I'm sure that many of you in the social innovation community are hearing the buzz of the numerous crowdfunding sites that are emerging.
For those of you new to the crowdfunding trend (sometimes called crowd financing or crowd sourced capital), it's a simple concept that uses the power of social media and the internet to network and pool small monetary donations to support a cause that a community of people believe in.
The leader in this pack of start-ups appears to be Kickstarter, which describes itself as the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Small donations are pooled for artists and creatives using 'all or nothing funding', meaning that the donations only take effect if the project meets its fundraising goal. A recent article in GigaOm confirms that Kickstarter now raises $1 million per week in pledges.
The crowdfunding trend has hit the social innovation waters, with a few new sites now in play.
The newest entrant in social change crowdfunding is Start Some Good, based in Washington D.C. We appreciate the specific focus on social innovation, and the passion that founders Alex Budak and Tom Dawkins have for social impact. We also noticed the partnership with the good people at AshokaU, an organization with the mission to support universities and colleges that seek to be leaders in social entrepreneurship education.
Here's a taste of why Alex and Tom think you should check out Start Some Good (from their website):
"So why did we create StartSomeGood? We are taking everything we’ve learned about crowdfunding and applying it to the most important cause we know of: empowering people around the world to create social impact. We are confident that if you are looking to transform an idea for improving the world into a tangible venture for good, and that you want to retain full control over your venture, StartSomeGood is the best place for you."
Whether you are a for-profit or not-for profit company, you can use a crowdfunding platform like Start Some Good to fund your social vision. Social impact takes more than passion and inspiration. Social innovators now have the tools through crowdfunding to fuel their socially-focused businesses and organizations unlike any time in human history.
If you are an educator looking to realize your social vision, Start Some Good has a channel specifically dedicated to crowdfunding educational endeavors. We believe that learning is a critical component for social innovation and are excited to see how crowdsourcing will contribute to making a stronger social impact.