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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


Growth In Giving Day Events And Product Enhancements Lead To Kimbia Client Success In 2016 And Exciting Outlook For 2017

Press Release – Austin, Texas (Feb. 2, 2017)Kimbia, a leading provider of online fundraising solutions and crowdfunding events, would like to congratulate its customers for their achievements and share key accomplishments from the last year.

In 2016, Kimbia clients raised over 10% more online than in 2015. The Kimbia platform processed millions of online transactions, helping charitable organizations around the world raise over $240 million through a variety of online fundraising campaigns. The average online gift for 2016 was over $120 per donation, 17% higher that the industry average of $102 according to the 2016 M+R Benchmarks Study.

Looking at giving day data alone, Kimbia powered over 80 events that raised over $130 million in online donations benefitting over 29,000 participating nonprofits. This includes the largest single-day online giving day event ever, North Texas Giving Day, raising $37.3 million during its 8th annual event on Sept. 22, 2016.

Kimbia’s clients utilized several innovative platform updates to optimize their donation process including:

  1. Mobile-responsive fundraising commitment center which allows peer-to-peer event participants to have a mobile-friendly experience out-of-the-box
  2. Improvements to team fundraising capabilities within our peer-to-peer solution
  3. The extension of Kimbia’s peer-to-peer fundraising solution alongside Giving Day Events
  4. Simple Pay to increase donor conversion rate by making it easier to re-engage donors
  5. Kimbia Sync updates to make integration with Salesforce seamless

“As we embark on a new year, I always like to take a minute to stop and review where we have been,” said Kimbia CEO Mark Perkins. “I am so proud of our accomplishments and how this company has come together to grow and learn from the challenges faced last year. I know that we are now stronger than ever, and I can’t wait to see what good we can help our clients do in 2017.”

Kimbia will celebrate its 10-year anniversary later this year and is currently on track to raise over a billion dollars for nonprofits around the world since its inception in 2007.

Support Our Soldiers

Here’s how your CSR funding can help support the distraught families of the brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives protecting our country.

This cause is featured on Fund My Project as part of CSRlive.in‘s collaboration with Ketto.org

Project by: Ketto.org

Category: Eligible CSR activity as per Companies Act 2013, Schedule VII

(vi) measures for the benefit of armed forces veterans, war widows and their dependents;

Here’s what the folks at Ketto have to say about her project:

We’ve started the ‘Support Soldiers’ initiative to help families of our martyred soldiers by facilitating crowdfunding for their survival and sustenance. This initiative will remain active for all days of the year, needless to say, especially when we’re hit by tragic and unfortunate news of another brave soldier losing his life while protecting the country at the border.

If you too would like to show support, then adopt a martyred soldier by starting a fundraiser for them, contribute to either of the fundraisers or simply spread the word by sharing the link with your friends and family.

How can you help them?

These brave soldiers laid down their lives for the country. They joined the army and pledged their life for the safety of the country, a pledge they fulfilled. These brave hearts are survived by their distraught family (they were the sole breadwinners in most cases).

You can show your support for these soldiers by raising funds for them. Simply start a fundraising campaign and reach out to your network by sharing your campaign on social media.

Money raised through an online fundraiser on our platform will be directly transferred into a soldier’s account. This will remove any mismanagement of money and will ensure the money goes to the next of kin.

Progress till date:

Ketto has taken up this initiative after seeing the outcome of the Uri attacks.

We pushed this initiative on social media and saw a number of people/corporates coming forward to start fundraisers/ contribute to ongoing fundraisers. Individuals and a few corporates started almost 30 campaigns and managed to raise over 37L (and counting). This will ensure that the 18 martyrs family will get 2L each. Goes to show how simple yet effective crowdfunding is to help our soldiers.

In 2016 alone, a total of 29 soldiers lost their lives on duty. We have just started this initiative and there’s a lot more that can be done.

Want to Fund this Project?

Visit Ketto.org here and support the cause.

Looking for funding?

If you have a social project that’s high on innovation and impact, but running low on financial fuel, do write in to Nidhi Singh at nidhi@csrlive.in with your proposal, and we’ll feature it on FUND MY PROJECT.

London Regains Its Crown as Crowdfunding Capital of the World

Press Release – London has regained its crown as crowdfunding capital of the world, according to data from The State of the Crowdfunding Nation 2017, a report produced by The Crowd Data Center (TCDC), which has tracked and analysed more than 450k crowdfunding campaigns over the last three years

Figures for the last year show that more than 128.000 campaigns were launched in 2016. From those London outstrips other world cities, including nearest rival Los Angeles – just – to secure the top slot with the most successful campaigns.

America launched the most campaigns nationally, and raised the most money in the last year, but London had the most successfully completed campaigns of any city.

Previously, monthly snapshots showed London leading the way for several months in 2015, but in 2016 it cemented its place firmly ahead of America, the birthplace of crowdfunding.

This growth in “Seed-Crowdfunding” – creating new products, services and business – is heralded as a game-changer in business finance.

CEO of TCDC Barry James explained: “Seed crowdfunding is maturing and as it does there are more entrepreneurs, producing better campaigns, getting more backing – especially in the major centres like London and Los Angeles – with London regaining its lead this last year.

“These super-hubs are hotbeds of early adopters. Which means there’s huge scope for growth as know-how moves beyond these into many more places like Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and smaller towns and cities across the UK – not to mention the world.”

In the UK Edinburgh came second to London, followed up by Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow. There is still a way to go to catch up with London, and TCDC sister organisation The Crowdfunding Center, will be working with funding hubs, LEPs, business advisors and mentors to help move them forward over the next 12 months.

TCDC has also curated startling data on women entrepreneurs; the Women Unbound report, produced in conjunction with PwC, which will reveal the scale of the coming impact of the democratization of finance on women owned businesses. This report will be published in Spring 2017.

Health Warrior Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Support the Tarahumara Tribe in Mexico’s Copper Canyons

Food and Movement Brand Forms Sustainable Agriculture Partnership with Iconic Ultra Running Tribe

Press Release – Richmond, Virg. (Jan. 17, 2017) – ­Health Warrior, a food and movement brand that delivers nutrient-dense superfoods in radically convenient forms, announces a Kickstarter campaign for its delicious new Mexican Chocolate Chia Bar with 100 percent of the profits supporting the Tarahumara tribe. The campaign will fund sustainable agriculture projects for the Tarahumara, enabling them to revitalize their traditional farms and seed stocks devastated by recent droughts.

“We wanted to honor the Tarahumara’s inspiration and lifestyle from the founding of Health Warrior by giving back to their community, especially after the droughts hit the Copper Canyons,” said Shane Emmett, Co-founder and CEO. “It was their way of life – deeply connected to the land and movement — that helped inspire the creation of our company. We are so happy to deepen our bond of friendship, to celebrate their lifestyle and culture, and to help bring their inspiration to a broad modern audience with Operation Farm and Run.”

As chronicled by explorers throughout the centuries, and the subject of groundbreaking recent research on human evolution, the Tarahumara are some of the most powerful endurance runners in the world, despite never engaging in typical athletic “training.” Their ability to run long distances barefoot or in Huarache sandals, profiled in the best-selling book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, recently captivated modern culture. Their great secret is their lifestyle, based on a foundation of plants and joyful movement, with surprisingly little running. Their lifestyle is their training, and it was this philosophy of life, food, and movement that helped inspire Health Warrior to launch the original Chia Bar, the first bar with a superfood as the #1ingredient.

The brand quietly kicked off Operation Farm and Run with the Tarahumara in the summer of 2016, directly funding the refurbishment of a test farm with infrastructure and the labor required to cultivate chia using traditional Tarahumara farming practices. In December 2016, a group of Health Warrior team members and American runners journeyed deep into the Copper Canyons to experience the farms, food, trails, and culture first-hand during the harvest festival. The Kickstarter campaign will allow the Tarahumara to build on this early success by refurbishing more farms with strong foundations of soil replenishment, seed sourcing, labor, and basic infrastructure like hoses for irrigation.

The Health Warrior Kickstarter campaign will run through early March with 100 percent of the profits supporting the tribe. Visit http://kickstarter.healthwarrior.com to support the campaign and www.healthwarrior.com to learn more about the brand’s mission to build a stronger society through better health and sustainable food production.

StartEngine Launches Secondary Market For Regulation Crowdfunding And Regulation A+ Shares

Press Release – LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 24, 2017StartEngine announced today that it will be launching a Secondary Market for Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+ shares on March 1, 2017. Investors who previously purchased shares in offerings made under Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+ will be able to buy and sell those shares directly through the StartEngine platform, unlocking new access to liquidity.

Under Regulation A+, introduced by the JOBS Act, shareholders can trade their shares freely immediately after the offering has closed. Under Regulation Crowdfunding, shareholders are able to trade their shares without restrictions 12 months after the offering has closed.

Investors who purchased shares on other equity crowdfunding platforms, in both Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+ offerings, will also be able to buy and sell those shares on StartEngine.

StartEngine’s Secondary Market marks an important day for the future of Regulation Crowdfunding and for democratized investing. Not only can non-accredited investors invest in companies like they never could before, but now they can sell those shares on the exact same platform.

StartEngine hopes the Secondary Market continues the platform’s mission of promoting innovation and expanding opportunities for startups and early growth companies.

Since its launch on June 19, 2015, companies on StartEngine have has raised more capital from non-accredited investors than on any other platform site in the industry. More than 10,000 people have invested over $22 million across 23 companies. StartEngine’s Secondary Market will be these investors’ first opportunity to actively trade those shares.

StartEngine’s founder and CEO, Howard Marks, believes that “giving investors the ability to sell their investment is critical for democratizing access to capital for companies. This new platform will revolutionize liquidity for secondary shares and offer a real opportunity for investors to participate in innovative companies.”

About StartEngine

StartEngine is the premier equity crowdfunding platform in the country. It connects aspiring investors, both accredited and non-accredited, with tomorrow’s most progressive companies. StartEngine aims to revolutionize the startup business model by helping individuals invest in private companies on a public platform for the first time in history, thereby helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Based in Los Angeles, the company was created in 2013 by Howard Marks, co-founder of Activision and Ron Miller, award winning serial entrepreneur.

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.

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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!

Real Estate Crowdfunding Marketplace, Sharestates, Hits $275 Million in Loan Volume

Press Release – GREAT NECK, NY. (January 18, 2017)Sharestates, a real estate investment marketplace, has originated $275 million in loans since the platform launched in 2015, making it one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms in regards to originations. December 2016 was the most prolific month in the company’s history, as it surpassed $42 million in loans, nearly doubling total loan volume in just over three months.

Known for its extensive due diligence process and real estate expertise, Sharestates performs a 34-point underwriting process for each project, focusing on the borrower’s experience and the project’s economics and fundamentals. All loans originated by Sharestates are secured by the property and the personal guarantee of the borrower.

“A key to our growth has been our ability to identify safe and profitable investments that will generate higher yields than the industry average,” said Allen Shayanfekr, co-founder and CEO of Sharestates. “As the crowdfunding industry expands, we are confident in our model’s ability to maintain outstanding results for investors and generate competitive returns.”

In addition to announcing its capital commitments of $1.3 billion, Sharestates recently launched a Series A equity fundraising round through SeedInvest, a crowdfunding platform providing access to venture capitalists and angel investors looking to invest in early stage companies. The round will remain open until the end of January 2017.

Sharestates launched its full operation less than two years ago in February of 2015, and has been profitable to date. As of December 30, 2016, the company funded over 323 individual loans, returned more than $151 million to its investors with no loss of principal, and yielded a net average annual return of 11% to investors.

Seed-Crowdfunding Delivers More Cash to Businesses than Government’s Flagship Initiative

Press Release – Seed-Crowdfunding provided 40% more funding to UK businesses and startups in 2016 than the government funded Startup Loans scheme.

According to a report by The Crowd Data Center, which has collected extensive data on 500,000 crowdfunds, this newer source of business funding is now rivalling banks, lending, angels and equity as a better way to fund new businesses, products and services, not to mention jobs and growth. And it does so without placing a debt burden on businesses and startups.

The report has been welcomed by Barry Sheerman MP, who says this finding has profound implications for UK businesses, entrepreneurs and government.

“We have defined ‘Seed-Crowdfunding’ as the use of ‘rewards based” platforms to fund the creation of new businesses, products and services” said Barry James, CEO of The Crowd Data Center. “Until now, ‘rewards crowdfunding’ as it’s often known has been mostly associated with charitable and community funding.

“Now we have the full 2016 data this makes possible a direct comparison with Startup-Loans revealing that businesses are being better funded, and at a lower risk to all involved.

“What’s more, Seed-Crowdfunding is ready to move out of the early adopter stage so, with the right support, could overtake more traditional forms of funding, trebling in size and impact over the next two or three years.”

Barry Sheerman MP commented: “I chair the all-party parliamentary group which has supported the development of crowdfunding through it’s early stages and so I can tell you that the 2016 data and this finding provide a very significant milestone with profound implications for UK businesses, entrepreneurs and government.

“Not least because while a huge investment has been made in Startup-Loans, Seed-Crowdfunding has been entirely self funding – and has huge scope for growth across the UK, without burdening taxpayers.”

And he pledged: “We will be seeking to improve recognition and business advice on this as well as additional means to support what is one of the most important of developments for UK entrepreneurs and entrepreneurialism in a generation.”

Kerrie Dorman is founder of the Association of Business Mentors. She said credible business mentors should be in the know regarding raising finance via Seed-Crowdfunding.

“We should be all over this for our clients and advising them accordingly. Otherwise we’re missing available opportunities on their behalf.”

Love-A-Thon, Set To Take Place On Inauguration Day, Will Become The First Ever Facebook Live Telethon

Funds raised will benefit the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Earthjustice

Press Release – January 9, 2017 — (New York, NY) On January 20th, Inauguration Day, a group entrepreneurs will air and host the first ever Facebook Live tel-a-thon in support of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Earthjustice. The event, called Love-a-thon, is inspired by the Jerry Lewis style tel-a-thons of the past and is meant to be a kind of counter programming to the events of the day. During the Love-a-thon and in the days following, funds will be donated to each organization via Crowdrise, the top platform for internet fundraising.

Hosted on Facebook Live from 12:30pm ET – 3:30pm ET on January 20th, the event will feature artists such as Judd Apatow, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jane Fonda, Ilana Glazer, and Edward James Olmos among others. These artists are based in Los Angeles, New York and all over the country and will be sharing stories of these organizations protecting civil liberties in the past—and demonstrating how they will continue to do so going forward.

“The ACLU is honored to be part of the Inauguration Day Love-a-thon on Facebook Live. This innovative and important event will bolster our ability, and those of the other participating organizations, to fight for what’s right in the years to come.“ Hector O. Villagra, Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California.

“Each of these organizations helps our most marginalized communities and protects our democratic norms and civil liberties every day through their work. Over the next four years, they will also each face significant challenges to their existence. The Love-a-thon efforts will bring many people together to help in those fights. “ said Alex Godin, Love-a-thon Co-organizer.

“In our 45 years of fighting legal battles, we have never backed down, and we don’t plan to do so now. Earthjustice will work overtime in the courts to hold President Trump and his administration accountable and counter the influence of polluting industries.” said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen

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