Hear Clay Shirky’s TED talk ‘How Social Media Can Make History’ then hear him speak at the #StartingGood Digital Summit!

Clay Shirky is one of the world’s leading thinkers on technology and social change! Do yourself a favor and hear his brilliant TED talk, and then be sure to catch him at the #StartingGood Digital Summit! The Summit is an online event, and Early Bird tickets are on sale now: http://www.starting.gd 

Libraries starting some good

This week Pew Research showed that 61% of people in the US have a library card.  How about you?  Do you have one?  And when was the last time you used it?  Each time you use your library card it is a bit like a making a crowd funding donation - you are breathing life into learning, listening and making a difference. Each page turned an investment for the future and inoculation against fear and ignorance.

The study showed young Americans have a healthy and positive relationship with their public library. Imagine if 61% of people in US donated through crowd funding platforms? 

I am working on a project exploring the future of libraries and one scenario that has been posited is that the library is dead.  The scene is set and it is 2030 here is what is a peek into the time tunnel:

After the meltdown of the internet of everything in 2022, governments all over the world decided that as a matter of national security information services were the responsibility of national governments.  As a consequence of that determination, library services fell under the definition of information services – this changed everything. 

Those skeptical of the idea that the library still had a vibrant and dynamic contribution to make to society and the economy were resistant to change. 

Libraries stopped being visible as specific entities with a clear role and purpose in communities around 2021. The early experiments of including cafes, technology hubs, ideas centres, business incubators were very successful – so successful in fact the library function fell further and further into the background. So what started off as a good idea, ended up being a nail in the coffin for libraries.

The skeptics of the past, now celebrated as all their predictions had come true:  the internet did crash, security breaches and high levels of surveillance discouraged users and borrowers, librarians on the whole didn’t make the transition from curators to co-developers of content.  The economic argument that information is power and an informed community powerful didn’t ever get traction.  Leaders in libraries were never able to get traction on their message or prosecute their argument to successive funders and donors depleted and the relevance of libraries followed in close succession. 

The internet of everything meant that when the state went 100% digital in 2024 there was no reason for libraries at all and by then the privatization in information, research and community services was complete. The word librarian is only used as a historical reference and has not appeared in labour laws or job descriptions since 2025 when the last librarian was retired.  The word library is considered an old fashioned way of describing a set of out of date practices or collection of ideas. You hear people saying: Oh that is so library!

Is this the future you envision for public libraries? Are there lessons from libraries that might be applied to crowd funding venture? Join in the conversation and  share your thoughts about what you think those lessons might be.

Here are a few Start Some Good projects that reached their tipping point involving books and libraries to inspire you!

Middle Way House

One Book at a Time

Kids of Phapang

@moirades

Can your blog or social media profile help end #Inequality?

 by Karina Brisby, Director of Blog Action Day

As the head of Blog Action Day I think it can, and I am very passionate about how we can use the many digital tools at our disposal to share our stories, learn from others and have taken actions that can influence the big issues of the day. 

Since 2007, Blog Action Day has empowered tens of thousands of bloggers from hundreds of countries, to focus on one important global theme on October 16. 

Our participants’ share, discuss and inspire action within their networks, on important global themes like Human Rights, Climate Change and Poverty by connecting their friends with inspiring campaigns and organisations who have in-depth knowledge of the relevant issues. 

Every year I am overwhelmed by the huge awareness and positive actions that the Blog Action Day community inspire around the world via their posts on October 16 as they encourage their networks to be the change they want to see in the world, on an individual, community and global level.

After looking back at past Blog Action Day posts, I noticed that there was a common thread running through our previous topics that riled the passions of our community like no other and was at the heart of many issues we have covered, Inequality.

Inequality is often the reason individuals and communities are denied their rights, don’t have an equal chance to thrive, or can’t access the resources they need to live safe, productive and healthy lives, and it is the obvious theme for Blog Action Day 2014.

Blog Action Day is very proud to be partnering with StartSomeGood.com, who have helped inspiring organsiations and campaigning groups raise money essential to overcoming inequality in their communities like The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Food Justice Truck and A Voice for People with Disabilities

Together, Blog Action Day and StartSomegood.com invite you to join us to discuss what Inequality means to you, by sharing your thoughts and ideas on October 16 as part of Blog Action Day, alongside a community of bloggers, campaigners and social media users around the world. 

Find out more about Blog Action Day, by visiting our website and registering your blog, and find out how you can use crowd funding to support your idea for positive social change through StartSomeGood.com. 

And put October 16, 2014 in your calendar as the day that you were a part of the global conversation that can lead to the eventual end to Inequality.

Bio: Karina Brisby is the Director of Blog Action Day, and has worked with leading International Development and Campaigning organisations around the world on Poverty, Conflict and Social Justice issues over the last 15 years.

www.blogactionday.org @blogactionday12   

Join our team: StartSomeGood Community Builder

Are you passionate about social change Do you love sharing a good story in person, on blogs and through social media? Are you excited about the potential of crowdfunding (and you’ve probably chipped in to a couple of friends projects already)? Are you drawn to help others and do you want to make a difference in the world on a huge scale?

If you answered yes to all these questions we might have the perfect opportunity for you.

StartSomeGood was founded to empower changemakers to launch and grow the innovative ventures we need to create new futures for our communities and the world. Our goal is to help create a world where anyone can be a changemaker and communities can determine their own destiny. We were founded by social entrepreneurs for social change projects and we’re passionate about creating the world’s leading social change crowdfunding website. 

We are looking for a passionate social change advocate to tell our story and the story of the people making great things happen on our platform, educating social entrepreneurs, non-profits and the media on the world-changing potential of crowdfunding for social good.

As a boot-strapped social startup this is a volunteer positon, for now. But we are growing rapidly and with your help this will change quickly! We are looking for a risk-taker, someone prepared to take a leap, just as we have, to pursue a dream, a mission and a huge opportunity. We are looking for someone to join our small but brilliant team and come on a journey to grow a world-shaking social enterprise.

We need someone to take charge of engaging with and growing our community, sharing expertise, resources and stories to help more changemakers succeed. We are looking for a public face of StartSomeGood, someone who can represent us within the larger social change and non-profit community to tell the story of StartSomeGood, our ventures and crowdfunding. 

We want someone who is as excited by the potential of StartSomeGood and as committed to realizing that potential as we are. We want someone able to offer a minimum of 12 hours per week, although we won’t be counting; you’ll be judged by your success!

Title: StartSomeGood Community Builder

Job Description:  The StartSomeGood Community Builder is an approximately half-time position for someone with their pulse on the world of social entrepreneurship and social change. You will ensure that StartSomeGood is known by those in our space and that we’re engaged in the conversations that matter to us. We want you to share what we’re learning about crowdfunding so that more changemakers succeed. 

Specific duties include:

  • Creating and curating content to be distributed on various social channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Pinterest, YouTube and G+;
  • Actively participating in and representing StartSomeGood in conversations and chats online, through Twitter (eg. #SocEntChat), blogs and online groups and forums;
  • Managing and supporting StartSomeGood partnerships with people and organisations who share our passions and represent us in their home city;
  • Managing our event program and keep the events page on StartSomeGood up-to-date;
  • Pitching stories and ideas to bloggers and media, sharing success stories and insights from StartSomeGood;
  • Writing blog posts and venture resources;
  • Creating partnerships with other social change organizations and networks; 
  • You will also be expected and encouraged to participate in all StartSomeGood brainstorming, planning and strategizing. We are very open in our decision-making and collaborative style. You will be considered a full thought-partner and co-owner of the enterprise.

We are a virtual team, with members in Washington DC, California, Texas and Australia. This position however needs to be based in North America, to work in those time-zones. The exact location however is flexible. As a virtual organization we make full use of a number of cloud-based collaboration tools and you will be expected to fully participate and share your information on these platforms.

Who you are:  

  • You’re entrepreneurial and self-motivated;
  • Passionate about social change and community-building;
  • Relentlessly positive and energized by human connection;
  • Experienced with social media;
  • Comfortable being part of a virtual team;
  • Self-driven, efficient with your time and highly communicative;
  • A great writer and storyteller;
  • Preferably you would also have some design skills, capable of whipping-up a quality presentation or banner.

We are StartSomeGood, the crowdfunding platform for social change. We enable and support anyone with an idea to create positive social impact to raise the funds and mobilize the community they need to bring their dreams to life. StartSomeGood was founded by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs, and we are dedicated to creating a world where anyone can be a changemaker.

We are looking for a motivated and talented intern to join our small and hard-working team as we grow this innovative and global social enterprise.

Ready to apply?  

Great! We’re looking for someone passionate about both social impact of StartSomeGood and the specific work involved in this position, with energy and enthusiasm for connecting with people and great ideas. To apply, please send the following to natasha@startsomegood.com  

  • a cover letter explaining why you’d be perfect for this position
  • your resume
  • a link to a piece of writing online that you’re proud of
  • links to your main public social profiles
  • a one-paragraph answer to the question: “Why do we need to create a world where everyone can be a changemaker?”

Applications close September 8 

Earlier this year StartSomeGood’s global team flew from all corners of the earth for our first ever staff retreat in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. For many of us, this was our first time meeting face-to-face after working as a virtual team for years. We articulated our visions and goals for the future of StartSomeGood of and outlined our plan to build a world where changemakers have the knowledge and resources they need to create positive impact! Meet the team and hear their visions for the future of StartSomeGood!

Combining Forces

According to Scott Pollack, writing in Forbes Magazine business development is all about figuring out how the interactions of those forces combine together to create opportunities for growth.  What kind of forces are combining together to create opportunities around you? Are they hidden in the sub-text of a novel, written in the clouds in the sky, lying around on the kitchen bench, in a line of music?  Where are you noticing opportunities? 

Sometimes the most obvious ones are staring us in the face and we can’t see the wood from the trees.  Imagine this …. 

2024 is the first year the National Clean Energy network has delivered a dividend to its shareholders.

The decision to create a non profit Energy Consortium was made at the 2016 Community Services Summit conference when a Church Alliance put up a proposal to form an energy co-op by building wind farms and providing low cost energy to all its clients.  

The story behind this venture goes back to WOMADelaide 2014. Rev. Mariah McDonald was holidaying in Adelaide and heard about a regional community setting up its own wind farm. At the time, Rev McDonald was chair of a major national church welfare agency and had been concerned and the number of clients coming to the organisation accessing no interest loans to cover their electricity bills.  Mariah had been charged with getting some new business development opportunities and to wean off government programs and she had gone to the music festival to get re-charged.

After her music filled week-end she returned to her agency on the east coast and commissioned a small piece of research to explore the potential of clean energy, community led projects and the potential for leadership in energy pricing of the not for profit sector.  It was a wicked problem - energy bills were sending families to the wall.  Consumption was going up and with the additional cost of water in the drier states something had to be done.

She commissioned the research from reserves in her agency (they had over $20million earning interest and she had convinced her Board to set aside $50,000 pa for innovation grants internal to their agency).

The early research was very encouraging and her Board was inspired and confident it could take a leadership role and make a real contribution to the energy market. The next step was to commission some more thinking and develop relationships to establish a consortium amongst not for profits. 

The project terms of reference included a set of non-negotiable features. The project had to:

- deliver cheaper power to the poor, especially those who were the clients of welfare services

- be not for profit and that meant not for loss

- be collaborative

- be big and bold

- have capacity to be sustainable

- have capacity to disrupt the energy market and deliver lower power prices for everyone

During this next stage, a further investment was sought and received from a benevolent foundation, a university and her own church and a crowd-funding campaign was launched to get an “ideas bank” set up to support the project.  One idea lead to another and the project had many fans, including a group of lawyers who agreed to work pro bono and deal with land management issues and any local jurisdiction issues. By the end if the first year there were over 500 volunteers working on the project in various ways and Mariah’s organisation was receiving plenty of attention of the energy companies.  The community support and there were lots of spin off crowd funded projects coming out of the Ideas Bank. It was phenomenal, new financial products including social investment and green bonds were developed by three financial institutions.

An early sign of its potential occurred when on the major national energy agencies offered to provide a discount to anyone who was a client of Mariah’s agency.  Instead they brokered a deal to have the yet to be built wind farms feed back into the energy agency’s grid on the east coast of Australia.  

There were a few set backs along the way and the original investment predicted was 15% more than had first been anticipated, however it was predicted that a return would not be made until 2028 so they were two years ahead of schedule on that front.  Mariah had convinced the board of PanPacific Ethical Investments to have some of their superannuation funds invested and the key union employing staff in the not for profit sector had helped considerably by providing a vehicle for their members to do a direct debit as a voluntary contribution to the scheme as well as the major salary packaging provider doing the same.

By 2020 Mariah was no longer chairman of the church agency, however was appointed as their representative to the consortium (that was now constituted as a cooperative).  She was thrilled to be at the 2024 AGM where a new project using solar power was being launched.  

Mariah was a very happy face in the audience when the Governor-General arrived to recognise the founding members of the consortium with Orders of Australia for their service the community.

@moirades

Do Good, Look Great! Our online store, few days remaining

Looking for the perfect gift for your fellow changemaker buddy? Want to stay warm and cozy while inspiring and helping others? Yearning for expert advice? Christmas in July? With a few days left, it’s not to late to pick up some great changemaker-themed gear, inspiring books or first-release tickets to our online event from our very own Changmaker’s Pop Up Shop

FOR THE BODY

Designed by the team here at StartSomeGood, we have a awesome line up of changemaker gear: from a cool range of t-shirts and hoodies to onesies for your little changemakers, that are all ethically sourced and manufactured. image image

FOR THE MIND

Looking for social good books? We’ve also teamed up with some great minds to be able to present a series of our favourite books, both in print and digitally, on social change and social enterprise. 

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Can’t pick which book to get? Grab the collection + a changemakers poster!

FOR MAKING CHANGE

Are you more hands on and urging for expert advice? Changemakers we have you covered! We’re giving our community the opportunity to access the presale for an exciting event that is happening in October this year. The #StartingGood Digital Summit will be a day-long online conference featuring leading thinkers who are using or studying how digital technology creates change, featuring some big names in the business.

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All funds raised will be reinvested into our platform to better serve the social enterprises, non-profits and community groups who use our site.

Check out our page and get your changemaker gear today!

DIGITAL DIG: STORY FROM THE FUTURE

Digital Dig

Media Release

EMBARGOED until 18 July 2025

TK soundbytes declared that this year’s Digital Dig would be held on St Helene’s Day 18th August.

St Helene is the patron saint of archeologists and each year TK choses a year and invites hacks loose to find out what were the key stories and messages of that year for the NFP sector.  This year TK have chosen 2015 as the year and there will be a 24 hour dig commencing at 12:01am on 18 August 2025 and will conclude at 11:59pm that same day (UTC will apply.)

“Hackers are invited to dig through a range of ancient social media such as Facebook, twitter, soundcloud, you tube, pinterest and instagram.  I’m not quite sure what to expect on these platforms as there were very few NFPS back in 2015 actually using them for anything more than promotion of events”  Ms Dot Komm Digital Dig’s Diva said today. 

Komm is encouraging diggers to dig deep and get dirty with email searches to see if there were signs of ideas germinating and to see if they can identify early adopters.  “I am asking diggers to do use a range of cross searching tools to see if links to accounts of individual leaders are possibly hidden in their personal and private on line activity that remained hidden or invisible from their employers.” 

“I am expecting a number of visual records from platforms like flikr to be uncovered and possibly some early crowd-sourcing innovations.  It is possible that there are some remnants of community engagement strategies that used digital platforms still retrievable from that time.”

The Great Crash of 2016, when the internet was off line for thirty-six hours, when viral terrorists struck NFPs lost a lot of data, however there were a good number still using hard copy backup.  Komm said: “I understand after that there were examples of student teams coming into NFPs and digitising records to avoid future losses.”

The Green Army established by the ASEAN group of countries in late 2014 was creatively used by a the environmental NFPs to develop digital data archives which preserved and set that sector up very well for online donations and linking volunteers to small and large scale revegetation projects. 

“I am not sure if any other part of the NFP sector adopted these ideas, so I am looking forward to finding that out.  I also understand the use of social media for mobilising and self-organising was quite powerful on short time limited campaigns. I am hoping that this year’s diggers will uncover other examples of where these tools and techniques were used to innovate service design and delivery too.”  

History tells us that self-organised groups got involved with a range of divestment strategies to address environmental and social challenges such as asylum seekers, climate change, mental health and domestic violence.  The innovations that lead to the power shifts in energy use from coal to renewables was heavily supported and led by the NFP sector through its workforce participation in the union movement and ethical banking strategy. 

Komm said: “The 2014 Annual Summit of NFPs made a resolution to divest all savings to ethical banks and this lever shifted the entire finance sector with community banks and credit unions becoming more powerful.  I am expecting the financial records diggers discover will put this story into a context that links individual board decision-making and will identify some of the unsung heroes of the last decade. “ 

Diggers aka crackers can register via the TK kiosk.  Please note that the kiosk will continue to recognise first generation wearable software in this year’s dig. Crackers will be adopting the name hackers for the duration of the dig to honour the period.

The Dig will generate a digital archive that will become part of the national fourth estate to be preserved for future generations.  The best find will be rewarded with a trip to 2026 SXSW Festival (in Austin, Texas, USA) and to have their find displayed in the central file of the Australian National Collection in Canberra.  TK will announce that best find on 1 November 2025 at noon UTC. 

For more information go to TK kiosk.

@MoiraDes

Want to help changemakers around the world dream big, raise funds and do good? We’re looking for a Crowdfunding Support team member!

We are StartSomeGood, the crowdfunding platform for social change. We enable and support anyone with an idea to create positive social impact to raise the funds and mobilize the community they need to bring their dreams to life. StartSomeGood was founded by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs, and we are dedicated to creating a world where anyone can be a changemaker.

We are looking for a motivated and talented intern to join our small and hard-working team as we grow this innovative and global social enterprise.

You are: eager to be involved with and learn more about the social change world. You are mission driven, a creative thinker, and have a keen eye for detail. You understand the importance of great customer service and are excited to make people’s days a bit brighter by providing excellent support. You are looking for a chance to grow professionally, learn a ton, and have a little fun in the process. Finally, you are professional, articulate, and able to work independently as part of a virtual team. Ideally, you will be located in one of the following regions: United States, SE Asia, Australia, or Western Europe. 

The Role: This is a chance for you to dive in and get directly involved with the global changemaker community. In your role, you will support individuals and organizations with customized guidance as they create powerful crowdfunding campaigns and build new futures for their communities. You will take ownership of your projects, and in doing so, you will manage relationships, brainstorm, advise and motivate the changemakers using StartSomeGood to ensure their experience is top-notch. You will give them the tools and advice they need to run a successful fundraising campaign, and you’ll be there to celebrate with them when they do. You may also have the opportunity to create content for the StartSomeGood blog, specifically regarding topics pertaining to venture support.

This position is a great opportunity to get excellent experience with crowdfunding and learn first hand what works best for social enterprises and non-profits alike. You will receive hands-on experience (no coffee-making errands here!) and experience the energy of a rapidly growing, virtual social enterprise startup. You’ll build great contacts with changemakers of all kinds and develop crucial communication and problem-solving skills that will last long after the internship has finished.

This unpaid, part time internship is designed to last a minimum of four months, with expectations of approximately 8 - 10 hours of work per week.  You can be based anywhere in the world so long as you have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection. You will be joining a virtual team with team-members in the United States, Australia, SE Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Responsibilities include:

  • Review and approve new ventures
  • Support new ventures to help them create and manage fantastic and successful campaigns;
  • Advise on specific aspects of a campaign, from videos to rewards;
  • Brainstorm and implement ways to make our venture support process even more efficient and effective;
  • Create content for the StartSomeGood blog;
  • Work on special research projects with other team members.

Requirements:

  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • Access to a computer and a reliable internet connection
  • The ability to work independently 
  • A passion for social entrepreneurship
  • Superb organizational skills and a demonstrated attention to detail
  • Empathy and strong interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in English
  • A hunger to change the world

How to apply

Send a cover letter stating your interest and suitability for the role and resume including references to patty@startsomegood.com

Start.Some.Good

Start.

To start anything requires initiative, and start is both a noun and a verb – a statement of fact and a doing word.  When we start something good or bad or indifferent, we are intentionally setting in motion a chain of events and just where those event lead will be dependent on a mixture of planning and improvising with what we find on the journey we have embarked upon.

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The more tools and skills we have in our backpack, the more likely you are to be equipped to maximise what you have started. This is a journey you make for yourself as well as on behalf of others.

Some.

Some is a non-specific word – it is open to be invested with meaning by it’s surrounds.  Some is often a prefix to other words like sometimes, something, somehow, somewhere … and as a prefix it is a promise of a future place, location or vision. 

Good.

And then there is good – and we often pair good with bad (and occasionally with ugly too!).  We know something is good because it is not bad. As a word it is endowed with morality, desire, approval, worthiness.   It is not value free.

You don’t need to be a crowd-funder to start some good – you can do it everyday as a change-maker.  Initiating steps forward to build a more just, creative and humane world is to always be starting some good – but don’t leave it to just starting, keep it going and see each day with the sunrise another invitation to start some good.

Goodness Bank

Make goodness your currency and add to your bank of goodness each day.  One deposit into the Goodness Bank isn’t enough.  See how the stocks of goodness rise with every deposit you make – not just for others but for yourself too.  There are plenty of stories about studies (like this one and this one) that show the health benefits of giving.  If you have time and/or money, knowledge and/or skills to share around you are actively and intentionally making micro-finance deposits of goodness and adding to the International Index of Goodness.  The more that is deposited, the more that can be redistributed to those who need it.

So next time you want to start some good … Start. Some. Good.

@MoiraDes