Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Help Start Some Good This Season

Crowd funding has come into its own with sites like Kickstarter helping would-be entrepreneurs. In fact, we still think it's one of the coolest ways for creative people to get attention — so cool that we highlighted them as a good will pick almost two years ago.

Since then, dozens of other crowd funding sites have started up. Many of them are similar with slight variations in terms. Some allow funders to collect a portion of their goals. Others have introduced an equity option that turns contributors into investors. And then there are those that continue to inspire something else entirely — crowd funding for social entrepreneurs, change makers, and nonprofits.

These are people who have great ideas and the passion to see them through, but they lack the start-up capital to get great civic things off the ground. How does this differ? The value is intangible and sometimes immeasurable.

Maybe you could StartSomeGood this season, literally. 

StartSomeGood is a crowd funding platform that was built specifically to raise funds and build a community of supporters who look for good social ideas and help them start up or meet specific goals. Think of it like DonorsChoose except the classroom in need might be an entire community.

The platform isn't confined to startups either. Many of the organizations that are aiming to raise funds already have proven programs with specific needs. Some of them, like SMAC! Sock Monkeys, have been featured as good will picks in the past. It's where they raised money for many good ideas.

The ideas that are accepted do have to meet some criteria. All campaigns have to create positive social change, lay out a coherent budget, establish a tipping point that covers minimum objectives, and promise to send rewards to contributors within a reasonable timeframe. For those campaigns that can answer yes to these questions and a few others, StartSomeGood will give them a green light.

The platform makes fundraising possible online. 

Of course, the real power behind programs such as these isn't about receiving a green light from StartSomeGood. It comes from people, with the majority of successful campaigns already having a network of potential supporters in place long before listing their campaigns.

StartSomeGoodSure, it's not uncommon for other champions to take an interest or help push a program over the line as these contributors help the campaign get off the ground. But just like any fundraising campaign, core support almost always comes from where the program intersects with a community or special interest. The rest is generosity and sometimes a kind way to give some kudos for a good idea.

At the same time, where StartSomeGood truly excels is in helping social champions get the job done without a donation page, merchant account, or program to track campaign goals in real time. In some cases, developing those assets can cost more than an effective program.

More than that, StartSomeGood also provides programs with a road map to help them succeed. The platform has a "how it works" section that walks people through what they need to do to build a campaign, promote a campaign, and nurture it into something worth talking about.

StartSomeGood Is A Good Will Pick From Liquid Hip.

At least once a month, Liquid Hip highlights good will efforts undertaken by people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you. Happy holidays.

We chose StartSomeGood because the platform keeps popping up on our radar with all sorts of good ideas and worthwhile causes. While we often select specific programs and people to highlight, it seemed especially fitting to leave the giving wide open this time around.

There are dozens perhaps hundreds of ideas that are looking for support right now. Some of them only need a few hundred dollars to see their projects become a success — ideas like an educational incubator that helps students develop new innovations in science and technology, a lacrosse league designed specifically to help inner city youth avoid at-risk behaviors, a multicultural center that plans to renovate its indoor and outdoor space. Find them all, listed by urgency, at StartSomeGood.
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