Raising funds for your project, business, or launch is an exciting way to gather community support and bring in funds needed for your work. Crowdfunding allows everyone to support projects they love – promoting good work and democratizing investment for the 99%.
A few weeks ago we hosted a Crowdfunding Showcase to share some of the stories from local companies and organizations that have raised funds (or are currently raising funds) for their projects. There were brief presentations from the participating organizations, a panel discussion, and a time for Q&A.
Here are some takeaways from the presenters and their projects:
It takes a village, says Jim Murphy of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing developer committed to improving communities by increasing homeownership opportunities. They work with families and communities to build and repair homes and provides a zero interest mortgage. In addition, they work with the communities they serve to provide volunteer opportunities supporting the mission’s work. Their goal is to build 40 single family homes in the next 5 years. They have tried crowdfunding unsuccessfully in the past, and are looking forward to more strategic campaigns in the future. Jim said some of his crowdfunding efforts were ‘cautionary tales.’
Keep momentum going through the whole campaign. Plan ahead.
Mia Moore, is a local student that was just accepted into the Interlochen Arts Academy starting Fall 2019. This prestigious school has high tuition costs, and she’s raising funds on Go Fund Me to cover her school fees. She is currently at ~$4300 of her $28,000 goal.
Crowdfunding builds community, not just funds.
James Koshiba is volunteer co-founder of Hui Aloha and the Aloha Lives Here Campaign, which has been created to give Puuhonua O Waianae a permanent home. The campaign combines crowdfunding, major donors, and in-kind contributions to enable POW to acquire land and add permanent structures to what is already a model village community. Funding will also allow the village to test innovative technologies in housing, water, waste management, and agriculture. It will also enable the village to continue their outreach to other houseless communities, and provide lessons in modern-day village-building across Hawaii and beyond.
Innovate, but you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
David Aquino, is Blue Planet Foundation’s Creative Director, and has helped to grow their unique energy efficiency loan program called WeEfficiency. The program raises funds from the community for non-profits or schools to cover energy efficiency upgrades. These upgrades can be costly at the offset, but energy savings can be huge. With the money they save, they can pay back their donors and do more good work for their communities.
Don’t be afraid to get started.
Sarah “Mili” Milianta-Laffin is a 7th grade teacher at the STEM Lab at Ilima Intermediate in Ewa Beach, Campbell/Kapolei Complex. Prior to teaching in Ewa Beach, she taught for 11 years in Houston, Texas. Sarah is a DonorsChoose Ambassador, personally earning over $15,000 in supplies for her students from DonorsChoose since 2007. She talked about how amazing the program is, and how it makes it easy for her to fund the things she needs to make her classroom a great place for her students and student groups.
Give back to your supporters.
We also heard from Nam Vu, co-founder of Impact Hub and ‘chief geeky officer.’ Nam talked about our experience with Wefunder, and why we chose this program for our investment campaign. Nam says that, “We chose Wefunder because it aligns with our community building focus and enables our community to invest in our success was well as benefit from our success.”
Thanks to all of those that presented at the event!