Posts tagged Creating the Future

The six stories of social change fundraising

How the stories you tell determine who you can reach

All fundraising comes down to storytelling. What’s the story you’re telling about your vision of the future and how do you think we can get there? How do you articulate your work, place it in a broader social change context and inspire us to want to contribute?

The reason we bang on about how crowdfunding should really be called peerfunding is because it’s not actually about crowds – generalised, large-scale, anonymous – but rather about relationships, about the people you know and the communities you connect with.

As is true for any form of communications, understanding who you are communicating with and focusing on those most likely to care about your initiative is the key to success. The stories you tell determine the communities you can reach and inspire.

Fundraising then is an outcome of the community you build and the community you build is an outcome of the story you tell.

Having witnessed a couple hundred social purpose crowdfunding campaigns on StartSomeGood so far, and having been involved before that in the mission-driven sector for our whole professional lives, we’ve identified what we think are the types of stories relevant to social change initiatives.

Most ventures can tell many of these stories. Some might even be able to utilise all six of them. Of course just because you can doesn’t mean you should: focusing on your strongest stories gives you the greatest likelihood of success.

So, what are the six social change stories?

     1. The Issue Story

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This is the most basic and obvious story. If you don’t have an issue story, a cause you’re working on, a better future you are contributing to, you’re probably not a social change venture at all. For the rest of you this will be intuitive and, often, the only story you’re telling. It articulates the field or fields within which you work. In the example of One Girl, above, they have two interrelated issue stories: women’s health and, more broadly, development. Their story is essentially about how providing women with better sanitary products is a particularly high-impact way to foster human and economic development.

     2. The Locality Story

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This is about a specific community and how your project serves them. In the case of GalliGalli they are creating an open-source mapping tool to better reveal the diversity, history and economy of Kathmandu. Their story is, largely, Kathmandu’s story, a place of vibrant and undiscovered culture. This story resonates with those who live in that location but also anyone who has had a memorable or moving experience there, as many have in Kathmandu, which leaves them feeling connected long after they’ve passed through.

     3. The Team/Demographics Story

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This works when the team behind the project demonstrates something you believe about the world or inspires you with their story, irrespective of the specific issue the project is focused on. For example the Oakland Dons, pictured above, were a pair of 16-year-olds in Oakland, California who successfully raised funds on our site to create a community garden.

Here you can see the storytelling possibilities within a single project as they demonstrate all three of the stories discussed so far: their issue story was about food justice and health and they were very locationally grounded in Oakland. But the story that inspired me to personally contribute was the story of youth entrepreneurship. I’m passionate about the capabilities of young people to change the world and I love seeing examples of teenagers becoming changemakers. So for me it was the team story that really resonated, and would have resonated even if they were working on a pet shelter in London or a youth leadership conference in Singapore.

     4. The Innovation Story

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What are you doing that’s new, unique or innovative to create the future you seek? Who might be interested in this innovation even if they wouldn’t usually be engaged by your issue?

A great example of this is Balbus Speech. Balbus Speech was founded by Jack McDermott to provide speech therapy to stutterers through an iPhone and iPad app. If he had focused exclusively on his issue story he would have had only a very specific community who would likely have resonated with this story – those who stutter or have family members who do. But a much larger community of people love their iDevices and love to hear stories of them being used to create positive social impact. This is the world of blogs with huge reach such as Mashable and TechCrunch. This is the story that can reach that larger audience, not just the issue-focused one.

     5. The Community Story

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Creating the Future recently ran their third successful campaign on our site, the first organisation to do so. They began by telling the issue story – that a new type of leadership is needed in the non-profit sector and so it’s important to contribute to their scholarship fund so they can inspire and train more of these leaders. But midway through their campaign they realised it was a different sort of story that was really resonating, a story that didn’t mean as much to most people but connected deeply with a smaller group and inspired them to contribute. That group was those who had already done a Creating the Future training, and the story was about that community. If you have benefited from the training you received from Creating the Future, consider paying it forward and allowing someone else to have this experience.

This kind of story works when the recipients understand themselves as a discrete community. It appeals to them to help spread the community or culture more widely by supporting your campaign. Another example of this on our site was Shouting Fire Radio which aimed to take the culture of the Burning Man Festival to the world via an online radio station. If you consider yourself part of this community then you understand the value this offers in a way no-one else can.

     6. Your Story

And finally, but in many ways most importantly, you should tell your story. Why do you do the work you do? What inspires you to get up each morning determined to make a difference? What gives you the passion and the commitment to put yourself out there and invite people to join you in creating a better future?

Your story might weave together elements of various of the types of stories above. What distinguishes it is not so much the content but the tone – your use of I statements, your personal vulnerability and authenticity, your passion as expressed in your own unique voice.

While the text on your venture and campaign page and most of your outreach might focus on the issue, location, or community story, your video should almost always bring in your personal story. People want to get a sense of the person behind the campaign, they want to sense your passion, they want to be convinced of your personal capacity to bring this project to fruition. Part of what makes crowdfunding special is this immediacy and feeling of connectedness with the entrepreneurs, the sense of being on a journey with them.

Ready to tell your story? Let’s StartSomeGood.

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imageCo-founder Tom Dawkins is a serial social entrepreneur and the Australian member of the StartSomeGood team. He previously founded Vibewire and was the first Social Media Director at Ashoka. 
More: http://about.me/tomjd.
@tomjd

StartSomeGood News

Let’s Celebrate! Recently Tipped Campaigns…

Creating the Future is a nonprofit living laboratory for accelerating social change by encouraging dramatic community improvement via social change and nonprofit organizations. This is now founder Hildy’s third successful campaign on StartSomeGood for Creating the Future. This time around, she raised $2,121 for the Changemaker Scholarship Campaign, which has a goal of adding jet fuel to all social change efforts. From intensive webinars to one-of-a-kind, week-long immersion courses, Creating the Future’s classes teach changemakers how to make the dramatic difference they dream of. This scholarship helps offset tuition for all Changemaker Education Classes, ensuring finances are not a barrier for anyone who wants to learn to change the world.


Asian leadership academy (ALA), an initiative started by a group of Asian students at Stanford University, focuses on creating an experiential learning community for young Thai students. The focus is on creating a life-long community for Thai high school and college students through a “leadership lab” camp emphasizing skills and “real world” learning. In September 2012, through support from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business Center for Social Innovation, ALA executed two pilot projects with overwhelming positive feedback from students and educational institutions. Empowering Asian Leaders of Tomorrow, Today has raised enough to cover the costs of a 5-day leadership program in Thailand for 25-30 students. There is still time (28 days) to reach the total funding goal so that ALA can extend the program to around 40-50 students.

Civil war has been dividing Sri Lanka for many years. Theatre of Friendship uses Playback Theatre to build bridges between different Sri Lankan communities who would otherwise have no means of contact with each other. This has become a place where people can share their stories and create understanding across cultural divides. Four diverse Sri Lankan communities have set up a means to express and understand each other’s communities in Theatre of Friendship: Playback Sri Lanka. This campaign has some amazing support behind it—within a week of launch, it has already reached the $2,000 tipping point goal. This means that two trainers can attend the National Theatre gathering in Jaffna, which was set up by the Jaffna-based group in the Theatre of Friendship. The Jaffna-based group has invited international groups to come support the project and the Theatre of Friendship would like to send leaders from each of its groups. With 15 days still left in the campaign, Theatre of Friendship is well on its way to reaching the $8,000 needed to send its full team of trainers to the event.


Brand New Good! StartSomeGood’s Newest Campaigns…


The Priceless Campaign aims to break the silence of teenage girls who have experienced sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues, grief, and loss. This campaign is designed to spread awareness and education to help teen girls break their silence and become empowered. Focusing on one cause per quarter, the Priceless Campaign platform offers an interactive, supportive, encouraging, and resourceful place to talk. Funds raised will be used for crucial launch activities like designing and creating the website, hosting the site, advertising, and performing outreach tasks. 


Fifteen Farmers Coffee Project wants to empower farmers in Mindanao by expanding their livelihood and opportunities through coffee planting. This project began with three objectives: improve the quality of coffee produced in the Philippines, empower farmers to earn higher revenues from their product, and encourage a sustainable agriculture model emphasizing a healthy agricultural system. The Fifteen Farmers Coffee Project has already established two important relationships—an in-country market that pays premium prices for high quality coffee and a local NGO. In addition, the project has acquired high quality Arabica coffee cherries from the Mindanao highlands that are ready to be planted. Now, the Fifteen Farmers Coffee Project just needs your help to plant the first seeds and start Growing Coffee and Livelihoods in Mindanao. The next steps include providing equipment and supplies to construct a nursery and creating a solid foundation through training for a successful first harvest. This will establish a core of farmers who will share their knowledge and skills with others.



Shawn D. Ross

I am a Northwest Native living in Washington State. A graduate of Washington State University and University of Phoenix with degrees in Architecture and Education I write about social, cultural, and personal improvement on the StartSomeGood Blog and SDRinspire. I am also a filmmaker and owner of Giraffe and Penguin Productions, a single daddy of two beautiful children, avid reader, writer, and hat wearer (Not in that picture but believe me, I wear ‘em). I am currently at work on my first feature length documentary. Follow me @shawndross and visit my websites:sdrinspire.com and giraffeandpenguinproductions.tumblr.com.

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Are you inspired by all this good? What good do you want to create?  Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.


StartSomeGood News

Let’s Celebrate! Recently Tipped Campaigns…

Jennifer started Sock Monkeys Against Cancer (SMAC!) for her mother who lives 1,200 miles away from her and has lung cancer. Because of the distance, Jennifer wanted to make sure her mother would have a “buddy” she could hug and remind her that Jennifer is always with her, especially during her treatments. SMAC! is a gang of monkeys that provides tangible support to those with cancer, reminding them that no one fights it alone. Two prototypes are complete with many more designs planned to help battle all types of cancer. Following the model set forth by such companies as TOMS shoes and Warby Parker Eyewear, every monkey purchased will ensure a second monkey will go to someone else with cancer. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will go to cancer research and programs. SMAC! has raised over $28,000 to launch the program and mass produce the first two prototypes—NoMo, who fights all cancers and Pheonix who is dedicated to SMAC!-ing lung cancer. Funds will cover production, packaging and shipping of approximately 500 monkeys. 


The Do Good Bus is back at it again, this time in Orlando, Florida. The Do Good Bus recruits Do-Gooders from all over the country and helps hook them up with volunteer opportunities in a social setting. Last year, the Do Good Bus raised over $100,000 for a cross-country tour with Foster the People to pick up volunteers in various cities and help them find meaningful volunteer work in their neighborhoods. In 2013, the Do Good Bus will be traveling to 5 different cities and the first stop is Orlando. The team wrapped up strong, raising $1,685 to rent a bus, purchase volunteer supplies, and cover the production team’s travel expenses.


Brand New Good! StartSomeGood’s Newest Campaigns…

A Cup on the Hill is a non-profit organization helping youth with and without disabilities gain access to the workforce. A Cup on the Hill’s first social venture is a coffee shop in Kansas City. Youths aged 16-25 will work in the café, learning, volunteering, and receiving on-the-job training, paid employment, and responsibility education for 6-12 months. Working with local farmers markets to get the freshest ingredients and sourcing coffee from the local KCK roaster for gourmet coffee, the shop will be able to offer customers several options for enjoying their coffee brew. Many wonderful incentive packages exist for those who support the project, including coffee packs and prints and drawings from local artists. When A Cup on the Hill reaches its $10,000 tipping point goal, the coffee shop can become a reality!



Creating the Future
is a nonprofit living laboratory for accelerating social change by encouraging dramatic community improvement via social change and nonprofit organizations. With two successful campaigns already under their belts, Hildy and team are no strangers to StartSomeGood. The Changemaker Scholarship Campaign has a goal of adding jet fuel to all social change efforts. From intensive webinar classes to one-of-a-kind, week-long immersion courses, Creating the Future’s classes teach change makers how to make the dramatic difference they dream of. This scholarship helps offset tuition for all Changemaker Education Classes, ensuring finances are not a barrier for anyone who wants to learn to change the world. 


Conor Creighton and Renata Har are an artistic duo highlighting human rights violations by creating a world where no stories go untold. They are putting together a traveling exhibition on corrective rape in Cape Town. Corrective rape is an endemic in South Africa so rampant that statistics show a rape occurs every 26 seconds. Corrective rape is an attempt to change someone’s sexual preference by extreme force. Mafuane and Thandiwe are two lesbian women from Cape Town who want to share their stories with an international audience to bring awareness and an end to this brutal practice. The exhibition features photography, recordings, documents, film, and text. The tour starts in Cape Town and then goes through Dublin, Berlin, and Sao Paulo, with plans of reaching more countries after this initial set. The $2,000 tipping point goal will allow for a smaller-scale version of the exhibition, but the total funding goal of $5,000 will enable Conor and Renata to share the full exhibition with as many countries as possible.


The Community School of Midwifery aims to tackle the midwife shortage worldwide. The world is estimated to have a shortage of 25,000 midwives by 2020. Through making midwife education more accessible, the Community School of Midwifery hopes to reverse this shortage. About to begin its second year of operation, the school’s education program is evidence-based, holistic, comprehensive, and sustainable. Bringing this model to other communities and adopting a clinical component the will ensure midwives across the nation the best possible training. Where is Your Community Midwife? This campaign needs at least $4,000 to file as an official 501(c)3 organization, upgrade its distance learning technology, purchase teaching aids, and start an effective marketing campaign to attract new students.


Saving the World T-Shirts is a socially responsible company founded on the idea that ethical and compassionate business practices make the world a better place. This organization is developing a network that raises awareness for great nonprofits. To make this happen, Saving the World T-Shirts needs money to begin an advertising campaign to support more of these amazing nonprofits. For every item Saving the World T-Shirts sells, they donate between 25% and 50%—sometimes even 100%—to these nonprofits. The range of supports depends on several factors, including what percentage the nonprofit spends on programs and their range of influence. The company is growing through dedication and a tiny bit of financial backing, but to meet the team’s goals and achieve their mission, they need to begin advertising, something they have not been able to afford yet. Just $1,500 will ensure Saving the World T-Shirts can spend the minimum amount on ads to ensure free account management services from Facebook. The total funding goal will allow for the same deal on Twitter.


The Vassar Haiti Project seeks funding to construct a kindergarten space in Chermaitre, Haiti. In 2008, the Vassar Haiti Project built a school for 250 elementary school students in the rural village of Chermaitre, Haiti. However, the kindergarten classes were still held in the neighboring church. In March 2012, the church was hit by a severe storm which caused one of the walls and parts of the roof to collapse, leaving the kindergarten students without a safe classroom. As a result, the need to construct a safe classroom has become urgent. Sixty kindergarten-aged children are without a learning space, but through this campaign you can give them a brand new kindergarten classroom and a chance at an education



Shawn D. Ross

I am a Northwest Native living in Washington State. A graduate of Washington State University and University of Phoenix with degrees in Architecture and Education I write about social, cultural, and personal improvement on the StartSomeGood Blog and SDRinspire. I am also a filmmaker and owner of Giraffe and Penguin Productions, a single daddy of two beautiful children, avid reader, writer, and hat wearer (Not in that picture but believe me, I wear ‘em). I am currently at work on my first feature length documentary. Follow me @shawndross and visit my websites:sdrinspire.com and giraffeandpenguinproductions.tumblr.com.

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Are you inspired by all this good? What good do you want to create?  Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Some Extraordinary Women

Today is International Women’s Day and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the amazing women-led ventures that have run successful campaigns on StartSomeGood over the past year. Each of the ladies below is truly an inspiration and StartSomeGood is so proud to have supported them on their paths to success.

Rebecca Pontius,
Do Good Bus

 Do Good Bus Tour with Foster the People,   $101,781 raised

Rebecca led the Do Good Bus campaign to overwhelming success. The bus takes people on board and empowers them to take action and really become do-gooders in their communities. The Do Good Bus partnered with the popular band, Foster the People, to tour 22 North American cities at the end of 2011. Along the way, the bus stopped in each city to pick up local do-gooders and help them support their communities. 

"It’s very exciting to be a part of something that has potential to change the world — even if one small step at a time."—Rebecca Pontius

Yanti Turang,
Learn to Live

Let’s Get Learn to Live Off the Ground, $6,925 raised

Yanti is the founder of Learn to Live, an organization that provides primary health care and preventative action plans to the people of North Sulawesi, Indonesia who cannot pay for traditional health services via three-week traveling clinics with teams of doctors, nurses, and medical students from the United States and Australia. When we interviewed Yanti last year, we were so refreshed by her passion for Learn to Live’s cause, “You have to believe 150% in what you want to do, you have to begin writing it down, and think of all the questions you would be asked and answer them. You need to tell people your idea and say it 1,000 times and really believe in it, and see why it is essential to our world today. There are some days when I wonder what I have gotten myself into! Ha, but I guess that’s the whole reason for doing it, you create its own future, it has endless possibilities.” 

Hildy Gottlieb,
Creating the Future

Designing Social Change, $2,696 raised

Creating the Future Scholarship Fund, $2,345 raised

Hildy is one exceptionally special individual—a true visionary. We here at StartSomeGood have had the pleasure of watching Hildy lead her organization, Creating the Future, through two different successful campaigns. She calls Creating the Future a “living laboratory” and its mission is to create dramatic, all-encompassing, lasting change in communities by thinking differently about approaches to change initiatives.  

When recently asked about the trends that matter in 2012 for StartSomeGood’s ebook, she weighed in, “Words like ‘kindness’ and ‘joyful’ and ‘compassion’ and ‘inclusive’ are beginning to be seen NOT as ‘touchy feely mumbo jumbo’ but as practical ways of being. I see that continuing and growing in the year ahead.”

Priya Nathan and Nikki Lewis,
Partnered for Success

Launch Partnered for Success, $1,500 raised

During their sophomore year at Arizona State University, Nikki and Priya co-founded Partnered for Success, a mentoring and life skills program that supports foster and orphan teenagers so they can successfully age out of the foster system in the Phoenix Valley. Nikki and Priya met as scholars in the Leadership Through Action Program at Arizona State University, where they both realized their mutual passion for making a difference in the lives of foster and orphan youth. The combination of these two powerful forces brought Partnered for Success to fruition. Since then, Nikki and Priya have won the Innovation Challenge at Arizona State University and run a successful campaign on StartSomeGood. 

When we asked Nikki what makes an extraordinary entrepreneur, she replied, “An extraordinary entrepreneur can come in a vast array of forms, but all have dedication and passion for what they do that exceeds everything else. That passion is what keeps them going in the face of opposition and struggle. An extraordinary entrepreneur also knows how to capitalize on their network and isn’t afraid to ask for help. They demand the impossible and do what it takes to achieve it.” Nikki, you practice what you preach and both you and Priya are an inspiration—founding an organization while still in school is no easy task. The future looks bright for Partnered for Success with these two talented women at the helm.

Sarah Baird, 
Takeashine

Help Students Crowdfund College with Takeashine, $1,503 raised 

Sarah is the CEO and founder of Takeashine. As anyone who has taken on the arduous task of applying for financial aid can tell you, there is usually a gap between what the government considers to be your Estimated Family Contribution for college and what you can actually afford to pay. Takeashine is an online crowdfunding platform that helps underprivileged students start online fundraising campaigns so they can afford college. These campaigns will not only help students close the gap, but will also teach them invaluable business and marketing skills. Since finishing up its successful campaign on StartSomeGood, Takeashine has participated in the Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans New Venture Accelerator and officially launched its crowdfunding platform in New Orleans.

When asked about her inspiration as an entrepreneur, Sarah shared these words of wisdom, “I’ve always been a firm believer that vision and action should go hand-in-hand, ‘a little less conversation, a little more action’ (cue Elvis) if you will. Despite any sort of hurdles we’ve faced until this point—or will face in the future as an organization—keeping a singular focus on the deep, profound need that Takeashine is addressing ensures that we’ll continue to grow, improve, and use the power of community to help as many students as possible reach their higher education goals.” 

Happy International Women’s Day! How are you celebrating?



What’s in Store for 2012?

A new year brings with it the potential for exciting and dramatic change.  What do some of StartSomeGood’s successful campaign leaders have planned for their ventures in 2012? What do they believe are some of the key trends in social entrepreneurship to look out for this year?

Hildy Gottlieb, Creating the Future

Designing Social Change, $2,696 raised

Creating the Future Scholarship Fund, $2,345 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

Creating the Future is on a vertical growth curve - start-up mode and then some.  Our goals internally include a lot of ramping up in the form of staff and program growth. 

Our external goals are far more important, however - the change we want to see in the world due to our work.  And that is all about making dramatic community improvement the norm, rather than the exception, in Community Benefit work around the world.  By the end of 2012, we hope to see more groups using approaches that align with creating visionary change (i.e. aligned with the Pollyanna Principles).

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

I don’t pretend to be able to predict the future - my work is about creating the future, rather than guessing what might happen.  That said, a trend we are seeing very clearly is about synchronicity - unrelated groups all around the world having the same sorts of conversations, at the same time.  

That is related to a growing trend toward returning to the highest potential of our humanity - an emphasis and embracing of the beautiful side of what it is to be human.  I believe we will continue to see both an acknowledgment and a desire to root our approaches to life and work in our interconnectedness and interdependence, between each other as people and between us and the rest of the planet (universe?).   Words like “kindness” and “joyful” and “compassion” and “inclusive” are beginning to be seen NOT as “touchy feely mumbo jumbo” but as practical ways of being.  I see that continuing and growing in the year ahead.

I can’t say that 2012 will usher in dramatic changes in this area, but it is a trend we will continue to see more of over the coming years.

Brad Hurvitz, Trek to Teach

Spread Awareness and Expand Trek to Teach, $2,910 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

I want to have between 5 and 10 teachers teach in our Himalayan schools.  One primary goal for Trek to Teach is to partner with a couple other organizations that will improve our offerings abroad, for instance, we are working to establish a partnership with a company that will enhance our Trek to Teach-er’s knowledge of the Nepali education system and how it works prior to their arrival at the Himalayan school. 

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

The trends that matter are ever changing.  I believe convenience is always important.  The fewer steps - figuratively, as trekking requires many steps :) - that a volunteer has to take the more inclined they are to participate.

Mikey Leung, Crowdsourced Travel

Crowdsourced Travel Bangladesh, $15,025 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

To balance a passionate drive for social justice with the needs of my family and my own personal health, see the people of Bangladesh improve significantly in terms of their ability to benefit from the economic opportunities of tourism, and for the world to know that story just a bit better, and participate and seed the worldwide trend towards a new breed of social entrepreneurs who are ‘cut from a different cloth’

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

  • Greater awareness of how our actions today impact on a global tomorrow; this is especially true with respect to individuals who decide to take matters such as climate action, social disparity, or responsible travel into their own hands
  • I think there is also a declining faith in the current world economic model as sustainable; instead of letting this depress us (loss of jobs, lack of ‘consumer confidence’) I think we should approach this as an opportunity to redefine how we perceive ourselves in the world (are we simply consumers and contributors to our nation’s GDP? or are we the creators of our world around us (social entrepreneurs or creative communicators?) 
  • Open source culture is only going to keep increasing - some particularly influential films and talks that have helped shape my way of thinking include those who see new economic models emerging and are communicating on those topics (e.g. collaborative consumption):

-Rachel Botsman’s ‘collabortive consumption’

-Coalition of the Willing - the shape of a global online war against climate change 

-The Future of Money - several intriguing individuals combining to redefine how we  trade in the world

Yanti Turang, Learn to Live

Let’s Get Learn to Live Off the Ground, $6,925 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

2012 is going to be awesome. Firstly, ‘Learn to Live’ has an exhibit of photographs and documentary  from our last trip planned for February. We are then planning to take our first team of healthcare workers to Indonesia in July to not only assist the people of North Sulawesi Indonesia with healthcare, but also inspire our ‘Learn to Live team’ to take what they have learned home and for it to inspire their practice.

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

The trend of ‘Things are not going to happen unless you do it yourself’. I feel people are beginning to stop sitting on the sidelines waiting for life and things to happen, and creating their own destiny. If you’re not going to do it, who is?

Rebecca Pontius, Do Good Bus

Do Good Bus Tour with Foster the People, $101,781 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

The Do Good Bus would like to hit the road again and help inspire people to do good across the country. We’d also like to find other creative ways to encourage people to be a part of their communities.

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

I think 2011 was a great year for social entrepreneurs and there seems to be even more buzz for companies with a mission to inspire social change.  It’s very exciting to be a part of something that has potential to change the world — even if one small step at a time.

Ehon Chan, Spur Projects

Soften the Fck Up, $3,175 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

I never really do New Year’s resolutions purely because my life is so unpredictable but as per every year, my goal is definitely to be the best that I can be every day and to be better in every aspect of my life compared to last year.

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

Everything ‘micro’ especially in the digital world - making niche markets even stronger and easier to target with increased data, and I do hope that micro- (curated) communication picks up.

Quality curation is going to be increasingly valuable.

"Action" is the new innovation - we’re going to see a whole lot more people doing epic things. And I think the saying, "Good ideas are not good enough" will become more prominent. 

Even more hybrid models - emergent effects such as new business models, new businesses, new ways of doing things, particularly in trans-disciplinary teams, meaning that you might not end up working in the job your degree set you up for. 

The need for a deep sense of trust and belonging will become more evident as everyone becomes more connected and educated. People wanting to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Jesse Russell, dane101

Be the Media with dane101, $5,001 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

One of our goals is to establish a core group of writers who can provide reliable coverage of politics in the state of Wisconsin. Our secondary goal is to work with other independent media organizations in the state to build a content and resource sharing network, so we can better provide information to the people.

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

This will be the first election year where social networks will truly drive the narrative. Information and even misinformation about the candidates will travel at increasingly fast speeds and we feel like it is the job of independent media organizations such as dane101.com to make sure we’re separating the fact from fiction. However, we have the additional responsibility to not ignore the fiction, but to debunk it and make an effort to stop it from spreading.

Lizzie LaCroix, Hesperian

Mobile Apps to Save Lives Where There is No Doctor, $6,116 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

My goals for 2012 include working on increasing the awareness of Hesperian Health Guides’ digital resources for community health by using social media to connect with new audiences and potential supporters. I think our resources are really exciting, but that sometimes they don’t get the wide exposure they deserve. People who know Hesperian resources love them, and I think that everyone who has any interest in grassroots change and improving lives at the bottom of the pyramid should know about us. Having more books in more languages available for free download, a library of our unique illustrations, and (coming soon!) a tool that allows users to manipulate and localize content means that there’s something for everyone—and it’s all on our brand new website, so it’s a perfect opportunity to reach out to new people! 

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

Speaking as someone working at a health organization, I think an important trend in 2012 will be the continued development of mHealth (mobile health) tools. The ubiquity of mobile phones means that it is easier to put the right tools in the hands of those who need and can use them, and that this will have a growing impact on people who are poor, marginalized, or otherwise excluded from traditional health systems. I also think (honestly!) that crowdsourcing will continue to be vital in the development of socially-minded ventures, both for- and non-profit. Thanks to the continuing recession, cash flows for nonprofits are shifting and it’s clear that effective crowdsource strategies are now becoming a vital component of most nonprofits’ fundraising efforts.

Eric Myers, Shouting Fire

Shouting Fire Ignition, $9,227 raised

What are your goals for 2012?

Our goal for Shouting Fire in 2012 is to launch with a whisper and end with a bang.  By building our slate of original programming show by show,  we hope that Shouting Fire positions itself as a powerful aggregator and broadcaster of community-created content. “Community” in this case being not just those who have been to Burning Man, but anyone who is interested in the alternative art and ideas that tend to be ignored by the mainstream. 

What are the trends that matter in 2012?

Trends are a tricky business, but as traditional institutions and media platforms fall short, it’s more important than ever for artists, activists, and content creators to band together. The 21st century DIY ethic will, of course, continue. But once you Do It Yourself, it’s time to Do It Together. There are a million voices screaming into the infinite space of the Internet, and it can be hard to elevate your individual signal over all the noise. But as like-minded people collectivize their voices—synthesizing them and sending them out through collaborative portals such as Shouting Fire—new stories will be told, stories that will shape the culture in vital and necessary ways. 

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It’s a new year!  Let us help you with your resolution to StartSomeGood.  Learn how to here.

StartSomeGood News

                      

Last week we launched three new campaigns:

Mechanical engineering students at the University of Washington are trying to turn their school’s Formula SAE car into an eco-friendly electrical racecar.  They will be incorporating the technology in Lithium batteries that can be charged in 12 minutes, which is faster than the batteries run out.  Therefore, the car would be able to run between two sets of batteries—one could charge while the other is in use.  The students’ campaign will allow them to purchase the parts necessary for this project.

Peace Generation wants to creatively incorporate peace education in Muslim and Christian schools located in post conflict areas.  It will train teachers from Muslim and Christian schools about the 12 basic values of peace so that it can be applied and incorporated in their respective curriculums.  The campaign funds will be used to launch a peace program in Ambon, Indonesia. 

Crowdsourced Travel brings light to obscure destinations that are often overlooked by most world travelers.  Currently, it seeks to fight poverty by introducing Bangladesh as a new travel destination—tourism income would go directly to those in Bangladesh who can benefit from it the most.  The campaign’s main focus is to create “Positive Light”, a crowdsourced photography book of all the best images of Bangladesh. 

We also had two campaigns end successfully:

Creating the Future was able to use its campaign funds to cover the travel expenses for three visionary minds in the field of social entrepreneurship so that they could attend a program design session.  The program will bring social change classes to local communities directly. 

Arches Education Center was able to reach its total funding goal within just one week.  Its Green River City Education Project will provide GED preparation classes and ESOL classes to the residents of Green River and Thompson Springs, UT.  The overwhelming support from our StartSomeGood followers is just what this project needed to get off the ground.

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Social entrepreneurs, have all these campaigns inspired you to start your own good?  Do you have a social enterprise, a non-profit, or an amazing idea that needs some momentum to take off?  Visit our site to find out how to start your own campaign today.  Still have questions?  We have answers—check out our FAQ section.

StartSomeGood News

                       

                             

Last week, we had two campaigns tip:

  • Connective Possibilities launched its campaign less than two weeks ago and has already surpassed its tipping point.  Connective Possibilities aims to innovate school systems in low-income communities through a network of poverty-fighting supporters.  Although Connective Possibilities has passed its tipping point goal of $1,400, it needs the total funding goal of $5,500 to incorporate as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, build a website, recruit and train volunteers, and form partnerships with schools, school districts, city governments, and other nonprofit organizations. Connective Possibilities is halfway towards its total goal and hoping for your support to launch its poverty-fighting movement.
  • Creating the Future also reached its tipping point and has one more day to raise the rest of its total funding goal.  In an effort to create dramatic improvements in communities, Creating the Future is collaborating with change agents from around the world to design community social change classes.  The campaign will cover travel expenses for three change agents that are an integral part of the brainstorming and design process—Trae, Gayle, and Tom.  There is one more day left to pledge your support!

We also had one venture complete its campaign successfully:

  • Thanks to a late push, Root of Prosperity was able to reach its tipping point goal.  As a result of its successful campaign, Root of Prosperity will be able to purchase materials and prepare its Financial Strategy Kit that will educate people on everyday finances so that they can free themselves of debt.  

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Social entrepreneurs, have all these successful campaigns inspired you to start your own good?  Do you have a social enterprise, a non-profit, or an amazing idea that needs some momentum to take off?  Visit our site to find out how to start your own campaign today.  Still have questions?  We have answers—check out our FAQ section.

Designing Social Change With Creating the Future

In an ever-evolving world where people are constantly attempting to improve different aspects of life, it is encouraging to see these efforts spread to the area of social change. Social change can sometimes be frustrating in its effectiveness, often incremental and tedious. While the desired change is very often seen, the fruit that this change bears takes time to ripen. This is how Creating the Future originated.

After years of research and development, Creating the Future discovered that the key to dramatic community improvement lies first in learning to think differently about how we approach these efforts concerning social change. Rather than deliberate and slow-moving change, we, as social change agents, can make game-changing and wide-ranging movements. The goal is to firmly embed this new way of identifying and solving the problems into our mindset and – in the words of founders Hildy and Dmitri – add rocket fuel to social change.

It is Creating the Future’s firm belief that change leaders should not have to travel long distances in order to learn how to create change in their communities. That is why, in late October, a roomful of brilliant minds will gather to help build an education program that will bring social change classes directly to communities. With your help, these brilliant minds will include Trae, Gayle and Tom, who are introduced in the video above. These three people are a critical part of the design team and will leave this session with a new wealth of knowledge and insight into making change quick and dramatic. Through its newest campaign, Designing Social Change aims to bring these three change agents to its design session.

The campaign started just last week and Designing Social Change has already reached its tipping point. This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg that is the total funding goal of $6,250. With a little under a week left, Designing Social Change needs to reach its total funding goal to fully cover costs for all three participants. The funds will cover travel expenses and accommodation for the three participants as well as miscellaneous expenses incurred during the session. Check out the campaign in detail here and make a contribution that will help Creating the Future add rocket fuel to social change.

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Joe Donnellan

I have a BA in Public and Social Policy at NUI, Galway and have very recently relocated to Boston to live the American dream and to dive head first into the global community. I am still finding my feet here but I am trying to gain as much valuable experience as I possibly can. I enjoy the game that is politics and I also feel quite strongly about the subjects of genocide, human rights abuses and social exclusion. I love all manner of sport but have become more of an arm chair fan in recent year. My personal philosophy is that I want to leave everything in a better place than it was when I came in contact with it. You can follow me on twitter @joeydonn.

Has this post inspired you to start your own good?  Visit our site to learn about how to start your own campaign.

StartSomeGood News

                          

Last week we launched three new campaigns:

  • Creating the Future is setting out on its second campaign with StartSomeGood.  This time around, Creating the Future is starting an education program that will bring social change classes to communities.  At the end of October, brilliant changemakers from around the world will get together to design this education program.  The campaign will raise funds to help with the travel expenses for three critical individuals that are part of the design team.
  • Connective Possibilities has a goal to help people lift themselves out of poverty by connecting students and families to essential life resources.  This venture wants to be the platform that connects nonprofits and community-based organizations across the country that will help innovate and revitalize the school systems in low-income communities.  This campaign will help launch Connective Possibilities.  With the money raised, Connective Possibilities will be able to incorporate as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, build a website, and form partnerships with schools, school districts, city governments, and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Puralytics has developed a SolarBag that can purify enough water per day at a very affordable cost for an entire family to use for drinking and cooking.  This low cost bag treats not only microbial contaminants, but also removes arsenic and other heavy metals and chemicals and can be reused 500 times.  Funds raised for the current campaign will help Puralytics test the SolarBags to EPA standards and start a field trial with a partner organization.

We also saw one campaign end successfully:

  • Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence supports and empowers women who are victims of domestic abuse to take control of their lives.  Its self-sufficiency program provides resources and a safe space for clients to browse the internet, communicate with friends and family, and learn to write résumés and cover letters to apply for jobs and achieve financial independence.  Thanks to all its supporters, Next Door Solutions was able to raise funds beyond its total goal.  The money pledged will be used to open an entire computer lab, equipped with laptops, equipment, and résumé and cover letter preparation software.  

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Social entrepreneurs, we’re seeing so many great new and successful campaigns these days.  Have they inspired you to start your own good?  Do you have a social enterprise, a non-profit, or an amazing idea that needs some momentum to take off?  Visit our site to find out how to start your own campaign today.  Still have questions?  We have answers—check out our FAQ section.