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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.

Gorgeous Zoetrope Animation Device with Modern Spin Making Run on Kickstarter

Press Release – Sacramento, CA – Artist and inventor Les Cookson with the help of illustrator and author Ken Higginson are using the internet to help revitalize the centuries old animation device that started it all—the ZOETROPE. The Kickstarter campaign will run through March 10th, 2017.

The zoetrope, first invented in 1833, was one of the first animation devices, and the granddaddy of modern movies. It consists of a slotted cylinder, or drum, containing animation strips and discs that spin on a wooden stand. By viewing the spinning animation through slits in the drum, the blur of color is broken into a rapid succession of sequential images producing the illusion of motion.

Cookson, with his 10+ years of experience building optical devices, not only designed his zoetrope, the ZOEFLIX, to be functional and beautiful, but also to improve it by adding features like a built-in light to make the images brighter and clearer. Additionally, this new design fits more nicely together and features a solid hardwood stand and lid to balance out its handcrafted, eco-friendly, faux leather drum.

Higginson has thoughtfully remastered the historically inspired zoetrope animations to showcase a full range of artistic possibilities. He is utilizing modern printing technology to add depth to the animations with background elements and creative tweaks that place the characters in a setting and tell a more complete story. The effect is truly mesmerizing as you can see for yourself: https://youtu.be/8UC8j4pg1iA

“Today, we are so saturated with electronics that when we see an elegantly simple device like a zoetrope creating a breathtaking moving image—we think it’s magic—and that’s the point! Science and magic used to be one in the same, and the zoetrope embodies that forgotten past.” remarks Cookson.

If the Kickstarter crowd funding is successful, the internet, which has disseminated so many digital GIFs, will have helped revitalized the original GIF—the zoetrope. More information is available at www.ZOEFLIX.com

How Partnering With A Nonprofit Can Boost Your Crowdfunding Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

John Lee Dumas is one of the most successful podcasters on iTunes. Last year, when he decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for his “Freedom Journal,” he partnered with Pencils of Promise. He raised $453,000 on Kickstarter and donated $75,000 to the nonprofit. Now he’s at it again.

Dumas boasts over 1 million listens to his “Entrepreneur on Fire” podcast every month. You wouldn’t think he “needs” to partner with Pencils of Promise in order to be successful with his campaign. Dumas is a savvy entrepreneur. He’s clearly figured that this is an important part of the strategy.

His last campaign for the “Freedom Journal” raised enough to build three schools in Ghana, Guatemala or Laos, the three countries where the nonprofit operates. For his current campaign launched this morning for his “Mastery Journal,” he hopes to raise $100,000, enough for Pencils of Promise to build four schools.

John Lee Dumas, courtesy of Entrepreneur On Fire

Dumas has not only been successful as a podcaster, talking with successful entrepreneurs seven days a week (here’s his 2014 interview with me), he’s become a business coach for podcasters. He reports his revenue and profit publicly each month. Last year, he reported revenue of $2.6 million and net profit (presumably pre-tax) of $1.7 million.

He says, “My goal with EOFire is to inspire entrepreneurs to succeed, emulate success and avoid mistakes.”

The Mastery Journal is a manual for accomplishing big goals, Dumas explains. In it, he teaches entrepreneurs how to deal with their three biggest problems: lack of productivity, discipline and focus. The book includes a daily guide to building those three powerful skills.

Dumas, who served in the military, says he learned discipline there. But he recognized that he lacked focus and productivity. His business took off once he mastered those skills.

He says the biggest challenge people face is the constant barrage of what he calls “OPA” or “other people’s agenda.” One of the tricks he uses to overcome OPA is to block out 42-minute stretches of time for focused activity with absolutely no distractions allowed.

Dumas acknowledges that some people can’t use the system. For those in 9-to-5 jobs with little autonomy, the Mastery Journal won’t help much–unless they are willing to use the tool for their free time outside of work in an effort to break away from the 9-to-5. He says, “Some people are just in reactionary mode and can’t use the book unless they are ready to leave that behind.”

He believes that the Mastery Journal will help people accomplish their objectives. “A lot of people have amazing voices to share with the world, but they don’t because they don’t give themselves permission to do it. This gives people the structure to be productive and share their message with the world.”

So far on the first day, as of January 23, 2017 at 4:00 Eastern, Dumas’s Kickstarter campaign for The Mastery Journal has raised $29,009, topping the initial goal of $25,000. The campaign ends on February 24, 2017 at 10:59 PM Eastern. In order to reach his goal to donate $100,000 to Pencils of Promise, he’ll need to raise another $571,000.

Dumas clearly believes the partnership with Pencils of Promise is a win for everyone. Not only does it provide needed cash for the organization to deliver on its mission to educate underserved communities, it makes the crowdfunding campaign more appealing to backers. They get both the value of the book but also the honest sense of helping to build a school for deserving children in the developing world.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at noon Eastern, Dumas will join me here for a live discussion about The Mastery Journal, his crowdfunding campaign and the strategic partnership with Pencils of Promise. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Guy Was Forced To Stand Out; See How It Could Be Key To His Success

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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

Ricardo Jose Bueso has a brother named Ricardo Juan Bueso. Really. His parents did that. To some, they are known as the two Ricardos.

Perhaps it was this unusual situation that inspired Bueso to look for ways to stand out and apart, to chart a unique course. He’s traveled the world, studying business administration in Texas, completing a degree as “Chef de Cuisine” in Guatemala, teaching English in Yemen, and then studying in both Miami, Florida and Shanghai.

Two years ago, Bueso and his brother Ricardo Juan, assembled a team and began developing a unique concept in social entrepreneurship. Their model is to sell responsibly-sourced, crafted products like soaps and candles via the web (nothing unique so far–wait for it) and let consumers set the price and then give the profits above a cost threshold to charity.

John Chung, an advisor to the startup called THX, says,THX is offering a unique product. It offers the opportunity for the consumer to donate part or all of the margin that would normally go to the retailer. The beneficiaries are the nonprofits and the consumers. THX can potentially make a big impact as each purchase gives the consumer the opportunity to direct the largest part of the cost of any product to a cause.”

Bueso explains the model this way. “The pricing structure for our products works differently than typical gross margin percentages. We purposely price our products excluding traditional markups and allow the customer to donate the margin matching the traditional retail value, or whatever amount they want.”

More simply, he says, THX sets a base price that is equivalent to a wholesale price. The consumer sets a price above that and the difference goes to charity. The markup THX charges to cover its costs and profits varies from 30 to 50 percent of the landed price.

The philosophy, he says, is not focused on profit. “Our company is driven by the idea that the brand and e-commerce platform is not a business seeking to maximize shareholder value in the form of profits, but rather a self-sustaining and practical giving mechanism.”

The inspiration for THX came from seeing the wide array of nonprofits serving South Florida and feeling a desire to help them all, especially the smaller ones that struggle for funding, Bueso says. “In our city of Miami alone, we have animal shelters, children’s hospitals, at-risk youth programs, as well as services for veterans, victims of human trafficking and the sad reality of homelessness.”

Bueso recognized that corporate social responsibility and cause marketing initiatives by larger companies often partnered with larger nonprofits, so he was looking for a way to sustainably help smaller ones.

He boasts, “Thx is the first brand to let shoppers transparently customize their impact by donating any amount to any registered nonprofit in America.”

“We have created collections of responsibly sourced, quality products that customers use every day like fragrances, soaps, candles, coffee, teas, etc., he says. “Through our platform, the customer can easily access our products and customize their impact by selecting the cause they care about the most.”

Charles Lee, the Founder and CEO of Ideation, has advised Bueso on business strategy and brand marketing. He says, “THX has strong value propositions for consumers, non-profits, and corporations that make it a win-win for everyone involved. In addition, as the company continues to grow as a new kind of social enterprise, its social impact will exponentially increase.”

Ricardo Jose and Ricardo Juan Bueso, courtesy of THX

Bueso understands, perhaps better than anyone, the need to stand out. He grew up as one of three Ricardos in the family–he and his brother were named after their father.

“One of our greatest challenges is being able to get our customers to fully understand the process of shopping on our marketplace,” he says. “More than ever we have to get the visitor’s attention fast and ensure their full understanding of our three-step model.”

Bueso acknowledges that there are some limitations to the model. THX can bring attention and money to small nonprofits, but, he notes, “we are not a nonprofit accountability platform.”

Chung offered some counsel for the new company to achieve success. “Like other internet dependent ideas, the critical challenge is getting the message out and for the message to stick. Operationally, THX has to offer a desired set of products (which is not easy), fulfill and deliver them smoothly.”

Lee suggests two keys will be critical to their success. “First, open collaboration with varied industries that help to shape a new paradigm for consumption and gifting, and second, unwavering commitment to stay focused on their social mission as the core ‘why’ behind their business.”

Bueso exhibits the optimism that seems to be an inherent feature among successful entrepreneurs. “Our success will undoubtedly impact the world for good. We’re on a mission to help every cause, in every city in America.”

He sees the customers as playing a key role in the new economy. “We love social enterprise and the impact that conscious consumerism is having today and we hope that our model will inspire a generation of companies to follow suit.”

Bueso is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help accelerate adoption by more socially conscious consumers.

“We seek to be the first product brand that generates significant funds with a minimal amount of units sold. We believe this is possible because of how much we empower our consumers to support the cause that’s closest to their heart,” he concludes.

On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 2:00 Eastern, Bueso will join me here for a live discussion about THX and its plans. Tune in here (at the top of this article) then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!

CPA, Mom Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Book

Press Release – A CPA, Certified Financial Planner and mother of two says the time is now to plan for ‘later.” Jody Giles, launched a Kickstarter campaign January 4 to fund her new book, “Missing Pieces Plan.” The book addresses the “softer issues” of traditional financial planning efforts that are often overlooked. Giles offers ways for individuals to “leave a legacy, not a mess.”

“The Missing Pieces Plan was created to help people live a fulfilled live now and gain a peace of mind by planning for later,” Giles said. “Planning now is the best gift you can give your loved ones and the Missing Pieces Plan is here to help!”

More than 20 professionals in related fields have reviewed the Missing Pieces Plan, including financial advisors, elder care attorneys, hospice advocates, tax advisors, Estate Planning attorneys, life insurance agents, clergy and physicians. The book has received praise and enthusiasm for its potential to help people of all ages plan for what is to come and leave their families and loved ones better prepared.

The Kickstarter campaign will feature the book at early bird discount of $24, including free shipping to individuals in the United States, $10 for shipping to Canada, and $15 for international shipping. The campaign will also feature a Buy-1, Give-1 reward. For $54, supporters will receive a copy of the book for themselves and one to give – either to a loved one or to an organization of their choice. Bulk orders will also be discounted.

 

For more information on “The Missing Pieces Plan,” visit the website at www.missingpiecesplan.com. Giles also is available to share her expertise in this special area of financial planning as a source for interested media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/missingpiecesplan/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MissingPPlan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missingpiecesplan/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MPPlan/
Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1102373981/missing-pieces-plan

Support Christopher’s Haven and Escape with Chris Evans

AutoLotto wants to support Christopher’s Haven. They are raising money on omaze. Recently I caught up with Matt Clemenson 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?

Boston-based Christopher’s Haven is working with philanthropic platform Omaze on a campaign offering donors the chance to win an adventure with Captain America (Chris Evans) starting at just $10. The winning donor will be flown out to Boston with 3 guests to complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans.

Christopher’s Haven operates a supportive community consisting of nine temporary apartments and a community recreation area for families of children being treated for cancer in nearby Boston hospitals. Over 300 families to date have stayed in the fully-furnished and equipped apartments located across the street from Massachusetts General Hospital. The Loft is utilized to provide programming for children undergoing outpatient treatment, as well as their siblings and parents. Activities coordinated primarily by volunteers, include massage therapy, pet therapy, arts & crafts, movie nights, birthday and holiday parties, bell-ringing ceremonies, outings to sporting events and excursions to local attractions.

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

As much as possible!  The more we can assist childhood cancer patients and their families, the better.  The campaign ends on January 20, 2017.

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

Christopher’s Haven and, in doing so, childhood cancer patients and their families.

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

The winner (+3 friends) are flown out to Boston and put up in a 4-star hotel. They complete an Escape Room challenge with Chris Evans as Captain America plus a burgers and beer dinner.

Donors get various perks depending on the level of their donation. For example, donors who give $1,500 get an autographed copy of Captain America: Civil War DVD signed by Chris Evans. Donors who give $2,500 earned an outgoing voicemail message from Chris Evans.

Check out the campaign.

 

New Social Brand Lets You Shop And Give What You Want To Any Nonprofit in America

SOUTH FLORIDA (December 20, 2016): The Thx Co. (“Thanks”), a pioneer in a new era for social enterprise, has developed an innovative platform that allows consumers to buy responsibly sourced, high-end, everyday products at cost, far below traditional retail value. Customers can donate the savings or any amount they’d like, to any one of over 1.8 million charities in the U.S. through their new API from Guidestar. Championing a model of customizable impact, shoppers pick a cause and then choose to match the traditional retail value or give any amount they want.

Visit our Kickstarter page

On December 15th, with the launch of a new Kickstarter campaign, The Thx Co. is taking the final steps towards launching one of the most inclusive and widest reaching ‘social good’ brands ever.

Founded by the philanthropic brother duo, Ricardo Juan and Ricardo Jose Bueso, The Thx Co. is more than just a lifestyle brand with apparel, fragrances, soaps, candles, and other daily essentials. Thx makes giving accessible, revolutionizing the concept of ‘giving back’ and turning social enterprise on its head. “We price all of our products so you can pay less and give more”, said Ricardo Jose.

Many people are not aware that a lot of social good companies have significant markups over their actual cost of goods. Often these products are priced out of reach for the majority of people who may have an affinity for doing good with their purchasing dollar. The Thx Co. solves this problem with a model based on quality, affordability and customizable giving.

The Thx Co.’s online shopping experience is very simple:

  1. Choose a Cause
  2. Shop the Marketplace
  3. Give What You Want

As a B-Corporation, The Thx Co. creates products with ethical partners that are just as consciously-minded. For example, their naturally scented, wood wick, 100% soy wax candles provide jobs for young adults with developmental disabilities.

The Thx Co. also acts as a catalyst for smaller nonprofits looking to expand their reach and increase their fundraising potential. Making it easy for nonprofits to raise funds, Thx offers easy to share “Shop+Give” widgets and monthly subscriptions with recurring giving options. “Ultimately, we want to reframe how generosity looks,” said Ricardo Juan.

More information can be found here: www.thx.co

$30K-Plus Surge of Pledges In Final Hours of Crowdfunding Campaign Thrusts Veteran Awareness Recording Project Beyond Goal More Than 24 Hours Prior To Deadline

‘CARRY YOU ON,’ The Benefit ‘Album For Action’ To Bridge The Gap Between Veterans And Civilians Through Music, Is Fully Funded By Surpassing $66k Kickstarter Goal

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“Marcus Goldhaber’s passion for uniting veterans and civilians is vividly apparent. …  His soul and honesty shine through when he sings, and brought tears to my eyes.” — Kathy Kraeck, Vice President, Veterans Square Foundation, Creators of Veterans Square Monument, VeteransSquare.org.

Press Release – NEW YORK (Dec. 11, 2016) – More than $30,000 in crowdfunding pledges poured in yesterday to surpass the Kickstarter campaign goal a full day ahead of deadline and successfully fund CARRY YOU ON, the benefit “Album for Action” to help bridge the disconnect between civilians and military veterans through music from 2016 MAC Award nominee MARCUS GOLDHABER.

Yesterday’s tidal wave of crowdfunding pledges rolled toward midnight with over $67,000, to exceed the $66,000 Kickstarter goal with a full day left until the official deadline of midnight EST tonight (Sunday).

Now that it’s fullly funded, the project will help Goldhaber make sure the needs of veterans are constantly a part of the national conversation.

Goldhaber, the acclaimed NYC jazz singer-songwriter, has himself pledged a whopping 50% of all album sale proceeds to IAVA (Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America), which strives to build the “New Greatest Generation” as the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

With yesterrday’s incredible surge – half of the entire Kickstarter goal – Goldhaber’s faith in the public to complete this phase of his mission on behalf of America’s veterans has been handilly rewarded. The average pledge to back the campaign – officially declard by Kickstarter as a “Project We Love” – has jumped to over $400.

After four years of bringing his veterans awareness project to live stages in clubs, concert halls, arenas, festivals and other veteran-related events from New York to Philadelphia, Goldhaber will now be bringing his 10 new original songs to the recording studio. CARRY YOU ON will include “Come Home America,” the original Goldhaber anthem released on Veterans Day 2013.

The reaction Goldhaber has been receiving along the way became the impetus to write and record enough songs for a full album. All lyrics are inspired by conversations he’s had with civilians, active-duty service members, veterans and their families. They are the driving force behind his movement to #bridgethegap.

“I’m humbled that my friends, family and fans have rallied to crowd-fund the production and distribution of this album,” says Goldhaber, :“so this message can reach as many people as possible.”

Help Raise Money For “Torchbearer Collection” to Support the Hardworking Oysterman

The Torchbearers Collection is a tribute to the Gulf Coast oyster and the hard-working men and women who bring it from the ocean to our plates. They are raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Ashley Porter to learn more about the effort; here’s what she told me:

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

Our project has four main social objectives:

  1. To raise awareness about the plight facing Gulf Coast oyster fisheries
  2. To preserve the traditional craft of oyster tong making, a piece of maritime culture that is fading
  3. To provide direct economic support to craftsmen like Rodney, by sourcing materials from them
  4. To raise money for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper organization

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

We’ve set a goal of $25,000. This money will go to producing the first batch of jewelry, building our supply chain and establishing our brand and marketing materials.

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

The Torchbearers Collection aims to help traditional fisher people in Apalachicola, Florida.

The Apalachicola River Basin is among the most ecologically diverse natural systems in the Southeast — sustaining a staggering array of rare and endemic species and supporting a $7 billion seafood industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps nowhere along the Gulf Coast is the tradition of oystering so ingrained with the culture as in Apalachicola, a tiny fishing village perched on Florida’s Panhandle. The town has traditionally produced about 10 percent of the oysters consumed in the United States and 90 percent of those consumed in Florida.

Generations of oystermen have hauled their living from the bottom of the town’s namesake bay, using specialized tools called “tongs.” The task of making these tools has traditionally been the purview of craftsmen like Rodney Richards, who learned the trade from his father — a legendary tong-maker named “Corky.”

Rodney’s ancestral trade — and the way of life it supports — is in peril. Apalachicola’s oyster industry has all but collapsed over the last several years — brought to its knees by drought, the 2010 oil spill and a tri-state water war that is now before the Supreme Court.

Our project would provide direct support to Rodney, giving him a reason to continue plying his trade. It would also support the larger community by raising awareness and providing funding to the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, an organization with a long track record of conserving the Apalachicola River System.

Torchbearers Collection from Paprika Studios on Vimeo.

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

  • Level 1 $5
    Handwritten thank you letter on a vintage oyster tong postcard
  • Level 2 $25
    5 Postcards with antique oyster tong Image
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 3 $95
    Men’s long pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 4 $95
    Long labradorite pendant necklace (Retails $125)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 5 $150
    Horizontal pendant tong necklace (Retails $175)
    1 ticket to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 6 $250
    His and her necklace set (horizontal for her) (Retail $300)
    2 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
  • Level 7 $ 2,500.00
    Limited edition solid 14K gold tong pendant
    4 tickets to Dec. 15 product launch party in New Orleans
    (First person to pledge receives a two-night stay for two in French Quarter)

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter: @PorterLyonsLLC

Your Support to “Beyond the Backpack” Project Helps Animal Conservation and Saves Endangered Wildlife

“Beyond the Backpack” project produces tank tops from sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric and a part of the profits will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife. He is raising money on Kickstarter. Recently I caught up with Micah Teixeira 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?

Beyond the Backpack. It’s way of living. It’s the hope to inspire others to live well and do as much good as we can.Backing our project funds the production of our tank tops. Doing so also supports animal conservation, sustainable and ocean cleaning fabric, ethical supply chains and transparent giving.

We need to be more than just tourists. More than just travellers. We need to go Beyond the Backpack.

50% of the profits from every sale will be donated to animal conservation and the fight to save endangered wildlife.

This innovative material is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic. rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) uses less water and energy, its carbon footprint is smaller than most fabrics. It cleans up our earth and oceans. Reducing the risks of hurting animals. And it’s insanely soft!

When you purchase an item, you’ll actually be given the option of where you want the donation to go towards. Fully transparent and track-able giving. So you see that your money goes to where it’s needed most.

Animals and humans alike should never have to face exploitation. Production takes place in the USA, an ethical factory where workers are treated with respect, and paid properly for their work. Human and animal cruelty free.

Beyond the Backpack is meant to be a full process of giving back. We hope we’ve achieved that goal!

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

Our goal is $10,000 although we’re really hoping to far surpass that. The funds will be used for the initial order of tank tops. However the special fabric is very expensive, and is being made specially for our order. On top of this it is being produced in the USA, so labour costs are much higher than what it would be overseas. Our actual startup costs are $30,000 and we’ll need to secure funding on top of our Kickstarter campaign as well. This doesn’t include any of the money I’ve already put in from my pocket which included product development, video shoot, etc.

50% of the profits for all the sales will be donated towards an animal conservation charity. We’re affiliated with 3 and the buyer will choose where they want the donation to go.

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

We’re trying to help everyone in a full circle of giving! 50% of the profits will be directed towards animal conservation organizations. This will help not only the animals (which is the main goal), but also the amazing people which work and volunteer their lives there.

The other main group we hope to benefit is the people who are making our clothing. Right now it is being made in the USA, where are able to see fair and ethical sourcing. However we are planning on shifting the production to Guatemala. It would be with the same company, who have their main production centre there. The costs are essentially the same for us, however it checks another pillar which hoped to have right from the start. Being able to support developing cultures and nations and not exploiting them.

Lastly, the actual fabric which is made from recycled plastic bottles and ocean plastic provides work to the actual people who are collecting and cleaning the earth of the plastic. This not only has a significant impact on the earth and animals, but also us who ingest plastic in almost all the food we eat.

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

The rewards are the tank tops themselves! Super cool designs with out logo which we’re very proud of. Made of the innovative, super soft and amazing material which is derived from 100% recycled plastic!

For some of the bigger backers, we’re offering custom designs for them, as well as as trip with us to one of our animal conservation partners!

Check out the campaign:

Visit the website.
Follow on Facebook.

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