Wednesday, March 18, 2015

5 Crowdfunding campaigns that will renew your faith in humanity!

Crowdfunding is a a relatively new phenomenon that has changed the way we connect with causes, fundraisers, and business ventures searching for support. Whether we want to offer our 2 cents, 20 dollars, or 2 grand, we can make a donation  with just the click of our mouse. FundMe, IndieGogo, Kickstarter are some of the most popular crowdfunding websites among many others, and there are now more than 10,00 new campaigns started on crowdfunding sites every single day!

Of course anyone can post any project on these sites, so there are plenty of whacky and hilarious cases of the public embracing and funding someone as a novelty – like Zack Brown, the guy who started a Kickstarter campaign as a joke, asking to raise just enough money to go to the store and buy the ingredients to make potato salad. Months and worldwide recognition later, he ended up with $55,000!

The good news is that a lot of campaigns on crowdfunding sites are set up to help people in need. And although we may not hear about all the media may not cover them as much as, say, $55,000 for potato salad, there are plenty of cases of complete strangers funding these campaigns just because it’s the right thing to do. 

Here are 5 crowdfunding campaigns that will renew your faith in humanity:

Dance party for a man who was shamed via social media.

Dance party for #dancingman

A gentleman named Sean likes to dance but he doesn’t necessarily look like a male model (like most of us!). So when a photo of him dancing was greeted with mean-spirited mockery from bullies, a big-hearted stranger named Krista started a GoFundMe campaign for Sean. She wanted to raise enough money to throw him a huge dance party to make him feel better but also support body acceptance and anti-bullying message. She never anticipated how successful the dance party crowdfunding campaign would be, both in donations and worldwide awareness. Not only are there enough funds to fly Sean to Los Angeles for his own personal dance party with thousands of donors and admirers, but they just donated $10,000 of their funds to anti-bullying campaigns.

High schoolers give back to their beloved custodian.

Raised: $36,725
Campaign: OUR Ollie is sick & needs your help
Ballwin, MO 

At Parkway West High School in Missouri, their 72-year old custodian, Ollie, was a beloved fixture in the lives of students, always lending an encouraging word or making people smile. But Ollie was diagnosed with cancer, with medical insurance that falls far short of paying for the treatment he needs. To make matters worse, Ollie’s wife landed in the hospital at the same time with her own illness to battle. Not only did the children of Parkway West High miss seeing him in the hallways, they wanted to do something to help. So they started a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe and rallied the community, raising $36,725from 965 donations to pay for medical care for Ollie and his wife!

More info:

The man who walks 21 miles to work every day gets a car.

Raised: $349,904

Campaign: Help James Robertson Get a Car
Troy, Mi

You think your commute is bad? James Robertson, a factory worker, goes 21 miles each day to and from work. While that might not seem like a long drive, Robertson, 56 years old, doesn’t own a car. There are no bus lines that run right to his work, and he doesn’t own a bicycle, nor can you ride one in the snow and bad streets. So Robertson has to walk 21 of the 23 miles every single day. And he’s done that for a decade after his car died and he didn’t have enough money for a new one. (By the way, Robertson also has a perfect attendance record at work!) Some times, generous strangers see him walking and give him a ride, but someone saw his story on a local news station and had a bigger idea. A 19-year college kid, Evan Leedy, set up a GoFundMe page for James, though he almost stopped before he posted the campaign because he thought, “Who is going to donate money to a 19-year old kid to buy someone a car?”

Leedy got his answer quickly: a lot of people would. In fact, more than 13,000 people have donated, bringing in an astounding $349,904 to date, $200,000 of that coming in the first hour! Not only did James get a new car and the story make world headlines, but corporations have gotten involved with donations and pro bono work and the mission, and the money, is spreading to others who need help.

More info:

Saving a dog shelter from eviction right before Christmas.

Raised: $81,655
 Campaign: Shelter Evicted For Christmas!!
Joliet, Il

The Cache Creek Animal Rescue shelter received an auspicious piece of mail right before Christmas last year – an eviction notice. They’d paid their lease on time every month, but complications from a building inspection led to the order for them to vacate by January 10. Of course that meant they’d have to find something to do with the hundreds of dogs they keep there. Cache Creek rescue is a no-kill rescue facility, but they had to consider the unthinkable if they couldn’t find a new home or a lot of money to pay for the building repairs in short order. So an employee took to GoFundMe, posting a campaign to save the shelter and the dogs.

People responded with the spirit of giving to the needy K9s, donating over $80,000 to find a temporary place to keep the dogs safe. The shelter is planning on using the funds to find a permanent, safe property for the shelter and a new van for them to expand their reach to save even more doggies.

More info:

Little boy’s special wheelchair is stolen so strangers fund a new one.

Raised: $3,970
Campaign: Pediatric Chair For Riley!
Atlanta, Ga

Successful crowdfunding campaigns don’t always have to involve hundreds of thousands of dollars and worldwide attention. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count the most as people stand up for those in need – or, in this case, sit down.

Single mother Kristi Thomas juggles all of the responsibilities and stresses that most moms do, including work, keeping up a home, paying bills, and caring for her child. But Riley Thomas, Kristi’s son, lives with cerebral palsy, limiting him to a very specialized wheelchair, called a Kid Kart. But one chilly morning last January, Kristi turned on her car and left it running in the driveway of her home as she went back inside to get her son and take him to school. When she came out, the car was gone; stolen by thieves. She didn’t only lose the car – inside was Riley’s special Kid Kart, so he was without the means to get around or attend school, and Kristi didn’t have the money to purchase a new one, which cost about $1,500.

So a family friend started a crowd funding campaign to help Riley. It gained regional news coverage and attracted more than 100 caring folks in only 2 months, raising $3,970 – more than enough for Riley to get his new Kid Kart and a very deserving single mother to pay some bills and get to breath a sigh of relief.

More info:

Do you have a crowdfunding campaign or cause that's near and dear to your heart? We'd love to make this a regular monthly series for our blog to keep spreading the positivity, so please let us know!  

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