Nonprofit group raises $153,000 through crowdfunding and breaks our record for biggest campaign of all time!

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An Australian non-profit, working with refugees and asylum seekers, has successfully raised over $153,000 (AUD) through crowdfunding to break the StartSomeGood.com record as biggest campaign of all time and surpassing their overall goal of $150,000. 

The Asylum Seeker Resources Centre (ASRC) will soon hit the road with their Food Justice Truck, a mobile food truck selling fruits and vegetables to the public at market prices in order to subsidise the cost for asylum seekers and allow them to access fresh, healthy food. 

With great campaign rewards, including a private dinner party with international music star Gotye, and a killer social media strategy, the ambitious goal of $150,000 never seemed too far-fetched. In fact, $85,000 of that was raised in the first two weeks alone. 

The StartSomeGood record previously belonged to The Do Good Bus who raised $101,000 (USD) for an altruistic road trip across the United States, promoting volunteerism and who partnered with Foster the People to provide unique experiences and rewards (So it seems that a moving vehicle and the backing of an international music act are a recipe for success!)  

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s campaign is also part of a growing movement of social impact organisations in Australia responding to funding cuts by turning to crowdfunding.  

 “Instead of just getting frustrated at government action or inaction crowdfunding allows non-profits and social entrepreneurs to raise funds directly from their community in order to take practical steps which can make a huge difference, just as the Food Justice Truck will in the life of asylum seekers in Melbourne,” says StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins.

Inspired? Get started on your social good crowdfunding campaign now. 

If you want to learn how to run a kick-ass crowdfunding campaign, sign up to our Crowdfunding 101 email course in the bottom right hand corner of our homepage. Remember, you don’t have to be a large non-profit like the ASRC to raise funds on StartSomeGood. We also support social enterprise, community groups, individuals and other social good projects.

You won’t believe what this social entrepreneur is doing to crowdfund $24,000 in 24 hours


When Jamie Green decided to make a stand to support youth sleeping rough, he wasn’t kidding. Today the audacious young social entrepreneur will spend 24 hours standing inside a glass box, in the centre of Melbourne’s CBD, all with the aim of crowdfunding $24,000 in 24 hours to launch a sleepwear social enterprise.

After a brief experience of sleeping rough in 2010, Jamie became determined to help other young people in need and developed the One Night Stand Sleepwear collection, which will provide meals and employment opportunities for homeless youth. “We’ve all been working incredibly hard and now we’re ready to Make A Stand,” says Green.

With years of hard work put into developing One Night Stand and a crowdfunding campaign months in the making, a lot rests on Jamie’s feet over the next 24 hours (beginning April 11th 6am Australian EST.)

Find out more and follow Jamie’s 24 hour Make a Stand campaign at:
http://www.startsomegood.com/onenightstand

#SocEntHangout: Education & Social Innovation

Question for the panel? Tweet on the #SocEntHangout hashtag or ask in the comments section below!

How can educational institutions facilitate social change? 

Across the world, forward thinking educational institutions are taking steps to find out. Join us for this month’s #SocEntHangout where StartSomeGood and a panel of exports will explore how traditional scholarship is being reframed to support social change, the groundbreaking new initiatives that are driving this change, action-oriented best practices and how you can get involved. 

Our expert panel includes Erin Krampetz (Cofounder & Community Director of Ashoka U), Kate Harris (CEO of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership) and Jason Quin (Social Enterprise Hub Manager, Desert People’s Centre

You’ll also have the opportunity to ask the panel your questions so be sure to register now!

WHEN: Monday 7th April 7pm United States Eastern Time/4pm United States Pacific Time

Monday/Tuesday 7th-8th April Midnight British Standard Time

Tuesday 8th April 9am Australian Eastern Daylight Time

Register now! 

THE PANEL: 

Erin Krampetz - Cofounder & Community Director at Ashoka U

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As Community Director, Erin fosters the strategic development and growth of the Ashoka U community of practice with the goal of supporting colleges and universities everywhere to become hubs of social innovation. Before coming to Ashoka in 2008 to help launch Ashoka U, Erin served as Program Director for Escuela Nueva International, a partner of Ashoka Fellow Vicky Colbert, coordinating collaborative partnerships for the global expansion of Escuela Nueva. Prior to Escuela Nueva, Erin evaluated program effectiveness for MobileMetrix, a community-based data collection company in Brazil, and as an Eben Tisdale Fellow, contributed to Hewlett Packard’s Global Citizenship Program. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Erin participated as a contributing author and researcher for the Stanford Study of Writing, a five-year longitudinal study of college writers. Erin holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University.

Jeremy Mah - Head of Learning for Sustainability, Centre for Sustainability Leadership

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The Centre for Sustainability Leadership believe our world needs leaders and change makers who have the commitment, courage and skills to drive positive, transformative change. They enable leaders (individuals and organisations) and equip them with the skills and insights they need to create the future they want – the future we all need. Since 2004, CSL have been running a series of award-winning training programs, designed to give passionate individuals the agency and ability to create the change they envisage.

Jason Quin - Social Enterprise Hub Manager, Desert People’s Centre

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Based in Alice Springs, Jason Quin works with passionate people and innovative organisations to achieve social impact through entrepreneurship. Most recently he has helped setup the desert hub, a social enterprise hub run by the Centre for Appropriate Technology for the Desert Peoples Centre. The desert hub has provided a focal point for the growth of the social enterprise sector, delivered direct business development support and a calendar of events and workshops. Before this, Jason was part of the foundation team establishing the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, in Adelaide, and UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the UK’s leading supporter of social entrepreneurship.

Jason is passionate about life in the desert; drawing on the rich heritage of “bush ingenuity” and the thrivingcommunity at the heart of Australia. Jason is the Treasurer/Public Officer of the Arid Lands Environment Centre, the leading voice for sustainability in Central Australia; and a Board Member of the regional arts body, Red Hot Arts Central Australia.

ASRC Food Justice Truck raises $101,000 (and counting) to set new Australian crowdfunding record on StartSomeGood.com

ANNOUNCEMENT: We’d like to send a HUGE congratulations to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre who have just set a new Aussie crowdfunding record on StartSomeGood and passed a whopping $101,000 in their campaign for the Food Justice Truck!!

Find out more :http://startsomegood.com/foodjusticetruck

Cafe De Kuna is Changing Lives through Coffee in rural Panama. Check out their campaign end the cycle of poverty here and see how you can help! 

Cafe De Kuna is Changing Lives through Coffee in rural Panama. Check out their campaign end the cycle of poverty here and see how you can help! 

Thinking about crowdfunding? You won’t want to miss these workshops in Melbourne & Sydney

Crowdfunding is a powerful and highly-successful new approach to fundraising. It is a fantastic way to launch a social enterprise or non-profit, raise funds for a cause or a creative project, expand or save an existing program or fuel a grassroots project or movement for your community. But the reality is that almost half of all crowdfunding campaigns fall short, often because of a handful of common mistakes.

The StartSomeGood team is running a series of workshops and masterclasses to give changemakers the tips and trips to make sure that your campaign succeeds. Places are limited! 

Crowdfunding Masterclass - Be awesome at crowdfunding!

Melbourne - April 4th & 5th. Find out more or register now!

Sydney -  June 5th. Find out more or register now!

This 3 hour in-depth workshop is aimed at those who haven’t yet launched a crowdfunding campaign but are interested in doing so sometime this year. Or you’ve tried before and want to be more successful next time. You might have been to an introduction to crowdfunding session or chipped in to someone’s campaign so you probably feel you understand crowdfunding on a conceptual level but this workshop will give you a deeper level of practical knowledge before plunging in yourself. 

Crowdfunding 101 - How to make your campaign a success

Melbourne - March 26th. Find out more or register now!

Sydney - April 3rd. Find out more or register now! 

Crowdfunding is not just about new music and iPhone apps, it can also be a great way to raise funds for social good initiatives! This FREE one-hour introductory workshop will introduce you to both the theory and practice of crowd funding, dispelling misconceptions, exploring case-studies and giving you the knowledge you need to successfully launch or expand your project.

What others have said about these workshops: 

"Thanks for the crowdfunding workshop. I’ve been to a number of panel talks on crowdfunding and none were as cohesive and generous as this one. Tom Dawkins managed to be clear, concise and thought a lot about what we needed to run a successful crowdfunding campaign."

"I feel I have enough knowledge to confidently start my own campaign and I feel very lucky to be able to attend sessions like this!"

"This was excellent. I was dreading sitting there for 3 hours. But the time flew because he was so engaging."

"Thanks for a stellar @StartSomeGood #crowdfunding workshop today! Came away energised, inspired, ready to create!"


For $35 you can sponsor two pairs of these awesome shoes, produced from recycled materials, for children in need and we’ll throw in a pair just for you! Check out the Sole Purpose campaign for more. 

For $35 you can sponsor two pairs of these awesome shoes, produced from recycled materials, for children in need and we’ll throw in a pair just for you! Check out the Sole Purpose campaign for more. 

StartSomeGood News: Sewing schools and life saving social networks

Brand New Good! Recently launched campaigns: 

Fresh Stops has recently launched a unique new campaign to transform our industrialised food system and bring affordable, healthy foods to communities regardless of income. Through an online platform, Grow Your Own Fresh Stop, communities will be able to source sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for families on an income-based sliding scale. Four such Fresh Stop initiatives have already been established Washington DC and Indianapolis. A tipping point of $7,000 will enable the development of a sound technical infrastructure to better manage and automate the already successful Fresh Stop model. Also be sure to check out some of their creative rewards 

TalkLife is a social network with a difference that is really saving lives. This free app, available on Android and Apple devices, allows young people to talk about ‘taboo’ issues like depression, self harm and suicide. It’s an online, understanding and safe community for people who feel alone and isolated, and allows them to find others who understand. Their tipping point of $7,000 will allow TalkLife to further their work and use ‘big data’ obtained from their platform to analyse, predict and prevent high risk mental health episodes. 

The team behind the ASRC Food Justice Truck have come up with a creative solution to food insecurity for asylum seekers in Australia. The Truck will be a mobile food market, selling to the public at market rates and to asylum seekers at a 75% discount. Funds raised will primarily support the purchase of a truck and the wages of one full time staff member. With your support, this ambitious project has the potential to help lift 2,000 people out of food insecurity and bring vastly improved health outcomes to marginalised communities. 

The Congo Restoration Sewing School is uplifting women one sewing class at a time. This social enterprise is providing education and a way out of poverty to women in the Eastern Congo who have been victims of sexual violence. Every 6 months, 60 women graduate from their sewing school, with the added benefit of literacy courses. Now, with a tipping point of $15,100, this campaign is attempting to open a second school, and provide each woman with a sewing machine and a micro loan to start their own businesses. Rewards for this campaign include hand made napkins from the school itself and wooden statues form the DRC. 

The Casey Schulman foundation, established in memory of a remarkable young student who passed away in December 2012, is raising money to provide college scholarships to high school students who are serious about improving the lives of others. Help them reach their tipping point and provide a $20,000 scholarship over four years to a deserving student. 

This week in Social Enterprise: Higher education in Arizona is going green!

On the 25th March, the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation will host a Social Economy Alliance open mic event to discuss how the next government can support change makers and cooperative movements. This free event will also give attendees the change to feed into the Social Economy Alliance manifesto that will set out the sector’s top social and economic policy recommendations. There will be a variety of engaging and useful sessions, including campaign workshops on how to engage with local politicians and the media. Check out the event to book your place now! 

Also in Manchester, 3rd Sector Futures and Anglia Ruskin University will host the Third Sector Leadership and Management Conference on 20th March. This event, supported by the Guardian Social Enterprise Network, will address the challenges and opportunities facing the third sector in the next 5 to 10 years, which skills will be required for future leaders in the field, and what these leaders can learn from social and private entrepreneurs. 

From the 24 - 25 March the Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference will bring together a variety of higher learning institutions from across the state to discuss sustainability issues and create opportunities for staff, faculty and students to advance sustainable solutions on campus and in their communities. This will be a great opportunity for interested change makers to network with their peers in the region and bring home tools to increase the impact of sustainable solutions.  

On 26 March, 1000heads at HUB Sydney will host a special session on Word of Mouth (WOM) campaigns for Social Enterprise. Whilst all kinds of social enterprises naturally lend themselves to WOM campaigns, this session will equip changemakers with the best practices WOM strategies, and will be followed by a Q&A to discuss various campaigns and strategies to get the word out. 

And if you find yourself in Washington, DC tomorrow, why not drop in to the monthly Meetup for Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers? This event will allow you to connect face to face with like minded people in the field and extend your local network of allies and friends. The event runs from 12:30 to 14:30, and costs $5 per person.

Energy for Old Fadama provides reliable power plus more to the community of Old Fadama!

Energy for Old Fadama is dedicated to providing safe, sustainable power to Ghana’s largest urban slum, Old Fadama, in Accra. Energy for Old Fadama is a student founded and ran organization. The Energy for Old Fadama team raised over £17,000 to provide a legal source of electricity to Old Fadama. This £17,000 intends to equip Old Fadama with solar panels, which will power schools, community centers and create employment for residents selling the solar products. I recently spoke with Jaya Pradhan, Chief Operating Officer, about the campaign and what he believes helped make it so successful:

How was the campaign ran?

This was our first crowd funding experience, and so we really wanted to make sure it was a success. Obviously a huge element of crowd funding success stories are the ability to tap into the online community, so social media like Facebook, and Twitter, and our actual website were big focuses of ours. Then of course we had the video, and all of these things were centred around building awareness and support, that is the beauty of crowd funding, we had the opportunity to show the project off to people all over the world, and in large parts we did that. We have a very diverse team, with people from a  lot of different backgrounds from lots of different countries which meant we had a big range of exposure. There is though just such a huge amount of great causes on the internet, and so many places in the world in need of external support that we realised we couldn’t succeed just by putting the word out online. We harassed our families and friends for support (economic and otherwise) and actually outside of the campaign had some fundraising events. For example over the holidays we hosted an EFOF charity dinner which was very successful. Finally the big thing that we looked for, and were successful in attaining was some corporate sponsorship, the crowd funding campaign allowed us to demonstrate to potential investors that we had a cause that the public could get behind and took an interest in.

What kind of legwork is involved in raising money through crowdfunding?

A lot of persistence! There is never any shortage of praise, or enthusiasm when you first tell people about the project- getting their money on the other hand takes a little more work. With some people you mention it to them once and you check later to find they’ve donated but most of the time it takes a little more effort than that, whether it be just reminding them about the campaign or spending extra time telling them about the project (online, face to face, over the phone etc). That is more the personal side then otherwise it is about keeping things exciting, especially on the web related media- new photos, posters, graphics or shareable content- things that make people take notice if they haven’t before. It can be tough to ask people to donate to your project but if you’re sincere about it and know the cause has merit then it is about conveying that message, which can be tougher than it sounds sometimes.

What worked during the campaign?  What did not work?

What really seemed to work during the campaign for us was when we contextualised the project for our followers, simple things like info graphics, and captioned photos. People are often willing to watch videos or read information that is presented to them in a visually stimulating way. It provided accessible insights into the aims of the project and easily explained the potential and calculable benefits. This worked both when we spoke to individuals directly or online, it seemed to really incentivise people to donate.

In terms of what didn’t really work we had a lot of social media attention, being a young organisation (nearly the whole team is made up of university students) we had a lot of success in sharing our page and getting a lot of views, however as you might guess the student market aren’t generally financially able to donate hugely themselves and are hard pressed enough without asking their parents to donate to a friends or acquaintances project- no matter how worthwhile. 

What will the funds raised be used toward for the Old Fadama community?

With the funds raised we will able to, continue the work we have already done in electrifying community buildings, most notably schools and places of worship. 

We are really excited to launch the second stage of the project, the social enterprise. We are providing employment to women, Fadama Mamas, within the community, selling solar products to homes (families) and businesses. We hope to be able to provide widespread electrification in this manner, by using micro finance schemes to make the products affordable for everyone. This means safety, a reduced carbon footprint, reliability, legality and money saved for those who become involved. It also means a source of income for the women employed, in a country where traditionally women have limited access to economic empowerment. We are also exploring the possibility of employing boys who currently work with the e-waste to alternatively work for us in some capacity potentially as advertisers, providing them with a more consistent, improved source of income and eliminating their direct contact with the harmful effects of burning e-waste.

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What do you think were the key factors that contributed to your success?  Do you have some useful insights for any future crowdfunders?

Preparation, preparation, preparation. For us especially building a following and actually achieving something prior to launch was paramount. We could show people not only did we have an idea, but we had trialled it, witnessed the benefits it had and could then ask for more to help it grow. Whereas maybe sometimes other projects need the capital to get off the ground, we started small scale and then looked to expand, which I think gave us real credibility. Then actually getting people to take an interest, I think from the outside you can take for granted the amount of work that goes into making something. A 2 minute video can take days of work, likewise our website took several months before it was the finished product- things which appear simple can actually take lots of work, but that is almost the beauty of it. You condense all your effort, and the motivation behind the project then you present it to your followers and hope that the effort and intent translates if that makes sense.

Finally I think we had a cause that could appeal to a lot of different groups; we focus on women’s empowerment, education, the environment, community spirit and safety, it made the project relatable to different people for different reasons. I would recommend future crowdfunders simply follow the word I began with; preparation. Find out what your target market is most importantly and then try to appeal to it. Having a good idea isn’t enough; how you present it and who you present it to can be equally important. Networking is key, build contacts and find people who can help you, chances are if it is a good idea people will be enthusiastic to get involved. 

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What’s next for the organization, and how can followers stay in touch?

Things have only just begun for us! We will be busy for the next few months implementing the social enterprise, tweaking as necessary to make sure it is the best it can be before looking to expansion. We will as always be working on raising awareness of the situation in Old Fadama, the e-waste problem, and various other forms of support that the community needs. Following us is very simple, we are on Facebook(Energy for Old Fadama) and Twitter(EnergyFOFadama (and maybe several more social media platforms in the coming months) and we are online at efof.org.uk. We are also looking into setting up a blog/mailing list for those who would like to follow in detail the work we are conducting, and as well would like to learn more about the area and context of the project.

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