How Skoll Awardees are Using Crowdfunding for Fundraising Success

We’re noticing an increasing number Skoll Awardees using crowdfunding for specific projects, and wanted to share more details in case you’re contemplating doing the same.

In June, Landesa launched its first crowd-funding effort with In this pilot effort, they featured their legal aid project in Andra Pradesh, with a goal of raising $10,000 to train and support 30 paralegals in the program. Those paralegals can, in a given year, help 1,000 families gain clear title to the land upon which they rely.

Landesa successfully raised the $10,000 needed.

In July, Search for Common Ground raised a little more than their $10,000 goal to launch a TV web series of their signature show, “The Team,” in America. See their Kickstarter promotional video, above.

“Although crowdfunding seems to be everywhere now, nonprofits were actually some of its earliest adopters,” writes Scot Chisholm, CEO & CoFounder, StayClassy (a crowdfunding site). “In the early days, nonprofits tied crowdfunding to their offline events, like runs, walks and rides.”

We at the Skoll Foundation partnered with the Huffington Post and CrowdRise, a crowdfunding site, on two campaigns and plan on doing one more. The first, called JobRaising, was geared toward creating jobs for America and raised $1,469,116 in donations to organizations who help support jobs.  82 percent of  those donations were less than $100.

Announced in March 2013, JVS Los Angeles (which provides job training, mentoring, expert career coaching, job placement and retention support) beat the field with $254,100 raised and received an additional $150,000 from The Skoll Foundation.

CrowdRise, co-founded by the actor Edward Norton, helps complement a charity’s website and existing fundraising and volunteering by helping create viral fundraising campaigns that raise new money—and more. “It all started in Oxford at the Skoll World Forum when [Skoll Foundation CEO] Sally Osberg, Jeff Skoll and I said, ‘What can we do to promote job creation instead of sitting by the sidelines waiting for Washington to do something?’” Arianna Huffington said when the competition began. “JobRaising started with Sally and her vision.”

When Osberg was introducing the JobRaising contest, she said, “Those finalists then… will raise additional funds with Crowdrise. Crowdrise’s track record is incredible; they can help leverage this opportunity.”

JobRaising’s second place winner, Venture for America’s CEO Andrew Yang, said “… As our first experience with crowdfunding, I’m thrilled at the results.  We’re planning on using the funds to help expand to Cleveland and Baltimore this year, as well as develop new curricular resources.”

The second challenge, called Raise for Women, was for women-focused nonprofits and raised $1.3 million on CrowdRise. For each, the Skoll Foundation gave additional prize money to the organizations who raised the most funds. The winning organization announced in June 2013, Global Fund for Eating Disorders, raised $240,000 to expand their programs and research related to eating disorders. The Skoll Foundation granted them $40,000.

Watch this blog for info on the third!

If you’re interested in getting started and haven’t yet tried it, here’s a great “how to” guide.

Source: Skoll