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Social Media Affected Global Poverty
Social media has become a powerful presence in today’s world, with 3.48 billion people, 45 percent of the world’s total population, using social networks. Because social media can help get a message across or start many campaigns, people often use it to spread the word about things they are passionate about, including global poverty. Here are the five times social media affected global poverty.

Jonathan Acuff

Jonathan Acuff is an American author who runs a popular blog, StuffChristiansLike.net, that over three million people read. He has amassed a couple hundred thousand followers over all of his social media platforms, and they read his content daily. In 2010, Acuff garnered attention after he used his blog, Twitter and Facebook to raise $60,000, enough to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. His daughter saw a picture on the internet of an impoverished boy that shocked her, and he decided to post about needing $30,000 for a kindergarten in Vietnam as a result. He anticipated that it would take six weeks to raise the money. Through the power of social media, however, he managed to raise the money in a mere 18 hours, showing how powerful social media can be to spread awareness and help reduce global poverty.

Catapult

In 2012, Maz Kessler launched Catapult, the first crowdfunding platform for projects aimed at women and girls. Crowdfunding is when people fund a project by raising small amounts of money many people via the Internet. As the Guardian reports, “Catapult connects supporters to projects through social sharing, encouraging users to donate and track the progress of their donations.” Donations help women and girls living in global poverty around the world—from money going to building birth waiting homes for mothers in Sierra Leone to many global initiatives in Africa. So far, 432 projects have received crowdfunding and close to two million girls and women have received support. Catapult has a large following on social media with over 32,000 followers on Twitter, which shows how big of an impact crowdfunding through social media and the Internet can really have to make an impact to change the lives of those living in global poverty.

#ministermondays

In 2011, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s minister of health from 2011-2016, announced Monday with the Minister, or #ministermondays. This announcement meant that Rwandans would have the opportunity to ask Binagwaho and the Ministry of Health directly every other Monday and get responses about health programs in Rwanda. This hashtag serves as an example of how social media can be effective as a tool to educate and inform others about poverty happening around the world and in their own countries.

Omran Daqneesh

In 2016, a picture of a 5-year-old boy with his face drenched in blood and covered head to toe in a thick layer of dust surfaced online. This picture was of Omran Daqneesh, who had escaped a building in Aleppo that an airstrike hit. The Aleppo Media Center posted a YouTube video that contained the image and millions of people on social media quickly viewed, posted and shared it. The attention that the photo garnered on social media led to major news companies, such as NPR, picking up the story and sharing it. This picture raised awareness for the Syrian Civil War and how brutal the conditions were for innocent people and children living in Syria. This likely would not have happened without social media.

Global Citizen

Global Citizen is a movement with the goal to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. On its website and social media platforms, Global Citizen supporters, called Global Citizens, can learn about the causes of extreme poverty and take action by tweeting or sharing global issues happening in the present. By sharing and helping the global poverty cause, Global Citizens in return earn rewards, such as tickets to concerts or shows. So far, Global Citizen has impacted 650 million people worldwide, showing truly how social media can make an impact on causes such as global poverty.

These are just a few examples of how social media affected global poverty in a positive way. In today’s world, thanks to modern technology, people have the power to help others like never before.

– Natalie Chen
Photo: Flickr

Agri-tech innovations in AfricaAfrican agri-tech is in a major growth period, totaling $19 million in investment over the past two years, resulting in the number of start-ups to double. With 65 percent of the world’s remaining arable land located in Africa, many African countries have major potential to become not only agriculturally self-sufficient but also major food exporters.

In 2017, African countries spent over $65 billion importing food. Current and future agri-tech innovations in Africa will play a large roll in reducing this trade deficit and improving the lives of small scale farmers in the process.

A Boom in Agri-tech

Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana are leading agri-tech markets, accounting for over 60 percent of active startups in the sector. The agricultural industry has consistently been a crucial component of economic systems throughout Africa, but until recently has been untouched by technological innovation.

Over 80 percent of Nigerian farmers are smallholder farmers, producing 90 percent of domestic output. Nearly half of all working Nigerians are engaged in small-hold farming and account for the poorest 40 percent of the population. This level of poverty among smallholder farmers can be attributed to the low use of mechanized tools, inadequate market information, and lack of access to credit and financing options.

This is changing in recent years, following an increase of 121 percent in fundraising for agri-tech from 2016 to 2017. Nearly a third of all agri-tech startups are e-commerce agricultural focused platforms, connecting farmers with investors, markets, training and mechanized tools. These platforms help to lift many small scale farmers out of poverty while also mitigating food insecurity in local communities.

The Benefits of Crowdfunding

Given the massive potential for growth, crowdfunding has the possibility of ushering the African agricultural industry to the forefront of the world market. There is a public perception issue with smallholder farmers, as many people associate this brand of agriculture with poverty. Crowdfunding, however, can change how people throughout Africa look at farming.

The average age of a farmer is currently 60 years old. This in large part is due to younger people’s inability to secure financing for farming as well as a lack of willingness to participate in the sector. The rise of these crowdfunding agri-tech innovations in Africa is providing young Africans with financial support, technical training and improved mechanical tools needed succeed.

The Startups Making a Difference

Nigeria’s first digital platform for agricultural crowdfunding, Farmcrowdy, launched in September 2016. This platform connects Nigerian smallholder farmers with investors who select the farms they want to invest in. Farmcrowdy then uses the accrued funds to hire additional farmers, lease land, and provide valuable inputs to farms, such as fertilizer, seeds and technical support from sowing through harvest.

Agri-tech solutions such as Farmcrowdy have introduced Nigerians to a trusted platform used to pool resources and support small scale farmers in an effort to alleviate poverty and expand food production capacity. Farm supporters using the Farmcrowdy platform can invest in farms producing rice, maize, poultry, cassava and soya beans. The return on investment typically ranges anywhere from six percent to 25 percent. This allows urban Nigerians to invest directly in the livelihood of their fellow communities and the future of their food security.

Local farmers are appreciative of Farmcrowdy’s advanced training in modern farming practices and the use of mechanization to increase productivity. As a result of this training, many farmers have seen an increase in yield by over a third. These agricultural goods are even selling at a higher price due to access to more stable markets and reputable buyers.

Agri-tech innovations in Africa, such as the rise of crowdfunding, have linked different aspects of the agriculture value chain, improving efficiency and food security in local communities. This is just the beginning of what crowdfunding can do for the agriculture industry. African countries such as Nigeria have massive untapped potential when it comes to food production. The introduction of financing and new farming technologies to small scale farmers can unlock this potential and make a massive impact on the lives of impoverished farmers throughout Africa and potentially the world.

– Peter Trousdale
Photo: Flickr

livestock production in ghana
With adequate rainfall, plentiful vegetation and a low pest population, Ghana’s Northern Savannah Ecological Zone is an optimal environment for cattle production. Despite this prime landscape, livestock production in Ghana has remained low. Insufficient or otherwise absent livestock policies, uninformed ranching practices and lack of funding are among the many factors responsible for underperforming livestock production in Ghana.

Limitations of Meat Access

Over the years, the domestic meat industry has become so problematic that it became cheaper for Ghana to import its meat from South America and Europe. Furthermore, poor cattle production has contributed to nationwide nutrition issues. According to USAID, about 1.2 million Ghanains face food insecurity, and anemia and iron deficiency afflict much of the population.

Recognizing meat access limitations, nutrition deficiencies and cattle mortality in the country, Kamal-Deen Yakub, Damian Brennan and Luis Grolez came together to find an innovative solution to such a persisting problem. In 2013, the trio launched Farmable, a “crowdfarming” platform that connects investors to smallholder cattle farmers in the country.

Crowdsourced funding enables farmers to take better care of their cattle, receive education in agricultural best practices and business development and sell in the domestic market, ultimately improving livestock production in Ghana over time.

Here’s How it Works:

  1. Investors visit Farmable to select a farm in Ghana and start a new cow, which they can name and give certain attributes. Popular funded cows include Borat Cow, Moochacho and Moominator. Alternatively, crowdfunders can invest in a cow that’s already on it’s way to becoming fully funded.
  2. Once a cow has 20 investors, it is linked to a real cow on the farm of the investor’s initial choosing.
  3. Farmhands tag the cow, and investors can track the cow’s health and progress online through preparation for sale in the domestic meat market.
  4. After the meat sells, the investor can reap profits. Investments help continue farmer education, production and marketing efforts.

Since launching, Farmable has helped to revolutionize the cattle ranching industry for participating farmers. “The company has succeeded in bringing together 7,500 cows owned by 600 smallholder farmers. We have sold about 1100 cows through the platform direct from the farms,” cofounder Kamal-Deen Yakub told The Borgen Project.

Education and Optimization

In light of these successes, Farmable has had to put the crowdfarming platform on a temporary hold as it gears up for its next phase. The company is focusing on educating farmers and optimizing production in the interim: “We engage farmers through partnership with existing incubators working to build capacities of smallholder farmers,” Yakub explained.

Farmable recruits subject-matter experts from the University of Ghana, local veterinary officers and experienced farmers to provide training for participants.

Livestock Production in Ghana

Over the next few years, Farmable plans to establish renewable energy cattle ranches in Ghana to promote sustainable practices and cut down on costs. The company will use dung and agricultural waste to produce manure and biogas respectively to sustain these renewable energy ranches for free. Yakub encourages potential donors to stay tuned for this important next step.

The crowdfunding platform will go live again in the coming future, and Yakub hopes investors “are ready to participate in the crowdfarming and become cow backers.”

– Chantel Baul

Photo: Flickr

Crowdfunding App for Refugees

EdSeed, a new crowdfunding app for refugees, connects education facilities, donors and displaced university students on mobile phones. The app offers refugee students an opportunity to raise the money they need to attend an acclaimed university. It also provides an accessible and reliable method for people and corporations to donate to refugees in a way that will help them become self-reliant.

There is an estimation that, of the 65 million refugees in the world, only 1 percent have access to higher education. At least 200,000 Syrians had their post-secondary education interrupted when they had to flee their home country. No longer on the path to a degree, most of these previous students now find themselves struggling economically in a world that values educated workers.

The app gives students a social media-style profile where they supply details such as degree, university, career aspirations, past academic performance and personalized videos and pictures. Donors can filter their search to find the type of students they wish to support. Individuals can choose between $10 to $100 donations, while corporations can donate from $10,000.

Students can share their edSeed profiles on other social media sites, and the app will also campaign for specific profiles monthly who aren’t receiving as much attention. The students can also monitor their funding process and amounts.

EdSeed partners with universities and scholarship foundations who will verify student profiles and will receive the funds directly, providing a trustworthy platform for donors. The app hopes to raise 6,000 scholarships within three years.

Since its start in April, 500 students have already signed up and 12,000 individual and 3 corporate donors have expressed interest. However, edSeed hopes to accelerate its growth to handle more traffic.

EdSeed hopes to expand beyond higher education and provide funding for apprenticeships, mentoring organizations and other types of degrees that will provide refugees with a quicker route to economic independence. This crowdfunding app for refugees is on its way to help thousands of students worldwide.

Hannah Kaiser

Photo: Flickr

Watsi
What do a Kenyan mother of four, a Cambodian grandfather and an eight-year-old Tanzanian boy have in common?

Each is having their treatment funded, and their life changed, on Watsi.

Watsi describes itself as “a global crowdfunding platform that enables anyone to donate as little as $5 to directly fund life-changing healthcare for people around the world.” By using the crowdfunding model to fund healthcare for those in need, Watsi allows people around the world to change the lives of individuals.

The operations funded by Watsi tend to be one-time operations with relatively high rates of success. Procedures range from repairing 63-year-old Alice’s ankle fracture to treating four-year-old Veronica’s hydrocephalus. Each of these procedures brings crowdfunded healthcare to the developing world.

Along with supporters for individual patients, Watsi has attracted many major supporters toward its general goal. Rotten Tomatoes CEO Joe Greenstein, Kholsa Ventures co-founder Vinod Kholsa and many others have supported the goal of crowdfunding the healthcare of the global poor. Changing lives through funding health, it seems, is a goal that unites both large-scale funders and the various microfinancers who have decided to assist patients through funding.

In addition to providing a platform where people can change lives for as little as $5, Watsi is also devoted to transparency, distancing itself from the criticisms that other micro-lending platforms often face. In an interview with The New York Times, Watsi founder Chase Adam described transparency as benefiting both donors and the organization, claiming that “by being transparent, we’re actually crowdsourcing a lot of our work.” The organization describes itself as “radically transparent” and provides access to a Google document on its website, which displays financial data, details on individual patients and partners, and various other pieces of information that give crowdsourcers background on the platform. In the Internet age, where skepticism reigns supreme, this is an important step for nonprofits.

The power to crowdfund healthcare around the world is an amazing reality in the technological age. It creates a personal connection between charitable individuals and the poor and sick, and changes live for those without a voice on the global stage. Additionally, it puts a face to the many lives changed by global charity. By taking advantage of the crowdfunding model to promote healthcare, Watsi both innovates and changes lives, allowing the platform to become a new and powerful voice for the global poor.

– Haley Luce

Sources: Watsi 1, Watsi 2, Watsi 3, New York Times, Tech Crunch
Photo: CrunchBase

crowdfunding
In 2014, the space-based video game ‘Star Citizen’ raised almost 40 million dollars via crowdsourcing, earning it a Guinness World Record for the largest single amount ever raised through crowdfunding. To put this in context, funding for all of the specialized agencies of the U.N., including WHO, UNICEF and UNDP, totalled about 20 billion dollars in 2011, only 500 times the amount raised for a single video game.

Crowdfunding, the raising of funds for a particular venture or project directly from the population through the internet, has been gaining considerable steam in recent years. Worldwide crowdfunding volume in 2011 was over one billion dollars. In the U.S. alone, there are over 190 platforms for crowdsourcing.

In 2012, social causes made up 30 percent of all crowdfunded projects. This statistic reveals that it is possible to enthuse the public about socially beneficial projects, consequently reducing the burden on the government.

Floating Doctors is just one example of such a project. The organization aims to provide free medical care and deliver medical supplies to isolated populations of Central America. The unique approach of this project is that they voyage by ships to reach these populations and their ships are completely self-sustained in their ability to serve as a doctor’s office. They do not require the existence of a permanent hospital building in the locations they serve. In 30 days, they have been able to raise 3,000 U.S. dollars on KickStarter, a crowdfunding platform.

Another example is Energy for Old Fadama. It is trying to provide solar energy to a large urban slum in Ghana. In 18 months, the organization has equipped 20 community buildings with solar energy and are also trying to empower women in the community by providing them the opportunity to be small solar system entrepreneurs. So far, Energy for Old Fadama has raised 17,000 euros from 59 backers.

Several platforms dedicated specifically to civic projects are starting to appear. According to Deutsche Welle, one such platform, Germany-based nonprofit BetterPlace.org, has collected 10 million euros for 5,000 projects in 147 countries since its launch in 2007.

StartSomeGood is another example. This platform, as the name suggests, supports projects focussed on social good. The platform generates revenue for itself only if a project on its platform meets its fundraising goal. Start Some Good also asks fundraisers to decide on a “tipping-point goal”, an amount required to launch all projects. Donations are only processed if a campaign raises enough to meet its tipping-point. In this way, donors are assured that their money is going toward a goal that will be realized.

Like any good investor, a donor should also be able to evaluate a project for its merit. BetterPlace accommodates this by allowing donors to rate projects and ask questions to project organizers. Incorporating more approaches like donor questions and tipping-point goals will give crowdfunding campaigns more credibility.

Crowdfunding allows for innovations for development to be realized. As it grows, crowdfunding might well become another mainstream approach, just like aid from governmental and intergovernmental sources, to secure funding for civic projects.

– Mithila Rajagopal

Sources: Daily Crowd Source, Deutsche Welle, Guinness World Records, Statista, Start Some Good, World Watch
Photo: Flickr

zach_braff_wish_i_was_here
“I can’t do this all on my own” are the familiar musical lyrics that introduced each episode of “Scrubs” during it’s nine season run.  Though “Scrubs turned actor Zach Braff into a television and indie star, his new film project certainly shows how Braff cannot achieve his artistic goals “on [his] own.”

“Wish I Was Here” is a film written, directed and starring Zach Braff, picking up on the themes he first explored in his well-received debut film “Garden State” back in 2004.  The film follows a thirty-something actor, played by Braff, searching for a purpose in life and struggling to make ends meet for his two young children.

Other actors featured in the film include Kate Hudson, Anna Kendrick, Jim Parsons and “Scrubs” co-star Donald Faison. The film premiered to a standing ovation at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

What makes “Wish I Was Here” unique, however, is the fact that fans independently financed the film.  Braff, moreover, launched a Kickstarter campaign with a stated goal of $2 million since, according to the film’s Kickstarter page, Braff rejected traditional funding methods to avoid “signing away all artistic control.”

Braff also saw an opportunity for his fans to have a direct impact on the filmmaking process.

Incentives for donating to the film range from a production diary at $10 and a meet and greet with Braff for $600 to being cast in the film as a featured extra for $7,500.  These incentives, matched with the originality of the fundraiser, led to a final total of $3,105,473 donated by 46,520 individuals.

Though a $10 donation to Zach Braff’s film garners a production diary, 80% of the world’s population live off of less than $10 a day, with 660 million living on less than $2 a day.

What could you buy for the fight against global poverty with a $10 donation?

With $3, you could buy a bed net to protect one of the 18,000 children who die daily from mosquitos carrying deadly diseases while for $8.50, you could feed an entire family in a developing nation.  Though Braff’s film is no doubt an artistic achievement, it is easy to wonder what kind of impact his 46,520 backers could have made for global development.

Taylor Diamond

Sources: Kickstarter, UNICEF, Global Issues
Photo: Bustle

KIVA_Crowdrise
1. What is KIVA’s main goal?

Shah: Kiva is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.

Kiva is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good. Visitors to Kiva.org can browse through the photos and profiles of people all over the world seeking a loan and choose those that they want to support with a loan of $25 or more.

Kiva’s community of one million lenders crowdfund more than $2.5 million in loans per week. These small dollar loans have helped more than one million low-income borrowers start and grow businesses, go to school, improve their homes, buy clean energy products, and more.

Kiva leverages the power of collective good and new technologies to push the boundaries of economic opportunity in unique ways. With the philosophy of empowering people around the world, Kiva is providing safe, affordable access to capital. Since its founding in 2005, Kiva lenders have loaned over $480 million in 72 different countries.

2. Tell me your most inspiring success story. Which of your clients really stands out from the others?

In one moment, Yenku Sesay’s life was changed forever with the swift, savage cut of a knife.

On May 6, 1998 Yenku had the misfortune of being home when soldiers from the rebel army, Revolutionary United Front, invaded his village in northern Sierra Leone to cut off the hands of people who voting for the country’s current leader. Yenku pleaded with the rebels not to cut off his hands. But the rebels took a certain enjoyment from the process. Each prisoner was pushed forward for his or her punishment and had to choose slips of paper in a gruesome lottery. The paper either said “short sleeve” or “long sleeve.” Yenku pulled two long sleeves. His hands were severed with a machete, first the left, then the right. Many of the victims did not survive.

Yenku would likely have soon died if his father had not taken decisive action. Yenku’s father used the family savings to hire a motorbike to take Yenku for treatment in a hospital hours away in the country’s capital city, Freetown. It took 3 days to find a motorbike they could use, and for these three days Yenku waited without any medial treatment. During that time, Yenku was just hoping to die.

Due to the treatment he received at a hospital in the nearest city, Yenku eventually recovered from the physical wounds. In other ways, however, his life was destroyed. He was incapable of taking care of himself and eventually resorted to begging in the streets of Sierra Leone. He was just 21 years old.

Yenku would still be begging today, had he not been approached by Salone Microfinance Trust (SMT), in 2006, about taking out a group loan with four other local borrowers to help them learn a trade and start a business. No other institutions were even willing to consider Yenku for credit because of his amputee status. However, through lengthy discussions with Yenku, SMT saw in Yenku natural business skills and a drive to be self-reliant.

Yenku used this money to develop a modest retail business. At first the business was no more than Yenku selling small items in the street, such as packaged biscuits, soaps, and other sundries. Over the past two years, by reinvesting the profits and building his credit with SMT, Yenku’s business has grown to become a small shop selling an assortment of clothing, shoes, drinks, and other packaged food products.

Yenku dedicated himself to his business, and every month he made his repayments on time and often early. With the profits from his retail business, Yenku has recently expanded into livestock and agriculture. The result is that Yenku is now self-reliant.

Today Yenku is married and has become a provider. He can feed and clothe his three children. He sends both of his school-age children to primary school, and he even pays for his younger brother’s education.

Thirty-three people from six different countries helped to crowdfund loans to Yenku by chipping in $25 through Kiva.org to support his business. Yenku has paid each and every one of them back.

3. How does KIVA make an impact in terms of poverty?

Kiva is striving to bring access to crowdfunded capital into the hands of the working poor around the world. In addition, we are increasingly seeking ways to crowdfund new types of loan products for the working poor to help increase access to clean/green energy, education, and more.

4. What do you think is the most important factor for KIVA’s success?

Designed to be user-friendly, Kiva enables anyone with an internet connection and $25 to engage in our microlending movement. This incredibly low bar for participation has helped Kiva become a pioneer in the crowd funding space and brought microlending into the mainstream.

People are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way.

Kiva was born from the knowledge that individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services – all they need is access to just a little capital, and Kiva loans provide just that.

By connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another.

These core values continue to drive Kiva’s evolution and have resulted in more than 1 million lenders reaching out around the world to lend their support to more than 1 million people working to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Proof of a compelling mission and a sustainable model.

5. What do you feel sets KIVA apart from other organizations?

Microfinance has immense potential for improving the lives of the poor. In the last 40 years, it has reached nearly 200 million people. But — while the existing system strives to reach everyone — traditional microfinance still leaves a huge number of people out:

·       Subsistence farmers enduring uncertain seasons and harvests.

·       Students who make the grades but can’t afford college.

·       Extremely rural families with little opportunity.

·       Millions more who have the potential to change their lives with the right loan products.

Traditional banks and microfinance institutions are often unable or reluctant to offer flexible loan products to meet these people’s needs – mostly due to high costs and risk.

Enter KIVA. With more than one million lenders worldwide who don’t think like banks, Kiva is a powerful source of flexible, risk-tolerant capital. More and more, we’re directing this capital to social enterprises, NGOs, and microfinance institutions that are going beyond classic microfinance to take on issues like education, clean energy, agriculture and others that are central to poverty alleviation and economic opportunity.

Through Kiva’s lenders, we provide crowd-sourced capital to relieve the cost constraints on new ideas. And together with this new breed of Kiva partners, we’re testing and developing new financial products for borrowers worldwide.

Our approach is to see what works and share the results with a global audience. Ultimately, our hope is to get high-impact products to people who have been too long overlooked, and demonstrate their success to the global market.

– Samantha Davis

Sources: KIVA, BizDayTech
Photo: Imagur

displaced_refuge_children_Syria
The crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, has enabled a Grenada based organization, the Grenada Goat Dairy Project (GDP) to successfully fundraise enough money to build a new school. The GDP trains local farmers to make the transition to sustainable income-generating production and marketing strategies for high quality dairy projects; in doing so, they reduce the carbon footprint associated with imports, and help support local products.

Grenada imports the majority of its food, which means much of it is full of preservatives, dyes, and other chemicals. The GDP looks to break this dependency on processed goods by creating a self-sustaining system that provides nutritious, organic food. The GDP operates several projects, including breeding, research, and consulting programs that advocate for further support for rural farmers.

With a herd of 35 goats, the GDP produces milk and then processes it into a variety of cheeses and chocolate. While the profits from the sales of these dairy products covers approximately 70 percent of the cost of the project, they aim to eventually become a model of self-sustainability and to leave the cycle of aid.

What is notable, however, is that the Goat Dairy Project has harnessed the power of social media and online crowdfunding in order to raise money and awareness for the organization. In September, a new GDP school will open, with funds for the project having been raised almost exclusively on Kickstarter.

The educational dairy facility is specifically aimed at youth development, and will be a fully functioning goat farm that integrates primary education with community empowerment, food-security, and responsible citizenship in Grenada. The Kickstarter project was launched in August of last year, and within six weeks $63,160 had been raised, exceeding the target of $55,000.

Kickstarter allowed GDP to make connections with individuals and organizations that have a wealth of knowledge and passion, and to share its progress and news with donors all over the world. GDP created a video to promote its cause, initiated “matching funds challenges” when donations began to plateau, and engaged the local media in Grenada, and on an international scale. Through other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, GDP maintained interest and was able to show people how their money was being spent.

The success of the Goat Dairy Project and its online fundraising efforts remains a positive example of the power of social media and its ability to garner interest, support, and donations from across the world.

– Chloe Isacke

Sources: The Guardian, The Goat Dairy Project
Photo: The Goat Dairy Project 

India_Solar_Crowdfunding
Australian crowdfunding site, ChipIn, is being used to raise money to provide rural Indian slums with solar powered lights. ChipIn has joined forces with Pollinate Energy, an NGO dedicated to providing sustainable and renewable energy sources to rid India of energy poverty. Pollinate Energy’s goal is to crowdsource funds to support the purchase of five franchises that will sell solar lamp kits for tent slums in Bangalore, India.

Pollinate Energy’s goal is to provide the community members with a month-long training program, initial hardware, and continuing support systems to ensure long-term success – as opposed to simply providing members of the community with solar lamps.

Crowdfunding has rapidly gained in popularity in recent years, and has become an efficient way to fund renewable energy projects in supporting energy-poor communities in developing countries. Pollinate Energy says that the funding is needed, as they found nearly “3,400 families without power in a 6-mile radius.” Information released by the government backs up these numbers, with a recent report citing that 1 out of every 6 urban Indian lives in a slum, a majority of which are not even connected to the power grid at all.

Christina Kindlon

Source: Clean Technica