We are really proud of our crowdfunding initiative called FundChange. It took awhile to become a reality, but it was worth the wait, as we understand the opportunities it opens up for charities and other non-profits. February has been a big month for FundChange and our partners on the project, Telus. We went live the first week of February and held a product launch on February 16th. We incorporated a round of charities in the product launch (see the list here) to demonstrate how FundChange works and to show people how projects are funded and how crowds can get involved. This approach allowed us to demonstrate how change can be made one project at a time, as opposed to a single, mass-fundraising event. Crowdfunding is changing the future of fundraising.
One Project At A Time
Currently, FundChange is only available to Canadian-based charities. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that FundChange helps charities fund projects by breaking them down into parts, also referred to as “small do-able asks”. Just because projects are broken down into a more achievable scale doesn’t mean that other projects are on the wayside waiting in line. You can post multiple projects to FundChange at the same time in order to achieve your goals faster. Smaller projects simply means that fundraising targets are also smaller, and in most cases, allows the goals to be achieved faster.
By segmenting projects it allows you to better allocate resources and concentrate on where the money is going. In some cases, this drives organizations to successfully do more with less since they are focused in on the finer details of a number of campaigns rather than an overall project or target goal. This also makes it easier to let your crowd know exactly where their dollars go and that their money is making a difference. You’ll be able to build stronger relationships with your crowd, communicate with them more often and obtain a better understanding of what causes each individual is interested in so that you can tailor communications to them based on their previous actions.
Crowds Create Change Too
How do projects get funded? What if I/we don’t know that many people? It might be hard to imagine, but you have a bigger crowd than you might think. Your crowd is made up of the people that you know and may have met through events, past fundraising efforts or share a common interest online. To make your crowd even bigger, your crowd intersects with the crowds of many other organizations and people through the power of the Internet and social media tools.
This is where social media and crowdfunding come in. Fundchange gives you the ability to tap into a new crowd that you haven’t met before, or as I sometimes call it, “your crowd’s crowd”. The additional exposure to these people through your existing networks helps the word about your project travel faster and reach more people. This means that there’s more people aware of you and your project, which eventually leads to new sources of funding.
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Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees. With the recent economic recession, organizations and people have been strapped for cash. Spending levels haven’t returned to normal – for both companies and individuals; which means that there’s less money available for charities. People have a lot of ideas for raising money, but putting all of these ideas into action can be difficult. Planning fundraising events costs money, which can often take away from the total number of dollars that make their way to the project or cause. At Ideavibes, we’ve developed a solution to help charities raise money in an affordable way and expand the reach of every campaign.
Crowdfunding is an easy way to reach a lot of people and raise money. As our friend Linda Eagen from the ORCF said, a lot of small donations make a big difference. FundChange and crowdfunding focus on what we like to call “small do-able asks”. This means that larger projects are often broken down into smaller tasks with small fundraising goals. This makes it easier for people to choose specific projects they want to contribute to, and the projects can go ahead as they are funded, rather than waiting for a giant sum of money to be collected. Support for a project can be shown in two ways:
- Donate to of fund a project.
- Vote and comment.
Crowdfunding Changes Fundraising
I like the way Paul talks about how crowdfunding changes the way charities can look at fundraising. You don’t need to find big corporate donors and campaigns no longer have to be over the top. A project can be posted on Monday, closed on Friday and put in place the following week. Support is ramped up quickly, which means that you’ll want to talk up and promote the project before it’s posted on a crowdfunding platform in order to pique the interest of your crowd – and their crowd. This type of change is exciting, as projects take less time to come to life and there’s a real sense of camaraderie between the charity and their crowd.
FundChange is an initiative to make crowdfunding accessible to charities. FundChange is the place where great community projects and the crowd collide to fund change one project at a time. It’s about reshaping the face of fundraising for charities, keeping costs to a minimum and using the latest social media tools to engage the next generation of donors. It’s also about making things happen in real time where projects can be posted, promoted and funded in weeks, even days. Like micro-financing, crowd funding gives the power of change to individuals who feel traditional fundraising and big campaigns are not for them.
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Ideavibes has developed a crowdfunding app to make fundraising accessible and affordable for non-profits. Non-profits need to find new ways to interact with the crowd and make it easier for them to contribute to worthy causes. Crowdfunding makes it possible for non-profits to not only tap into their own crowd, but their crowd’s crowd, as built in sharing tools simplifies what it takes to spread the word about a particular cause of project. Here’s a look at how FundChange works and other note-worthy details about the project.
How does it work? Go to FundChange.com and sign up. To use the services offered by FundChange, you need to be part of a non-profit. In order to make crowdfunding more affordable for non-profits, a $50 registration fee per project is all that’s required. Next step: upload all of the information about your project. You can also include videos and photos along with your written information. That’s it, it’s that simple.
Once projects are posted, the people visiting the FundChange site will be able to search and browse for projects that they are interested in supporting.
Non-profits can spread the word about their project to their crowds through their website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other outlet. Communicate your fundraising goals to your crowd so that they know what you are trying to achieve. You’ll also want to let them know what you plan on doing with the money raised.
Telus and Other Details
There’s a lot of benefits offered to FundChange by having a corporate sponsor like Telus involved. One of the key benefits is that if you don’t reach your fundraising goal in 30 days, no sweat! If you are really struggling or your project is not getting funded, then Telus can kick in to offer a helping hand. Also, if you are a charter member, and you get your project funded within two weeks, Telus will match it. Non-profits have 30 days to reach their fundraising goal. We issue a cheque to you for the full amount (minus a 1% Visa fee) within 5 days of date you achieved your fundraising goal.
The people who fund the projects on FundChange get their own login so that they can see the results of their work, making it easier for non-profits to actually establish a relationship with their crowd. When people donate to your project, they get a charitable tax receipt right away – rather than having to wait or chase down the charity once tax season rolls around.
If you are part of a non-profit and you’re looking for more information about crowdfunding or the FundChange project, feel free to contact Paul (email@example.com).
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