As part of On Purpose I’m working at JustGiving on Yimby, their new crowdfunding community. Crowdfunding in the US is a much more crowded marketplace but the UK has it’s fair share too. From rewards based creative sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, FundIt to social good and civic ones like Crowdfunder, Spacehive and Yimby, to equity based sites like Crowdcube and Seedrs. There are even niche platforms like StudentFunder. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list.
In 2012, crowdfunding portals helped small business owners and individuals raise about $2.7 billion. According to Massolution (which tracks the market) that figure was set to double in 2013. Was the recession and the government’s budget cuts the catalyst for this rapid growth, or was there a movement to create more good in the world? I hope it’s the latter.
There are now several banks and big brands even getting behind crowdfunding. Seeds.nl is a crowdfunding pilot launched last year by the Dutch bank ABN AMRO’s innovation platform, Dialogues Incubator. Seeds.nl invited interested parties to invest a minimum of 50 euros in five companies contributing positively to society – GreenGraffiti, Greenjoy, On The Ground Reporter, We Beat The Mountain and Yuno. The four-month pilot saw 3 companies out of 5 being successful.
Philips used Indiegogo last year to launch a competition where entrepreneurs battle for money for their product ideas. To be eligible for the $60,000 grand prize they had to reach a certain level of their funding goals.
In order to get a picture of the crowdfunding environment for 2014, Devin Thorpe in his Forbes article, spoke to some of the most prominent leaders in the crowdfunding world for causes and mission-driven businesses (in the US). Here’s my top 3 from the 10 he’s covered.
Rapid growth of crowdfunding will continue.
Amanda Barbara of Pubslush observes, “Crowdfunding overall is on the rise, driven in large part by entrepreneurial, artistic and philanthropic ideas. [My] prediction is that this growth will continue at least at the current rate, if not faster.” She goes on to say that Crowdfunding began its exponential rise around 2009. Google Trend data shows a correlating steady rise in social good beginning at the same time.
More people will make meaningful philanthropy part of their lives.
Robert Wolfe, CEO of CrowdRise, predicts, “More and more people will make meaningful philanthropy a part of their personal narratives on Facebook, in school, on CrowdRise and really in everything they do — not solely because the world is an increasingly selfless place, but because people recognize that giving back is cool and thirst for the experience of participating in something that’s fun and feels good.” He explains the driver, “Giving back isn’t just transactional anymore and it’s not just about making a donation. It’s about engaging, participating and being part of a movement.”
Crowdfunding will democratize philanthropy.
Lesley Mansford, CEO of Razoo, predicts that, “Amplified democratization of giving [will] make it easy for everyone to be an everyday philanthropist. Younger generations, especially millennials, are getting more involved with social good and philanthropy, and commonly prefer online giving through crowdfunding making technology critical to bringing generosity into the next era.“
It’s really interesting to see that banks are engaging in this marketplace to add crowdfunding into the mix alongside their core business. The financial crisis and capital requirements placed on banks made it much more difficult to offer funding to businesses and individuals. And the banks don’t want to lose out.
Danae Ringelmann Indiegogo’s co-founder feels brands are getting involved as “these campaigns let brands engage with their customers rather than just treating them as a transaction. The customers feel like they’re working alongside the brand to make something happen.” Or it’s a clever form of CSR to get the punters to help pay.
Crowdfunding isn’t just about the money as the 3 points above highlight. It’s about engaging, participating and perhaps most importantly being part of a movement. Will the sites which foster this spirit the most succeed…..we shall have to wait and see.
Crowdfunding empowers individuals to do social good in their communities and could help ease the pressure on government and councils to fix things. So perhaps one day our taxes could reduce and reliance on local government – a utopian ideal. Power to the people!
My gorgeous friend Leanne kindly sent me this community, knowing how much I’d love love love it!
They’re a ‘community of 20,000+ people celebrating kindness & wisdom in modern life.’ They explore a variety of ideas from compassion to creativity, mindfulness to business and the arts. Mouth of word has spread through their free kindness cards. Their founder Jono did his first kindness event in 2009 as a test to see if anyone would come. He was expecting a few but 400 turned up! They now put on workshops, special evenings, films and have a flagship business conference hoping to inspire kind and wise living.
What a bloody good idea, shame they’re based in Australia.
Why Kindness & Wisdom?
As Jono their founder would say the Dalai Lama gave us a hint when he said, “kindness is my religion”. Science and wisdom traditions point to mindfulness and kindness as key qualities for living with purpose, meaning & fulfilment – oh yes.
What events in the UK do you go to?
‘This performance was part of “The People Speak, Live!” with Matt Damon and Lupe Fiasco at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People’s History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.’
The Prince’s Trust have just released some alarming new research ‘Abandoned Ambitions’, supported by HSBC, which shows that 1 in 3 young people leaving school with poor grades believe they will “end up on benefits” and 1 in 5 young people claim they have “abandoned their ambitions” due to their poor qualifications.
They’re twice as likely as their peers to say that they “struggled to concentrate on schoolwork due to family problems” and that their “homelife was so stressful that they struggled to focus” . They are also significantly less likely to have had access to a computer, the internet or a quiet place to do their schoolwork at home.
Martina Milburn CBE, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, believes it’s more important than ever to invest in ‘vocational support and training for young people who are not academically successful’ and that government, employers and charities ‘must work together to get them into jobs’. Without this, thousands will struggle to compete, leaving them hopeless and jobless which causes a huge impact on the economy.
I’m doing a mentoring programme with Timebank at the moment and during our training session we met the Major of Tower Hamlets (who was about 16 as he was a young ambassador). Having a quiet place to do schoolwork or study was something that cropped up then too. Also the glaring disparity of the wealth in Canary Wharf versus some of the poorest areas in Tower Hamlets.
It made me think, why don’t corporate companies open up parts of their offices to school children struggling, in the evenings or weekends to do their school work or study. Surely this is paramount in PREVENTING the issue in the first place, rather than trying to help people to find jobs and build confidence AFTER they’ve got low grades.
A lot of effort has to go into un-doing damage to self confidence so why not help make things more accessible before it gets to that stage. Corporate partners surely have a role to play in society and giving something back. Are there programmes focusing on opening up their offices to these kids to study?
I’ve just been invited to my first blogger meet up by Action Aid. For old hands to this sort of thing it’s no big deal but I’m pretty excited. If you have a blog and fancy coming you can register here.
They want us to come together to meet with fellow bloggers and tweeters to ‘discuss the importance of food, both in the world’s richest nations, where we can enjoy it in abundance, and in poorer countries, where finding each meal is the centre of existence for many’.
There are some great speakers on subjects as varied as how to cook food brilliantly, to what it’s like to live in a country where millions don’t have enough of it.
When: 4 June 2013
Where: The Crown Tavern, 43 Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0EG
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm
Who are the speakers?
Fay Ripley – a British actress of Cold Feet fame will be talking about her passion for food, as well as her experience of visiting Tanzania – where millions of people go hungry every year – and where she also sponsors a child.
Joy Mghoi Mwakisambi – a young campaigner who is visiting from Kenya will speak about the major issues affecting the poorest people in her country, and how we can all add our voices to the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, which is calling for G8 leaders to tackle the broken food system.
Rachel Beer – founder of the popular #NFPTweetup. An expert in putting on engaging events linking good causes with sympathetic online communities, she will look at the mutually beneficial relationship emerging between charities and bloggers.
What a great line up! Looking forward to meeting some like minded people and discussions about something which unites us all.
Live Below The Line is an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign which urges people to experience what it’s like to live on £1 per day for food, for 5 days.
I’m not even sure how I could live on that and I’m dreading trying but I think it would be a pretty intense challenge. So from w/c 3rd June I’m going to try to live of £1 (for food) for 5 days and see what happens. I’ll tweet my thoughts using #belowtheline anyone want to join me for support!?
José Alberto Mujica Cordano was elected the Uruguayan president in 2010. He’s not only a vegetarian but he’s a very kind man. He’s known as the ‘world’s poorest president’ quite an accolade, as he donates 90%, yes 90% of his salary to charity and small entrepreneurs. He takes home around £485 and donates £7,500.
He’s described as an ‘anti-politician’ and a man ‘who speaks the language of the people’, no surprise then that he created the Movement of Popular Participation and is a lefty. Some may think he’s an eccentric man but his actions make a lot of sense:
“This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself” the BBC reported.
The Uruguayan leader made a similar point when he addressed the Rio+20 summit in June this year “We’ve been talking all afternoon about sustainable development. To get the masses out of poverty. But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household than Germans? How much oxygen would we have left? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet” – hear hear
Some think he’s mad, I say he’s a hero and understands life. Surely this makes him the richest president.
In 2006 President Bush met Jason McElwain the 17-year-old with autism who played an extraordinary game of basketball (scoring 20 points in 4 minutes).
When I watched the footage of the game, something made me feel a bit uneasy. Jason clearly loved basketball but he had to sit and watch his peers. He clearly had the talent and passion, so why wasn’t he allowed to play before?
It’s the end of the film which is so touching though, when everyone gives Jason the recognition he no doubt deserved. In a more recent interview by CBS News from 2010 Jason said ‘it was the support and acceptance he felt that night that made him the man he is today’. And that the world would be a better place if it could be the way the gym was that night.
Here’s what Jason has been up to since.
The day started in 1998, by the World Kindness Movement, which now contains 18 member nations. Who’d have thought hey.
The purpose of World Kindness Day is to ‘look beyond ourselves, our country, culture, race and religion; and realise we are citizens of the world.’ For true progress to be made, surely we have to focus on this commonality. We begin to experience empathy for each other when we have things in common – so be kindaware!
Louise Burfitt-Dons heads up Kindness Day UK, which aims to promote the value of kindness in society and the amount of kind acts on this day. Their mission is to make everyone in the UK carry out an act of kindness on November 13th, what may you do?
She’s a very impressive women, check her out.