StartSomeGood launches with new crowdfunding tools for social innovators
You’ve probably heard of Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, two of the largest, and most successful, crowdfunding websites. Both platforms focus on raising money for independent artist-focused projects — whether that’s a foreign film, fantasy video game or fashion line. But, there’s a new player in crowd-town — StartSomeGood, focused solely on supporting social entrepreneurs — and they don’t see themselves as a competitor of established crowdfunding sites but rather as a “provider of tools” for social innovators. As co-founder Alex Budak explains, “StartSomeGood was founded as a springboard for the countless innovative people out there that aspire to change the world, but don’t have the capital to do it.”
StartSomeGood launched February 28 and has already raised nearly $1,000 for projects ranging from a mobile app for speech therapy to a national trash-pickup initiative and a new model of higher education. “We’re really excited to see the variety of applications pouring in,” says co-founder Tom Dawkins. “The most inspiring part of this project is finding out about and supporting incredible social entrepreneurs.”
Budak and Dawkins aren’t newcomers to the social-impact realm, both having worked at Ashoka, a social entrepreneurship incubator with over 3,000 fellows worldwide. Dawkins also founded award-winning Australian nonprofit youth organization Vibewire. The founders’ experiences at Ashoka, Vibewire and elsewhere — as well as currently living in entrepreneurial ecosystems of Washington D.C. and San Francisco — helped inspire their vision to help more social entrepreneurs’ dreams take flight.
Crowdfunding models are nothing new. IndieGoGo has been around since 2008 and Kickstarter launched in 2009. However, until recently, no crowdfunding platform has focused solely on full-circle social innovation.
33needs, a crowdfunding site that launched early-February, comes close, but focuses more on funneling investor-power towards social enterprise, while StartSomeGood arms social ventures in toolbelt-like fashion. In addition to using the power of the crowd to raise funds for social ventures, StartSomeGood also offers volunteer and services-needed functionality. And unlike most existing social good fundraising platforms StartSomeGood allows all types of social change initiatives, nonprofit, for-profit, associations and unincorporated groups, to seek support based on the quality of their idea, not their legal status.
“Our hope is to be a platform for better-world idea ignition,” Dawkins says. “We want to help social entrepreneurs address problems and realize opportunities in their communities by allowing anyone to support them in turning their ideas into action and impact.”