By Grace Austin
THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF CROWDFUNDING HAS FINALLY MOVED INTO THE CHARITABLE SECTOR. Fundly, the crowdfunding platform for “social good,” has enabled users to raise more than $305 million to-date for nonprofit, volunteer, political, and personal charitable causes.
Founded by Dave Boyce in 2009, Fundly began as a way to make fundraising more accessible and easier. The site immediately attracted all-star investment from the same venture capitalists who invested in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Apple, Mint.com, and Zynga.
“[When the VCs], people who invest for a living and are able to predict trends, thought that it could attract a huge market and become useful to lots of people, for me it was mostly about the validation that we were on to something. For our customers, this means that we have solid backing and financing,” says Boyce.
Fundly works as most other crowdfunding sites do: a user designs a page describing their cause, also adding photos and videos and a fiscal goal and deadline for their campaign.
The crowdfunding site has helped many notable nonprofits reach out to even more people and raise more for their causes. Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, the Greater Oakland Public Schools, and the Boys & Girls Club are just a handful of the organizations that have benefited.
Habitat for Humanity, for example, launched more than 650 fundraising campaigns on Fundly’s platform, with thousands of volunteer fundraisers raising more than $3 million to-date for building Habitat houses. Fundly has also enabled more than 174 Teach for America volunteers and seventy-eight volunteer teams nationwide to create fundraising campaigns that have to date raised more than $400,000 for public education in all fifty states.
“With Fundly, we can reach the networks of our networks with a best-in-class tool,” says Josh Lotstein, managing director of Campaigns at Teach for America. “Fundly has helped us increase our giving from smaller donors 25 percent over last year, and we’re looking forward to even more.”
Fundly likes to emphasize the diversity of fundraising campaigns. They recently passed the 35,000 customer mark. “This is all evident of one thing that we hold true: it’s the easiest fundraising platform in the world,” says Boyce. The numbers of customers and money raised are a way for Fundly to keep track of how well their performing, adds Boyce.
Utilizing the technology that makes crowdfunding possible has transferred into a large social media presence for Fundly. The average Facebook donation for shared campaigns is $100, according to their website.
Fundly has even gotten political, powering the social fundraising campaigns of more than 1,200 candidates on both sides of the aisle and at all levels of government, with new campaigns launching every day. All four Republican candidates for the GOP nomination used Fundly as a campaign donation source.
For Partner Mark Goines of Morgenthaler Ventures, Fundly has changed the way ordinary people fundraise. “Fundly is the best thing to happen to fundraising since Girl Scouts started selling cookies. Just as social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have transformed our everyday lives, Fundly is changing our philanthropic lives.”