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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd Offers Crowdfunding for Public Health Efforts

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Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical behemoth, operates CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding site for global public health initiatives. The platform provides a way for nonprofits and others working in public health to seek funding for their projects.

Derek Fetzer, the Director of the program, notes that public health initiatives are chronically underfunded. “A considerable portion of the world does not have access to health care and many local organizations are ideally positioned to help. They possess unique knowledge of the communities they work with, thus understanding which interventions will truly make an impact on the lives of vulnerable populations. However, these organizations face a critical challenge: funding.”

Derek explains that the goal isn’t just to scale up what’s already working, but to drive innovation. “We developed CaringCrowd, a crowdfunding platform, to enable collaboration on global public health challenges, foster innovation, and support funding that can help get needed resources to people faster and more efficiently.”

The J&J team screens the projects to ensure that they align with corporate values. “All submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. CaringCrowd is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and does not charge a fee.”

As the effort is relatively new, the challenge they face is building the critical mass needed have the intended impact, Derek says. “The platform has recently launched and we are diligently building awareness of the platform. Towards this end, we are active on social media and get involved in events (e.g., we were present at the Global Citizen Festival in September 2016).”

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

Derek Fetzer, courtesy of CaringCrowd

This means that at least for the present, project funding will be relative modest, Derek adds. “For the immediate future, most projects will be of a smaller size, generally less than $30,000. As crowdfunding grows and consolidates, I would expect that larger scale projects take place. However, the impact of even small projects can be huge – a little can go so very far in many parts of the world!”

Derek has a grand vision for CaringCrowd. “Our mission is to provide a trusted platform for helping global public health projects get the funding they need. Imagine how we could positively affect the lives of so many neglected populations if we achieved the size of some of the other major crowdfunding platforms!”

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Derek will join me here for a live discussion about CaringCrowd’s efforts to improve public health through crowdfunding. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about CaringCrowd:

Twitter: @caringcrowd

CaringCrowd(R) is a crowdfunding site 100% dedicated to global public health. Individuals who want to support public health can browse projects that need funding and make a pledge to help. Any 501(c)(3) non-profit can submit a project and funding goal for consideration on the platform. Then, submitted projects are reviewed by a team of advisors to ensure they fall within our definition of public health. This platform was created by Johnson & Johnson as a driver for collaboration on global public health, and as a new way to bring funding to organizations tackling key public health challenges on the ground.

Derek’s bio:

Twitter: @derekfetzer

Co-founder and Team Leader of CARINGCROWD®. Originally an industrial engineer from Peru and from Purdue University, Derek has over 23 years of strategy, consulting, and business analytics experience across different industries, spanning the US, EU, and Latin America. For the last 10 years, Derek has worked in the area of infectious diseases, collaborating on key product launches in HIV/AIDS, HCV, and tuberculosis. His career interest is in improving access to healthcare around the world by empowering the “crowd.”

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Devin is a journalist, author and crowdfunding 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!


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