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Archive | June, 2013

iSupportJamaica.com Launches New MicroFinance Crowdfunding Platform in Jamaica

26 Jun

Jamaica’s First Crowd-Funding Website will Support Micro Businesses

by Philip Bernard, General Manager, JN Small Business Loans Limited

JNSBL has unveiled the country’s first “crowd-funding” website, isupportjamaica.com, to hundreds of Jamaicans living overseas, who attended the 2013 Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held June 16 – 19 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, Jamaica.

I Support makes it easy for people around the world to support organisations and small businesses in Jamaica

I Support makes it easy for people around the world to support organisations and small businesses in Jamaica

The project is being implemented and managed through a strategic partnership between the company’s philanthropic arm, the JN Foundation, and JNSBL, says new JNSBL General Manager, Philip Bernard and will assist Jamaicans wanting to start a micro business to raise funds to do so.

Underscoring that JNSBL is a social enterprise which upholds the mutuality concept framing the Jamaica National brand, Mr. Bernard said the website emphasises the company’s “mandate to promote the development of the micro and small business sector, through access to financial services, and by extension, the Jamaican economy.”

“Our Jamaican landscape is lush with bright ideas that only require the necessary seed funding so that they can be explored and realised,” he said, pointing out that many micro entrepreneurs continue to find it difficult to access start-up funds from traditional institutions because of their perceived high risk.

“Therefore, as a social organisation, JNSBL has developed this approach to broaden access for all our micro entrepreneurs, because this is a critical sector of the economy that will indeed play a major role in shaping the future of Jamaica,” he said.

Read more…

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FunderHut.com Partners with Non-Profit Chicago to Promote Crowdfunding Campaigns

26 Jun

Chicagoland’s Nonprofit Chamber of Commerce Partners with FunderHut for community-crowdfunding platform

By Robert Hoskins

The FunderHut team is very excited to announce our new partnership with Chicago Non-Profit, Chicagoland’s Nonprofit Chamber of Commerce! FunderHut is a community-crowdfunding platform, and although we’re national, what better way to start than with our own Chicago community? We’re extremely excited to be working together to make a positive impact in the community.

FunderHut's team believes the community plays an essential role in our everyday lives. Whether it's your family, your neighborhood, your social clubs, or the worldwide community, these are the people and the environment that construct who we are, so why not make it better? Our motto is Finding Unity By Funding Community.

FunderHut’s team believes the community plays an essential role in our everyday lives. Whether it’s your family, your neighborhood, your social clubs, or the worldwide community, these are the people and the environment that construct who we are, so why not make it better? Our motto is Finding Unity By Funding Community.

From networking events to educational events to fundraising events, Chicago Non-Profit is the number one resource for Chicagoland’s non-profits, using their extensive knowledge and resources to help their members achieve their goals. As fundraising continues to be a primary concern for these organizations, the idea of crowdfunding only seemed natural, and FunderHut welcomed the opportunity to help Chicago’s non-profits raise money and build awareness, as well as the added benefit of an increased donor base. The vision and vast network of Chicago Non-Profit, with non-profit categories ranging from Arts Awareness to Community Works to Medical Research, helps create a partnership with a shared mission in mind, improving our community.

What’s our goal? To provide non-profits with the resources they need to launch an online fundraising campaign, while receiving full support from the collaboration between Chicago Non-Profit and FunderHut.

As an exclusive benefit to Chicago Non-Profit members, we’re also returning 20% of the contribution fees. What this means is that not only is it absolutely free to sign up and create your campaign, but 20% will be given back to member organizations that launch their campaign on FunderHut.

UrbanCloud.com Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding to Change The Way People View Networks, Information and Social Commerce

26 Jun

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign Currently Raising Funds to Build a New Type of Social Network Designed Specifically to Promote Social Commerce for Individuals and Businesses

By Robert Hoskins

Urban Cloud is an innovative social network that unites people on a platform designed to promote collaboration. The company claims that there is still no social media platform that provides a secure, enjoyable interface for social commerce – one that respects its users’ privacy, and discourages the buying and selling of social capital with fake profiles. Instead, why not focus on collaboration?

UrbanCould plans respects its users' privacy and discourage the buying and selling of social capital with fake profiles

UrbanCould plans respect its users’ privacy and discourage the buying and selling of social capital with fake profiles

The founders of UrbanCloud believe they can make a difference by creating a social network designed specifically to meet the needs of social commerce applications such as promoting  crowdfunding campaigns.

“We recognize the problems existing social networks face and we’re offering you the chance to fix them. We’re tired of seeing the same old user experience, the impact of fake profiles, annoying advertising and misleading, opaque privacy policies,” said Sharan Soni, UrbanCloud. “We have already signed several brands onto the platform who share our vision: Quintessentially Lifestyle & Creative, Aftershock London, Patrick Hellmann Collection, Citizen M, Royal Spades and Ava Mirabelle.”

Soni added, “We are crowdfunding this exceptionally well-designed and secure platform, dedicated to social commerce for individuals and businesses. With your collaboration and contribution(s) we will make this happen.”

The company is focused on developing five key areas of innovation:

  • Innovative Design – Urban Cloud is the world’s first social media platform that seamlessly unites social networking and marketing.
  • Native Advertising – Urban Cloud uses a proprietary algorithm called STAC (Space, Time, Active, Content) to blend advertising into a user’s social timeline.
  • Validation – Urban Cloud is able to weed out unverified and fake/spam user accounts, allowing for an enhanced social media experience for advertisers and users.
  • Positive Reinforcement – Urban Cloud features a unique reward system, through which a user can accumulate points for interacting with a business. These can be redeemed for rewards to build brand loyalty and recognise social influencers all at once.
  • Retailing – Each and every user can play a role in effortless and seamless retailing of virtual goods and services using Urban Cloud.

Only half of what Urban Cloud will do has been released. The rest is being given over to the people; their voices will influence what features are implemented next and how the cloud develops.

National Financial Educators Council Launches SavingsFund.com Crowdfunding Site to Help Kids Save for College

25 Jun

Now kids have a crowdfunding site where friends and family can donate money to fund their future college education

By Robert Hoskins

The National Financial Educators Council has pre-launched the first crowdfunding platform designed for long-term financial security and personal finance education. SavingsFund.com was developed to give families a way to raise funds for their child’s future with the help of their family and friends. It also provides resources to deliver a real world financial education to the children.

SavingsFund helps families secure their children’s future by providing an easy way for loved ones to give money towards a child’s long-term savings goals (college, investments, etc). SavingsFund is a secure way to receive money for birthdays, holidays, and accomplishments.

SavingsFund helps families secure their children’s future by providing an easy way for loved ones to give money towards a child’s long-term savings goals (college, investments, etc). SavingsFund is a secure way to receive money for birthdays, holidays, and accomplishments.

According to econsultancy.com, at the end of 2012 there were expected to be more than 530 crowdfunding platforms. Of those, only SavingsFund is focused on helping families save money for their children while helping them acquire financial literacy skill sets.

Leveraging the latest technology and trends in the space, SavingsFund offers a unique approach to families seeking to save for their child’s future. With college costs expected to be over $200k for a state school and $400k for a private school in 2032, SavingsFund developers contend many families could not afford this unless they start saving early.

“The SavingsFund platform provides families timely financial education resources. As their savings account grows, so will their knowledge on how to manage their funds,” states Jayne Black, Mrs. Wisconsin International 2013 and SavingsFund National Spokesperson.

The National Financial Educators Council has been well-recognized for its leadership position in the financial education space. They develop cutting edge material that is used by youth and parents alike. Leveraging the support of celebrities, sports stars, and the entertainment industry helps raise interest and improve program effectiveness to reach this demographic. SavingsFund.com brings timely financial literacy training to families nationwide.

Power Practical Launches Kickstarter.com Crowdfunding Campaign to Solve Slow Charging Problem for Android and iPhone SmartPhones

25 Jun

New Practical Meter, Special Charge-Only USB Cables will Maximize Charging Rates for iPhones and Android SmartPhones Commonly Experienced with PCs and Laptops

By Robert Hoskins

Power Practical, a Utah-based start-up, is hoping to shake things up in the USB charging world. Their new device is called the Practical Meter. It monitors charging rates and lets users know when their phone or other USB device is charging at a slow rate. To cover production costs, the company is launching the new product on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

New USB Meter Aimed at Solving Slow-Charging Phones Launches on Kickstarter.com

New USB Meter Aimed at Solving Slow-Charging Phones Launches on Kickstarter.com

Many smartphone users charge their phones on desktops or laptops, oftentimes at rates far slower than expected. In many cases, phones will take over four hours to reach a full charge. This is because USB doesn’t have a well-defined standard for charging above 2.5 watts. It varies from iPhone to Android and so on. To combat this problem, the Practical Meter comes with charge-only cables that maximize charging rates.

The product is now available through a 30-day Kickstarter campaign. Interested backers can receive a Practical Meter and custom charging cables for only $19 USD. People who depend on their phones can rest assured with the Practical Meter. It will immediately identify and solve slow charge times, solving a problem experienced by millions.

David Toledo, founder and engineer at Power Practical, said the new meter will bring attention to a charging problem that millions of people experience. “Many people charge their phones on PCs at work or home, and experience slow charge times,” Toledo said. “The Practical Meter will identify these slow charge times and help users fix them with our fast-charging cables.”

To learn more about the Practical Meter, check out the product’s Kickstarter campaign and watch the video. The product will be available until the campaign ends in July.

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Related Crowdfunding News:

SeedandSpark.com Strives to Reshape Film and Entertainment Business through Crowdfunding Campaigns

25 Jun

Seed&Spark Hosts First Innovators’  Summit at LA Film Fest with Film Independent and Cinedigm to Connect Filmmakers and Potential Crowdfunding Campaign Donors and Investors

By Robert Hoskins

Seed&Spark, one of the world’s first crowdfunding and digital distribution platforms made specifically for independent films, launched two initiatives to help shape the future of independent film by strengthening the ties between filmmakers and film audiences.

Seed&Spark is building a truly independent filmmaking community where filmmakers and audiences come together for crowd-funding, production, and streaming distribution

Seed&Spark is building a truly independent filmmaking community where filmmakers and audiences come together for crowd-funding, production, and streaming distribution

During this month’s LA Film Fest, Seed&Spark hosted the first Innovators’ Summit together with Film Independent and Cinedigm. The Innovators’ Summit is a gathering of people from the film community to leverage the collective intelligence of innovators in film production, technology, finance and distribution. CEO Emily Best led a group of 50 participants through a series of exercises that painted various possible scenarios. The purpose was to imagine what could happen and examine the factors and forces that should demand the film industry’s attention, investment and action.

Earlier this month, Seed&Spark launched a $30,000 crowd-funding campaign on its own platform to enhance the company’s offerings and site usability. The Seed&Spark crowd-funding campaign WishList records specific needs for production, marketing, festivals, travel, crew and professional services. Supporters can opt to contribute with cash or to loan goods and services that are part of the Seed&Spark campaign WishList.

“We believe that in order to compete in a world of increasing fragmentation, creators’ success will depend on their connection to and relationship with their audience,” says Emily Best, Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark. “This is also true for our success with Seed&Spark as a whole. Our platform was specifically built to engage and connect independent filmmakers and audiences. We launched the Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign to get feedback, support, and engagement from the very people we hope our improved platform will better serve.”

Best is touring film festivals around the world to educate filmmakers about the opportunities offered by crowd-funding and the advantage of an audience-centric approach to filmmaking – from pitch to premiere. Upcoming appearances include the Galway Film Fleadh, SXSW V2V Las Vegas and the Austin Film Festival.

To help Seed&Spark change the future of filmmaking, support the company’s crowd-funding campaign before June 29 by clicking here.

Seed&Spark is building a truly independent filmmaking community where filmmakers and audiences come together for crowd-funding, production, and streaming distribution. Every time an audience member supports the making of a moving picture project (funding, following, sharing) they earn “Sparks” which can be redeemed to watch movies on the streaming platform.

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How to Use Crowdfunding to Exceed Your Fundraising Goal in a Week: The Story of One Fund Boston

24 Jun

By Stephanie Kapera, Software Advice

In light of tragedy and disaster, crowdfunding can be a particularly successful fundraising strategy if a multichannel approach is taken. The One Fund Boston was formed in response to the Boston Marathon bombings. In just a matter of days, the organization raised more than $20 million, and stirred quite a media frenzy with their impressive figures.

Software Advice helps software buyers

Software Advice helps software buyers find the right software

Though disasters of any sort are always tragic, nonprofit organizations can raise considerable money for a cause by launching immediate campaigns as a response. In the case of The One Fund Boston, there was immediate support from donors wishing to help those impacted by the bombings.

The One Fund Boston’s use of Teespring and Pinterest drew mass attention quickly, and the subsequent dollars the organization was seeking. Teespring allowed several individuals to create custom t-shirts in honor of the tragedy. From there, clever use of thought leaders and social media tools flourished.

Based on The One Fund Boston’s success, here are five tips your nonprofit organization should keep in mind when trying to launch a response crowdfunding campaign:

  1. Act Quickly: The window to act is very small. It’s crucial to launch a response campaign as soon as possible following a “focusing event.” It’s important to also keep in mind that online donations after disaster drop within just one week. Acting quickly is pertinent for a successful campaign.
  2. Leverage Online Influencers: Leveraging those who already have an established footprint in the social media sphere is also very valuable. In this particular case, several of those involved in The One Fund Boston reached out to Joe Waters, a well-known figure in the nonprofit sector. Waters then gathered support through his Twitter and Pinterest accounts, both of which have significant followings.
  3. Use Multiple Channels: Using Pinterest and Twitter together led to a more widespread outreach in this case. In other cases, it’s important to also use Facebook, other social media sites like LinkedIn, and blogs. Using all the available tools during a response campaign can spread a message like wildfire. k
  4. Create a Hashtag: Hashtags are essentially bookmarks. By creating campaign-specific hashtags, not only does it brand the campaign, it can also lead to special partnerships like the case of #TeamAutism; Samsung and the Dan Marino Foundation established a partnership where Samsung agreed to donate $5 for every “#TeamAustin” tweet. In just three days, more than $100,000 was raised.
  5. Get Visual: Infographics and visual support are proven to stir more interest in a campaign. Most learning occurs visually, so using visual tools along with social media strategy can help improve the success rate of campaigns.

Collectively, these tools can help maximize the success of your crowdfunding campaign.

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As Seen on TV Launches White Label Crowdfunding Platform to Connect Inventors with Consumers

24 Jun

Soon customers can support new crowdfunding  products As Seen on TV in the areas of household, kitchen, outdoor, health &  beauty, fitness, clothing, electronics, toys, novelty, pets, DVDs, and food

By Robert Hoskins

As Seen On TV, Inc. (OTCQB: ASTV) announced that it will partner with white-label crowdfunding software provider Launcht, Inc. for a first of its kind platform that will let inventors connect with consumers who then vote to support products with their pocketbooks. Inventions that are successful through the As Seen on TV crowdfunding platform will be sold through various distribution channels, including the official online destination for As Seen On TV products — AsSeenOnTV.com — which reaches a global audience.

As Seen  on TV Crowdfunding Platform

As Seen on TV Crowdfunding Platform

The As Seen On TV crowdfunding platform will allow inventors to make their pitch to the world, and give consumers early access to innovative new products. Inventors will upload video, images, design specifications, and marketing strategies to convince consumers of their good ideas. Consumers review and comment on inventor ideas, and can become the first to own the best new products through pre-purchases on the As Seen On TV crowdfunding platform.

“We’re giving the public access into the early stages of the invention process that until now has only happened behind closed doors,” said Kevin Harrington, Chairman and Founder of As Seen On TV. “And for inventors, it’s a smarter way to find out if there’s a market for your product – you use crowdfunding pre-sales to gather feedback and determine worthiness.”

“This is a significant opportunity for our company and a terrific way to interact with consumers worldwide,” said Ronald C. Pruett, Jr., President and CEO of As Seen On TV. “We will use the feedback and consumer response to influence the product design and distribution channels we select. Of course, we’ll still search for inventions through our traditional methods, but our crowdfunding platform will allow everyone to participate in future As Seen On TV products.”

“We are honored to partner with As Seen On TV to power their new crowdfunding platform; this is a great use of our white label crowdfunding software,” remarked Freeman White, CEO of Launcht. “Our mission is to democratize access to the market, and it’s time to bring the selection and funding of great ideas out from behind closed doors.”

As Seen On TV, Inc. (OTCQB: ASTV) is the leading multichannel distributor of As Seen On TV products and serves up fun for engaged consumers worldwide. Customers can find 1,500 products from As Seen on TV in the areas of Household, Kitchen, Outdoor, Health & Beauty, Fitness, Clothing, Electronics, Toys, Novelty, Pets, DVDs, and Food. Celebrities and industry experts often endorse As Seen On TV products for their inventive nature and utility.

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fundingGenie.com Launches New Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Forgotten Hurricane Sandy Victims Still in Need of Financial Donations

24 Jun

New Fundraising Campaign to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims Who Are Still Recovering

By Robert Hoskins

FundingGenie started the Help Hurricane Sandy Victims Crowdfunding campaign to encourage everyone to help each other and for the community to recover fast.

Funding Genie

Funding Genie

The massive storm hit the north eastern coast of the United States on October 24, 2012, leaving at least 285 people dead. The cost of the damage is estimated at $68 billion dollars as data released this June recorded.

The shops participating will be providing discounts and special offers. This is to encourage everyone to help and donate for the recovery of businesses in New Jersey (NJ) and New York (NY).

Donors are entitled of these discounts and special rewards. By participating, donating, and buying, the whole city will end up being picked up from the disaster.

Every cent counts. It doesn’t matter how much you give but what matters is how many people will be helping.

Lilly Services plus business affected by the hurricane and the Business Supporting and Relief and Recovery Efforts joined forces to organize this event.

This aims to help businesses to rebuild. Everyone’s support, especially those who were distressed by Hurricane Sandy, is much needed.

The month-long fund raising event could have ended but people are still calling for you to help and participation. You can still show your love and support by donating through FundingGenie here. Any amount helps

This organization is helping communities affected by natural disasters and victims of injustice and violence like the shootings at Newtown, Connecticut. They encourage people to give a hand with the campaigns they launch.

A helping community is sure to recover fast. With the number of people showing love and support, nothing is even close to impossible. Giving can save thousands of lives and more in the years to come.

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Crowdvance.com Offers Crowdfunders 100% Free Crowdfunding Opportunity to Launch Fundraising Campaigns with Zero Service Fees

23 Jun

Crowdvance is poised to disrupt the entire online fundraising industry by serving as the for-profit fundraising platform that passes 100% of donations received to organizations for processing and that rewards donors for their donations

By Robert Hoskins

Crowdvance.com announced plans to drop the Crowdfunding service fee they deduct from donations to zero percent, down from 6.5%. By removing the company’s service fee, Crowdvance.com becomes the first for-profit online fundraising platform to be 100% free.  Most other crowdfunding and fundraising platforms continue to promote the same model: no cost to sign up, but the various platforms deduct 3-10% from donations as a service fee on top of universal credit card processing fees. Crowdvance now offers one of the the only online fundraising platforms on the planet that does not deduct an additional service fee on top of standard credit card fees.

Crowdvance.com Now the Only Fundraising Platform on the Planet to not Charge a Service Fee and to Reward Donors

Crowdvance.com Now the Only Fundraising Platform on the Planet to not Charge a Service Fee and to Reward Donors

“When we launched Crowdvance, we set out on a mission to help organizations run more engaging, effective, and efficient fundraisers,” said Dylan Fox, Crowdvance’s CEO.  “We got the engaging part down by rewarding donors with gifts from great national companies we partner with, but our fee was getting in the way of our company reaching all of our goals.”

Crowdvance announced this service fee reduction after completing a recent round of seed-stage financing. “After we closed our seed round, we were able to think longer term, and that’s when our team realized we wanted to go big and really change the game,” said Fox.

Crowdvance.com’s 100% free model is not the only unique aspect to its fundraising platform. The company strives to be more than just a passive middle-man like other fundraising websites. It does this by forming partnerships with national companies to arrange exclusive gifts for donors to choose from as a reward for their donation. Current partners include companies like Hulu and Fathead.

“We saw that donors were getting burned out with traditional and online fundraising campaigns,” said Zachary Herman, CMO of Crowdvance. “With traditional fundraisers, small organizations are wearing out donors by trying to sell them the same bland fundraising products every year. How many tubs of popcorn or t-shirts can someone buy? And with more organizations making the switch to online fundraising, donors are experiencing fatigue. We solve that problem by rewarding donors for their good behavior. Donors can save on things like concert tickets or pro-sports tickets, or even on jewelry, as a reward for contributing through Crowdvance to an organization they care about. Plus, now a donor can have their donation go where it is intended to go.”

As the only for-profit fundraising platform that passes on 100% of donations received for processing, Crowdvance is poised to disrupt the entire online fundraising industry.

“We can support a 0% service fee because of our innovative business model,” said Fox. “We’re focusing on the value we deliver to national companies as our main business, and passing the benefits back to the organizations that use our platform to raise funds, making it entirely free.”

Crowdvance has always had a values focus. It won first place in the international Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition in April, 2013 and now the company feels even stronger about its ability to focus on its values mission.

“Over the next few months, we’re going to open the Crowdvance platform to the masses, and are going to become the standard for fundraising. Our model just makes sense,” says Fox.

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