person showing both hands with make a change note and coins 
Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash
in ,

What if Charities could effectively use Crowdfunding?

When individuals get their friends to donate with them to a “registered” 501(c)(3), the term is crowdraising rather than , but the concept and techniques are very much the same.

Various companies have worked to make it easier for charities to do organizing crowdraising campaigns. Still, it is often difficult for a charity to adopt new technologies like any other organization. It can be worse for charities because every fraction of a percent that goes to overhead makes the charity seem less efficient and make them less attractive in the eyes of many donors. Dan Pallotta gave a convincing Ted Talk about how this is a really dumb way to view the world. Despite that, it is common. That is a topic for another day.

Kyle Murphy started GVNG to solve this and many related problems from a giver's perspective. It allows donors to select charities, arrange the timing of gifts, and find out “what happened.”

The current generation of givers is motivated by impact and wants to track results in a way that many donors of previous generations were not. Many of them were more focused on tax details. It's a change to which many charitable organizations have had difficulty understanding and adapting.

GVNG also supplies tools that let individuals create their own crowdraising campaign for the (registered) charity of their choice. It handles the logistics, moves that “overhead” off the charities' books, and provides tools to make the campaign more successful. Again, this is bookkeeping difference is a huge help for the charity in keeping their older and institutional donors happy.

GVNG makes sure that the money actually makes it to the charity and doesn't saddle the campaign creator with the next generation of regulatory paperwork and hassles that show up when running a charitable campaign on a traditional crowdfunding platform. The problems of potential fraud and the new regulations to combat that fraud makes it increasingly problematic for the pre-existing general platform to be used for charities.

I am ready to count preventing a good Samaritan from getting a surprise stack of IRS paperwork as #.

The complexities caused me to abandon starting a charitable drive recently. When we are ready to try again, we'll be looking to see whether GVNG can make it possible for us.

Kyle also maintains a list of startup resources. Many of my favorites are included in his list. It is another example of how Kyle works to be of service to the greater community.

GVNG has been funded by The Band of Angels and GRIL Ventures.

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.


In Search of Countermeasures


Funding a startup each week in a single small country