Stories about rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns.
Stories about rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns.
“Invest In The Nest” will help build and place nests in Africa.
Press Release – May 17, 2017 (Silver Spring, MD) – African penguin populations have been declining for the past few decades. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), its members and partners are taking action to help reverse this trend. Today, they are launching the “Invest In The Nest” campaign on Kickstarter, the innovative crowdfunding platform. The campaign seeks to raise $150,000 to help build and place 1,500 artificial nests for African penguins in South Africa and Namibia.
“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are conservation organizations dedicated to helping save species and generate awareness about what is impacting animals in the wild,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “We believe the Kickstarter community is a natural fit to ‘invest in the nest,’ and more importantly, play a direct role in helping to save this species.
A dedication to species conservation is the reason behind why AZA and its members created AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®, a program that brings together the expertise and resources of AZA, its members, and partners to help save species from extinction. Establishing new artificial nests is a priority identified in the AZA SAFE African penguin conservation action plan, and necessary to help save African penguins.
“We’re always excited about campaigns that expand our worldview and actively contribute to innovation around the globe. Invest In The Nest is pushing boundaries in the practice of conservation and bringing optimism and direct action to the Kickstarter backer community,” says Clarissa Redwine, Kickstarter’s Design and Technology Outreach Lead for the West Coast. “This conservation effort takes backers through the process of designing, building, and installing habitat structures that will help save endangered African penguins, helping Kickstarter backers play a vital part in protecting wildlife.”
Supporters of the campaign won’t go away empty-handed. A variety of rewards is available for backing the Kickstarter campaign, including exclusive behind-the- scenes opportunities at some of the best aquariums and zoos in the country, as well as original penguin art, symbolic penguin adoption kits, t-shirts, totes, posters and more. Some additional, exclusive rewards will also be offered during the campaign.
In addition to the great rewards, Stonyfield, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker and a proud sponsor of AZA SAFE, is helping AZA reach its campaign goal by kicking in $30,000 toward the $150,000 goal. As part of Stonyfield’s year-long effort, they will not only be contributing funds to fieldwork, but will also aim to encourage kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos and aquariums through an on-pack offer to get families out to visit AZA member zoos and aquariums in their communities. Now through the end of September, families who buy two YoKids® yogurt packs can visit azasafe.stonyfield.com to get a free kid’s admission to a participating AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket.
“It isn’t often a cow has an opportunity to help save a penguin, but our support of AZA SAFE and its Kickstarter campaign really allows us to make a difference for these endangered animals,” said Natalie Levine, Stonyfield Brand Director. “By making sure this campaign gets off to a strong start, we aim to not only support the recovery of endangered African penguins, but also inspire others to do the same.”
If fully funded, the nests will be constructed by hand in South Africa, helping to create jobs for residents.
Additional background about the project, including information on the engineering and testing that went into developing the nests, can be found on the “Invest In The Nest” Kickstarter campaign page at www.aza.org/kickstarter.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
About SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®
SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit www.aza.org/aza-safe.
As the leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its yogurts and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. With their direct milk supply program, Stonyfield helps to grow the number of organic dairy farms in New England – and through their support of the Wolfe’s Neck Dairy Farmer training program, Stonyfield works to train the next generation of organic farmers. To learn more about all Stonyfield products and more, visit www.Stonyfield.com.
MindCotine’s first round of crowdsourcing launches on May 31 – World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day
Press Release – Redwood City, CA. May 31, 2017 – MindCotine, the first-ever Virtual Reality (VR) program combining mindfulness practices, psychological therapies and community engagement to combat nicotine addiction, has announced its first crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign.
Responding to the need of more than 1 billion smokers worldwide looking for a non-invasive and inexpensive method to quit smoking, MindCotine marks the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World No Tobacco Day on May 31. The campaign aims to engage as many people as possible to join the MindCotine community, continue funding the development and worldwide distribution of the groundbreaking app.
MindCotine’s creators realized that the needs for smokers looking to quit for good were not being met. With the premise that smokers do not have convenient tools nor programs handy to treat the actual root of their addiction, the team combined their diverse expertise in the medical and virtual reality fields to engineer an easily accessible mobile application.
The product works as users are guided through a mindfulness process, a mental state achieved by focusing on awareness on the present moment, and a biofeedback monitoring system that trains users to control bodily processes. By becoming conscious of what the habit represents for each user, they are then able to better identify and take charge of their impulses and behavior. The program also provides users with the tools necessary to overcome the cravings and discomforts associated with tobacco withdrawal through a strong community platform with an AI component. Users are welcome to join and practice the skills acquired, as well as support other peers to overcome the source of the addiction.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking causes approximately 6 million deaths per year, and is responsible for over $1 trillion in healthcare costs worldwide. Governments and other entities around the world have taken measures on this problem, proposing a broad variety of solutions, from taxation and banning, to awareness campaigns, to nicotine-related therapies, such as nicotine patches and prescription medications.
For more information, visit MindCotine’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the revolutionary product that will help end the global and life-threatening tobacco epidemic.
This unique solution is currently undergoing validation and trials by a wide array of focus groups at universities around the world, including Menlo College in California, Universidad Siglo 21 in Argentina and Universidad de la Comunicación in Mexico City.
Program Aims to Combat Unemployment and Underemployment Rates Among People with Autism; Crowdfunding Campaign Launches to Help Fund Program and Provide Scholarships
Press Release – (Los Angeles, CA) – April 28, 2017 – Coding Autism, a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance and web development, today announced that the company has surpassed its $50,000 crowdfunding goal. The contributions will help fund the program’s first web development bootcamp, and provide for scholarships so that the entire 15-person first class can attend tuition-free.
Every year, the number of people diagnosed with autism rises, however there are simply not enough quality programs designed towards training adults with autism with real-world career skills. As a result, too many are either unemployed or working in menial jobs below their skill level. To help adults with autism learn the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job, Coding Autism has announced a new program to train those with autism how to code.
Coding Autism crowdfunding campaign can be seen at: https://startsomegood.com/coding-autism-training-adults-with-autism-in-code.
Coding Autism’s first web development boot camp is called the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. This is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills of coding. The first class will take place at Hub 101 in Thousand Oaks, CA (Greater Los Angeles Area) with online classes planned in 2018.
“We are proud to surpass our funding goal and are encouraged that supporters from coast to coast agree that it is completely unacceptable that our autistic community is experiencing an over 80% unemployment and underemployment rate,” said Oliver Thornton, CEO & co-founder of Coding Autism. “As passionate advocates who have either been diagnosed with autism ourselves or have family members affected with autism, we understand that with the right resources, training, coaching and environment that individuals with autism can thrive in the workforce.”
By founding Coding Autism and launching the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive, Mr. Thornton believes that they can create highly qualified, skilled, and eager to work autistic employees to fill job vacancies in the tech industry.
Research has shown that typical autistic characteristics such as attention to detail, affinity for repetitive tasks and introversion are all traits that lend themselves to becoming a successful employee within the tech industry. With the $50k+ average annual salary for entry-level, full-time web developers, tech is an attractive industry in which to pursue a career.
Over the last decade, companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives. This was done not to combat autistic unemployment, but because they have seen that adults with autism can be exceptional employees and drive innovation when provided the right structure, mentorship and on-boarding. Students that want to enroll can sign-up to receive more information at: www.CodingAutism.com
A video can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVybQJSNlS4
About Coding Autism:
Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. We also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. We do so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive. More information is available at http://www.CodingAutism.com.
The country’s fascination with tiny homes has led to a nascent movement using shipping containers for low-income housing. With some tiny homes and apartments having fewer than 200 square feet, the 40-foot shipping container and its approximately 320 square feet could feel relatively spacious.
Wanona Satcher, the CEO and founder of ReJuve Corp based in Atlanta, is launching a new initiative to create “Plug-In Pods” using shipping containers. She hopes to create a flexible model for l0w-income housing that addresses need of a range of people, from millennial minimalists to seniors who may want or need to live backyard-close to family caregivers.
Be sure to watch my interview with Wanona at the top of this artice.
The costs for creating a dwelling begin with the $2,000 to $3,000 price for a container. Wanona hopes to keep the all-in cost between $20,000 and $40,000.
Wanona is seeking to use a land trust to create financial models that will keep the housing units affordable long into the future. For the prototype dwelling, Wanona has received a donated site.
Container homes could potentially have very long lives. Containers are designed to withstand weather when shipped across oceans, on trains or highways. The strength of a container could be an optimal space for a dwelling.
Wanona is working to acquire and equip a manufacturing a facility where the containers can be converted. This will create jobs and allow the completed homes to be shipped to a site for installation.
She hopes that the homes will contribute to solutions for poverty in America. By providing radically affordable housing, she hopes to enable people to find sustainably affordable lifestyles.
To learn more, visit Wanona’s crowdfunding page at ifundwomen.
More about ReJuve Corp:
ReJuve Corp is an Atlanta-based charitable urban design nonprofit for social good. Our team reuses and upcycles spaces and materials to develop permanent equitable communities and effective neighborhood services around the globe through cost-efficient and environmentally sound methodologies.
Wanona Satcher is an urban designer, landscape architectural designer, city planner, economic developer and has produced children’s theatre. Wanona holds Masters degrees in landscape architecture and community planning from Auburn University as well as Economic Development and Finance Professional Certification from the National Development Council in small business development and real estate development. She’s been featured in the Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine and was a Next City Vanguard. Wanona is currently working on a crowdfunding campaign to rapidly build affordable housing and entrepreneurial spaces in low-wealth communities.
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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!
Non-Profit Hopes to Raise Money to Support Children Who Don’t Have a Mom
Press Release – AUSTIN, TX – There are millions of orphaned children in the developing world, many of whom languish in sub-standard institutions with deplorable conditions, where even their most basic needs are not met. That’s why Miracle Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers orphans to reach their full potential, is launching its unique Mother’s Day campaign. The 501(c)(3) charity, which brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans, hopes to raise funds by May 14th to provide clean water, nutritious food, healthcare and a quality education for mother-less children—all in a stable, loving, nurturing environment.
“This Mother’s Day, we invite you to honor your mom in a very meaningful way, by participating in our campaign,” said Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of Miracle Foundation. “Doing so will engage both you and your mom in the lives of less fortunate children in the developing world. What better way to pay tribute to your mother than by giving to children who don’t have one?”
To honor a mom, gift-givers simply visit www.MiracleFoundation.org/mothers. There, they can make a tax-deductible donation in the name of their mother—or other special woman in their lives. Supporters at all donation levels will receive a beautiful certificate they can share with their honoree for Mother’s Day.
In addition to the special Mother’s Day certificate, donors at two levels will receive additional perks:
“We believe in quality over quantity, in supporting the whole child and breaking the cycle of poverty. Our Mother’s Day campaign represents a meaningful new way that every person can make miracles for orphans and honor their mother at the same time,” added Boudreaux. “Helping children go from hopeless and head-down, to empowered and standing tall, with bright futures ahead of them, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors in the world.”
Launched on Mother’s Day in 2000, Miracle Foundation turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing homes where children thrive. The Austin, TX-based organization partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method for providing a home where the fundamental needs and rights of growing children are met, from the day they arrive until the day they graduate into adulthood.
“While our goal is to find a loving family for every orphaned child, that isn’t always possible. For orphans with nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with international standards and guidelines. And we provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love,” added Boudreaux.
Currently, Miracle Foundation supports 24 orphanages in the developing world (starting with India), and offers its wide range of capacity-building training—focused on child protection, child rights, caregivers, life skills education, governance and more—to anyone running or donating to an orphanage around the world. With an increasingly global focus, Miracle Foundation is also partnering with organizations in Egypt, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and more to redefine the role of orphanages and bring life-changing care to the world’s orphans.
Miracle Foundation is unique in that its metric-driven method is measurable, scalable and transparent, guarding against corruption and ensuring that all donations go directly into nurturing and transforming the lives of orphaned children. Through its work, Miracle Foundation has given thousands of children without parental care a childhood that would have otherwise been impossible.
“Miracle Foundation proves that one person can make a difference,” said Shelley Seale, donor. “I have witnessed first-hand what my monthly donation can do to change the lives of many. I’ve traveled to India and visited the orphanages and have seen the difference my investment makes in orphans’ lives. We are empowering children to be the best that they can be.”
Miracle Foundation has been honored with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates U.S. charities’ effectiveness and financial transparency: http://bit.ly/1nJC7wq
About Miracle Foundation
Miracle Foundation is an Austin, TX-based non-profit organization that brings life-changing care to the world’s orphans. The ultimate goal of the Miracle Foundation is to find a loving family for every orphaned child. That means we explore every possible avenue to reunite children with a parent or relative, if possible. In fact, we have reunited approximately 25% of our children with their families. We do this by allocating resources to more efficiently support alternative care options and ensuring that excellent family support services are in place. And, for orphans who have nowhere else to go, we ensure that orphanages are in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and international standards and guidelines. We provide excellent training for caregivers, a top-notch education for the children, nutritious food and plenty of love for them to thrive.
Together with our supporters, we work toward a common goal of providing a loving home, a quality education and a promising future to each and every orphan. Because when you bring together those who have, with those who have not—miracles happen.
For more information, please visit www.MiracleFoundation.org.
About Maggie Louise Confections
Maggie Louise Confections is a creative confections company that brings haute couture designs to the world of chocolate by combining handcrafted creations with nostalgic flavors, modern design, and meaningful bespoke details. Made in Austin and packed with personality, MLC chocolates and candies are gifting perfection.
Launched in 2013, Maggie Louise Confections has reinvented the classic sampler box with color, personality and a unique customization platform making each box of chocolate a fun and memorable experience to both create and gift. The collection is designed seasonally and takes cues from the fashion and entertaining worlds to create a collection that feels fresh, fun and spirited.
For more information, please visit http://www.maggielouiseconfections.com/
The first of its kind journal for children looks to investors to help spread word and increase distribution
Press Release – APRIL 12, 2017: Big Life Journal – the world’s first journal designed to inspire entrepreneurship, creativity and positivity for children – has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to enhance the lives of children across the USA.
The journal has been created by storywriters, poets, illustrators and graphic designers and is looking for funding to increase distribution and fulfill its mission of helping children on the path to success.
Created and curated by husband and wife duo, Alexandra and Scott Eidens from New York, the journal aims to help parents tackle the changing face of the workforce environment and teach children the importance of qualities such as: persistence, gratitude and mindfulness.
The 52 page, 26 week hardback journal seeks to develop a growth mindset and guide children ages 6-11 through topics such as ‘why it is important to help others’ and ‘be persistent.’ Poems, quotes and writing aim to teach children the qualities that will help them be successful adults such as: optimism, persistence, embracing failure, taking action and dreaming big.
Alexandra comments: “Big Life Journal is much more than another children’s book or diary, this is a book that can and will shape the future of children. When compiling the book we wanted to draw on qualities that inspirational people possess, such as Richard Branson, Sara Blakely, Tim Ferris and Sheryl Sandberg. Big Life Journal identified qualities that got them where they are today, such as courage and empathy.”
Scott adds: “It is important for children to understand there are many components to being a successful adult and one of those is mindfulness. Mindfulness is not just associated hippie culture and instead is identified as an important aspect of dealing with the stresses and pressures of adult life. Alongside thought-provoking poems and stories, journaling itself has been proven to evoke mindfulness and improve communication skills.”
To help Big Life Journal on their mission, visit the Kickstarter page where backers can pledge to shape the children of the future and receive special discounted rates on Big Life Journals for their own little ones.
The Big Life Journal Kickstarter campaign will run from 12th April – 12th May 2017.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Lots of people hold themselves out to be crowdfunding experts. I haven’t met anyone who has raised more money in on Kickstarter and Indiegogo than Funded Today’s Zach Smith. He reports raising over $110 million total over hundreds of campaigns.
Smith visited with me (watch the video recording of the interview above) to talk about how to apply his experience and insights for social entrepreneurs.
He thinks of himself as a social entrepreneur, helping other entrepreneurs to be successful. He is almost a prototypical entrepreneur. Young, confident—even brash—he has built his company to 50 employees and reports “eight figures plus” in revenue. Funded Today charges 25 to 35 percent of funds raised, so in its short three-year history, we’d expect it to have generated over $30 million in revenue.
His reputation in the crowdfunding community is such that when Hiral Sanghavi, co-founder and CEO at BauBax had his crowdfunding campaign stall at around $4 million, he called on Smith to help. He says, “They reached out to a completely different audience and got another huge wave of traffic our way which helped us add another $4.5 million to our total in the last 3 weeks and our campaign closed at $9.19 million.”
“FT has got access to thousands of crowdfunding campaigns and they’ve built a community of early adopters out of it. They were able to get our campaign in front of the right audience who are mavens, early adopters of technology and innovative products. We couldn’t have done that using only Facebook ads,” Sanghavi says.
Paid media on social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, is a key tool that Funded Today uses to raise money for clients. Smith explains how you can do it on Facebook.
A good crowdfunding campaign begins with a crowd. A crowd is best represented by a list of email addresses. He suggests spending up to $5 per email address for people who are interested in your mission. Given that you’d like a list of 10,000 people and a list that long will cost up to $50,000 to build, he has another plan.
Ask, he says, someone in your mission space who has a list for a copy of the list specifically to use for building a Facebook audience. You should promise not to send email to the people on the list. Instead, you want to upload the list to Facebook for targeting advertising. Until Smith told me, I had no idea you could do this. Did you?
Not only can you use that audience as a target, Facebook will automatically offer to create a “lookalike” audience that is much bigger. For instance, I uploaded my mailing own mailing list following the instructions on Facebook and it instantly helped me create a list of more than 2 million people who are like the people on my list.
Smith also shared his “Seven Ps” for crowdfunding success:
Marina Prospero, CEO of Perfectore Corp, is crowdfunding with help from Funded Today now. She says, “We were watching some very successful 6 figure Kickstarter campaigns and they all had one thing in common, Funded Today was their marketing partner. Several of these campaigns were products that focused on back and neck treatment. We figured if they have already been successful marketing these campaigns then they will definitely know how to market ours.”
She’s glad she did. “They have performed beyond my expectation.” With Smith’s help, she’s raised over $585,000 with an original goal of just $5,000. “Frankly I am blown away at how good they are and I am anxious to work with them again on our next invention.”
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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!
Coding Autism will launch the first full-time web development training program specifically designed for adults on the autism spectrum. They are raising money on StartSomeGood. Recently I caught up with Oliver Thornton 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?
It is completely unacceptable that our autistic community is experiencing an over 80% unemployment and underemployment rate. As passionate advocates who have either been diagnosed with autism ourselves or have family members affected with autism, we understand that with the right resources, training, coaching, and environment that individuals with autism can thrive in the workforce.
By contributing towards our campaign, contributors are contributing to the development of Coding Autism’s first web development bootcamp, the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. This is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job. We cover both front-end and back-end skills, along with Quality Assurance and SCRUM principles. By the end of the course, students will walk away with a portfolio of full-stack web applications which they can use when applying to their first developer jobs.
This program would create the societal benefit of slashing the 80% autistic un/underemployment statistic that exists in our society and in turn creating highly qualified, skilled, and eager to work autistic employees to fill job vacancies in the tech industry.
How much money are you hoping to raise and why? How much have you raised so far?
Through out crowdfunding campaign, we are hoping to raise $50,000 as our tipping point goal. If we reach our tipping point we can cover the minimum costs to make the Coding Autism ASPIRE program happen. This includes providing the salary for the primary Coding Autism immersive instructor, an assistant instructor, an occupational therapist, a social skills intervention expert, a career counselor, the location that we will be hosting our program, the development of our curriculum, and marketing expenses to help promote our program and acquire qualified autistic students for our program.
If we reach our stretch goal of $120,000, we would be able to not only finance its first program, but we would also be able to 100% subsidize the enrollment fees for our first round of students, which is up to 15 in total.
As of day 2 of our crowdfunding campaign, we have raised $13,310, which is about 26% of our tipping point goal. We are hoping to use this momentum to not only surpass our tipping point goal, but to also surpass our stretch goal.
Whom are you trying to help with your project and why?
Through out company and our crowdfunding campaign efforts, we will and forever always will focus solely on helping individuals on the autism spectrum succeed. As we are a start-up, we want to tackle the issue of autistic un/underemployment first with our offerings before moving towards other demographics within the autism spectrum such as children and teenagers on the autism spectrum as well as non-verbal autistic individuals.
As mentioned in the previous responses, autistic adults deal with the egregious reality that 80% of all adults with autism are either unemployed or underemployed. With our program offerings through Coding Autism, we are creating opportunities for adults with autism to utilize the strengths of being on the autism spectrum to develop them into very highly skilled and desirable employees within the technology industry, an industry that has the highest amount of job vacancies in the US as well as pay an average salary of $40k+ a year.
What rewards, if any, are you offering to your supporters?
Personal Thank You Email: $10
The Coding Autism team is beyond grateful for any contribution that we receive. Each contribution is one step closer to accomplishing our goal of funding our first web-development immersive for adults on the autism spectrum. To show our gratitude, the co-founders will write you a personal thank you email for your contribution!
Social Media Shout Out & Personal Email From Co-Founders: $20
By providing a $20 contribution, you are moving us even closer to successfully funding our first program. To express our gratitude, we will shout you out on Facebook and Twitter as well as send you a personalized thank you email!
Early Bird: Coding Autism Shirt & Sticker: $40
The brackets in our logo represent open arms embracing people on the spectrum into the workforce. Show off your open arms (literally) with your own Coding Autism t-shirt! With this contribution reward, you will receive a Coding Autism shirt as well as a Coding Autism sticker that you can put on your laptop, your school binder, or anywhere else you would like! Early bird price is applicable until 4/04/2017, where this prize will jump up to $50.
Early Bird: Coding Autism Snapback Hat: $65
Are you a hat person? Or simply would like to rock one of Coding Autism’s snapback hats when you are out and about in town to show off how you contributed to and supported our campaign? With this reward, you are able to choose either a black or white Coding Autism snapback hat that you can show off to your friends and family! Early bird price is applicable until 4/04/2017, where this prize will jump up to $75.
Name Featured on Coding Autism Website: $100
How cool would it be to be forever remembered for providing the opportunity for people to achieve their dream jobs? With this contribution you name or company will be memorialized on our website on our contributors wall. This is a fantastic was to show the world your passion for the cause, and be recognized for your role in changing people’s lives.
Skype with the Founders: $250
Would you like to have a personal conversation with the people behind Coding Autism? With this reward, you will have the ability to have a 30 minute Skype conversation with both co-founders of Coding Autism, where you can ask them questions about how they got involved with starting Coding Autism, what there plans are for Coding Autism in the future or anything that is on your mind! This is a great way to share you input on where you would like to see Coding Autism go.
Early Bird: Custom Coding Autism Shoes: $400
Not only are these shoes insanely cool, but they are custom made specifically for this campaign. With this reward, you will receive a pair of Coding Autism’s customized “autism-blue” athletic shoes which you can rock at the gym, as street wear, or around the house! Early bird price is applicable until 4/04/2017, where this prize will jump up to $500.
Early Bird: Framed Poster of First Cohort: $750
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words… or a thousand dollars! The contributor for this award will received a framed poster of the first Coding Autism ASPIRE program signed by each student, founder, and employee involved! Early bird price is applicable until 4/04/2017, where this prize will jump up to $1000.
Meet the Founders: $2,500
If a Skype meeting is not enough, you have the ability to meet the founders in person! With the reward, you will have the opportunity to meet the co-founders of Coding Autism in person where you will grab dinner and have a night on the town! If you are from the United States, the Coding Autism co-founders will either fly you out to them or they will fly out to you. If you are from outside the United States, the co-founders will provide up to $750 towards travel expenses.
Sponsorship for Coding Autism Student Enrollment: $10,000
This award sponsors a student selected by Coding Autism for a guaranteed slot in their program. The sponsored student would provide the following responsibilities for the contributor. 1.) Skype call with the donor 2.) Personal hand-written thank you note 3.) Progress report on their learnings in course and plans after course completion 4.) The opportunity to meet the student in person (we will fly you out to them) 5.) Sponsorship named after the contributing individual or company. The contributor would also receive all of the rewards previous to this reward and the $10,000 voucher award.
Voucher for Student Enrollment in First Coding Autism Cohort: $10,000
This award provides the contributor 1 voucher, which claims a guaranteed slot for an adult with autism (their son, family member, recommendation, etc.) to enroll into Coding Autism’s first program. The contributor would also receive all of the rewards previous to this reward and the $10,000 Sponsorship reward.
Check out the campaign:
Press Release – LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2017) – Coding Autism, a Los Angeles-based startup providing career transitioning programs for adults on the autism spectrum, starts their crowdfunding campaign today. The funds from this campaign will be used to finance their first class in the Greater Los Angeles area, the ASPIRE Web Development Immersive. The ASPIRE Web Development Immersive is a 15-week, full-time course where students will be learning the fundamental skills necessary to secure an entry-level web developer job. It covers both front-end and back-end skills, along with Quality Assurance and SCRUM principles. By the end of the course, students will walk away with a portfolio of full-stack web applications which they can use when applying to their first developer jobs.
Coding Autism is looking to raise a minimum of $50,000 on through its rewards-based campaign, and another $50,000 through its equity campaign. To help support this cause, people can donate at Coding Autism’s Start Some Good page here: https://startsomegood.com/projects/coding-autism-training-adults-with-autism-in-code/. Accredited investors can contribute to Coding Autism’s Crowdfunder equity campaign here: https://www.crowdfunder.com/coding-autism.
To better cater to the specialized needs of autistic learners, classes are kept small (15 students maximum) and an on-site occupational therapist will be present to tailor each class to the unique needs of each group. According to Evelyn Peña, director of the Cal Lutheran Univeristy Autism and Communication Center, “We see a natural fit for people on the spectrum and jobs in the tech space. Oftentimes it isn’t the abilities or knowledge that creates the greatest barrier, but soft skills like eye contact and communication that prevent them from even being considered for a role they may otherwise be qualified for. For that reason, we place an emphasis on these skills that would otherwise be skipped by similar programs.”
CEO and co-founder, Oliver Thornton, having been diagnosed with a form of ASD himself. Having two brothers that are also on the spectrum, he experienced firsthand the challenges people like him and his brothers face integrating into the professional world. With statistics as high as 80% un/underemployment among adults on the spectrum, and with 1 in 68 children in the US being diagnosed with ASD, he saw an urgent need to find a way to integrate this ever-growing demographic into the workplace, and alleviate fears about self-sufficiency held by both people with autism and their families.
When asked why employers should consider hiring more employees on the autism spectrum, Thornton had this to say: “Adults with autism tend to be very engaged and dedicated employees who contain intrinsic characteristics such as attention to detail, fascination for repetitive tasks, and introversion. In recent years, there has been an influx of research proving that adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome tend to thrive at software development related professions. As a result many technology companies such as Microsoft and SAP have implemented autism hiring initiatives to hire experienced software developers on the autism spectrum. By training adults with autism through our autism specialized coding immersive program, we are opening doors for companies to diversity their work forces, broaden the culture of their company and teams, and drive innovation within their operations.”
About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Globally, autism is estimated to affect 21.7 million people as of 2013. As of 2010, the number of people affected is estimated at about 1–2 per 1,000 worldwide. About 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with ASD as of 2014, a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012. The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice.
About Coding Autism:
Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. They also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. Coding Autism does so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.
Press Release – Adiyaman, Turkey––March 14, 2017––The Anka Cooperative empowers Syrian women refugees by providing dignifying work creating fine carpets and traditional crafts in a safe workplace for fair compensation.
In 2012, when co-founder Neslihan Jevremovic started the cooperative, 10,000 refugees lived in Turkey. In just five years, as the Syrian conflict raged, this number swelled to over 3 million. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these refugees struggle to find the work necessary to support their families and provide meaning in their own lives.
“Teaching women how to weave affects them personally. They are providing income for the whole family, so it changes their whole attitude about themselves.” – Co-founder Neslihan
Anka currently empowers 250 weavers in two camps. Only 30 miles from the Syrian border, the Sanliurfa camp is home to one of the oldest refugee camps in Turkey. The residents live in air-conditioned 20-foot shipping containers with their family members. The Anka weaving workshop currently empowers 25 refugees in an air-conditioned, well-lit activity center. The Adiyaman camp is home to nearly 30,000 refugees, and Anka empowers 225 women working in six air-conditioned, well-lit weaving tents. Now, the team is turning to Kickstarter to sell their existing, high quality rugs and raise awareness about this initiative. The funds raised will allow Anka to expand into a third camp and enable even more Syrian women refugees in 2017. Every $7,500 raised will empower and employ one refugee for over 8 months.
The Anka Cooperative has already had an extraordinary impact on women’s lives. One of these women is Neriman, from Damascus, is in her early 40s and has six children. Unlike many of her unfortunate relatives, she made it safely to the Adiyaman refugee camp in Southeastern Turkey. Neriman is college educated, and prior to the war she worked for many years as an accountant. But in the camps, of course, there are no accounting jobs, no freelancer websites to apply her trade. Idle time brings painful memories. She jumped at the chance to work at the carpet workshop. It’s a new skill, but she is learning – and just as important, she is earning.
Neriman is paid the same as her Turkish counterparts. She is saving to buy gold earrings for her daughters, and hopes to save for a home for when they return to Syria. Her smile shines despite the tragedy she has faced, and she is very grateful to have the chance to work again. Neriman is one of 250 women employed by The Anka Cooperative. Together, Neriman and Anka have found the key to alleviating the suffering – if you want to empower refugees, employ them. Neriman represents the 250 Anka weavers who have chosen to make the best of their difficult circumstances, and are the reason Anka exists.
“After seeing the heartbreaking image of young Aylan Kurdi on a beach in Turkey, not far from where I swam with my young daughter that same summer, I knew I had to help these desperate people in a sustainable fashion. We’re teaching these women to fish, not simply giving them fish.” – Co-founder Josh
The Anka Cooperative is a social enterprise in association with award-winning US rug producer Woven Legends. Anka rugs are of the absolute highest quality – handcrafted with handspun wool and natural dyes. An 8’x10’ rug is made of over 500,000 knots.
All proceeds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to sell existing and create new rugs, further Anka’s mission, train more women, and provide health and educational assistance to refugee families. In exchange for pledges, backers can receive gorgeous carpet coasters, framed carpet fragments, hand woven Christmas stockings, and the empowering rugs themselves. The 30 day Kickstarter campaign will run from March 14th to April 13th.
ABOUT THE ANKA COOPERATIVE
In both Turkish and Arabic, ‘Anka’ translates to ‘Phoenix’, the mythical bird which obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
The Anka Cooperative empowers Syrian refugees to create a dignified path to self-empowerment and cultural integration through the creation of fine carpets and traditional crafts. Anka does this by training them in the ancient art of weaving rugs by hand while furnishing a safe workplace, fair compensation, and fulfilling employment. The weavers love their work, not only for the income it provides, but also for the companionship and a place to share laughs and to stay active.
Anka’s mission is to empower and educate over 20,000 refugees by the year 2020. They will accomplish this not only by expanding their operations into new locations and into new products, but also by partnering with leading charities and social enterprises to improve the lives of those most vulnerable.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANKA COOPERATIVE