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Education The Almighty Buck

Kickstarter-Like Service For Charities? 87

First time accepted submitter chefmayhem writes "I'm one of a number of volunteer alumni trying to revive a high school summer science enrichment program, PGSS, cut unceremoniously by Pennsylvania in 2009 due to budget issues. Our alumni association has become a 501(c)3 non-profit and we're raising money through donations (over $100K from over 300 donors so far) to try to fund the program in 2012. The idea is that running the program this summer will give us momentum, and something to show off to potential corporate, philanthropic, and other funding sources. Trouble is, some potential donors are concerned that we won't raise enough to run the program this coming summer, and are hesitant to donate, even though the money will (one way or another) go to science education, even if we can't restore the program. Is there a web-based fundraising service, like, but for charities, which will take pledges (and deal with credit card info, etc) but only charge donors if the goal is reached? It would also be important that non-donor sources (like some support from the state) can also count towards our fundraising goals. This could be a powerful tool for us, as well as other non-profits looking to make a dream come true."
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Kickstarter-Like Service For Charities?

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  • An abundance of links makes sure that in the event you don't find the service you're looking for, you have leveraged /. to gain an audience with lots of wallets worldwide.
  • Just Giving (Score:4, Informative)

    by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:47PM (#37209222)
    What you are loving for already exists.

    Just Giving []

    • Re:Just Giving (Score:5, Informative)

      by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @12:49PM (#37209252)
      Ah, I just noticed that may be slightly UK centric. Here is the US version. []
      • JustGiving doesn't seem to be quite what the OP is asking for.

        Kickstarter accepts pledges from people that are paid only if the overall fundraising goal is met. Let's say the overall goal is $100 and you get nine people each pledging $10. If nobody else signs up and the overall pledge amount never reaches $100, nobody pays.

        JustGiving seems to be a traditional donation processor, meaning donors pay immediately. They can't postpone payment until a fundraising goal is met.

        • by 404 Clue Not Found (763556) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @02:41PM (#37211040)

          What you want is all-or-nothing fundraising.

          As mentioned further down this thread []*, [] does exactly that, except they allow you to both set an overall fundraising goal and a "tipping point" if you like. No money changes hands unless the tipping point is reached, and then after that, further donations are paid immediately until the overall goal is met. If you want, you can make the tipping point the same as the overall fundraising goal, such that 100% of the donations are collected in an all-or-nothing fashion.

          And according to SomeSomeGood's website, two other competitors who do all-or-nothing fundraising are [] and [].

          * I am reposting this because the best answer was unfortunately posted by an Anonymous Coward and remains at Score: 0. In the hopes of this getting seen by more people, I'm reposting it with a karma bonus.

          The AC's original comment:

          Hey there--
 exists for exactly this purpose -- to help social good initiatives raise funds and grow a community of supporters. We use a similar model to Kickstarter, but with a "tipping point," which is the amount of funds you need to start doing good in the world. Definitely have a look, and if you have any questions, please reach out to me directly: alex at startsomegood dot com

          Alex Budak
          Co-Founder StartSomeGood

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        Odd that a UK centric site would be a .com. They should use the domain as that would be the appropriate place for a UK site.

        • by terrox (555131)
          .com is not a US domain extension, it is a global extension for any country. It means "commercial". There is a .us
  • What is it about Kickstarter that makes it not applicable to charities?
    • It's own guidelines?

      No charity or cause funding.

    • by cmv1087 (2426970)

      From the kickstarter guidelines:

      No charity or cause funding. Examples of prohibited use include raising money for the Red Cross, funding an awareness campaign, funding a scholarship, or donating a portion of funds raised on Kickstarter to a charity or cause.

  • This site might be what you're looking for: []
  • that you've probably thought of is to get a big donor to pledge matching funds. My old college did this, with a dude pledging to match everything that was raised. Helps to have a suitable candidate for this kind of thing though, and my college is about 500 years old.

    But good idea with the charge-when-target-reached site.

  • Soliciting charitable donations is still a very personal thing. Especially if you intend on getting beyond the nickle and dime range (under $50 US). It requires directly talking to potential donors. What's the benefit to your organization - you have 30-seconds, tops. They think they know what you want and why you want it. Money, but what are you really asking for? Operational (smells of on-going funds)? Grants (one time). Equipment? Services? What? Target your pitch to them in terms of what they alre

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey there-- exists for exactly this purpose -- to help social good initiatives raise funds and grow a community of supporters. We use a similar model to Kickstarter, but with a "tipping point," which is the amount of funds you need to start doing good in the world. Definitely have a look, and if you have any questions, please reach out to me directly: alex at startsomegood dot com

    Alex Budak
    Co-Founder StartSomeGood

  • by SLot (82781) [] is specifically geared towards charities.

    • The OP's question was "but only charge donors if the goal is reached?"

      I looked at this site and its FAQ and I don't see where they mention they have a goal-cutoff point.

      Did you see that?

  • Seriously, I would think it take an attorney 2-4 hours to set up a trust account to hold donations under your terms, to be spent if your goals are met, or refunded if not. Of course then you'd have to track donations, but, uhm, you're doing that anyway aren't you???

  • by kervin (64171)

    It's call "Kickstarter" <-- Air quotes

  • There used to be a cool site for this even before Kickstarter, called, but apparently it went under. See some more info here: []

    That page says that they're in the process of rebuilding it but until then they recommend: []
    and []

    Also search the net for 'charity crowdfunding' to see if you stumble into anything interesting.

    Good luck!

  • Give [] a look. As I understand it, it's pretty much exactly like kickstarter for charities.
  • Disclaimer: the UK is not the US, but I would be surprised if there are major differences in principle.

    I'm concerned you have set up a charity but appear to have no knowledge of basic charity operation nor accounting - you HAVE arranged for accounting, I hope? In UK, you trustees who manage the charity have to prepare and file statutory accounts (in a very specific format, a UK charity's accounts differ substantially from those of a business' even down to some basic principles) as well as having other statu

  • If you have to ask a basic question like "how do I raise money for a charity?" Then for the benefit of all the people you are trying to help, hire a development manager (or whatever their title is). Someone that's applied for hundreds of government grants, knows where to find money and how to raise it. Asking Slashdot is like going to the local knitting group and asking what distro to install.

    My mother founded a successful non-profit. My sister is a development manager for a less-successful charity.

  • Call me biased, they're my employer after all (btw best job ever): Crowdrise allows you to raise money for your charity [] we handle pretty much everything. Anyone can become a fundraiser for your cause (as long as your cause is a non-profit.
  • They seem more geared towards art and artists, but maybe they'd be a good resource to connect with. They can certainly handle 501(c)3 donations as a Kickstarter project I backed didn't get funded in time, but they went through Fractured Atlas as an alternate source. []
  • You might want to check out Crowdrise []. I first read about it on Wired [] a couple of months ago.
  • You could have people not actually donate, but make a pledge that you agree to only collect, and will only be donated if you have $XXX,XXX of pledges. I don't know about services that do this though. But if it is not an online campaign but rather a snail-mail or personal campaign this is definitely an option.

    Alternatively you could have your donation link just be so people email you a pledge as above, and just make a note that these pledges are binding financially as long as $XXX,XXX in pledges is reached

  • Cauzoom is project-based fundraising for nonprofits, with Kickstarter's goal/deadline/all-or-nothing approach. We (I'm the CEO) also offer a plethora of tools for helping your community leverage its own social reach, and invite businesses into the equation by offering them cause-marketing opportunities to sponsor projects and even sell gift cards that contribute to the project with every purchase. Plus it's lots of fun. :-)

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb