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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Interviews

Stories that include video interviews.

New Venture Seeks $50k to Teach Coding to Adults on Autism Spectrum



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

Oliver Thornton says his Aspergers is his super power. His brother, who is also on the autism spectrum, serves as a role model. Because autism hits close to home, he wanted to do something to address the unemployment rate for those with autism, which approaches 85 percent, he says. So, he launched Coding Autism with Austen Weinhart.

The two visited with me about their plans. Watch the interview at the top of the article.

Oliver, who serves as the company’s CEO, says, “Although we are pre-revenue, we just recently launched our crowdfunding campaign with the goal of fundraising a minimum of $50,000 on StartSomeGood. If we are successful with fundraising $50,000 on that platform, we will be able to cover the minimum costs to make the Coding Autism ASPIRE program happen.”

The money they are raising will go to pay the instructor, an assistant instructor, an occupational therapist, a social skills intervention expert, a career counselor and to pay for the space where the intensive 15-week course will be taught. Those who complete the course are expected to have sufficient skills to be able to begin a career as a software developer.

Oliver adds, that if they exceed the $50,000 goal they will be able to discount the tuition to the first class of students. If they reach $120,000, they can waive tuition altogether.

As of now, Coding Autism has raised $18,815.

Oliver says mentorship is key to the program’s success, “Research has proven that adults with autism tend to do significantly better in their careers and live more fulfilling lives when they have mentors and advocates. Coding Autism has made it one of its cornerstones to provide ongoing advocacy and mentorship services to all Coding Autism students. Our Coding Autism mentors and advocates ensure that all Coding Autism students stay on track with their curriculum requirements, their personal goals, their employment goals, and more.”

Readers can learn more and contribute to the campaign by visiting StartSomeGood.

More about Coding Autism:

Twitter: @codingautism

Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. We also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. We do so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.

Oliver Thornton, courtesy of Coding Autism

Oliver Thornton, courtesy of Coding Autism

Oliver’s bio:

When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome shortly after my older brother was diagnosed with Autism. In 1994, the year of my diagnosis, having any variation of Autism was perceived as a horrific condition by society and experts in the medical field. In fact, doctors had told my parents that I would never develop adequate social skills and to not expect him to succeed independently in life.

Throughout my adolescent years, I struggled with my speech, making friends, and lacked self confidence in his intelligence and ability to succeed. One day, I had a realization. Through the motivational forces of autism influencers such as Temple Grandin, I transformed my mentality of what it truly meant to be an individual on the autism spectrum.

With this newly adopted mentality, I dove head on into my later years of college at California Lutheran University (CLU), where I was able to accomplish impressive feats such as obtaining my Real Estate Salesperson License, co-founding and spearheading CLU’s professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, and winning CLU’s 2016 New Venture Competition.

Since my college graduation, I have devoted my waking hours to building my father’s real estate team/Real estate representation at Compass in Beverly Hills as well as building my start-up Coding Autism, which helps and trains autistic individuals in professional skills such as software engineering, website development, QA, etc as well as assists in finding and obtaining employment in the software and technology industries. In recent months, I have been slightly drifting away from real estate and moving towards working on Coding Autism full-time.

I am confident that my entrepreneurial mindset, my gift of Asperger’s syndrome, and my drive to succeed and make the autism community more progressive will allow me to satisfy my highest endeavors with Coding Autism and my future ventures. Eventually, I sees myself manifesting into one of the most influential advocates, thought leaders, and mentors of the autistic community in my generation.

Austen Weinhart, courtesy of Coding Autism

Austen Weinhart, courtesy of Coding Autism

Austen’s bio:

I come from a background of extensive experience in the technology space, performing roles in marketing, quality assurance, and web development. Early on as a student at UC Berkeley, I was the president of the public relations student group, PR @ Cal. After graduating from Berkeley, I worked on both technical and marketing projects for high-profile clients such as Adobe, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and others. I was drawn into Coding Autism both for my passion for autism advocacy and also as someone who is a product of a coding bootcamp education myself. I am eager to create an environment where others can turn their lives around by learning to code, just as I did.

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!

 

7 Crowdfunding Keys For Social Entrepreneurs

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Lots of people hold themselves out to be crowdfunding experts. I haven’t met anyone who has raised more money in on Kickstarter and Indiegogo than Funded Today’s Zach Smith. He reports raising over $110 million total over hundreds of campaigns.

Smith visited with me (watch the video recording of the interview above) to talk about how to apply his experience and insights for social entrepreneurs.

He thinks of himself as a social entrepreneur, helping other entrepreneurs to be successful. He is almost a prototypical entrepreneur. Young, confident—even brash—he has built his company to 50 employees and reports “eight figures plus” in revenue. Funded Today charges 25 to 35 percent of funds raised, so in its short three-year history, we’d expect it to have generated over $30 million in revenue.

Zach Smith

His reputation in the crowdfunding community is such that when Hiral Sanghavi, co-founder and CEO at BauBax had his crowdfunding campaign stall at around $4 million, he called on Smith to help. He says, “They reached out to a completely different audience and got another huge wave of traffic our way which helped us add another $4.5 million to our total in the last 3 weeks and our campaign closed at $9.19 million.”

“FT has got access to thousands of crowdfunding campaigns and they’ve built a community of early adopters out of it. They were able to get our campaign in front of the right audience who are mavens, early adopters of technology and innovative products. We couldn’t have done that using only Facebook ads,” Sanghavi says.

Paid media on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, is a key tool that Funded Today uses to raise money for clients. Smith explains how you can do it on Facebook.

A good crowdfunding campaign begins with a crowd. A crowd is best represented by a list of email addresses. He suggests spending up to $5 per email address for people who are interested in your mission. Given that you’d like a list of 10,000 people and a list that long will cost up to $50,000 to build, he has another plan.

Ask, he says, someone in your mission space who has a list for a copy of the list specifically to use for building a Facebook audience. You should promise not to send email to the people on the list. Instead, you want to upload the list to Facebook for targeting advertising. Until Smith told me, I had no idea you could do this. Did you?

Not only can you use that audience as a target, Facebook will automatically offer to create a “lookalike” audience that is much bigger. For instance, I uploaded my mailing own mailing list following the instructions on Facebook and it instantly helped me create a list of more than 2 million people who are like the people on my list.

Smith also shared his “Seven Ps” for crowdfunding success:

  1. Product: The crowdfunding reward or product must be appealing; for nonprofits, Smith recommends identifying recognition that donors will appreciate.
  2. Platform: Not only do social entrepreneurs need to decide which platform to use, but whether or not their business is a good fit for crowdfunding. If a reward can’t be shipped or delivered digitally, it may not be, Smith says.
  3. Presentation: The way you pitch your offering on the crowdfunding page, including the video, represents the presentation—and he says it makes a big difference. Smith says he helped ShotBox raise over $184,000 primarily by changing the presentation after the original campaign raised only $7,000 and had to be canceled.
  4. Promotion: The three key parts to promotion are paid media, press and partnerships.
  5. Price: Smith cautions crowdfunders not to discount the price, noting that it is easier to drop the price later than to raise it.
  6. Probability: He says that backers need to believe you can and will do what you promise. In other words, you need to develop trust by proving you have the smarts and other resources to necessary to pull it off.
  7. People: Your team needs to have the right people on it; they must be confident of success and committed to doing the work required to achieve it.

Marina Prospero, CEO of Perfectore Corp, is crowdfunding with help from Funded Today now. She says, “We were watching some very successful 6 figure Kickstarter campaigns and they all had one thing in common, Funded Today was their marketing partner. Several of these campaigns were products that focused on back and neck treatment. We figured if they have already been successful marketing these campaigns then they will definitely know how to market ours.”

She’s glad she did. “They have performed beyond my expectation.” With Smith’s help, she’s raised over $585,000 with an original goal of just $5,000. “Frankly I am blown away at how good they are and I am anxious to work with them again on our next invention.”

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!

 

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.

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!

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.

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!

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!

 

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.

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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.”

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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!

 

Now You Can Be A Shark! Learn How At Crowd Invest Summit

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

If you are a regular GoodCrowd.info reader, you know that you can now invest in startups via FINRA-registered web portals. You can now be a venture capitalist, “shark” or perhaps, more benignly, an angel investor.

In May, the Securities and Exchange Commission implemented rules for investment crowdfunding under the 2012 JOBS Act. Alon Goren and Josef Holm have organized the first conference, the Crowd Invest Summit, focused exclusively on investment crowdfunding since the rules went into operation.

Alon has provided GoodCrowd.info readers with a special discount on registration. Use the discount code “GOODCROWD” to receive 30 percent off the registration fee!

The speakers will include Robert Herjavec, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank”; James Altucher, the famed author and entrepreneur; Tim Draper, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists and long-term crowdfunding advocate; and, Dara Albright, one of the leading minds in crowdfinance. Conference organizers have also invited me, Devin Thorpe, to speak.

“As the first event of its kind in the United States, the Crowd Invest Summit connects retail investors and top crowdfunded investment opportunities,” said Josef, founder and CEO of crowdfunding marketing and PR software firm Krowdster. “Given the recent shifts in the equity crowdfunding industry, we created this event to be inclusive of all types of investors. Our first summit will take place in Silicon Beach and we’re already exploring a series of domestic and international events to follow.”

Alon Goren, courtesy of Crowd Invest Summit

Alon Goren, courtesy of Crowd Invest Summit

Alon added, “Until now, crowdfunding events have been predominantly focused on debating the potential rules and laws that are now finally in place and available. In contrast, this will be the first large-scale event in the crowdfunding sector focused on companies and investors raising real money and closing actual deals. We want all Americans to know that any of them can become venture capitalists now.”

On Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Alon will join me here for a live discussion about the conference and the opportunity all Americans have now to invest in startups. 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 Crowd Invest Summit:

Twitter: @crowdinvestsmt

Crowd invest summit is the country’s premier investment focused crowdfunding event.

Alon’s bio:

Twitter: @alonymous

Alon is CEO and co-founder of Invested.in and INVST. He has developed technology that powers websites and financial transactions for Fortune 500 companies and well-known foundations such as Coca-Cola, ATB Financial and Global Philanthropy Group. He also created a white label fundraising portal for individuals and businesses hoping to crowdfund ventures independently of major platforms. His support of the JOBS Act and day-to-day interactions with investors and financial professionals inspired him to create INVST (http://inv.st) a solution for marketers hoping to attract investment firms and hedge fund managers. Utilizing proprietary social technology, INVST streamlines and amplifies the capital introduction process, while offering relationship, tracking and deal management tools for fund managers, third-party marketers and investors.

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!

 

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