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Kickstarter-Like Service For Charities?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-business-plan dept.

Education 87

First time accepted submitter chefmayhem writes "I'm one of a number of volunteer alumni trying to revive a high school summer science enrichment program, PGSS, cut unceremoniously by Pennsylvania in 2009 due to budget issues. Our alumni association has become a 501(c)3 non-profit and we're raising money through donations (over $100K from over 300 donors so far) to try to fund the program in 2012. The idea is that running the program this summer will give us momentum, and something to show off to potential corporate, philanthropic, and other funding sources. Trouble is, some potential donors are concerned that we won't raise enough to run the program this coming summer, and are hesitant to donate, even though the money will (one way or another) go to science education, even if we can't restore the program. Is there a web-based fundraising service, like, but for charities, which will take pledges (and deal with credit card info, etc) but only charge donors if the goal is reached? It would also be important that non-donor sources (like some support from the state) can also count towards our fundraising goals. This could be a powerful tool for us, as well as other non-profits looking to make a dream come true."

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Sure. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209048)

This [] is a great site. When I've worked with a couple of soup kitchens that were short on money we've used that site to help raise around $200,000 dollars in just a couple of days. There are lots of generous people on that site more than willing to help out great causes like yours.

Re:Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209078)

Goatse!! Arrgh. i'm at work you insensitive clod!

Re:Sure. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209150)

Submitter here: Parent is a troll and I would like to thank the GP for such a great link. Very helpful and informative!

Re:Sure. (2)

Ja'Achan (827610) | about 3 years ago | (#37209258)

Add a + to the link, and see where it goes to:

Long URL:

Win Win (1)

immakiku (777365) | about 3 years ago | (#37209070)

An abundance of links makes sure that in the event you don't find the service you're looking for, you have leveraged /. to gain an audience with lots of wallets worldwide.

Why not just use kickstarter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209130)

I don't know that much about it so my apologies if I offend someone by asking such an obvious question.

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (1)

chefmayhem (1357519) | about 3 years ago | (#37209218) [] They don't allow you to use kickstarter for charity. It's only for creative projects.

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#37209370)

Which is somewhat bullshit. "Oh hai! Want to donate for someone to build a tabletop holder for your iPad? Money us! Want to donate to a charity project? *NO*"

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209614)

It's really not bullshit, the site was created to fund creative works, and you can't really "blame" them for their conceptual idea. And there are significant legal ramifications as to how money is reported when collecting for charity, so they can't exactly just say "do whatever you want". For example, if I make a donation in December for $10,000, but as of Jan 1 the charity has still not reached it's goal and the money has not been collected, can I still count that as a deduction? What if it reaches it's goal before I file my taxes? Is it a 2011 or a 2012 deduction? What if it never reaches it's goal? There aren't simple answers to these questions, so kickstarter would prefer not to bother even thinking about them, since that's not what their site is about.

use this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209742)

>but only charge donors if the goal is reached? You're asking for a hold of months, nobody is going to do that. At most, you can put a hold on a credit card for a few days, eg hotel room, car rental. is what we use. A group of charges as low a $200 incurs only a 3% fee and reasonably customized donation pages are free and easy to set up. That's as good as it gets.

Re:use this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210116)

You're quoting something that nobody said.

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#37212332)

1) Business logic in site: If funding time is going to overrun a calendar boundary of a year for a charity, do not allow creation of Kickstarter campaign

2) If a charity campaign fully funds, kick out a PDF receipt via email (I get Kiva receipts this way when I donate to them)

3) You only get a receipt and can count the deduction if a) the charity campaign was fully funded and Number 1 applies.

Simple answers? I'd argue yes for the most part. There is a huge potential here for them. Otherwise, it leaves a space for another site to rise to do the same thing, and eat up what Kickstarter does at the same time.

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (1)

psmears (629712) | about 3 years ago | (#37215930)

For example, if I make a donation in December for $10,000, but as of Jan 1 the charity has still not reached it's goal and the money has not been collected, can I still count that as a deduction? What if it reaches it's goal before I file my taxes? Is it a 2011 or a 2012 deduction? What if it never reaches it's goal? There aren't simple answers to these questions,

Count it as a deduction on the date the money is taken from your card. Before that date you can't reasonably call it a donation, because you still have the money. And afterwards, you know that the funding has gone through.

Re:Why not just use kickstarter? (1)

belg4mit (152620) | about 3 years ago | (#37210110)

Untrue, it just has to be to a creative end. [] went through Kickstarter and it is a non-profit;
I suppose you could think of it as wholly owned commercial sub-division,but it is not officially incorporated that
way as far as I know. What do they care what you use your "profits" for?

Yo Dawg. I hear you like raising money. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 3 years ago | (#37210170)

So start a kickstarter to build a kickstarter for raising money for charities.
One of those charities could also be a nonprofit to raise money like for another project like kickstarter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209136)

Why not use I took a quick peek at their help index. Off hand there did not seem to be anything against charities? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#37209256)

Really? Did you happen to miss:

No charity or cause funding.

Seriously, it's not even that far down in their list of guidelines.

Just Giving (3, Informative)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | about 3 years ago | (#37209222)

What you are loving for already exists.

Just Giving []

Re:Just Giving (4, Informative)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | about 3 years ago | (#37209252)

Ah, I just noticed that may be slightly UK centric. Here is the US version. []

Re:Just Giving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210122)

Good find. Seems like this should have a higher score.

Re:Just Giving (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 3 years ago | (#37210232)

JustGiving doesn't seem to be quite what the OP is asking for.

Kickstarter accepts pledges from people that are paid only if the overall fundraising goal is met. Let's say the overall goal is $100 and you get nine people each pledging $10. If nobody else signs up and the overall pledge amount never reaches $100, nobody pays.

JustGiving seems to be a traditional donation processor, meaning donors pay immediately. They can't postpone payment until a fundraising goal is met.

All-or-nothing Fundraising (4, Informative)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | about 3 years ago | (#37211040)

What you want is all-or-nothing fundraising.

As mentioned further down this thread [] *, [] does exactly that, except they allow you to both set an overall fundraising goal and a "tipping point" if you like. No money changes hands unless the tipping point is reached, and then after that, further donations are paid immediately until the overall goal is met. If you want, you can make the tipping point the same as the overall fundraising goal, such that 100% of the donations are collected in an all-or-nothing fashion.

And according to SomeSomeGood's website, two other competitors who do all-or-nothing fundraising are [] and [] .

* I am reposting this because the best answer was unfortunately posted by an Anonymous Coward and remains at Score: 0. In the hopes of this getting seen by more people, I'm reposting it with a karma bonus.

The AC's original comment:

Hey there-- exists for exactly this purpose -- to help social good initiatives raise funds and grow a community of supporters. We use a similar model to Kickstarter, but with a "tipping point," which is the amount of funds you need to start doing good in the world. Definitely have a look, and if you have any questions, please reach out to me directly: alex at startsomegood dot com

Alex Budak
Co-Founder StartSomeGood

Re:All-or-nothing Fundraising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37215948)

I'm looking at doing a project via StartSomeGood soon. Definitely a fan of what they are doing.

Just last week, a project received over $100K in funding, their largest to date I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong, Alex).

This particular project was co-sponsored by a popular band. It'd be awesome to know "best practices" like this on how to use crowd-funding sites effectively, especially when it's for non-profit or social good.

Kevin F. Adler
Founder, Executive Director

Re:Just Giving (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 3 years ago | (#37210398)

Odd that a UK centric site would be a .com. They should use the domain as that would be the appropriate place for a UK site.

Re:Just Giving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212488)

Actually quite common for anyone, anywhere to desire (and use) a .com domain. They are, after all, the most common.

Re:Just Giving (2)

terrox (555131) | about 3 years ago | (#37215406)

.com is not a US domain extension, it is a global extension for any country. It means "commercial". There is a .us

techsoup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209246)

You really should check They offer pretty much software and they do have a lot of resources for non profits. Just do a search for fundraising on their site and you will be taken to several articles on fundraising resources.

Website that does what you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209342)

A website started by some friends of mine does that, (three p's)
Lets people pledge time, equipment or money to a business or charity and only charges the accounts,
once the goal amount is reached. It sounds like exactly what you are looking for.


Why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209354)

Why stop with the kickstarter program? You can raise GOOD money another way - bingo. Bingo is legal for 501(c)3s in Pennsylvania, and you can net 3-5K per week IF you run it right and get volunteers to run it.

Helpful noob! (-1, Troll)

Terry McGillis (2446414) | about 3 years ago | (#37209460)

A really great site I found was recently is called Sharing is Caring [] . There are lots of wonderful people from around the world that would love to help your cause. It's amazing how little effort it takes to get your pledge up and running and how generous these people are.

Re:Helpful noob! (1)

Lundse (1036754) | about 3 years ago | (#37209668)

Dirty pic alert!

What's wrong with Kickstarter? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 3 years ago | (#37209468)

What is it about Kickstarter that makes it not applicable to charities?

Re:What's wrong with Kickstarter? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#37209486)

It's own guidelines?

No charity or cause funding.

Re:What's wrong with Kickstarter? (1)

cmv1087 (2426970) | about 3 years ago | (#37209534)

From the kickstarter guidelines:

No charity or cause funding. Examples of prohibited use include raising money for the Red Cross, funding an awareness campaign, funding a scholarship, or donating a portion of funds raised on Kickstarter to a charity or cause.

Re:What's wrong with Kickstarter? (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 3 years ago | (#37209866)

Ah, I see that on their "Guidelines" page, but no mention in the "Terms of use" page.

Next Question: Why?

Re:What's wrong with Kickstarter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37215706)

Amazon payments TOS denies making payments to charitable organizations.

I'm guessing tax laws and their desire to take a cut get in the way.

Science education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209518)

In america?

Have you not been paying attention lately?

Hard science is out. Useless buzzwords careers are in.

America is becomming the land that produces nothing but pop tv and crappy music. We've even got our own police force for 'copyrights' now. Wake up and get with the program. Or try to change it.

But funding science in america would be a damm waste of money at this point really.

electrosensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209564)

It began with the migraines, which I put down to stress. Recently divorced, I was running a television production company, employing more than 70 staff, as well as bringing up my five-year-old son.
My lifestyle was fast paced, exciting and affluent, so I wasn't surprised to find that I might be at risk from a stress-related illness.
As the headaches intensified over the next few months, becoming progressively more frequent, I began to worry, especially as I was also experiencing numbness down the right side of my body and bad digestion.
My GP thought I was probably overworking and told me to get some rest.
After consulting an allergy specialist, who said I could be suffering from a food intolerance, I cut out wheat and dairy from my diet in an effort to alleviate my symptoms. But nothing I did seemed to make any difference whatsoever. As I'd never had a serious day's illness in my life before, I just kept hoping my problems would gradually resolve themselves.
For the next seven years I continued to suffer from severe headaches and digestive problems, both slowly growing worse.
Meanwhile, as modern technology improved, I stocked up my office and home with more and more electronic equipment.
I had a mobile, two cordless phones and a laptop, but never did I think that these might be contributing to my illness.
Before I became ill I had a wide social circle and was physically fit - my hobbies included skiing, tango dancing, hillside walking and going to the gym.
Having been such an intensely energetic person, I was shocked to find myself now shuffling around the house after the slightest physical exertion.
In 2002, I met my partner, Rod, an engraver, and although he and my son were incredibly kind and supportive, I hated being a virtual invalid, and was determined to find out the cause of my illness and fix it.
Over the next two years I visited a succession of doctors and alternative therapists, and I tried all sorts of cures, but found nothing that did me any good.
As the symptoms grew worse, so new ones appeared. By 2003, I'd developed high blood pressure and started suffering from panic attacks and breathlessness.
Although I was naturally anxious about all of this, I knew that my problems were more than psychological, and that my condition was being made worse by worry rather than being the result of it.
Obviously it was by now becoming more difficult for me to continue running a company while feeling so unwell. But I did my best, continuing to function as well as I could, given the constraints of my ill-health.
Some days I felt so bad I could barely leave the house and, by 2004, I had started to experience blurred vision, heart arythmia, thyroid problems, vertigo, tinnitus, and chronic fatigue.
The following year, hoping to make a fresh start, I moved to a newly built luxury house. Little did I know that I was only making my problem worse.
Two weeks after moving in, I found a lump in my breast, which was diagnosed as a benign tumour. Added to this, my hair started to fall out, my teeth had become loose and my fingernails became so cracked and brittle they broke off under the slightest pressure.
Clearly, I could no longer continue working, so I decided to close the company, hoping it would only be a temporary measure.
Desperate for help, my son and partner began searching the internet for a solution to my problem. They found websites that warned of the harmful effects of electromagnetic impulses on the human body, and the symptoms listed were all identical to mine - it is called electro-hypersensitivity, or EHS.
Now I knew what to do. I cleared my bedroom of the phone, TV, computer and electrical wires of any kind, and lined it with foil wallpaper.
I also screened the windows with silver radiation-proof fabric, and started wearing a head net to protect against mast emissions.
I also began taking numerous nutritional supplements, and avoiding buildings with lots of electronic equipment. Almost immediately, I began to feel better, to have more energy, and to sleep and eat better.
Finally, in 2006, I was diagnosed with EHS by a specialist I found on the internet. The relief of knowing what had caused my mysterious symptoms for 14 years was overwhelming.
At last I could prove I was not mad, but ill. But it still remained very hard for me to function in day-to-day life. I could not use, or even be near, mobile phones, microwave ovens, radios, WiFi-enabled computers, or be in public buildings such as airports, railway stations, museums or restaurants; travel on the Tube, or drive on a motorway without triggering symptoms of EHS. I couldn't even visit friends.
Five months ago, I sold my house in London and moved to rural Kent. Within a month, my health improved dramatically. I stopped suffering from minor infections, slept better and felt physically stronger - I was even able to do heavy lifting work on my allotment.
I grow my own vegetables and eat an organic diet. I walk, garden and work, in a limited fashion, on a laptop, helping people come to terms with their own case of electro-hypersensitivity.
I am now physically stronger and healthier than I have felt in years. I have no income, but am working towards the day when I can perhaps once more resume my career in TV by making a programme about EHS.
My mission in life has now become to prevent anyone from suffering the way I did. And with our world filled with more and more electronics, there are going to be a lot more people like me out there soon.
For information on EHS, visit ww (2)

mr_overalls (986559) | about 3 years ago | (#37209636)

This site might be what you're looking for: []

my old hangout got $38K (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209752)

I just heard about kickstarter when i saw some poeple wanted to do a documentary about my old Trenton, Nj hangout. I was shocked they collected $38K in 5 weeks based on a 5-minute video. City Gardens film []

One common strategy (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | about 3 years ago | (#37209770)

that you've probably thought of is to get a big donor to pledge matching funds. My old college did this, with a dude pledging to match everything that was raised. Helps to have a suitable candidate for this kind of thing though, and my college is about 500 years old.

But good idea with the charge-when-target-reached site.

Kickstarter-Like Service For Charities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37209804)

It sounds to me as though you're trying to set up something like a kinda-sorta fundraising escrow account: if the aggregate donations reach some threshold everyone gets charged, but if not, they don't. Never heard of this being done in this kind of situation, but I suppose it's possible you could set up an actual escrow account with your bank and have the donation agreement drafted to cover it. But in that case donors would have to cut checks up front and you'd have to give the money back to if the threshold wasn't reached (or at least give them the option to pull it back-- my guess is most would not, since it's going for a good cause).

Anyway, I might be misunderstanding your intent, but I've done a fair amount of fundraising and haven't heard of any services that would do this, specifically.

You folks are trying to do a really, really good thing. Best of luck with it!

Hate to say this...forget the web. (1)

dthanna (1294016) | about 3 years ago | (#37209838)

Soliciting charitable donations is still a very personal thing. Especially if you intend on getting beyond the nickle and dime range (under $50 US). It requires directly talking to potential donors. What's the benefit to your organization - you have 30-seconds, tops. They think they know what you want and why you want it. Money, but what are you really asking for? Operational (smells of on-going funds)? Grants (one time). Equipment? Services? What? Target your pitch to them in terms of what they already do. Not just a check for x dollars. Then you need to spell out what they are going to get in return? Name recognition? Tax write off? What are you going to give them? A plaque? Name wall? What? Have this before you call them. If you are asking for scholarship monies, you can easily handle that one.. Example... the Fred and Ethyl Mertz Scholarship Fund. Will you let them reach out to their employees? Will they match it at the corporate level?

Do this in person, and old-school. That means a paper letter (typeset in a nice font with good legibility and hand signed! (Yes, there is still a need for good penmanship!).

Once you get whatever you are asking for send them a thank you note - personally addressed listing what you received, how it was used and how it benefited whomever it benefited.

If they won't cough over the dough, ask them for a pledge or letter of intent. Something on the order of - XYZ Corp pledges the sum of $5,000 to ABC Organization if they make the goal of raising $150,000. Similar letters of intent will be counted towards funds raised.

This mechanism allows a lot of folks to intend to contribute, but gives them an out if you cannot make the goal. It also allows you to get public support on a nascent project that has little name recognition.

Otherwise you can continue with the bake sales.

Fundly == Kickstarter for non-profits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210034)

What you're looking for is pretty much what we have built at

CTO, Fundly

Obligatory XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210086)

StartSomeGood (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210198)

Hey there-- exists for exactly this purpose -- to help social good initiatives raise funds and grow a community of supporters. We use a similar model to Kickstarter, but with a "tipping point," which is the amount of funds you need to start doing good in the world. Definitely have a look, and if you have any questions, please reach out to me directly: alex at startsomegood dot com

Alex Budak
Co-Founder StartSomeGood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210222)


YourCause (1)

SLot (82781) | about 3 years ago | (#37210328) [] is specifically geared towards charities.

Re:YourCause (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 3 years ago | (#37210566)

The OP's question was "but only charge donors if the goal is reached?"

I looked at this site and its FAQ and I don't see where they mention they have a goal-cutoff point.

Did you see that?

wow spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210332)

cmdrtaco is gone for one hour and this post is loaded with spam links in the comments :(

anyways good luck with the project. first giving looks like a decent site.

set up a trust account (1)

sribe (304414) | about 3 years ago | (#37210388)

Seriously, I would think it take an attorney 2-4 hours to set up a trust account to hold donations under your terms, to be spent if your goals are met, or refunded if not. Of course then you'd have to track donations, but, uhm, you're doing that anyway aren't you???

Re:set up a trust account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210840)

Seriously, I would think it take an attorney 2-4 hours to set up a trust account to hold donations under your terms, to be spent if your goals are met, or refunded if not. Of course then you'd have to track donations, but, uhm, you're doing that anyway aren't you???

Right- either a trust or an escrow account (as I posted early as an AC). One or the other may be simpler in PA. Someone also suggested a matching-- NPR does this all the time. Might work.

Talk to kiva (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210416) isn't quite what you're looking for (they do microloans to people in 3rd world countries), but they have dealt with a lot of the same issues you're looking to sort out: payment processing, releasing funds once goals have been set, tracking payments back into the funds, etc. Maybe they'd have interest in starting a sister site that is geared more towards charities?

yeh (1)

kervin (64171) | about 3 years ago | (#37210426)

It's call "Kickstarter" <-- Air quotes

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210474)

Based on the other answers here, it looks like the answer is No. Its unfortunate, because "Kickstarter for charities" sounds like an awesome idea.

CiviCRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210680)

I would think you could use CiviCRM. I only used it for about a month and never fully explored all of the options.

I would write the billing logic to deduct pledge amount from credit card on X date. IF by X date, the OP's group has failed to reach the appropriate pledge level, THEN they can 1) delete credit card info from all records OR 2) reset billing date to X+365.

CiviCRM might be capable of putting one of those 'thermometer bulbs' on the homepage to track pledge amount in real-time.

Another cool thing for the website would be automatically post messages, names (if desired), etc, from recent donors. CiviCRM can not do this, so far as I know. When I was using the software, I had to do this manually. This was like field-stripping a weapon, or learning Na'vi.

What it CAN do easily is send monthly/weekly/daily newsletters.

As a poscript however, please don't consider this a glowing product endorsement. It worked. It did the job. UI sucked. Hated it. Steep learning curve. Not for the faint of heart. But then again, neither is saving summer science enrichment programs. OP, I thank you, BTW.

Yes, there is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37210992)

What you're looking for: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37211086)

Kickstarter for charities. It's young so the user base is smaller but it has the tipping point funding feature you're looking for.

Here are some real options... (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 3 years ago | (#37211090)

There used to be a cool site for this even before Kickstarter, called, but apparently it went under. See some more info here: []

That page says that they're in the process of rebuilding it but until then they recommend: []
and []

Also search the net for 'charity crowdfunding' to see if you stumble into anything interesting.

Good luck!

"Got Change?" - The "Craigslist" of Giving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37211092)

Not exactly like Kickstarter (which is a donation proxy), but this will help you get the word out and raise donations...

I run a (currently small) project called "Got Change?", which is essentially a classifieds site for people who need to raise money.

Give us a 100-character title and a 100-word description of what you're raising money for, add a picture or video if you'd like, and we tweet it out (@got_change), make it searchable, and give you the social sharing buttons to blast it out to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and more. People can read your request and click a PayPal donate button linked to your account, as well as share it with their networks.

All money goes through PayPal (not us), and it's a completely free service! The idea is that *anyone* should be able to ask for what they need... fundraising isn't just for NFP's and registered charities!

Check it out at and good luck raising what you need!

Crowdrise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37211216)

Have you checked out

Jolkona (1)

MechanicJay (1206650) | about 3 years ago | (#37211240)

Give [] a look. As I understand it, it's pretty much exactly like kickstarter for charities.

restricted fund (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 3 years ago | (#37211266)

Disclaimer: the UK is not the US, but I would be surprised if there are major differences in principle.

I'm concerned you have set up a charity but appear to have no knowledge of basic charity operation nor accounting - you HAVE arranged for accounting, I hope? In UK, you trustees who manage the charity have to prepare and file statutory accounts (in a very specific format, a UK charity's accounts differ substantially from those of a business' even down to some basic principles) as well as having other statutory obligations imposed upon you. I would be surprised if there aren't free booklets kicking around giving sound advice - many countries have a good quasi-independent charity regulator likely to produce such things, but I see the US's equivalent is the IRS, so I'm less hopeful, but surely somebody produces one?

Moving on to the topic at hand:

If you go to the American Red Cross donation page [] they give options for 4 specific purposes and one "Where The Need Is Greatest". If this was in the UK, and I assume the same applies in the US and most countries, the latter would result in a donation to the unrestricted fund i.e. they can spend it on whatever they consider appropriate within the purposes set out the the articles/trust deed. These donations would not normally be returned, if the charity ceased the trustees would probably donate to the most similar other charity.

Donations for the "Horn of Africa Drought" however would be recorded separately in the accounts as a donation to that restricted fund and it must be spent on that project. Should the project cease then in theory the Red Cross should communicate with the donor for permission to transfer the money to another project or return it to you. (Admittedly, for an organisation the scale of the Red Cross communicating with small donors would be impractical, so they very likely have a disclaimer that allows them to transfer funds on specific triggers like the cessation of a project.)

Therefore all you need to do is assure your donor that their money goes on exactly your project or else it will be returned. For you, it's just a matter of recording who from & what for in the books properly. Give donors a form with two check boxes - one which requires the money to be returned in the event the project is frustrated and one that gives permission for you to donate to an "a suitable alternative purpose for the advancement of scientific education" or whatever.

As far as websites go, here in UK I have clients having good experience with [] , they appear to have an American site [] . They do take 5% of the donation so you might prefer direct giving, but there's minimal admin for you and its convenient for some donors (who might also feel more secure donating via the officialdom-ish of the big website).

You could of course to take pledges, so people only pay when you get enough pledges to finance the project. However pledges have the obvious habit of the pledger changing his mind by the time it actually comes to pay up. Even if you used some automatic system, you don't really want your donors having forgotten about it then going overdrawn or whatever. It's a problem and headache. I'd suggest you want to be in the position of having cash that you might have to return rather than having to chase people for cash later.

Re:restricted fund (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212320)

Wow, what a long-winded and fairly useless reply. Literally, only the last paragraph of what you typed is even relevant. (Protip: if you want to write a condesending post, at least hit the topic a little better on the head!)

The person is asking a specific question about web-site offerings. Like they stated in their post, they have already raised a lot of $ for a specific purpose. In their community, they feel they can raise EVEN MORE from SPECIFIC DONORS.... IF they can assure those donors it would go to the specific request for the donation.

Someone as smart as you clearly are (disclaimer: that is sarcasm) should be able to see that they already know how to "have cash", because they have raised $100K!

Outsource (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37211316)

If you have to ask a basic question like "how do I raise money for a charity?" Then for the benefit of all the people you are trying to help, hire a development manager (or whatever their title is). Someone that's applied for hundreds of government grants, knows where to find money and how to raise it. Asking Slashdot is like going to the local knitting group and asking what distro to install.

My mother founded a successful non-profit. My sister is a development manager for a less-successful charity.

If you want to find the money and you don't know how, find an expert, rather than trying to get useful information from 1,000,000 people who aren't experts. Run fund raisers. Go hit up local businesses, especially the tech ones. If you lost state funding, look at what it takes to get it back. The money isn't gone, it's just now spent on worse things.

Re:Outsource (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212218)

I suppose if you cant perform a basic task like "read the post/article", then for the benefit of the 1,000,000 who are reading comments, at least address his question!

(He's not asking HOW to raise money...)

Re:Outsource (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37213432)

If you have to ask a basic question like "how do I raise money for a charity?" Then for the benefit of all the people you are trying to help, hire a development manager (or whatever their title is).

You're an idiot. He's already raised $100,000 from 300 people, an average gift > $3,000. He doesn't need to ask how to find the money he's asking for a specific solution to a specific technical problem. Asking /. makes some sense. Plus, what a way to reach qualified targets!

Part of my job is raising money, too. This bloke's all right.

Re:Outsource (1)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | about 3 years ago | (#37214858)

Apparently part of your job isn't basic math. 100,000 / 300 is about 333, about a factor of ten off from your 3000 number.

Crowdrise (1)

eecue (605228) | about 3 years ago | (#37211396)

Call me biased, they're my employer after all (btw best job ever): Crowdrise allows you to raise money for your charity [] we handle pretty much everything. Anyone can become a fundraiser for your cause (as long as your cause is a non-profit.

YoU insensitiv3 clod? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212028)

the NetBSD project, on baby...don't Walk up to a play has brought upon from one fo7der on Large - keep your volatile world of lube is wiped off when done playing gig in front of

Fractured Atlas? maybe not... (1)

cmeans (81143) | about 3 years ago | (#37212082)

They seem more geared towards art and artists, but maybe they'd be a good resource to connect with. They can certainly handle 501(c)3 donations as a Kickstarter project I backed didn't get funded in time, but they went through Fractured Atlas as an alternate source. []

Re:Fractured Atlas? maybe not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37215234)

Fractured Atlas is a great organization, but what they do with donations (fiscal sponsorship) is exclusively for artists. However, they do work with, which seems to allow tax-deductible donations and is similar to

My10Fundraiser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212142)

This site is exactly what you are looking for --

Kickstarter for Charities: Cauzoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212156)

It's project/goal/deadline driven (just like Kickstarter), and focuses on helping the community around an organization or a cause take the lead on bringing in support. Unlike Kickstarter, Cauzoom also invites businesses into the equation, letting them sell gift cards and contribute a portion of the proceeds to the project. Perfect for what you're looking to do.

mo3F up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212326)

of Ameri3a (GNAA/)

Webconnex / GroupRev (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212442)

Hi there, I am a co-founder of Webconnex (web based fundraising software). We have a product we are releasing called GroupRev and it would work for your project. In fact, I personally fundraised to build a school in El Salvador with it. You can see what it looks like here: . We handle all the encyption and credit card processing technology. Funds go directly to the organization (unlike kickstarter, others). Its not live yet, but we could speak to you about using it for your project if you like. Email me at eric(at) I would be happy to help look at some options for you.

startsomegood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37212760)

startsomegood does exactly that

We had to build one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37213872)

Hi chefmayhem,

A few months back, I ran into the same dilemma on behalf of one of my clients. They are a local non-profit and were looking to use a Kickstarter-like service to raise money for environmental protection projects. I combed the internet trying to find an out-of-the-box service and came up empty. I found a dozen or so Kickstarter-like services, but all of them had restrictions or didn't use the all-or-nothing funding model we wanted. We ended up building one specifically for them using WordPress and Braintree. We're in beta.

Good luck with yours! Let me know what you find, if anything.

Jesse McDougall
Catalyst Webworks

Crowdrise (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | about 3 years ago | (#37214556)

You might want to check out Crowdrise [] . I first read about it on Wired [] a couple of months ago.

ResAlternatives? (1)

Dthief (1700318) | about 3 years ago | (#37215212)

You could have people not actually donate, but make a pledge that you agree to only collect, and will only be donated if you have $XXX,XXX of pledges. I don't know about services that do this though. But if it is not an online campaign but rather a snail-mail or personal campaign this is definitely an option.

Alternatively you could have your donation link just be so people email you a pledge as above, and just make a note that these pledges are binding financially as long as $XXX,XXX in pledges is reached. And they can leave an email or contact where you can let them know once that amount has been reached (and so they owe you money)

Similarly you could tell people that you would like them to submit matching grants, where-in they dont pay until someone else actually donates.

Not exactly what you want, but there are lots of options. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37215282)

UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37216816) for small charities in UK

Cauzoom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37219452)

Cauzoom is project-based all-or-nothing fundraising with a special emphasis on using social media to leverage your community to raise money. We (I'm the CEO) also add a cause marketing element to each project so local businesses can get involved - selling gift certificates and contributing a portion to the project itself.

Cauzoom (1)

Sattler (2447362) | about 3 years ago | (#37219486)

Cauzoom is project-based fundraising for nonprofits, with Kickstarter's goal/deadline/all-or-nothing approach. We (I'm the CEO) also offer a plethora of tools for helping your community leverage its own social reach, and invite businesses into the equation by offering them cause-marketing opportunities to sponsor projects and even sell gift cards that contribute to the project with every purchase. Plus it's lots of fun. :-)

Fore Our Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220622)

Fore Our Future is an Entertainment & Media Company that wants to change the world. We want to help worthwhile causes raise money and get more people to be grateful and sharing of their ever changing circumstances in life.

We have created two interconnecting business models that are compatible with today's virtual lifestyles.

1. We will change the way charities raise money by making giving fun; Create interactive, online events that combine the fun of real life sports participation & competition where everyone competes for extraordinary prizes. AND without geographical or time restrictions.

2. Following the Fore Our Future fundraising event we will connect in a personal and meaningful way the benefactors with the beneficiaries through The Gratitude Zone: A growing community where the givers (benefactors) are the participants in a Fore Our Future charity fundraiser. And the receivers (beneficiaries) are the individuals whom the charity serves. It is a place where giving & thanking are fun!!

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