Download Call (MP3)

Date: May 23, 2011

Guest Speakers: Ethan Austin & Desiree Vargas Wrigley

Summary:  Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin, Co-Founders of GiveForward, joined us for a discussion titled “CrowdFunding: How Small-Scale Donors are Finding New Meaning in Giving”.  In this call they discussed the recent increase in online giving.  One of the major reasons for this has been the rise in crowdfunding platforms, or sites that allow individuals to promote a cause or project to collectively raise funds from their social networks.  These new tools allow a greater sense of connection between donors and recipients and are helping shape a new generation of philanthropists. 

Important Points:

  • Examples of crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter (for the arts), Kiva (microlending), Global Giving (international aid), FirstGiving (peer to peer campaigns for non-profits), CrowdRise (like FirstGiving), GiveForward (for medical), DonorsChoose (for classroom needs).
  • All of these sites are empowering for donors because they allow people to give directly to causes they care about.  Since all of these sites promote project-targeted giving, the donors feel a greater sense of impact from their gifts.
  • The majority of these on-line fundraising tools integrate with Facebook and other social networking sites, which means that giving is no longer a private act.  This creates recognition for the act of giving and creates social pressure for others in their network to give.  
  • Crowdfunding sites satisfy three major desires for donors: the desire to be recognized by peers, the desire to feel the impact of their gifts and the desire for ease and convenience. 

Book Recommendation: Hug Your Customer by Jack Mitchell and The Crowdfunding Revolution by Kevin Lawton

Purposeful Quote: “I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” – Oprah Winfrey