Category Archives: Crowdfunding Portals

GoFundMe donates $75,000 to 75 campaigns for Canada 150

Share

GoFundMe | by: Bradley Shankar | July 6, 2017

 

GoFundMe has announced it has donated $75,000 CAD to campaigns it says are impactful across Canada, in celebration of the country’s 150th anniversary.

The crowdfunding service donated $1,000 each to 75 different campaigns that aim to help such causes as medical treatment, helping to build a school, supporting Indigenous midwives and rescuing animals.

See: Courtesy of GoFundMe, crowdfunding now comes a guarantee, of sorts.  

Some of the campaigns that GoFundMe has supported include:

 

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Meatme: Crowdfund a cow, pig, lamb or chicken for dinner

Share

The Memo | By Kitty Knowles  | June 30 2017

Local farmers & lower environmental impact.

Eating loads of factory farmed meat isn’t great for your health, animal welfare or the environment.But too often this doesn’t stop us from hankering for a burger.Luckily, Dutch entrepreneur Victor Straatman founded Meatme.ca – to help you make better decisions about the meat you do eat.

What is Meatme?

Meatme is an online platform that connects consumers to local farmers to support high quality and ethically raised meats.

You just go to the Meatme.ca website, or use the Meatme app and buy a share of an animal. Once the animal’s bought up, you’re sent a box of high quality meat from your local farmer straight to your door.

“It’s like in the old days when people use to split a cow between two families, except Meatme allows it to be shared with many more people, so you can buy a share that actually fits in your fridge in your city apartment.”

Solving a problem

Straatman founded Meatme after moving to Canada, home to 50,000 ‘local’ free-range farms.

You might think this would be the perfect place to source ‘ethical meat’, but when he tried to find local farms online, he was faced with a swamp of poorly designed websites that lacked information or contact details.

Eventually he managed to email a farmer, who replied: “Meet me at the parking lot in North Vancouver in 3 weeks to hand over the meat”. A risk to the farmer, given that he’d placed blind faith in Straatman showing up.

“I realised that this needed to change,” said Straatman.”If we want to grow towards a sustainable food system and source meat with lower environmental footprint, then it should be much easier and convenient.”

The future of food?

Not only does Straatman’s idea have ethical legs, but it’s business-smart.

Shoppers end up with a product that’s (more often than not) superior to what you’d find on the supermarket shelf, and because of Meatme’s low cost structure (it doesn’t own expensive real estate and relies on existing farmers) you pay less for what you get.

Meatme is now raising money from investors to scale across Canada and North America – and its system has been designed so it can be set up anywhere in the world.

In five years Straatman aims to be supporting thousands of farmers over more than 30 Meatme locations.

“We dream of a world with a massive reduction in meat consumption – with no place for factory farms – where we have an abundance of meat alternatives and only eat meat in small quantities,” says Straatman.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

 

Share

After success on Kickstarter, a 3D printing CEO started his own crowdfunding platform

Share

Technical.ly Baltimore | By Stephen Babcock | June 28, 2017

M3D is launching a new 3D printer called the Promega, and they’re turning to crowdfunding to help with its release.

It’s a familiar approach for a company who had three prior projects debut on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but this time is a little different.

See: Too big to flop: Inside Indiegogo's plan to circumvent crowdfunding failures

That’s because the crowdfunding platform was started by the company.

CEO Michael Armani and several team members at the Fulton-based company are running FitForLaunch. The Promega is one of several products that launched on the site earlier this month. Striking out on their own is a bold move, especially for a company that had one of the all-time best campaigns on Kickstarter.

But the success also provided insight about how crowdfunding could be improved. M3D’s VP of Sales and Operations Katherine Otte said other platforms essentially function as a “flash deal site” that stops being a source of deals after the campaign ends. We’ve also heard that marketing is the true value.

Along with their success, M3D also utilized crowdfunding in a unique way. Backers received one of the company’s 3D printers as a reward for their pledge, meaning they were essentially pre-ordering through Kickstarter. With that in mind, Armani looked to create a platform that could be a sustainable source of sales. The Promega is a large 3D printer targeting the commercial market, which is a difference from previous printers that were aiming for consumers. Being a project that’s described as “overengineered,” the Promega is designed so new features are rolled out during the campaign.

See Also: What 10,000 Kickstarter projects reveal about Canada's entrepreneurs

“We wanted steady sales so we created a platform where we could slowly increase the price as we revealed new product details – and it’s working perfectly, sales are steady and predictable, and we have control over them,”

There are a few other features with FitforLaunch. Companies get paid daily rather than weeks after their campaign closes. Trust was also a big issue, as stories of failure and fraud started to show up in the 3D printing world. The platform guarantees that backers who put money down for a product will receive it within 12 months. In a case where a company shuts down, FitForLaunch may even complete manufacturing of a product that is not their own.

Continue to the full article here--> 

 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Crowdfunding raises a roof: Tips for newbie Crowdfunders

Share

Charity Village  | Deborah Griffiths | Jun 28, 2017

How could an organization raise a roof for a beloved heritage home before the winter rains set in? A long-time nonprofit client of mine faced this question in spring of 2016.

The roof was going to cost $8,500. The organization had some funds put aside and needed $5,000. How could they gain this amount before winter? This was a modest amount to target and an excellent opportunity to explore crowdfunding and get the job done.

Crowdfunding has enormous potential for nonprofits. From a distance, it looks as though it could solve numerous challenges. But looking at it more closely, would the time and effort spent in learning this system outweigh the funds we gained?

On-the-ground fundraising requires steps, measures, reporting, acknowledgement, and transparent procedures for nonprofits. Would crowdfunding providers wrap those steps into their systems?

There are thousands of crowdfunding platforms from which to choose. How would we find the right one for this project and for future projects for the client?

Here’s how we began the search

We explored reviews from professional organizations and checked with colleagues who might already be using a platform to get their feedback. Few colleagues had tried crowdfunding.

We then checked-out crowdfunding associations: the US-based National Crowdfunding Association, the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada and the UK Crowdfunding Association. These sites discuss industry standards, best practices, and have excellent tutorials, current stat reports, and interviews.

Why go through this vetting?

Because any donor who is serious about clicking on “contribute” to invest in a project wants assurances that their information is secure. They also want to know that the organization would acknowledge the donation and use it as intended.

Our goal was to develop an enjoyable, long-term relationship with a platform that remains current, user-friendly and understands nonprofit business. The platform would have to offer solid payment privacy. Transparency, accountability and donor acknowledgement functions were necessary.

FundRazr

There are many quality platforms from which to choose. FundRazr, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and launched in 2010 by CEO Daryl Hatton, seemed to be the right fit for the roof project.

FundRazr had established a partnership with PayPal early on and was one of the first platforms to set up a system that embeds into social media. You can link your updates and posts directly into that system and members and followers can spread the word through their communities. They have excellent information sheets, tips, and videos and a responsive support team and a Crowdfunding Success Guide. The set up was quick.

One other plus for FundRazr was their awareness of the benefits of grassroots partnering in rural communities. FundRazr’s collaboration with InvestLocalBC, started by Community Futures Stuart-Nechako, focuses on crowdfunding for community initiatives.

No matter what your location, take a look at how much the platform is putting back into the community, it might make a difference to you.

The campaign

We began the campaign on July 7 by sending out a lead-up article to newspapers about the history of the project and introducing the crowdfunding campaign.

We then edited that article down and distributed it through the society’s monthly e-newsletter with a link to the FundRazr campaign and to Facebook. Potential donors received the information and linked over to the FundRazr site.

We wrapped the tasks into daily operating and worked with the FundRazr team and site format to focus on the campaign and send out thank-yous.

By August 23, we had reached our goal and raised $5,262. The donations came from 32 contributors, all ages, with small and large contributions online and through checks and cash. The roof was up by October.

See:  10 tips for acing your crowdfunding campaign

How did we reach people? We took some advice from Daryl Hatton, CEO of FundRazr, who stressed the need for telling our story in a succinct way. Perhaps our story about the roof of a legacy heritage home needing repair evoked concern, hope, excitement and a willingness to give. Contributing to this simple project made things better and solved an urgent problem.

An interesting point in the campaign occurred when we supported another community crowdfunding effort in our e-news simultaneous to the Capes Roof project. We received positive feedback from this gesture and donations went up.

Connectivity, enjoyment, and social investment thrive in local and rural communities, perhaps because there’s latitude to make independent decisions, shape progress, and collaborate. From our experience, crowdfunding has many levels of opportunities for nonprofits and donors and is the perfect platform for expanding these connections.

A few newbie tips

Check with an accountant before you start. Stay current with information on tax sites to ensure that your campaign fits well within provincial and federal guidelines for donations and providing charitable tax receipts.

Try out a small feasible project first to get your bearings and to gauge what you might need for a larger campaign.

Review the fees that the crowdfunding service provider charges and make comparisons between platforms. Some platforms have monthly fees while others charge a flat rate, a portion of which goes to the provider and a smaller percentage to the payment system. Note that you could be paying out, on average, five percent of the donations to your provider. For my client, having an extended technology team from FundRazr made this a solid investment.

You may like:  Crowdfunding best practices (articles database)

When you’re searching for a platform, ask the same questions donors would ask. How legitimate are you, how private will my information be?

Consider whether you have enough staff to crowdfund. The process requires some time to set up and, to be successful, you’ll need follow-through. If you work with a board and volunteers these people can join your “team.” Platforms like FundRazr have a format for connecting your team and followers.

Have a look at the campaigns the platform is already hosting. Find a few favorites, identify what aspects resonate with you and tailor them to your site. Use your best images for backgrounds and posting. FundRazr has the capacity to brand your crowdfunding site to match the branding on your home site.

Pin your project to the top of your Facebook page and provide share-worthy news about other subjects. This will lead people back to your information without overloading them with your campaign.

If you have incentives that you can provide to donors when they donate at a certain level, this can help. Some people just like to give, so incentives can be an option.

Be prepared.

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

German Real Estate Crowdfunding Market Booms

Share

CrowdfundInsider | By  | June 21, 2017

The German real estate crowdfunding market is set to more than triple in size this year. Real estate developers, asset managers, and, most recently, real estate agents are joining the fray of real estate crowdfunding platforms, trying to unseat the handful of leaders who have already established a strong leadership position in this very young market.

The road ahead for the German real estate crowdfunding market has been cleared. The threat of being excluded from the scope of application of the crowdfunding regulation, the Kleinanlegerschutzgesetzt (KASG), was taken off the table last month. The crowdfunding market can move ahead on its exponential growth path.

Exponential Growth

The German real estate crowdfunding market is very young. Although a few projects appeared as early as 2012, the market has only taken off after the entry into force of the KASG in July 2015. Most real estate projects raise funds in form of subordinated loans regulated by the KASG.

Michel Harms tracks the overall crowdinvesting industry through his crowdfunding barometer and his aggregation site crowdinvest.de which lists all crowdinvesting projects available in Germany. According to his reports, real estate accounts for 80% of the crowdinvesting market. In 2016, the market doubled in size to reach €40 million. In the first five months of 2017 alone, 51 real estate projects raised €52 million. One can reasonably expect the market to triple in size by the end of 2017.

In 2016, more than 80% of the 48 projects were residential development projects (construction, renovation, rehabilitation), half of which were located in big German cities, with Berlin being the top location. As mentioned, most platforms use the regulated subordinated loans, ahead of bank loans and bonds. The average loan duration is 21 months, the median interest rate 6%.

See: Could Real Estate Crowdfunding Help Millennials Retire Sooner?

Three leaders emerge

In the short time since 2015, three leaders have already emerged: Exporo, Zinsland and Bergfuerst, three platforms dedicated real estate crowdfunding. Together, they make up for more than three-quarters of the real estate crowdfinancing.

Exporo was incorporated in 2013 by Simon Brunke, CEO, Björn Maronde, Julian Oertzen and Tim Bütecke. The company launched its first project as Exporo GmbH at the end of 2014. Since then, the platform has broken away from the pack by raising more than €64 million cumulatively, which amounts to a market share of over 40%. The platform has financed more 52 projects, including 21 in 2017 alone. Many of these are large projects, at the upper limit of the German prospectus-exemption of €2,5 million. To fuel its expansion, Exporo recently raised €8 million from e.ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Sunstone and BPO Capital.

Zinsland was founded in 2014 by Carl-Friedrich von Stechow, CEO, Dr. Stefan Wiskemann and Moritz Eversmann. The platform launched its first project in 2015. Since then, it has financed 25 projects, including 10 in 2017, for a total of €18 million. It claims 2,600 members.  To meet its aggressive growth plans the company expect to double its number of employees by year end.

Bergfürst was started much earlier than its competitors, in 2011, as an equity crowdfunding platform launched by Dr. Guido Sandler, CEO, and Dennis Bemmann. The platform launched its first real estate project in 2014 and pivoted shortly after to dedicate itself exclusively to real estate projects. To date, the platform has raised nearly 13 million to finance 20 real estate projects. Whereas most competitors require a minimum investment of €500, Bergfürst lets retail investors participate with €10.

Bergfürst transition to real estate crowdfunding is an exception. Other equity crowdfunding platforms who fund SMEs and startups, such as Seedmatch (through Mezzany), Companisto or FunderNation, have tried their hand in real estate crowdfunding with a few projects. But they seem to have given up competing with the more specialized platforms.

 

Continue to the full article here--> 

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

There are Now 29 FINRA Regulated Reg CF Crowdfunding Portals

Share

CrowdfundInsider | By

The number of FINRA approved and regulated crowdfunding portals has been inching higher. Today, there are 29 different Reg CF crowdfunding platforms each targeting the new securities exemption created under the JOBS Act 0f 2012. At the beginning of 2017, that number stood at 22 approved Reg CF platforms with a single entity, Ufundingportal losing it license after FINRA took action after it determined there was significant potential for fraud emanating from the site.

About a year ago, there was less than have this number so interest in launching a Reg CF platform has remained fairly robust.

See:  Is Your Crowdfunding Portal Ready for Your First FINRA Exam?

Some interesting new additions to the list include “Good Capital Ventures” based in Massillon, Ohio. According to the SEC filing, Good Capital Ventures was founded by Justin Jeffrey Gantz who is an architect by education. The site is apparently not yet live.

EquityBender, based in Newport Beach, California, is another new platform. Their website indicates their team has experience in raising more than $250 million for early stage and growth companies in the past years.

Sprowtt Crowdfunding in Tampa, Florida, was founded by Mark Robert Jones. Affiliated with Sprowtt Services, Jones is said to have been “asked to actively participate in crafting the JOBS Act, including the equity crowdfunding laws and regulations.”

Title3Funds, operated by Fundivations, is another new addition. Based in Irving, California, this platform was founded by Ronald Hirsch.

To date, over $36.6 million has been successfully raised for Reg CF issuers. The top four platforms lead the way:

  • Wefunder – $20.4 million
  • StartEngine – $7.9 million
  • Indiegogo (Microventures) – $3.2 million
  • NextSeed – $2.8 million

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share

Sign of the times: Crowdfunding for scientific research

Share

Ottawa Citizen | By Elizabeth Payne | June 13, 2017

Eric Fisher is a biochemist who was headed for a career researching heart disease when he abruptly changed course. Now, instead of doing his own research, he has created a crowdfunding platform to help other scientists raise money to continue their work at a time when money for science is scarce.

Labfundr, as the platform is called, is a sign of the times for science funding in Canada.

See: Crowdfunding the Canadian Knowledge Economy

Halifax-based Fisher, who did an undergrad degree at the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Dalhousie University, said he was stunned to see the troubles Canadian scientists were facing when it came to getting funding.

Changes in recent years at the country’s main biomedical research funding body, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, have caused turmoil in the research community and left many wondering how they can continue their research because funding dollars are increasingly scarce. CIHR reforms included changes to the peer review system and how funding is distributed, among other things.

“There is sort of a quiet crisis brewing. It really is a huge problem,” said Fisher.

He was interested in the crowdfunding phenomenon, which has been successfully used around the world to raise money for scientific research and engage the general public in science — no small thing in an age of alternate facts and anti-science undercurrents.

In Canada, he found, there was no platform to help launch crowdfunding campaigns for scientific research.

“A lot of countries have science crowdfunding platforms. Canada is a little behind in a lot of ways.”

See: Scientists turn to crowdfunding to help pay for research

In the U.S., for example, the American Gut Project, which studies the microbiome, has been called one of the largest crowd-sourced, citizen science projects in the country.

Fisher calls the project, which has raised more than $1 million and engaged many people in science, the “rockstar” of the science crowdfunding world. In addition to raising money for the research, it involves the public by allowing people to compare the microbes in their gut to thousands of others. Similar crowdfunded, open-sourced gut projects are underway in other countries.

LabFundr launched its first crowdfunding campaign last month — to raise $10,000 for CALIPER (Canadian Laboratory Initiative on Paediatric Reference Intervals), a national study of health indicators in Canadian children based at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital. The money raised will be used to expand a database of blood test values taken from healthy Canadian children to provide medical professionals with a tool in clinical practice.

Healthy blood test values, or reference intervals, are typically used by doctors to determine if a patient is healthy or unhealthy. Such intervals for children and teens are lacking, said Dr. Khosrow Adeli, lead researcher for CALIPER.

“This kind of database will assist pediatricians from across the country and around the world in making healthcare decisions for our children.”

Fisher said crowdfunding can fill funding gaps and might support work that helps researchers later receive major funding. It also helps engage and educate the public about scientific research.

“I think things have evolved and now scientists don’t have the luxury of being able to work in the lab and not talk to the public. The anti-science sentiment is proof of that. Science needs to reconnect with the public – that is almost more important in the long-term than helping to fill the funding gaps, which are absolutely urgent.”

Fisher also said he thinks he can have a bigger impact by creating Labfundr than doing research. “I see this as a way I could have a big positive impact.”

As to whether a shift to crowdfunding means governments will be less inclined to support scientific research, Fisher said the two are not comparable, but crowdfunded projects can complement larger-scale research.

 

Continue to the full article --> here

The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

Share