Practical Ecommerce

13 Crowdfunding Sites for Social-Cause Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding websites help entrepreneurs fund small businesses with financing from the community. For social-cause entrepreneurs, who venture to create a positive change in the world, crowdfunding sites can also provide financing and resources.

Here is a list of crowdfunding sites that seek to empower entrepreneurs to promote the social good. These crowdfunding sites finance for-profit and nonprofit projects. For a list of general crowdfunding sites, see “13 Crowdfunding Websites to Fund Your Business,” my previous article on that topic. For charitable fundraising sites for nonprofits only, access Causes, Crowdrise, Network for Good, and FirstGiving.

Crowdfunding Sites for Change

  1. 33needs. 33needs is a crowdfunding site for social enterprises. Its goal is to find businesses that are most able to create change and get them what they need to do it, providing impact investing for social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and companies with a social mission. Investment dollars are exchanged for rewards offered by crowdfunded companies. The social entrepreneurs have between 30-60 days to reach their goal.

  2. Advert Activist. Advert Activist is a U.K.-based crowdfunding platform that helps fund advertising campaigns that can make a positive difference. Check out their “This World Belongs To Everyone” campaign. The site deducts a 15 percent commission off each donation. Payments are processed through PayPal.

  3. Buzzbnk. Buzzbnk is an online marketplace that connects social ventures from all walks of life with backers, supporters and fans. Through Buzzbnk, social ventures can get the support and funds they need to make bright ideas a reality. Buzzbnk backers support the initiatives they like by pledging money, time or both and carry the message to their own social networks and communities. If the financial target is not met within the defined time frame, funds pledged by backers are returned. Buzzbnk charges a small registration fee for social ventures to join the site. There is a 5 percent administrative fee on funds raised successfully for each venture.

  4. CauseVox. CauseVox is a crowdfunding site for both nonprofit organizations and for-profit causes. It provides you with a nice set of tools and templates to design your campaign, rally your supports on your website or through social media, track your progress, and utilize your data. It offers a free plan that waives the $39 monthly fee until you raise at least $3,000. For-profit ventures must use PayPal for their donation processing.

  5. Give.fm. Whether you’re a nonprofit, a school, or a social entrepreneur, Give.fm makes it easy to launch and promote successful fundraising campaigns. Give.fm allows individuals to support a set of causes through recurring micro-donations. Causes pay a flat $5 per month per campaign. There are also processing fees of 3.75 percent plus 30-cents per transaction.

  6. IndieGoGo. IndieGoGo offers anyone with an idea — creative, cause-related, entrepreneurial — the tools to build a campaign and raise money. Although this is a general crowdfunding site, it has a clear focus on projects in the public good. Keep all the money you raise, even if you don’t meet your goal. Track contributions with the analytics tools and stay on top of fulfillment with the dashboard. There is a 4 percent fee on the money you raise when you meet your funding goal.

  7. Kiva. Kiva lets individuals make charitable, interest-free micro-loans to entrepreneurs around the world. Throughout the life of the loan, you will see progress updates from Kiva through your email, and from updates on the site. Once the loan is repaid, use it to fund another loan, or withdraw it to spend on something else.

  8. ioby. Use ioby to raise necessary funds and find new volunteers. ioby cares about environmental issues in urban neighborhoods and all the important ways that affects communities. It can act as a fiscal sponsor if you are not a 501(c)3. This means you can still collect tax-deductible donations for your work by using ioby. Free of charge.

  9. MicroPlace. MicroPlace is a site where you can make investment loans to the micro-finance projects of your choice. These projects use your investment dollars to provide financial services to the working poor to help them improve their lives. You’ll receive quarterly interest payments and statements on your portfolio. When your investment matures, you can choose to get your money back or to roll it over into another investment.

  10. OpenIDEO. OpenIDEO is a social development engine for social change. After a challenge is posted at OpenIDEO.com, the three development phases — inspiration, conceptualization, and evaluation — are put into motion. Community members can contribute in a variety of different ways, from inspirational observations and photos, sketches of ideas, to business models and snippets of code.
    At the end, the strongest concepts are chosen. The hope is that some of these concepts will become reality outside of OpenIDEO.com.

  11. Sparked. Sparked is a micro-volunteering network. Sparked makes it easy for busy people to give back with an entirely online form of volunteering to lend professional skills whenever and wherever you have time. Sparked helps nonprofits increase capacity by giving them a low-maintenance way to get free work done from a huge pool of talented professionals. Sparked also helps companies engage their employees, to make an impact.

  12. Sponsume. Sponsume is a crowdfunding site where creative people sell perks and rewards. Although it is more of a general crowdfunding site, it does have a social enterprise category for innovative ventures. The site allows you to keep all funding. It charges 4 percent of the amount raised when projects reach their funding target.

  13. Start Some Good. Start Some Good is a site for social entrepreneurs to gather a community and raise the funds needed to create change. Its goal is to be the best platform for social entrepreneurs to launch and grow the innovative ventures needed to improve communities and the world. Both for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises can post fundraising campaigns to the site. It charges 5 percent of the amount raised.

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Sig Ueland
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Comments ( 13 )

  1. thomaselveos November 14, 2011 Reply

    You forgot https://elveos.org
    (Ok it’s a very new website …)
    It’s a crowdfinding website for free and open source software.

  2. Jake Lea-Wilson November 29, 2011 Reply

    There’s also a key one that you’ve missed off:

    http://peoplefund.it

    A great crowdfunding site for SMEs, start ups, charities and commercial businesses!

  3. Dale Traxler November 30, 2011 Reply

    Please sign a petition to allow Crowd-Investing in the US. House bill H.R. 2930 passed in the house on 11/4/2011. Senate bill S.1791 is under consideration, but contains several important differences from the house version which would limit the usefulness of the proposed crowd-funding exemption — specifically a limit of $1000 per small investor, which would force entrepreneurs to engage up to ten times as many investors in order to raise a needed round of capital.

    Sign the petition at [http://www.vimfunding.com/petition/](http://www.vimfunding.com/petition/).

  4. Impact_Trader_dot_com May 17, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for this overview of some great sites!
    I have one more to add to the list:
    Impact Trader.

    This is an alternative stock market for crowdfunding socially and environmentally beneficial projects. It will utilize the new JOBS Act legislation, mentioned above (signed into law April 5th!) to allow people to do Impact Investing on an approachable scale for anyone, no matter how much money the have to invest.

    http://www.impacttrader.com/

  5. jfinlayson July 27, 2012 Reply

    Great list. Is there a reason you left off Kickstarter? I would put them in the same group as IndieGogo.

    Here is one more related site:

    [Small Change Fund](http://www.smallchangefund.org)

    There is a new crowd funding source for community projects which might also be helpful [Neighbor.ly](http://neighbor.ly)

    [Rock the Post](http://rockthepost.com) is another relatively new crowdfunding site.

    There are a bunch of other crowdfunding sites not specific to social enterprise but are options as well… RocketHub, PledgeMusic, Funding4Learning, ArtistShare, FundRazr and hundreds of other sites call on individuals to pool their money…

    In fact, there are "452 active #crowdfunding platforms worldwide" so depending on where you are, just look around …
    [http://www.nethosting.com/buzz/blog/first-ever-crowdfunding-industry-report-released](http://www.nethosting.com/buzz/blog/first-ever-crowdfunding-industry-report-released)

    And if they are 501c3 (or a hybrid organization with a nonprofit side) in the US – they can use the standard fundraising and social fundraising platforms.

    [Give Zooks](http://www.givezooks.com/)
    [Amazee](http://www.amazee.com)
    [Rally](http://rally.org)

    and more…

    - [Network for Good](http://www1.networkforgood.org/)
    - [Charity Blossom](www.charityblossom.org)
    - [ActiveCause](http://activecause.com)
    - [BetterPlace](http://betterplace.org)
    - [BringLight](http://www.bringlight.com/)
    - [Causes](https://www.facebook.com/causes)
    - [Charity Navigator](http://www.charitynavigator.org/)
    - [CharityHub](http://charityhub.org/)
    - [Citizen Effect](http://www.citizeneffect.org/)
    - [Crowdrise](http://www.crowdrise.com/)
    - [DeliverGood](http://www.delivergood.org/)
    - [FirstGiving](http://www.firstgiving.com/)
    - [Fundly](http://fundly.com/)
    - [Gilfa](https://apps.facebook.com/intelinnovators/ideas/show/id/1923)
    - [Give a Little](http://www.givealittle.co.nz/default.aspx)
    - [Give Meaning](http://www.givemeaning.com/)
    - [GivingSomething](http://givingsomething.org)
    - [Go Fund Me](http://www.gofundme.com/)
    - [Guidestar](http://guidestar.com)
    - [JustGive](http://www.justgive.org/)
    - [JustGiving](http://www.justgiving.com/)
    - [Make the Difference Network](http://www.mtdn.com/)
    - [Philanthroper](http://philanthroper.com/)
    - [Pledge4Good](https://pledge4good.com/)
    - [Pledgie](http://pledgie.com/)
    - [Razoo](http://www.razoo.com/)
    - [SimplyGiving](http://simplygiving.com)
    - [Universal Giving](http://www.universalgiving.org/)
    - [YourCause](http://www.yourcause.com/)
    - [WePay](https://www.wepay.com/)
    - [DonorsChoose](http://donorschoose.org)
    - [Givology](https://www.givology.org/)
    - [Global Giving](http://www.globalgiving.org/)
    - [Pifworld](http://www.pifworld.com/)
    - [PleaseFundUS](http://pleasefund.us/)

    • Ken January 17, 2014 Reply

      Fantastic list.
      Although, guidestar is not a crowd funding site, it’s a charity “watch dog” / rating org.

  6. Andrew Davis October 10, 2012 Reply

    @jfinlayson – thanks for an amazing list. Do you know which crowd funding sites work well for non-US campaigns (i.e. non-US dollar, non-US-based, etc).

    Andrew

  7. Greg Griffin October 29, 2012 Reply

    Andrew,

    I know this is self-serving, but I’m a part of HopeVault.org which is truly international (54 languages) and trying to help non-profit funding globally through crowd funding. Just launched a few months ago.

  8. Alex Feldman November 7, 2012 Reply

    For a full list of all the crowdfunding sites check out http://crowdsunite.com. If you are looking to raise money it find the best possible platform for you, by letting you filter and compare platforms.

  9. Umc GroupAlerts April 10, 2013 Reply

    You have to advertise your campaign, no matter where you place it. Kickstarter is also no longer great (unless you are really raising money for a creative (film/ music) type project.

    Advertise to your social media networks and try to get them to share with their networks also.

    My company is about to launch a pilot program that offers free crowdfunding advertising. Here are some details:
    http://www.universal-media-consultants.com/advertising-crowdfunding/

  10. jfinlayson May 30, 2013 Reply

    Greg – thanks for sharing HopeVault.org
    Here is a new one for friends and small groups @Crowdtilt https://www.crowdtilt.com/

  11. Anthony Mims July 23, 2013 Reply

    I have been using Socialgration.com. Its made it easy to launch a cause, build awareness and gather supporters worldwide.

  12. Dani October 30, 2013 Reply

    There is also one that supports social, personal and creative causes, where you can offer rewards or not, depending of what type of cause you chose. Here is: http://getyourcause.com

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