StartSomeGood

Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood


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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Upcoming Events, New Startups, and More!

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Let’s start good together and build a better world.

Hello, February! We have links to summits and conferences, news on new startups, and so much more. We are in exciting times in the world of social entrepreneurship!

 

Opportunities and Events

#StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit – March 2017 

Our crowdfunding campaign is still running (with amazing rewards up for grabs)! Learn how to start good this year in a free-to-access virtual summit. We at StartSomeGood are bringing you the #StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit for social entrepreneurs and aspiring changemakers.

National Achievers Congress – Sydney and Melbourne, February 28 & March 2 2017 

Hear from various speakers regarding Business & Entrepreneurship, Success Mindset, and Wealth Creation on 28 February in Sydney and 2 March in Melbourne. Book your tickets now!

2017 Washington Nonprofit Conference – Washington DC, February 22-24

Join different fundraising and marketing professionals gather in Washington DC from February 22-24 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel for the nonprofit conference entitled “Disrupt: Change Yourself. Change Your Organization. Change the World.”

 

News, Reports, Insights

New Startup Accelerator For Social Entrepreneurs Targeting Climate Change And Water Systems 

Read about GoodCompany Ventures’ Climate Ventures 2.0 that helps 10 startups targeted at addressing climate change and threats to water systems.

UK Tech Startup Takes Over Social Media With Global Launch Campaign To Tackle Diversity In The Workplace #GettingMoreWomenIntoTech 

This tech startup aims to get 1000 women into technology roles by 2020.

How Social Media Usage Could Affect Your Startup Funding Opportunities 

Read about the importance of watching what you post on social media – your investors may be watching!

 

Inspiration

3 Reasons Why Social Entrepreneurs Need a Mentor 

Whether it is learning from their mistakes, tapping into their established network, or improving effectivity, social entrepreneurs can gain much from mentors.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Really Care About Public Schools 

Whether we realise it or not, schools are the breeding ground for the industry’s talent pool. This article explains why it is then important that social entrepreneurs take heed.

11 Keys To Finding Success As A New Entrepreneur 

There will be many days when the entrepreneurship world will seem so daunting and full. Here are some keys to finding success in the field.

 

Email us at hello@startsomegood.com if you have links you would like to share. We would love to hear from you!


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2017: A Year for Social Entrepreneurs

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Some of you may be entering the year feeling a bit like these guys look.

Despite all the tumult of 2016 I enter 2017 strangely optimistic.

Despite my fears and disappointments, things also have a stark and refreshing clarity to them.

Now is a time for social entrepreneurs.

It’s clear that we can’t rely on our political leaders and processes to create a more equitable and sustainable future. In country after country, politics has snarled to a stop as the ability to compromise seems to evaporate, or been captured entirely by those with little regard for the role of government. Regardless of how you vote and what you believe, now is not the time to sit back and wait for others to make things right.

Instead, you are going to have to help create the future you want to see, if we’re to have any chance of seeing it at all.

The future doesn’t just happen, and by the time it becomes the present everything that matters has already happened. The future is the product of the decisions and actions we take individually and collectively that influence the present we live into. Is it more or less equal, connected, sustainable, just? Do current trends, positive and negative, continue, pause, decline? Which stories do we hear, which voices to we respect, who participates and who is missing?

You have only two choices.

You can either help create the future or you can live in the past, living in the wake of decisions made by others.

If you care about the future, if you have an idea for how to make things better, we need you now. Traditional sources of influence for the common good are weakening, but new forms of collective power are emerging, and the onus is on us to use and master the tools that give rise to these.

Crowdfunding is one of these tools.

At StartSomeGood our mission is to help non-profits, social entrepreneurs and community groups to create the future we need, and in particular to support more innovative projects and emerging social impact organizations and forms – such as social enterprises – commonly ignored by traditional funders.

We are deeply fortunate to work with inspiring changemakers every day, so it’s impossible for us to feel anything other than hopeful. As we go into this new year we re-dedicate ourselves to working in the service of innovation and innovators, to keep increasingly our already industry-leading project success rate, to growing our reaching and community and to create more co-funding opportunities and link you to more investment, so we can move faster and improve more lives.

And so I feel optimistic.

With challenge comes opportunity and today we have a unique opportunity to make a difference. Greater interconnectedness and access to new tools and technologies has made so much possible, and it’s clear more and more emerging leaders are dedicating themselves to creating a positive social impact all the time.

If we can help you launch your social impact project this year, please get in touch! We’d love to help you do crowdfunding right.

 

Tom

Co-founder, StartSomeGood

 

PS. I want to help some of you start 2017 with a bang! I will personally donate $50 to every campaign that launches on StartSomeGood by January 13, and $25 to any that launch by January 31, when you used the Referral Code HAPPYNEWYEAR (in the extra’s tab when you’re creating your campaign). I’ll also share on twitter and do my best to see you succeed.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s do this.

 


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The Social Enterprise Design Challenge is back!

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TL;DR:

What is this for: new social enterprise concepts from DGR (tax deductible) organisations in Australia

Applications due: January 31, 2017

Crowdfunding: March

Amount: Up to a $15,000 match.

Express interest: here.

 

More:

The Social Enterprise Design Challenge is a unique matched funding opportunity provided by the English Famly Foundation and hosted by StartSomeGood which supports non-profit social enterprises in Australia to test and design new concepts for creating sustainable and transformational social change.

We are looking for ambitious leaders who are finding new and innovative solutions to tackle the most pressing issues within our communities, and who need a little help to achieve this. By asking the community to invest alongside us we ensure that these solutions have the support and attention they need to have the best chance at succeeding.

Last year four non-profit social enterprises tested their ideas through crowdfunding with the help of the English Family Foundation and StartSomeGood. To our delight all four exceeded their fundaising goals. Together they raised over $130,000 from over 650 individual supporters. You can find out more about their campaigns and our criteria here.

 


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7 Reasons StartSomeGood Has the Highest Success Rate in Crowdfunding

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When we started StartSomeGood, it was because we saw a real need for a platform designed specifically for social entrepreneurs. We saw the existing crowdfunding platforms, and knew we could craft something better to get better results.

And that’s exactly what we did. When you start a crowdfunding campaign with StartSomeGood you have the better chance of success than with any other platform*. Here are 7 reasons why:

1. We were created by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs.

Who knows what a social entrepreneur needs better than another social entrepreneur? Before we put pen to paper, we sat down and discussed what challenges we had faced in securing funding for changemaking projects. We talked about how raising money for social good is different than raising month for other projects. And then we created a product specifically designed to meet those needs.

2. We have a unique tipping point model.

“What in hell is a tipping point?” –question we get a lot.  Sometimes people have no idea, and sometimes people think we’re talking about that Malcolm Gladwell book. But no, the tipping point is our unique approach to structuring a crowdfunding campaign.

With some crowdfunding platforms you don’t get your donations unless you fully meet your goal, which can be challenging to project creators: should they make the goal the full amount needed, or go with a lower number that will still effect change?

With other crowdfunding platforms you get all the donations no matter what, which can be a deterrent for backers: if a project doesn’t get the full amount, what happens to their donation? Can the project use it for whatever they way?

So we found a better way: the tipping point. Projects set two goals: the first “tipping” point is an amount of money necessary to start good. The second “stretch goal” is the amount to fully fund the project.

With two checkpoints, entrepreneurs can be ambitious with their goals, and backers can know exactly where their donation is going.

3. We give you the best advice and support.

Helping project succeed is so important to us, we have a global team dedicated to it. When you start a project with StartSomeGood, you’ll be assigned a designated team member who can help you optimize your pitch and help solve any problems you encounter. This personal touch is a key to our success rate.

4. We back the organizations and entrepreneurs that back themselves.

StartSomeGood helps entrepreneurs in many ways: our beautiful website, sharing tools, linking your campaign to our community, our global support team, etc. All of these tools are important, but the most important factor to success is the commitment of the entrepreneurs and organizations using our site and their ability to inspire a community around them. We simply do our best to help boost their efforts.

5. We have the most dedicated team in the business.

As mentioned, StartSomeGood was created by social entrepreneurs, and we have been staffed by social entrepreneurs ever since. From our web team to our communications team to our support team, our staff and volunteers are passionate about creating lasting social change, which means they are passionate about helping you succeed.

6. We have innovative partnerships to help you double your money.

We partner with businesses, foundations and governments to boost the funds raised by selected social benefit projects on our site, often by providing up to half your funding goal up-front. This is called “Crowdmatch.”

Crowdmatch sees a funding partner support a group of projects either from the start of their crowdfunding campaign, by providing up to half of the funds they are seeking, which then needs to be matched by the community, or at the end, based on meeting specific goals.

The goal of Crowdmatch is to better connect philanthropic giving with community aspirations and impact investing with market input.

The combination gives social entrepreneurs and nonprofits the best chance to raise the funds and rally the community backing they need to do good, while making institutional funding more targeted and impactful.

7. We’re a certified B Corp.

Okay we’re not actually sure this boosts your success rate but it does mean that when you succeed you can feel good about who you are partnered with. B Corp is a global holistic certification for companies that act in the best interests of people and planet. There are now more than 1500 B Corps globally and we’re proud to be one of them! Find out more about B Corps here.

 

Ultimately, what this all comes down to is that we really care about helping you raise the funds you need to change the world. Many crowdfunding platforms, including in the social change sector, are not optimized to do this. Their focus tends to be launching as many projects as possible with as light a touch as possible, even if the vast majority then fall short of their goals. But we’re not into that. We work with few projects at a time but we actually work with you to help you reach your goals, because it’s only when you reach your fundraising goals that you can launch your project to change the world, and that’s what we’re here for!

So, let’s change the world together!

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If you need to raise funds to change the world, we’d love to help. Just click “Start a Project” on our homepage and tell us what you’re working on!

*Source: Entrepreneur Magazine, January 2016. Platforms reviewed were Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Fundrazr, Crowdfunder and Rockethub.


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Interview Spotlight: Drizzle

An interview with Drizzle, a clothing company founded to provide sustainable funding for youth environmental initiatives.

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Where did you get the original inspiration for this project?

As many non-profits struggle to acquire funding to run their programs, we wanted to develop a sustainable source of income for our youth environmental initiatives by creating a social enterprise clothing company. We have always had a passion for apparel and sustainable fashion, and after doing a bit of research, we dove right into it.

Why did you decide to crowdfund?

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money AND build a community of support. We want Drizzle Apparel Co. to become not only a great social enterprise, but also a movement for environmental youth empowerment. Crowdfunding is allowing us to accomplish both goals.

One of the shirts available for purchase through Drizzle.

Design for a future Drizzle shirt.

What does ultimate success look like for you and your project?

Ultimate success for us is empowering a generation of youth to protect the planet and take into account the environment into every decision they make. Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders, and we believe if they are empowered to protect our planet, they will consider the health of our environment in every decision they make as adults.

What are you enjoying most about StartSomeGood?

The StartSomeGood community is fantastic. The team has been extremely supportive and helpful, and those who follow along have been very supportive as well. I know that if we reach our goal, we will have the StartSomeGood community to thank.

To learn more about Drizzle, or to pledge support, visit here.


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Not Just Another Crowdfunding Platform: Our Partnerships Help You Double Your Money

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TL:DR Version

If you’re an impatient social entrepreneur reading this, here’s the gist: we partner with businesses, foundations and governments to boost the funds raised by selected social benefit projects on our site, often by providing up to half your funding goal up-front. We have three of these opportunities open right now – find them under the “Funding Opportunities” heading on our homepage.

If you want to know how and why we arrived at this model, read on…

How Best to Support Change?

If you’ve been with us for any length of time you know this, but StartSomeGood was founded with a mission to help innovative community benefit projects share their stories and raise the funds they need to launch, whether run by a social enterprise, a not-for-profit or a local community group or changemaker.

Like all the other crowdfunding platforms out there, our focus was (and remains) to build great tools to help for you to rally your community. For many platforms, that’s all they do, leaving projects to sink or swim entirely on their own. But we wanted to go further than that, because it was never about throwing projects out there, it was about helping them to succeed, and this, we rapidly learned, meant also focusing on coaching entrepreneurs on how to use these tools effectively.

We put more emphasis on coaching and supporting people to set up projects which succeed, which is why we have the highest success rate in cause crowdfunding.

But still, we were dissatisfied.

There are great ideas out there that struggle to get the attention of funders – particularly those with the capacity to make bigger investments – and which fail to gain the momentum they need to reach their goals, despite the quality or importance of the idea. While crowdfunding is an amazing tool for making new things possible it’s not a meritocracy with regards to those ideas. Those with more resources, connections, marketing experience and time will naturally tend to do better.

We kept asking ourselves how we could best help the best projects, based on the quality of their ideas, and help connect them with potential funders.

The answer came to us thanks to a conversation with ING DIRECT Australia. They had a somewhat different problem they wanted to solve: they were keen on supporting more grassroots projects, but uncertain about how to differentiate between the volume of ideas they were likely to receive without staffing up a major foundation, which they didn’t want to do. They also wanted to better leverage all their resources, including their communications channels and relationships, to support these projects, not simply provide a grant.

And a new approach to funding innovation was born.

Introducing Crowdmatch

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We now call this model Crowdmatch, and we’re really excited about how well it works for both entrepreneurs, who get a huge boost at the start of their campaigns, and for our funding partners, who see their risk reduced, their funds go further and their community get more involved.

Crowdmatch sees a funding partner support a group of projects either from the start of their crowdfunding campaign, by providing up to half of the funds they are seeking, which then needs to be matched by the community, or at the end, based on meeting specific goals.

The goal of Crowdmatch is to better connect philanthropic giving with community aspirations and impact investing with market input.

The combination  gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits the best chance to raise the funds and rally the community backing they need to do good, while making institutional funding more targeted and impactful.

With ING DIRECT we are now into our third year of Dreamstarter and the sixth cohort of projects supported through the program will launch in two weeks. Through Dreamstarter ING DIRECT have invested about $200,000 in community benefit projects and together we have helped them crowdfund more than $300,000 more, with a 90% participant success rate.

We are working hard to increase the number of these opportunities available. Just in the last week we have launched two new opportunities.

New Crowdmatch Opportunities:

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The Social Enterprise Design Challenge presented by the English Family Foundation is a rare and exciting opportunity for Australian-based non-profit social enterprises to design and test a “visionary” new project.

It will fund four projects for half their fundraising goal, up to $15,000 each. Find out more about what they’re looking for and how to apply here. Applications due by May 5.

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The Young Changemakers Crowdmatch will support Australian changemakers aged 18-29 to develop and run crowdfunding campaigns, with $5,000 in match funds going to the projects with the most supporters and most funds raised at the end. Participating projects will get help from experts in both organisations and have their campaigns promoted to over 150,000 people.

Find out more and how to apply here. Applications due May 1.

Why just Australian opportunities? Because that’s what these particular partners are looking to fund and who is live right now, but we hear you, we want to create opportunities for everyone reading this and are in discussions with potential Crowdmatch partners in several countries. If you would like to see this model available to great projects in your country we would love your suggestions for potential partners as we are looking for new partners to add new opportunities all around the world! And if you are that potential partner, well….

Interested in Changing the World Together?

You can find out more about partnership opportunities with StartSomeGood here and when you’re ready get in touch with us here. We’d love to talk with you about collaboration!

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Interview Spotlight: Backyard Based Urban Farming Project

An interview with James Blyth, founder of the Backyard Based Urban Farming Project, working to start a backyard-based, not-for-profit urban farming project in Brisbane that is focused on three things: reducing food miles, improving access to healthy food in ‘food desert’ areas, and educating young people in organic farming techniques.

Oh, and he’s also biking over 2500kms to demonstrate the distance food travels to make it to our tables. 

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James Blyth as a bike-riding carrot.

What was hardest about starting?

The hardest part was overcoming the fear that maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew with the project and the cycle trip. I had to keep telling myself that it was worth trying, even if it didn’t work out exactly the way I was planning.

Why did you choose StartSomeGood as your partner?

StartSomeGood seemed like the perfect platform to launch my idea,  and it allowed me to have a powerful campaign page and an easy to use pledge system.

How are you keeping the momentum for your campaign going?

I am keeping a weekly blog at https://freewheelingfarmer.com with plenty of social media posts through Instagram and Facebook. By being on the road I am also meeting lots of new people and spreading the word through a message written on the side of my bike.

What kind of support do changemakers in your community need?

I think a support system where people that are willing to step up and start something can get their message out to the most people possible is a good start. Better communication means more effective campaigns and ultimately more financial and social assistance.

What’s your number one piece of advice for people who want to make a positive impact?

Don’t think too much about it, just dig in and get started. You’ll figure it out on the way.

To learn more, or to support this project, visit here.