04/2 2014

Help us Crowdshape our Crowdfunding Bill of Rights!

We’ve all experienced it: an email from a friend or relative asking for a “donation” to a cause, issue or pet project… And mostly likely, we’ve all had the experience of wondering: “what am I really giving to and what do I get?”20140307_122850

This March, Miriam Kagan and I made the rounds at industry conferences (SXSW and NTC) talking about the explosion in crowdfunding ($300 billion according to industry statistics), and how both donors and industry are scrambling to sort through the confusion and clutter to determine worthy causes, worthy platforms, and validate solicitations.

Go here to edit the Bill of Rights: http://crowdfundingbor.wikispaces.com/

One of the outcomes of our talks has been to work on a crowdfunding bill of rights for donors: a set of standard expectations that legitimate crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaigns should adhere to in order to ensure a well-managed, transparent, and effective experience. *

We are going to focus our discussion mainly on the nonprofit side of things: so donors are giving to causes (not someone’s invention) and in theory, giving to one of the million plus legitimate charities.

Why is a bill of rights important and how does it not only benefit the donor, but the nonprofit too? The most successful relationships between NGOs and their constituents are based on transparency and trust. Donors and their networks are demanding increasing insight and oversight into how their dollars are spent and feedback around project impact (regardless of giving channel).  Nonprofits that agree to a clear set of expectations, and whether via their own or another platform make sure to adhere to these, will create the kind of trust and feedback loops that are more likely to contribute to long-term engagement and relationships with their donors and funders. This provides a better way for the nonprofits themselves to understand what donors are expecting and how to evaluate potential crowdfunding partners and platforms.

Go here to edit the Bill of Rights: http://crowdfundingbor.wikispaces.com/

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03/26 2014

Amplify Austin – The Results Show

Amplify Austin’s encore performance was a hit. Look at what we achieved together in 24 hours:

  • $5.7 million raised for 496 local nonprofits who transform lives in our community with your help.
  • Over 34,000 gifts were made online by nearly 20,000 donors to causes Central Texans care about.
  • More than 800 people raised over $442,000 for their favorite Central Texas nonprofits through their Amplify Austin fundraising pages!
  • 41 companies were “Business Fundraisers,” with employees giving$297,000 back to the community where they live and work.

The success of the second annual Amplify Austin Day is proof that “giving local” is alive and well, demonstrating our community’s generous spirit. Thank you! Who did you give to? Sound off in the comments.

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02/11 2013

Crowdfunding your next nonprofit project or social enterprise startup

Fact or fiction. Crowdfunding is a viable source for funding your next nonprofit or social enterprise startup. As with most things, crowdfunding is not all the media makes it out to be. Check out the presentation I did below for more information on crowdfunding in 2013.