Culture

Team Up with the Internet to Do a Little Good

by Katie Wudel

May 27, 2015

We’re teaming up with our friends at Sambazon for 100 days of little ways to change our world. Follow along for the next 100 days of action (and giveaways) on Instagram @Sambazon and at www.sambazon.com/100. And don’t forget to tell us @GOOD about how you’re changing your world with the hashtag #100Startswith1.

#100StartsWith1

Champion: Indiegogo

Action: Support crowdfunding—make your own campaign, back someone else’s, or spread the word about a personal cause you believe in.

Back in 2008, Danae Ringelmann was trying to find a way to open an off-Broadway play that she really believed in. Back then, the only channels for those seeking funding were pretty traditional: investors or bank loans. “I rented out a venue, I worked with the director to get the audience there and actors to volunteer their time, and got investors there to finance it all after they had attended the night.” Though the actors and audience really wanted the play to come alive, Ringelmann says the investors decided not to follow through.

She says she realized this was “the reason finance is broken.” So Ringelmann teamed up to found the first-ever crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo, with a couple of other would-be creators who’d struggled to get their projects off the ground—Eric Schell (who wanted to fund a theater company) and Slava Rubin, who lost her father to myeloma cancer and wanted to contribute to research into the disease. “We wanted to create a way and a place for people to fund what mattered to them. Whatever that was,” says Ringelmann.

In the seven years since Indiegogo launched, crowdfunding has shifted from being mostly about inventors and entrepreneurs launching businesses to more and more individuals who’d like a little help accomplishing tightly defined personal goals. That might mean reaching out for assistance with medical expenses, or seeking support for a beloved teacher soon heading into retirement. For these users, Indiegogo launched a free platform called Indiegogo Life

Indiegogo is famously agnostic about the campaigns on its platform—if someone has a dream, crowdfunding is there to help make it happen. In that spirit, Ringelmann and the rest of the Indiegogo team want to encourage you to embrace that kind of openness and general goodwill. This week, support crowdfunding in any way you can. Make your own campaign, back someone else’s, or—if funds are tight—spread the word about someone else’s personal cause. 

It’s the perfect time to tell us about how you’re changing someone’s world. Find out more about Indiegogo Life on Facebook and tell us about how you’re supporting crowdfunding using the hashtag. #100StartsWith1

Toolkit

If you get inspired to create your own campaign, Ringelmann has a few tips:

1. Speak from the heart. Let visitors know why you’re running a fundraiser and how their donations can help. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable; your supporters will appreciate your honesty.

2. Update your supporters. Post news about how your campaign is going—seeing the kind of impact a donation can make will help your fundraisers feel connected.

3. Share on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media is a great way to quickly connect with friends and family. Encourage them to spread the word about your fundraiser to reach an even bigger network. 

4. Communicate frequently. Updating your campaign page every five days can increase donations by as much as 218 percent. Supporters like to know how things are going, and may even donate again.

5. Download a fundraising handbook. Whether you want to make sure you’re handling a delicate fundraising situation with sensitivity, or you just want to make sure your campaign is making the impact you think it deserves, Indiegogo has prepared a few in-depth resources to help you along the way:

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Team Up with the Internet to Do a Little Good