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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Rewards Campaigns

Stories about rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns.

Filmmaker Seeks To Become Peacemaker

What if we trained peacekeepers the way we train generals? That’s the question that Burundi asked and answered with formal training for government and military leaders on building peace.

Filmmaker Jamil Simon is producing a documentary called Fragile Island of Peace about that effort and raising money for the production via Kickstarter.

Commenting on his reason for making the film, Jamil said, “Peacebuilding efforts are currently stuck in a negative cycle rooted in lack of awareness, that severely restricts their potential. Peacebuilding is not recognized as a viable solution to conflict. To reverse that cycle, we need to use media to promote the great, often heroic, work peacebuilders are doing.”

“We need to connect the work of peacebuilding and peacebuilders with the achievement of peace, in the minds of diplomatic and military leaders, as well as the pubic,” he continued.

“I look forward to the day that we send peacekeepers into conflict areas before we send in bombs or soldiers,” he concluded.

On Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 1:00 Eastern, Jamil will join me for a live discussion about his new film. Tune in here to watch the interview live.

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

More about Spectrum Media:

Spectrum Media has made award-winning documentary and educational films on a wide range of topics that have been broadcast on PBS and commercial TV stations and have been screened in schools, colleges and other venues. Recently, we produced several award-winning videos in the Central African Republic for USAID to promote a new methodology for affirming property rights for artisanal diamond miners. These videos are now being used in programs worldwide. For over 20 years we collaborated with Harvard’s Center for Teaching and Learning on a series of videos on college-level teaching that are distributed nationally and internationally. We also have broad international experience designing multimedia public awareness programs to promote reform in more than 20 developing countries. We have promoted conflict resolution skills in Jordan, sustainable agriculture in Malawi, crisis communications in Haiti, democracy in Mali and water conservation in Tunisia.

Jamil Simon

Jamil Simon

Jamil’s bio:

I have spent 40+ years of working in media production and public communications. I’ve spent 25 years designing innovative and content-sensitive public awareness programs to support environmental, social, and economic reforms in developing countries. The work has given me opportunities to design programs that use media tools in creative ways to support reform in different domains and challenging situations.

Currently, we are in the early stages of production on a documentary about peacebuilding in Burundi, called Fragile Island of Peace. It will tell the story of 10 years of work training over 8,000 Burundian leaders from presidents, generals and parliament leaders to police chiefs and rural mayors in conflict management and leadership skills. Our aim is to tell the stories of the individuals who participated in the process and to see how their personal transformations affected the nation.

In April of this year, I collaborated with the Alliance for Peacebuilding to put together a daylong workshop called Under the Radar that focused on creating a global communication strategy to significantly elevate awareness of peacebuilding as a practice, and as a viable alternative to military solutions to conflict. We convened a high level group of peacebuilders, media producers, broadcast and print journalists, philanthropists and others to develop plans to use media to explain peacebuilding—what it is and how it works—to leaders in diplomacy, development and the military, as well as to the general public. Our event was very successful and we are now planning follow up events in NYC and LA in the fall. Making our documentary, Fragile Island of Peace, is an important step in this process.

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

Devin D. Thorpe

Mouse Ver 2 Is a Revolutionary New Re-Imagining of the Traditional Mouse Peripheral

The mouse has long been the control tool of choice, but the traditional design has come under fire in recent years. The palm down position necessary to operate a traditional mouse creates unnatural torque on muscles and joints in the arm, contributing to chronic pain and fatigue for many users. A new device dubbed Mouse Ver 2 eliminates this issue because it enables users to operate the mouse in a variety of positions. The Mouse Ver 2 is conceptually similar to using two legs to move, while the conventional mouse is limited to single leg mobility.

The Mouse Ver 2 has unique design that allows users to operate it in the traditional, palm down position. However, the Mouse Ver 2 can also operate in a palm up position, with the thumb controlling the mouse via a catpad. This catpad is similar to a touch screen of a mobile device or laptop, but possesses greater responsiveness and more functionality. The catpad will also serve as the interface for smart televisions and mobile devices like iPhones. The revolutionary design of this catpad enables users to move across a screen with 360 degrees of freedom and mouse-like speed.

Using this innovative design and performance, the Mouse Ver 2 will soon become the peripheral of choice for office and technology professionals. However, the Mouse Ver 2 is still in development and requires additional funding to enter mass production. The Mouse Ver 2 production team has sponsored a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to secure $55,000 necessary to fund the initial production phase. In return for supporting this project, backers may receive rewards like the Mouse Ver 2 for only $69 (a $30 discount) prior to its retail launch. Certain backers may also obtain representative or official sponsor status.

To learn more about the Mouse Ver 2 or to make a financial contribution, please visit:

For more information on this press release visit:

Help Those Who Are Coping With A Cancer Diagnosis

Familius is trying to help families who struggle with the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis and they need your help! They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently, I caught up with Christopher Robbins to learn more about his work; here’s what he told me:

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

A cancer diagnosis effects more than just the patient. It effects their entire family, especially their spouse who is just as shocked and scared as they are. The spouse will have questions they need answered, and fears they need addressed.

The Couple’s Cancer Project will do just that and become the resource to help them know what to expect when the unexpected happens. A DVD series (4 disks that are 45-60 minutes long) will answer questions many spouses have. With expert interviews and interactive portions, couples will be able to work together and plan the best ways to handle the changes in their lifestyle that come with cancer. It will become a support to help them as they journey through cancer as a couple.


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

We are raising $15,000. The filming for the project is complete, but the funds are needed to cover the costs of video editing, DVD packaging, and DVD mastering.

The project launched yesterday, and we’ve raised $595.

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

Based off the book, “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?”, The Couple’s Cancer Project will help the spouses of recently diagnosed cancer patients. While cancer patients have hotlines, therapy groups, and organizations created to support them, their spouses need help too.

This project will be a resource guide for the spouses as it discusses their unanswered (and sometimes unasked) questions. The DVDs will help spouses understand how to:

  • Overcome the shock and fear of diagnosis
  • Talk to family about diagnosis and treatment updates
  • Choose the right doctors
  • Give support and know where to find it
  • Understand the cost of cancer both financially and emotionally
  • Continue and nurture their romance
  • Balance a full-time job and new household duties

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

  • Name listed in the DVD credits as a project supporter
  • Copies of the book “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?” signed by author Carson Boss
  • Digital copies of the entire series
  • Physical copies of the entire series
  • Four book titles involving cancer and terminal illness from Familius: “Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What?,” “Chemo-Therapist,” “Refined by Fire,” and “Life Happens.”
  • A donation of the entire series to an organization or hospital of your choice

Check out the campaign:
Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter at @familiustalk

Help The Helper Get To Nepal To Help

Sara Waugaman is trying to join a service expedition with CHOICE Humanitarian to Nepal and to extend her time there volunteering for another NGO. She is raising money on DepositAGift. Recently, I caught up with Sara to learn more about her trip; here’s what she told me:

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

I am crowdfunding to go on a humanitarian expedition to Nepal with CHOICE Humanitarian. This opportunity not only directly benefits the communities we work with while in Nepal, it also further develops my background with poverty alleviation efforts, which global extreme poverty alleviation is one of my greatest passions. I intend to pursue it as my life’s work. This past year and a half, I have had an incredible experience working with CHOICE Humanitarian at their U.S. headquarters. Participating in this expedition will take my experience full circle by allowing me to see the entire process from fundraising to the execution of projects in-country. Gaining this experience will thus not only benefit the Nepali people we will work with, but also all of the individuals I aspire to help in the future.


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

I am just over a week away from launching my campaign, so I have not yet raised any money. I am hoping to raise $6,000 which will cover the expedition, flight, living expenses for the time I will be working with a local NGOs after the expedition, and the laptop I will use for communication, reports, and other research both in Nepal and during my time in the Peace Corps for which I have just applied.

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

I am trying to help those who haven’t been dealt the best hand in life. These are individuals that struggle to have their basic needs met. The goal is to help these individuals help themselves by working with them as opposed to for them which causes the all too common aid phenomenon of dependency. While on the expedition, we will be working with the villagers of the communities CHOICE works with.

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

I have offered rewards as a way to help stimulate excitement and make my contributors feel more connected with the expedition. Contributors are still free to donate without any amount without a reward. The reward opportunities include, at the lowest, a pair of handmade earrings by me. Making handmade, beaded jewelry has always been a passion of mine and it is a great chance for contributors to both donate and receive a gift to give for a loved one for the holidays. This ties in with another reward I have which is a unique, handmade, beaded necklace with beads I will bring back from Nepal. Beyond the jewelry I will create, I have rewards which include Prayer Flags, Prayer Wheels, Nepali hats, and a unique, Nepali gift I will find once in Nepal for a donation of $300. These items are all realistic to bring back with me, thank the contributors, give them a taste of Nepali culture, and hopefully serve as a reminder of the value of humanitarian efforts.

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

Seattle Startup Launches Crowdfunding Campaign For Organic Waste Biofuel

Seattle, WA, USA, 17 November 2014 – Vitruvian Energy, a Seattle-based Social Purpose Corporation, has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its EEB biofuel. This biofuel can power a vehicle, blend with gasoline and diesel, or produce clean electricity.

EEB is made from organic waste materials that are currently under-utilized as a potential source of renewable energy, including sewage treatment biosolids, agricultural by-products such as corn stalks and rice straw, and animal waste from ranches and dairies. These organic waste sources have the potential to make the United States a net energy exporter, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and dramatically lower our carbon footprint.

Vitruvian Energy’s initial source material for developing EEB is sewage biosolids, the carbon-rich, dirt-like organic material that remains after wastewater is treated. By using biosolids as the energy source, every community has the starting material to produce clean, affordable, renewable energy.

As we face the challenges of climate change, multiple renewable solutions are needed to replace the energy we currently generate from fossil fuels. The EEB biofuel complements other types of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, by producing energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, because EEB can blend up to 20% with gasoline and diesel or be burned cleanly for electricity, it integrates with our existing energy infrastructure.

EEB is backed by 5 years of research and development, including grants from the National Science Foundation and the California Energy Commission.

The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign will allow Vitruvian Energy to build a pilot EEB production facility, use EEB-infused diesel to power a vehicle, and demonstrate the economic and technical value of EEB in real-world conditions. As a licensed Washington State Social Purpose Corporation with a triple-bottom-line approach, Vitruvian Energy is committed to bringing this renewable energy breakthrough to communities everywhere.

Indiegogo page:

Vitruvian Energy website:

Sensor Device Takes the Guesswork Out of Tracking Your Valuables

FYI sensors, which inform you when things move, get wet, or get too hot or cold, launches Indiegogo campaign.

PORTLAND, Ore. (November 18, 2014)FYI Devices announces a product that keeps personal belongings safe by keeping you informed when something unexpected happens. FYI sensors, which became available for pre-order on Indiegogo for 45 days beginning Tuesday, November 18th, are designed around the simple idea of sending immediate notifications to people when something they care about moves, gets wet or goes above or below set temperature parameters.

“We designed FYI sensors to give you essential but basic information about the things you care about,” explains Jon Maroney, FYI Devices co-founder. “With a series of FYI sensors placed on doors, windows, basement floors and under sinks, one can easily create a personal home security system at a fraction of the cost of alarm equipment and with no monthly fees.”

Whether for a primary residence, vacation home or vehicle, FYI Devices provides a versatile security system without the monthly monitoring fees. Sensors are turned on and off from a users phone and alerts are sent when something changes so they can respond immediately. The system is based on common Internet of Things (IoT) standards and has a range of up to 150 meters (over 3 times standard WiFi range), providing a much larger coverage area and greater reliability than BlueTooth or WiFi.

The standard FYI Devices Starter Kit comes with a base station that is connected to an Internet router, 3 multi-purpose sensors and an app for iPhone and Android OS devices. Up to 100 additional sensors can be added to an installation. If a door opens, the user receives a text message saying “FYI – your back door moved.”

FYI Devices was formed by a team of entrepreneurs, engineers and product designers who have designed and launched successful products for companies such as Nike, 38 Zeros, Handmark, FreeRange, StoryCode, Logitech, HP and Dell.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch the campaign to fund this innovative security device,” says Maroney. “With growing consumer interest in accessing updates on your home and valuables when you’re away, FYI sensors are a reliable, easy-to-set-up solution to prevent damage to personal belongings in a way that has never been available before.”

For more information and to follow updates, follow FYI Devices on Twitter and Facebook.

About FYI Devices

FYI Devices creates sensors that track and send mobile alerts about motion, liquid accumulation, and temperature changes in your primary residence, vacation rental or vehicle. FYI Devices’ proven technology provides versatile and easy entry into element alert systems without the expense or infrastructure of a hard-wired system. FYI sensors are available for pre-order Tuesday, November 18th, 2014. The company’s corporate headquarters are located in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit, and find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Giving Back:

FYI Devices has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East by donating 2% of the funds raised from the Indiegogo campaign. Habitat is one of the only organizations that offers homeownership opportunities to hardworking families making as little as $20,800 (for a family of four). This is done through a hand-up, not handout model in which homeowners help to build and then buy their home from Habitat. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity please visit

Delightful Video Lesson Uses Animation and Music to Teach Children the Alphabet

Children around the world are the same in many respects; they often don’t want to learn and would prefer to be entertained. The new video “Sunny, Funny ABC’s” uses captivating stop-motion animation along with singing and dancing characters to help young children quickly grasp the fundamentals of the English alphabet. The film has some of the most delightful characters that will immediately entrance kids, like Awesome Beetle, Royal Spider and Yellow Zebra. These colorful and humorous characters will help keep the attention of young viewers while imparting the basics about the alphabet.

Created by Indra Sproge, “Sunny, Funny ABC’s” is a three minute video that uses plasticine figures in stop-motion animation. Each character and environment is carefully created by hand and manipulated frame by frame to produce the illusion of action. This is an extremely time and labor intensive form of animation, but has proven to be especially effective in maintaining the interest of young viewers. Indra and her team are close to completing “Sunny, Funny ABC’s”, but still require assistance from the public to finish this project.

In order to complete “Sunny, Funny ABC’s”, the production team will need $22,000. These funds will help hire animators and digital designers who will add the final touches to the film. In return for supporting this project, you may receive perks like video downloads, invitation to the Opening Party, a “Sunny, Funny ABC’s” book, film credits, a personalized character in the film, or a dinner with the team. To learn more about “Sunny, Funny ABC’s” or to make a financial contribution to this important project, please visit

For more information on this press release visit:

Social Entrepreneur Develops App With ‘Win, Win, Win’

Social entrepreneur Kyle Thomas and his team have developed an app called Adora to deliver advertising to the lock screen of your phone with proceeds going to a charity of your choice. Adora is about a client of the Your Mark on the World Center.

Kyle noted, “Adora is a win, win, win, – a win for advertisers, a win for charities, and a win for that app users.”

Explaining the potential impact, Kyle said, “Doing good doesn’t have to always be a grand gesture. Add up many small good deeds and you can have an amazing impact.”

“Advertising can mean something, giving users a choice in the advertising they see can play a huge part in reaching an individual in ways they actually want to be reached, and it creates more value for the advertiser. The fact that our app does good is an amazing benefit to this process; the more valuable an app user is to an advertiser the more we can all donate to a cause,” Kyle concluded.

On November 25, 2014, Adora will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to promote the new app.

On Thursday, November 20, 2014 at  7:00 PM Eastern, Kyle will join me for a live discussion about the new app and the upcoming Indiegogo campaign.

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

More about Adora:

Adora is an app focused on helping users do good through taking control of their mobile advertising experience. For the first time users are able to have a say in where some of the ad revenue they generate goes – to a cause of their choice.

Kyle Thomas

Kyle Thomas

Kyle’s bio:

Kyle is a serial entrepreneur who loves the challenge of taking an idea and making it real and profitable. Adora is his 6th venture and he is excited to finally have the opportunity to really make a difference in the world, and that drives him like no other opportunity has before.

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

Devin D. Thorpe

Business to Launch Crowdfunding Campaign for Start-Up of National Teen Driving Service

Deterring Teens from engaging in distracted, risky and life-threatening behaviors while driving is aim of business seeking to raise start-up funding through crowdfunding.

Santa Rosa, CA – October 21 – Felicia L. Jones, Founder of Be Our Eyes, LLC is set to launch a crowdfunding campaign on October 22, 2014 to fund the start-up of the national service for the parents of teen drivers. The goal of the Sonoma County based social enterprise is to reduce the number of people that die each year in automobile accidents where a teen driver in involved. The October 22, launch date coincides with National Teen Driver Safety week.

Jones states that Be Our Eyes is an extremely powerful, yet simple and cost-effective tool the parents of teen drivers can employ to greatly reduce their teen’s propensity to engage in distracted, risky and life-threatening behaviors by utilizing the eyes of the community. She believes the power of Be Our Eyes lies in providing the means for parents and the community to partner with a single agenda of deterring teens from engaging in the behaviors that cause accidents and fatalities while driving, thereby not only saving the lives of teens, but the public at large.

According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2005 and 2012 over 50,000 people died in automobile accidents where a teen driver was involved. Jones stresses that teen driving safety is not just a concern for the parents of teens, but all of us, as 59% of the people killed in that time period were people other than the teen drivers.

Jones’ innovative approach is to provide a 24” x 12” decal that adheres to the rear window of the vehicle the teen is driving. Each decal has an individual serial number for ease of reporting by the public and is made from a perforated material that allows one-way vision from inside the vehicle. When a member of the community witnesses a teen with the decal on their car behaving in a manner that parents should be made aware of, they may call Be Our Eyes, answer a series of questions about the incident and that information is provided to the parents by Be Our Eyes. The service maintains the anonymity of both the caller and the parents.

Jones is extremely sensitive to the fact that witnessing a teen driver engaging in risky behaviors will be observed by those who are most likely driving themselves. As distracted driving is an issue seen in all age groups, Jones does not want to advocate anyone talking on a cell phone while driving. Therefore, Be Our Eyes will have apps developed that will record the serial number and provide a timed reminder to call and report at a later time.

Jones points out that the Be Our Eyes service is little different in what it delivers in that if a parent never receives a report from the community, then the service is performing as intended. As a single mother for years, Jones wanted to make Be Our Eyes affordable and still provide a quality service. Be Our Eyes requires $60.00 to start and $10.00 a month thereafter with no contract.

A serious commitment has been made by Jones to the social aspect of her enterprise. She will be utilizing Becoming Independent, a North Bay Area community based service organization that helps people with disabilities live meaningful and productive lives for her shipping fulfillment and is providing seedling pines as rewards in the crowdfunding campaign. She also intends to commit to a percentage of profits that will go to charity after Be Our Eyes is viable and profitable.

You may find out more about Be Our Eyes, LLC and donate to the crowdfunding campaign at or

Use Your WITS To Win Family Game Night And Help Kids Learn

Grab the kids and get ready for a new take on family game night. Now you can really use your W.I.T.S to win! The latest innovative all-ages game is called “What is the Sentence” or W.I.T.S. The development and testing is done and the response from kids and educators has been fantastic. With some simple cards (big enough for small hands), dice and a couple of timers this awesome game brings fun and learning together in a big way.

WITS is set to sweep living rooms and classrooms across the nation – but first they need a little help from you. That’s why the creators at WITS Games have created this crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign. As seasoned educational game developers, they know this is a solid product and can’t wait to share the excitement of this innovative board game (targeted age 7+) with as many kids, parents, and teachers as possible before the end of the year. There are plenty of perks and heaps of thanks for your support.

The designer, WITS Games, is actually a gaming company that specializes in providing easy to understand, entertaining and educationally based products. This game is easy to set up with a small table or any flat surface. The best part? It’s quick to learn and jump right in – something kids and grownups both appreciate. Kids simply use the letters on the cards in front of them to make up a sentence. It can be as serious or kooky as the players.

With a foundation in fun and creativity, the learning is intuitive and the game helps build vocabulary and sentence structure. WITS challenges players to score points that are awarded through sentences created from letter cards, which are dealt from the deck. Each word in a sentence must begin with the corresponding letter on the card. Simple. Since it’s easy and very interactive, the game engages players and is different every time.

WITS is perfect for playing kids against kids or the kids vs parents since reading level really doesn’t matter. If you can read the letters of the alphabet you can play. As Educational Coordinator Ginger Henderson explains,“What is the Sentence? (W.I.T.S.) has been getting great reviews from everyone (parents, teachers and kids) who’ve tested the game. As the Kickstarter video shows, “W.I.T.S. teaches and enforces sentence structure, it is also a learning tool, and helps create a responsive classroom environment.” Not only is it a fun way to get kids really excited and engaged, it can help them to retain more words and have better listening skills.

This game works by challenging the players to create a real (bona fide) sentence from the letter cards in front of them. Excitement is cranked up a notch since you can play against time and action cards. The gamers can also protect their sentence and points from being stolen by opponents. For all the details on how to play check out the Kickstarter campaign site video. Right now there are great perks for parents (grandparents) and teachers at low price points. Help make life and learning a bit less boring by supporting this campaign. There are a few Early Bird specials so act fast to save the most! Be of the first to get your hands (and brain) on the Limited Edition “What is the Sentence” WITS Board game for just $25 USD. The game makes a perfectly unique present under the tree, and it may just save your ‘wits’ this winter when the kids are stuck inside on too many snow days!

This game is perfect for home daycare centres, schools, community centres hosting youth activities, and family game night. Want more perks for your support? You’ve got it. For true board game aficionados, get the autographed ‘first edition’ of the game (perfect for yourself or as a special birthday gift). For just under $100 ($90) get the “Educator and Administrator’s Pack”. This Kickstarter special deal delivers four (4) WITS Board games so you can share with the class – or just battle in the staff room! There are also ‘Retailer Packs’ – get stocked before the holiday rush. International shipping is available. Check out the campaign site for all the details, including how to get 50% back on international shipping fees. Can’t donate but still want to help? It only takes a minute to help spread the word so that this educational and creative game is funded in time.

Share the links below with everyone in your global networks.

WITS Games Kickstarter Campaign

WITS Games on Facebook

WITS Games company

For more information on this press release visit:

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