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Giving Together: Philanthropy for All
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editorial

Giving Together: Philanthropy for All

Editor's Note: This guest post comes to us from David Drake, founder and chairman of LDJ Capital. It appears exclusively on Crowdsourcing.org.

Philanthropy has been flourishing for the last few years through crowdfunding.

Artists and entrepreneurs turn to popular crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise capital for their latest ventures, but the mechanics of crowdfunding go beyond perks and profit — its utilization in supporting global giving and philanthropy merits equal (if not more) mileage. Without expecting anything in return, donors are inspired by one vital goal: their donation successfully reaching the people who need it most.

What makes for a great crowdfunding for philanthropy site? Let’s examine three of these, chosen for their popularity, pricing, innovation, and most importantly, success rates.

Crowdrise

Founded in 2010 by actor Edward Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson, and internet entrepreneurs Jeffrey and Robert Wolfe, Crowdrise helps individuals and charities raise money online.

Its tagline, “If you don’t give back, no one will like you,” has helped attract a community of do-gooders and fund all kinds of inspiring causes and needs. Its pricing scheme is 4.95 percent per donation plus $1 transaction fee for donations under $25 and $2.50 for donations over $25.

Crowdrise has been named one of the "Top 25 Global Philanthropists" by Barron's and as a "Top Fundraising Website" by Mashable.

Fundly

Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, Fundly promises to raise money for what matters to you most.

Said to be the world's largest crowdfunding platform for social good, Fundly has raised over $305 million across 42,000 campaigns. Its campaigns are diverse, from a nine year-old raising funds to combat child slavery to local PTAs and run/walk/ride fundraising events.

Fundly charges 4.9 percent per donation plus three percent in credit card fees.

Fundly works with the world’s largest charities, including Children’s Miracle Network, Habitat For Humanity, Teach For America, and Arnold Palmer Hospitals. This company is set to prove that you’re never too young or old, too big or small to do good.

give2gether

give2gether is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform based on proprietary game theory optimization algorithms. Founded by economics professors from Berkeley and NYU, the product is backed by more than a decade of research on what makes people give more online and how they inspire others. These insights enable nonprofits to improve their campaigns with unparalleled success. According to give2gether, their unique game theoretic expertise yields exceptional conversion rates (10 percent via email, 5.5 percent via Facebook) and increased revenue.

The platform lets nonprofits capitalize on their social media traffic to turn more donors to fundraisers, thereby growing their social outreach. And no, you need not be a “techie” to raise funds successfully on give2gether: the success managers share their expertise on campaign optimization and strategy. give2gether’s fee structure ranges from five percent per transaction with a $300 monthly subscription, to two percent per transaction for enterprise accounts willing to pay a higher monthly subscription fee. The platform also enables conditional giving; donations are routed to the project only when the customized goal is met. Otherwise, donors are given the option to re-route their donation to a new cause or get their money back.

The site’s research shows that donors give more when they see their social impact and become aware that their contribution is significant and visible to others. This transparency is the secret to give2gether’s success.

Other sites you may consider:

To quote from give2gether’s vision page, “When technology meets a good cause, great things happen.” More than crowdsourcing funds, what the above sites are really crowdsourcing is compassion.

Whether you are a donor or a fundraiser, the internet is full of options. Get involved and make a positive impact.

David Drake is an early-stage equity expert and the founder and chairman of LDJ Capital, a New York City private equity firm, and The Soho Loft, a global event-driven financial media company. He writes regularly for Forbes and Thomson Reuters. You can reach him directly at David@LDJCapital.com for comments.

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