Got a great idea for helping a community you care about, but not a lot of cash? Consider crowdfunding!
Crowdfunding is when you ask your social network to make a donation—usually online—to help you get your idea off the ground. If you set up a project through an established crowdfunding site, like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, you can reach potential investors beyond your friends and family.
Learn about some young entrepreneurs who found crowdfunding success raising money for causes or charitable projects close to their hearts:
Treasure Hunters: California kids Giverny Daboll and her younger brother Michael formed Treasures 4 Teens in 2010 to focus on gifts just for tweens and teens. The first year, they gave away 250 gifts, and since then, they’ve upped the number to 450 per year. Each kid also also get a new book, and this year, each child over 13 got a special gift: an iPod Shuffle.
This year, they used the crowdfunding website Piggybackr.com (a crowdfunding site for young people) to attract additional donations. They raised nearly $3500, plus an additional $250 from Camp Biz Smart for winning a fundraising contest.
“Although you lose the personal touch to some extent this way, crowdfunding does let you create a fundraising page where you can tell your story in any manner that you want, and it allows you to reach a far greater number of possible donors (including those that live outside of your community),” Giverny tells us. “Especially if you have a team that is fundraising, each team member can reach out to her own set of contacts and personally explain why she is asking for their support. This just multiplies the donors you can reach and can make a very big difference.”
Read more about Treasures for Teens on Like a Boss.
Star Fundraiser: Abigail Harrison wants to be the first astronaut on Mars. But while this smart, driven 15-year-old is earthbound for now, she is already starting to educate other kids about what it’s like to explore space.
When we spoke to Astronaut Abby last May, she was trying to raise $35,000 through crowd-sourcing site Rockethub so she could bring space and science education young Earthlings everywhere. And guess what? She met her goal…and then some! Besides speaking in classrooms and running a blog, she planned to use the money to start a pen pal program for other young space enthusiasts.
“One of my big goals is to really encourage other people—especially kids—to follow their dreams in space and science, and to work hard,” Abby told us last year. You can learn more about her amazing outreach efforts at her website, or read more about her here on Like a Boss!
SPARKing Change: In the fall, we told you about the SPARK Movement, a dynamic group of young women working tirelessly to “demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media,” according to the SPARK website.
A teen member recently used Piggybackr as well to raise more than $5,000 to bring “in-person and online activist and organizing trainings for the SPARKteam, equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to make changes in their own communities.”
“I’m in high school, and my friends don’t have a lot of money,” says Alice Wilder, a 17-year-old blogger for the site, explaining to Fox Business why she had to reach out beyond her personal network. Though she raised just half of her initial goal of $10,000, Alice still stunned us with her drive and success.
Stepping Up for Hospitalized Kids: While she was a student at the University of Florida, Erica Sokol started an amazing project in 2010 to provide “fun, love and hope to hundreds of children battling life-threatening illnesses.” Now the volunteers at Footprints Buddy and Support System are using StartSomeGood to raise $15,000 to expand their program.
They need just $5,000 to reach their tipping point, which will cover the fees associated with becoming a non-profit in Florida, getting tax-exempt status and web domain/hosting fees, plus training/volunteer materials to start up a new pilot program at a university-affiliated hospital.”
They still have a long way to go in the next 18 days—having just cleared the $1,000 mark—but their project has gotten a lot of eyeballs already. It’s been shared on social media nearly 150 times!
Learn more here: