An American has crowdfunded more than $30,000 on Kickstarter to make a potato salad, raising some questions as to where people are willing to put their money. While the campaign is seen by many as an ironic gimmick, and initially set out to raise $US10, the humour has started wearing thin.
— Arielle Miller (@purplehairedgrl) July 8, 2014
So Internet, we can crowdfund $22K some random potato salad, can I get $1500 to tech outfit a special ed classroom? http://t.co/atKDZypMyB
— DNLee (@DNLee5) July 8, 2014
With this in mind, StartupSmart decided to scour major crowdfunding websites – both in Australia and overseas – to find out what crowdfunding projects are better worth your time (and money).
1. Bicycles to break the poverty cycle
Atma Cycles is looking to fund bicycles for schoolgirls in rural India. According to their page on StartSomeGood, bicycles have been shown to “effectively break the poverty cycle” and increase girls’ attendance and enrolment rates at school. Atma Cycles wants to start a sustainable social enterprise model where for every bike sold, they donate another to a person in need.
2. Croc Camp: Keeping the Dream Alive
The late Steve Irwin’s father, Bob Irwin, is asking for people to pledge money to help him take a group of dedicated youngsters on a field trip to research crocodiles in their natural habitat. The aim is to train up the next generation of crocodile experts.
3. Using smartphones to save women’s lives
A company by the name of MobileOCT is looking to turn smartphones into life-saving cancer screening devices. The project has a particular focus on cervical cancer, which claims the lives of around 275,000 women each year.
4. Tender Funerals
Tender Funerals is seeking funding to create a community-based, not-for-profit funeral practice. The idea behind the project is to see funerals put back into the hands of the community to lower costs and allow family members to be more involved in the entire process.
5. Mum, cancer and dirt bikes
Steve Smith is seeking $10,000 to take a motorcycle trip across the US in order to inspire and support his mother, who is battling cancer.
6. Northwest Battle Buddies
Northwest Battle Buddies is seeking funds to rescue dogs from animal shelters and train them to become service dogs for returning US soldiers. The aim is to assist returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress and help them readjust to civilian life.
7. Help Mothers in Africa Solar Power their Village
Help Mothers in Africa Solar Power Their Village is seeking money to buy solar panels to power households in Africa.
8. Hairy Nosed Wombat Rehab Centre
The Wombat Awareness Organisation received no government assistance and has a small number of donors, which is why they are conducting a crowdfunding campaign. They hope to use the funds to keep the organisation operating so they can treat injured and orphaned wombats.
9. Good Living Design Jam
The team at Good For Us are organising a two-day conference to bring together web designers, game makers and other digital experts to generate ideas on how to make it simpler and more exciting for consumers to support companies that are doing the right thing.
10. Online training to make sits and apps accessible
Knowability, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving technology access for people living with a disability, is looking for funds to develop training courses for designers. Most sites and apps aren’t built by people with a disability, so Knowability wants to educate designers on how to make websites and apps more accessible.