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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Platforms

News about crowdfunding platforms.

Funding Circle Launches Fractional Loan Marketplace So More Americans Can Invest In Successful Main St. Small Businesses

– Funding Circle now the only major P2P lender in the U.S. to offer qualified individual investors access to secured small business term loans, a traditionally hard-to-reach asset class –

Funding Circle, the global small business loan marketplace, has become the first and only major peer-to-peer lender in the U.S. to offer individual investors the opportunity to invest in secured small business loans with the launch of its new Fractional Loan Marketplace.

Through its affiliated broker-dealer, Funding Circle Securities, investors can now buy fractional pieces of secured small business loans ranging in size from $25,000 to $500,000 and in term from one to five years, with coupon rates of 5.99-20.99%.

Funding Circle co-founder and U.S. managing director Sam Hodges said the new marketplace opens the traditionally hard-to-reach asset class to more individual investors who can now build diversified portfolios with smaller amounts of capital by investing in portions of loans instead of whole loans.

“We’re excited to be the first major P2P lender in the U.S. to offer qualified individual investors unique access to a curated selection of true small business term loans underwritten by our seasoned credit professionals using robust data analytics,” he said. Our borrowers are high-quality businesses left behind by banks due to industry inefficiencies, tighter lending regulations and archaic underwriting models. These are established businesses that have assets and cash flow to secure loans, plus a legitimate plan for growth.”

Since Funding Circle was founded in 2010, 35,000 investors have lent more than $800 million to 7,000 small businesses globally.

“There is tremendous demand in the market for fast and affordable small business loans; we’re about to cross $1 billion in originations globally,” said Hodges. “With the launch of our Fractional Loan Marketplace, we expect it will be another good year to tap into investors seeking yield in a low rate environment and bring more capital into this attractive asset class.”

Investors can access Funding Circle’s Fractional Loan Marketplace with a minimum opening balance of $50,000 and a minimum investment per borrower-payment dependent note (BDN) of $1,000. Investors receive access to data from across the full Funding Circle loan book, and can either browse the marketplace and select individual investments or set criteria and invest automatically through an auto-bid function. Every loan on the marketplace is underwritten by Funding Circle’s experienced underwriting team and assigned a risk score ranging from A+ to C. Funding Circle is currently only accepting investment from individuals and entities who meet the SEC’s criteria for accredited investors.

For the nine million accredited investors in the U.S., Hodges offered his top tips for individuals considering investing in P2P loans:

  1. Do your research: Given the investor appetite for yield, there are a lot of new entrants into the P2P lending market, so make sure you are partnering with a well-established and respected originator. Look for a platform that is well capitalized with clear and transparent underwriting procedures, experience and proper infrastructure around servicing.
  2. Hold them in your IRA: Along with attractive yields and consistent returns, enjoy the tax benefits of holding P2P loans in an individual retirement account. If your current retirement account cannot accommodate P2P loans, consider opening an IRA through one of the major P2P lending platforms to access tax-free or tax-deferred income.
  3. Automate your investing: Save yourself hours of wading through hundreds of loans each week by working with a platform that offers an auto-bid function. Based on your investment goals and risk tolerance, simply set your investment criteria – such as preferred rate, term, risk level, industry sector or region – and then set it and forget it.
  4. Reinvest your gains: As you receive principle and interest payments, ensure they are automatically lent back out to new borrowers, so you can spread your money across even more loans and further diversify your portfolio. The last thing you want is cash sitting in your account earning no interest and bringing down your overall return.

About Funding Circle:

Funding Circle is the world’s leading online marketplace lender exclusively focused on small business. By combining cutting edge technology with industry-leading risk management models, Funding Circle provides small businesses with fast, fair and transparent finance and investors with access to attractive returns through an online marketplace. Since its foundation in 2010, Funding Circle has lent more than $800 million globally to help small business owners grow their businesses, create new jobs and ultimately accelerate economic growth. More information is available at www.fundingcircle.com/us

Indiegogo Co-Founder Introduces Us To Indiegogo Life

Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, is one of the leading names in crowdfunding and she’ll be joining us live to discuss last month’s launch of Indiegogo Life.

Danae explained to me in advance, “Last month, we introduced Indiegogo Life, a new service that brings the power of Indiegogo to anyone running a fundraiser for emergencies, medical expenses, celebrations or other life events.”

“With Indiegogo Life, we are delivering the necessary tools for families, friends, and even strangers around the world to connect and support one another . We are committed to providing a personal and authentic service for our customers to help themselves or a loved one – both financially and emotionally,” she continued.

Danae says, the site is already getting traction and having impact, “Since launching Indiegogo Life, people have launched seen thousands of terrific fundraisers. Just last week, there was a fundraiser created by the man behind Humans of NY. He has raised over $850,000 to help an inspiring principal of an inner-city school in Brooklyn send her 6th grade students to Harvard.”

“Our goal with Indiegogo Life is to help as many people as possible. Whether it’s a $500 fundraiser to celebrate a birthday to a $5000 fundraiser to pay for a pup’s surgery, to a $50,000 or $500,000 fundraiser to cover medical bills or send kids to Harvard, Indiegogo’s goal is to help people achieve what they need. Its not a funding contest,” she concluded.

On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Danae will join us right here for a live discussion about the new platform at Indieogogo. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Indiegogo:

Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from almost every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is an open platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. Indiegogo was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. In 2014, the company launched Indiegogo Life, a dedicated site that brings the power of Indiegogo to people running fundraisers for medical expenses, emergencies, memorials, celebrations and other life events.
For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.

More about Indiegogo Life

Indiegogo Life is a service that brings the power of Indiegogo to anyone running a personal fundraiser for emergencies, medical expenses, celebrations or other life events.  For more information, visit life.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogolife and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.

Danae Ringelmann

Danae Ringelmann

Danae’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 funding 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 and featured in ELLE Magazine’s Top Women in Tech in 2014. 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.

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Devin D. Thorpe

New Platform Makes Donating Food As Easy As Giving Cash

Patrick O’Neill is completely changing the game in crowdfunding. By seeking to crowdsource goods rather money–with the ease of giving cash–Amp Your Good seeks to help nonprofits have more successful drives for goods like food, blankets and building materials.

Patrick explains, “Each year people donate somewhere between $50B to $100B worth of goods to various kinds of physical collection charity drives (food drives, blanket drives, etc.). More than 33% of donated goods are never used by the non-profit organization that receives them. That’s a lot of wasted good intentions.”

In contrast, Patrick says, “100% of the goods raised through our platform are used by the non-profit that receives them.”

Patrick describes the difference this way, “Our platform eliminates some of the challenges faced by physical drives. We remove time and distance as barriers to participate which increases the amount of donations. We make donating goods as easy as donating money and enable people to better understand the impact of their donation more clearly than a monetary donation.”

“We’re super motivated to change food drives. Our vision is to turn the billions of canned goods donated to food drives each year into billions of apples, oranges, sweet potatoes and other healthy food items,” Patrick says.

On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Patrick will join me for a live discussion about his innovative approach to crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Amp Your Good:

Amp Your Good has a platform that brings crowd-funding to goods based giving. Our platform hosts charity drives that are designed to raise goods rather than money. When people want to support a drive on our platform, rather than donating money, they purchase the item(s) at our site through a standard e-commerce transaction to make a donation to the drive. We deliver all of the donated items to the non-profit organization once the drive is over. We currently are able to host food drives, building material drives and drives to support animal shelters.

Patrick O'Neill

Patrick O’Neill

Patrick’s bio:

Patrick O’Neill is the Founder and CEO of Amp Your Good. After graduating from West Point and serving on active duty in the US Army, he began a private sector career centered upon real estate, energy, technology and social enterprise. He has founded, co-founded and led several companies and has served on the board of for profit, not for profit, public and private companies. He is married and has four children. He enjoys skiing, science fiction, youth sports and cooking.

Remember to “join the cavalry” by subscribing to our content here.

Devin D. Thorpe

give2gether Adds Gamification to Platform to Maximize Younger Donor Participation

2015 is the year that give2gether puts the “FUN” back in “FUNd” raising

New Yorkgive2gether, the online fundraising platform for nonprofits, has added gamification and rewards to its already successful platform in order to help nonprofits further engage gen-x and gen-y.

give2gether already makes raising money a lot faster and easier thanks to ten years of research on the science behind what makes people give online. Through thousands of hours at UC Berkeley X-Labs, validated by hundreds of thousands of live donor transactions, give2gether has cracked the code to intelligent fundraising!

Now they are making raising money more fun by adding gamification.

Gen-x and gen-y’ers love games like Candy Crush and Temple Run simply due to their competitive nature. Unlocking challenges, getting badges, and getting high scores on leaderboards make it fun to compete. While scoring more points gets you to the next level in such popular games, when gamification is incorporated into fundraising and crowdfunding, nonprofits can expect greater participation and stronger involvement among their challenging-to-engage younger audience.

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Motivational badges and rewards from Sponsors based on champion activities/interaction/social impact

Motivational badges and rewards from Sponsors based on champion activities/interaction/social impact

After two years of testing, it became clear that adding game mechanics and rewards increases younger donor participation. give2gether has integrated these mechanisms into their platform and they are currently being tested with UJA Federation of Toronto and Save a Child’s Heart.

give2gether’s platform streamlines social fundraising in order to substantially improve donor participation rates and the total amount raised. Nonprofits using give2gether incorporate several steps of engagement:

  • Unique insights from give2gether’s research help the nonprofit setup optimized donor landing pages and, thus, increases the probability of donation.
  • After a campaign launch, it’s all about generating 5-6 weeks of traffic:  emails, posts on Facebook , and digital PR are the fuel for modern fundraising campaigns.
  • Rather than just asking for a gift, donors can “play” with how much they could raise by inviting their friends, family and network in order to increase their “Personal Social Impact”. This simple interaction turns more donors into fundraisers.
  • Fundraisers track their progress , and see how many friends visited and donated  through their page and thank them personally for their support.

give2gether’s clients have seen their donor conversion rates double due to the implementation of these techniques. Donors who feel they have an impact on a particular project/cause get an inherent pleasure (the so-called ‘warm-glow’) for being pivotal in the project’s success.

Ticket Badges earned to Linkin Park secret Show for Japan to any fundraiser who raised $500 or more

Ticket Badges earned to Linkin Park secret Show for Japan to any fundraiser who raised $500 or more

Personal Dashboard for Champions to follow their progress and see what other badges they can still earn

Personal Dashboard for Champions to follow their progress and see what other badges they can still earn

With the addition of gamificaiton, give2gether expects conversion rates to rise even higher within younger donors

How does gamification in online fundraising work?

While participating in a nonprofit’s online fundraising project, constituents can earn various types of badges and rewards; incentivizing “champions” to invite more friends to support their personal fundraising goal. Points are given for posting on Facebook, recording a personal video appeal, and for inviting your social connections. Reaching the next social impact badge makes getting to the next fundraising level a lot more FUN.

give2gether’s innovation is helping many nonprofits modernize their online fundraising.

“By integrating gamificaiton, we’re continuing to disrupt crowdfunding for nonprofits,” give2gether’s CEO, Arnon Shafir, explains. “Gamificaiton, crowdfunding, and behavioral economics will be the three key elements for increasing hard-to-reach, younger donors engagement in 2015 . We expect to see more nonprofits adopting this model. “The young and the generous” generation are always ready for challenges, and virtual rewarding them for their participation satisfies their built-in passion to compete. These great characteristics of our generation can now be leveraged to raise more money for good causes.”

Oldest Crowdfunding Site For Nonprofits Looks To Future

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

GlobalGiving is one of the oldest crowdfunding sites on the web, having been launched half a decade ahead of industry giants Kickstarter and Indiegogo. GlobalGiving is a highly curated platform–an application process is used to screen fundraisers–that services only nonprofit organizations.

CEO and co-founder, Mari Kuraishi, explains its vision, ”The whole reason the GlobalGiving community exists is not only to connect local world-changers to people around the world who have funding to support them, but also to provide access to information, ideas, and tools so that nonprofits can use their funding more effectively. We’re so glad that the GlobalGiving network is becoming so valuable for vital organizations that would otherwise not have access to corporate or foundation funding, or resources like donated smartphones and a custom-made app.”

“The full promise of crowdfunding lies in the crowd, not the funding. Mission-driven crowdfunding platforms have the ability to leverage the deep networks they’ve created to crowdsource not just money, but also world-saving information, ideas and connections,” she adds.

Kuraishi is working to increase her platform’s impact on the nonprofits it serves. “The next decade at GlobalGiving will be about helping every single organization on our crowdfunding platform by providing the tools they need to work smarter. Every week, some 40 percent of the partners we work with log into our system – think of us as a laboratory where thousands of non-profits worldwide can come and test new tools to improve their effectiveness. And like a real behavioral lab, we can offer incentives in the form of access to different funding streams. This combination of performance improvement with funds offers us an opportunity to engage non-profits to learn with us.”

On Friday, January 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM, Kuraishi will join me for a live discussion about GlobalGiving’s impact on the world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about Global Giving:

GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. GlobalGiving’s mission is to catalyze a global market for ideas, information and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $163 million from more than 421,000 donors for more than 11,600 projects in more than 160 countries through GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work.

Mari Kuraishi

Mari Kuraishi

Kuraishi’s bio:

Mari co-founded GlobalGiving with Dennis Whittle, and currently leads the organization. In 2011, Mari was named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 Global Thinkers for “crowdsourcing worldsaving.” Before GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she managed and created some of the Bank’s most innovative projects including the first ever Innovation and Development Marketplaces, and the first series of strategic forums with the World Bank’s president and senior management. Mari also designed a range of investment projects in the Russia reform program, including a residential energy efficiency project, structural adjustment loans, and legal reform project. She currently serves as chair of the board of Guidestar US as well as of the Global Business School Network. She also serves on the board of Benevolent and DataKind. In addition to her native Japanese, Mari also speaks Russian, Italian, and French. She has an undergraduate degree in history from Harvard University and did graduate work in Russian and Japanese history and politics at Harvard and Georgetown Universities. Mari also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

American Homeowner Preservation Launches $30 Million Crowdfunding Campaign

American Homeowner Preservation today launched one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns to date, planning to raise $30 million for opportunity 2014B. Funds raised will be utilized to purchase non-performing mortgages at substantial discounts.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 21, 2015American Homeowner Preservation (“AHP”) today launched one of the largest crowdfunding campaigns to date, planning to raise $30 million for opportunity 2014B. Funds raised will be utilized to purchase non-performing mortgages at substantial discounts from banks and other lenders. Borrowers are then offered sustainable solutions to stay in their homes with affordable payments and reduced principal balances. Accredited investors can earn annual returns of 9 – 12%* by participating for terms of one to five years.

AHP is a socially-responsible for-profit investment fund manager, but started in 2008 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. By executing consensual borrower-friendly strategies which avoid the time and expense of protracted legal fights, AHP generates above-market returns for investors while helping struggling families. Delinquent mortgages are often purchased at discounts greater than 50% of current property values, and sharing these discounts enables AHP to deliver financially transformative results for borrowers and investors alike.

To maximize the results of outreach efforts, AHP houses a branch office of Security National Servicing Corporation to effectively and efficiently communicate with borrowers nationwide. Furthermore, AHP features an in-house litigation team to rapidly resolve litigation. If properties are acquired vacant or are foreclosed upon, AHP’s asset management team works with real estate agents to market and coordinate the sales of vacant properties.

AHP’s latest investment offering comes on the heels of its latest investment closing, Opportunity 2014A. AHP raised $2.5 million in funding the purchase of over 325 mortgages with an estimated collateral value of more than $8 million. After launching its online crowdfunding platform in October 2013, AHP has successfully crowdfunded three pools of distressed mortgages and raised more than $8 million from accredited investors.

2014B is the first offering spawned from AHP’s new relationship with WealthForge, an SEC/FINRA registered broker-dealer. As regulation of the equity crowdfunding industry continues to evolve, AHP aims to maintain up-to-date SEC compliance in teaming with WealthForge.

“We are excited by the prospects of our new alliance with such a well-regarded broker-dealer,” said Jorge Newbery, AHP’s founder and CEO. “WealthForge will help us maximize compliance in an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. These are big steps forward in legitimizing AHP and other real estate crowdfunding platforms which are joining the FinTech asset class pioneered by Lending Club and Prosper.”

“In my opinion, his (Newbery’s) approach is similar to finding great ‘closeouts’ in any business,” said Arthur Weissman, WealthForge’s head of sales and marketing. “He invests the time and effort to identify significantly undervalued assets and his team is relentless at bringing those assets back to performing levels.”

American Homeowner Preservation is a socially responsible investment fund manager which empowers accredited investors to purchase equity in pools of distressed mortgages and earn returns of 9-12%*. For further information or inquiries please visit https://ahpinvest.com or call 800-555-1055.

*Past performance is no guarantee of profits or gains. Equity securities are offered through WealthForge, LLC, a Virginia limited liability company (“WealthForge”), which is a securities broker/dealer registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. WealthForge is located at 6800 Paragon Place, Suite 237, Richmond, VA 23230, tel: (804) 308-0431.

Exciting Enhancements Unveiled for Benefit Mobile’s Popular Mobile Wallet

Up to 20% of Every Purchase Goes to the School, Non ­Profit or Life Expense of Your Choice

Grand Rapids ­­ Benefit Mobile has always been easy as a credit card and safer than a traditional wallet. Now, the popular app is expanding its click­ to­ give capabilities with exciting enhancements that are sure to turn this mobile wallet into an everyday payment method.

“Friction less fundraising and grassroots philanthropy: the definite goals of Benefit Mobile. Behind all of that is the simple desire to take what we all do ­­pay for everyday expenses­­ and make it purposeful. As a busy dad, I wanted to reimagine fundraising into something as easy as a few clicks on a phone. Now, you can make a real difference in the world, your community and your life just by using mobile gift cards.” Derik Lolli, CEO & Founder of Benefit Mobile.

New Enhancements

  • Fee Free. We’ve removed the 20­ cent transaction fee. Now the rebate percentage you see is the exact rebate percentage you give. It’s simple and straightforward.
  • Rewarding and easy. New option to designate a credit card as your payment method, allowing you to earn your rewards/miles as you give back. Plus, the app ensures accuracy with an option to photograph your card­­it captures all the necessary info.
  • Support your life. New advance, allowing you to designate personal life expenses (e.g., healthcare, mortgage, education), as the beneficiary. You receive a check back for the amount earned every month, whenever you reach $10 or more.

Benefit Mobile gives back while you shop, without you spending an extra dime. The free app is available on the iPhone and Google Play stores and offers access to over 80 well­known online and in­ store retailers, like Target and Amazon. Best of all, up to 20% of every purchase goes directly to the cause you choose. Make a purchase, make a difference.

How It Works

  1. Download the free Benefit Mobile app to your smartphone
  2. Designate a cause to receive a % of your spending
  3. Buy mobile gift cards for use in store or online, as applicable

Non­profits and schools across the U.S. are discovering how time ­saving and money­ making the Benefit Mobile app can be for their causes. No more door­to­door sales, inventory management or high­ pressure tactics. It’s Friction less Fundraising!

Discover how to Pay With Purpose at www.benefit­mobile.com. Access marketing tools, videos, helpful instructions and a retailer list. The Happier Way to Pay is Just a Tap Away!

Woman Seeks To Change The World For Women

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke has launched Women’s WorldWide Web or W4, a crowdfunding site to help women around the world do more sustainably.

Lindsey explains, “W4 is a social-enterprise, crowdfunding platform dedicated to promoting girls’ and women’s empowerment around the world — in developing and developed countries.”

“We foster women’s social entrepreneurship as a powerful force for good—morally, socially financially, and for the sake of the environment,” she adds.

Lindsey sees hope and opportunity in the developing world. “Across the world, we’re seeing women social entrepreneurs driving change, improving lives, and even saving lives. These women are transforming communities and societies. They’re innovative, creative, and exceptionally resourceful, launching and scaling-up social businesses, often with stunningly limited resources.”

“Everywhere you look, women social entrepreneurs are accomplishing groundbreaking projects. There’s a particularly impressive wave of innovative women social entrepreneurs improving and saving lives in Africa,” she concludes.

On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Lindsey will join me for a live discussion about W4 and its impact on women. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

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

More about Women’s WorldWide Web:

Women’s WorldWide Web (W4) is a progressive crowdfunding platform dedicated to girls’ and women’s empowerment around the world, in both developing and developed countries.

The W4 platform enables social investors (individuals, companies, organizations) to contribute—either financially, through crowdfunding; or in-kind, through mentoring and the sharing of skills—to revolutionary grassroots girls’ and women’s empowerment projects internationally.

The online portfolio of projects covers diverse fields: education, training, healthcare, financing (microfinance and crowdfunding), access to information and communication technologies, culture and the arts, sustainable development and the environment, rights awareness, as well as political participation.

A primary objective of W4 is to promote women’s social entrepreneurship.

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Lindsey’s bio:

Lindsey is Founder and Managing Director of Women’s WorldWide Web (W4), Europe’s first crowdfunding platform dedicated to girls’ and women’s empowerment around the world.

After her B.A. at Cambridge University, Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke joined Human Rights Watch in New York. She worked for several years in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire for UNICEF and later for 6 years with humanitarian organization, Children of Asia, which operates programs in Southeast Asia. In 2008, Lindsey trained with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. In 2009, Lindsey completed an Executive MBA with ESCP-Europe for which she received the International MBA Student of the Year by AMBA (which accredits MBAs Worldwide) and the Independent Newspaper. In 2011, Lindsey was nominated a “40 under 40” European Young Leader by EuropaNova. In 2013, Lindsey was nominated a “Women in ICT Role Model” by the Digital Agenda of the European Commission.

GoFundMe Tops Kickstarter as World’s #1 Crowdfunding Platform

SAN DIEGO, CA, January 12, 2015 – GoFundMe has announced that in the fourth quarter of 2014, over $156M was raised on their trusted, easy-to-use fundraising platform. This record-breaking quarter brings the total funds raised by GoFundMe in 2014 to $470M, making the company the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Kickstarter, who formerly held the #1 spot, reported a pledge volume of $136M in the fourth quarter, and finished 2014 with $444M in successful pledges.

While Kickstarter helped popularize crowdfunding in the areas of creative projects, music and film, GoFundMe’s personal fundraising platform is focused on enabling people to raise money for personal causes and life events. “It’s incredible to see all the amazing ways people are using GoFundMe to make a difference in the lives of others,” says co-founder Brad Damphousse. “We feel very fortunate to have a front row seat to an ever-increasing number of uplifting, inspiring, and successful fundraising campaigns.”

The site’s most popular categories are Medical, Education, Emergencies, Volunteerism, Memorials, and Sports. Due to the personal nature of these types of campaigns, the majority of giving on GoFundMe occurs between family and friends. GoFundMe is rapidly replacing traditional fundraising methods while making it easy for people to support those they love during life’s most important moments.

gfm_chart

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe has remained an extremely lean organization, having raised no outside capital and employing a dedicated team of less than 40 people. However, having a small roster has not prevented GoFundMe from running a very large business. The company boasts over $650M raised on the platform since its inception, along with an unprecedented customer support email reply time of 5-minutes-or-less.

“GoFundMe’s intense focus on exceptional customer experiences is what sets us apart,” Damphousse continues. “Our competitors have taken tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and employ hundreds of employees. We have stayed small, focused, and committed to serving our customers better than anyone else.”

GoFundMe’s annual donation volume grew a staggering 268% in 2014 and the company expects volume to continue increasing as market awareness rises, and crowdfunding becomes more widely accepted. “We have seen our business grow approximately 300% per year every year since we started GoFundMe and it is a testament to the power of crowdfunding. What matters are the causes that people are raising money for; these are deeply personal life events that resonate with donors. It revolves around the stories we tell, the lives we share, and the communities we try to build. Given all of this, we believe that the future of GoFundMe is boundless.”

For company logo, photos and other brand assets please visit:
http://www.gofundme.com/branding

Sources:
http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/06/kickstarter-2014-numbers/
https://www.kickstarter.com/year/2014/data?ref=yir2014
https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2014-the-first-quarter-in-numbers
https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2014-the-second-quarter-in-numbers
https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/2014-the-third-quarter-in-numbers

Symbid Launches Niche Funding Platform for Agricultural Sector

Financial technology brand Symbidto connect Dutch agriculture to its Funding Network with new ‘Farmers Funding’ platform

Rotterdam, the Netherlands – January 06, 2015 – Symbid Corp. [OTCQB:SBID] (www.symbidcorp.com) – Symbid, one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide, has announced the launch of Farmers Funding (www.farmersfunding.nl), an online investment platform for the Dutch agricultural sector. Built in collaboration with two agricultural companies, the platform will connect to the Symbid Funding Network and adds to the diverse range of investment opportunities for Symbid’s growing community of 28,000 active investors.

Funding for Innovative Farmers

The agricultural industry in the Netherlands is both innovative and future-oriented, but access to capital is decreasing. The Farmers Funding platform will enable young and growing agribusinesses to find finance without the need for traditional financial institutions. The first of its kind, this online platform means enterprising farmers can connect to a range of efficient funding options including loans, equity and crowdfunding. Agricultural entrepreneurs and investors can connect, fund and grow together via the Symbid Funding Network.

The Funding Network

The recent announcement of Symbid’s partnership with Credion, a leading Dutch financial advisory firm, signalled the crowdfunding brand’s transition into an online Funding Network. The new platform will feature online deal-making and monitoring tools in addition to the investment crowdfunding service. By combining various types of financiers into one network, a hybrid of alternative and traditional finance, Symbid is creating the go-to platform for investors and entrepreneurs. The launch of Farmers Funding, a niche marketplace of investment opportunities, is an example of how Symbid is attracting more capital seekers and providers to the Funding Network.

Although Farmers Funding is targeted at the agricultural industry, all investment propositions are linked directly to the Symbid Funding Network. This means the deals can be presented on the Symbid platform and hence reach a broader group of investors. Adding this niche industry to its network enables Symbid to further extend and diversify its offering, while investors can continue to personalize the content of their deal flow. The company expects all future affiliate platforms to connect to the Symbid Funding Network in such a way.

“Entrepreneurs logging onto Farmers Funding can present their business proposition either privately, to specific investors, or publicly, to the crowd. This way, our Funding Network lets the entrepreneur control how their business is funded and increases the likelihood of finding the right finance. Meanwhile, investors can decide on the types of deals that interest them and diversify their portfolio,” says Korstiaan Zandvliet, co-founder and CEO of Symbid. “Farmers Funding is a great example of how Symbid is leading the way in online finance, with more expansions of our Funding Network on the horizon.”

About Symbid

Founded in April 2011 as one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Symbid allows non-accredited investors to invest online in start-ups and SMEs with as little as €20 in exchange for shares in those companies. Based in the Netherlands, Symbid has emerged as a global leader in investment crowdfunding due to our innovative technological infrastructure, user-friendly interface and commitment to providing a secure funding environment for both investors and entrepreneurs. The Symbid team’s extensive experience with start-ups means entrepreneurs choosing our platform receive all the coaching and advice necessary for a successful campaign. This, in turn, ensures that investors using the Symbid platform can be confident in the profitability of their investment. As of December 2014, Symbid has successfully funded over 60 start-ups for a total capital sum of $7,000,000. Symbid became the first publicly listed crowdfunding platform worldwide in December 2013 [OTCQB:SBID]. In 2015 the company is expected to expand its product portfolio with several new (alternative and traditional) financial services in order to develop the Symbid platform towards an online funding network. Meanwhile, Symbid anticipates a European roll-out of its investment crowdfunding platform beginning in Q1 2015. Please visit www.symbid.com for more information.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release may include predictions, estimates or other information that might be considered “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgement on what the future holds, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect our opinions only as of the date of this release. Please keep in mind that we are not obligating ourselves to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events. The predictions discussed in this release are based on the personal opinions of certain individuals and are supported by a consensus within the crowdfunding industry and alternative finance world generally. For a more complete discussion of these predictions and certain risk factors which may affect our future business operations, please review our most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors.” PDF copies of these forms can be viewed and downloaded on the Symbid Corp. Investor Relations website at www.symbidcorp.com.

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