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Organ Pedagogy. His teachers were J.J. Keeler at BYU and Arnold Bullock at Arizona State University. While attending BYU, Scott performed several recitals on Temple Square as a guest organist. He has taught piano and organ since 1976. He has judged with The National Guild of Piano Teachers and other organizations since 1982. Scott has served as a Dean of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and Chair of the National Guild of Piano Teachers in Utah Valley. He was also the sub-Dean for the Salt Lake Chapter of the AGO from 2009-2011.

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