When we talk to folks about making their visions for a nonprofit organization a reality, the most common thing that holds people back is funding. We wanted to share a success story from on of our favorite clients about how they are getting creative and making those crowdsourcing fundraising platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo really work for them and their organization. Give it a look and imagine what’s possible for your organization:

Kickstarter is an amazing tool for project specific fundraising.  In 2010 Create Peace Project managed to raise $20,000 using this on-ine fundraising platform.  Although $20K is a high goal, given Kickstarter is all or nothing, we did manage to generate that money with a bit of creative ingenuity.   The first campaign for $20,000 reached $7,500 before I got a call from one couple saying that they were going to donate $12,600, to ensure that I reached my goal, however, part of that money was a corporate match and was unable to be registered into the Kickstarter campaign.  So, I got that donation sent directly and ran a second campaign for $5,000 and asked all the donors to pledge their support in a one-week follow up campaign, and it worked.  The $12,600 came independently and Create Peace Project harnessed another 6,500 from Kickstater.
Kickstarter, like Indiegogo.com use crowd sourced fundraising as a way to inspire people to pledge money to projects they believe in.  It’s a risk free situation because no money is debited from an account unless the entirety of the goal is met.  That way, donors can know that there money will be used to complete a project.  Both of these fundraising platforms use incentives (ie gifts) for individuals or organizations to inspire folks to contribute to their campaign in exchange for a small gift of some kind.   The only difference between the two is that Indiegogo will allow a project to get funding without an all-or-nothing restriction, for a higher service fee.  This is not a bad deal, considering the platform is the key for social network, email and newsletter announcements.
Create Peace Project is currently working to raise $3775 to run a second printing of our arts-for-peace teachers resource; Let’s Create Peace.   We have shared this 75 page full color booklet with educators across the US, have a team of 10 using it in schools in Hoima, Uganda, as well as having shared it with colleagues in Kathmandu Nepal.
We are hoping to raise about $5,000 from this kickstarter campaign.  Anticipating the 8% loss to Kickstarter and Amazon, we are looking to push beyond our goal and ensure there is sufficient funds necessary to print, publicize, web-enable, and host tele-confrerences and distribute this amazing resource to teachers around the world in the year ahead.



Global Grins, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized to distribute toothbrushes, oral hygiene information and other oral care materials to as many impoverished persons around the world as possible, who may not otherwise have access to toothbrushes. They do this charitable work to improve the health of thousands of people around the globe, as many life threatening conditions including heart disease, stroke, pre-term babies and many other serious health problems are caused by poor oral hygiene.

During the spring of 2011, Global Grins, Inc. received a shipment of over 17,000 toothbrushes, and continues to ship dental hygiene supplies to various orphanages, clinics, schools, hospitals and shelters around the world.  The organization ships directly to these organizations in need as well as to sending


Cover For Kids Foundation, Inc. received its tax exempt status from the IRS last year and is organized to provide a comprehensive educational program of horsemanship and animal relationship focusing most of its work primarily with the occupational therapy students and other clients in the Denver Metro and outer lying areas. The organization currently works with handicapped children from Aurora Public Schools including students who have Down’s Syndrome, seizures, and autistic and ADD/ADHD children. 

We checked in with Dena Dorn-Pavletic, President, earlier this year to get an update about their organization which has formed a partnership with Aurora Public Schools and looking to form partnerships with a local detention center and Children’s Hospital.

Here is some of what she had to say:


Barks of Love is a 501(c)3 non profit that has rescued almost 400 dogs and made over 1,000 people happy new pet owners, since it’s creation in 2008. The organization was founded to work with local animal shelters to rescue dogs off of “doggie death row.”  These dogs often need a great deal of treatment medically and behaviorally.  While the Barks of Love promotes the adoption of their rescued dogs, they also educate the public and encourage a more humane treatment of our dog allies.

Our client sent us this wonderful account from a lucky family and an even luckier pit bull named Candie:

“I first met Candie when Barks of Love sent out a newsletter urgently pleading for a foster for Candie. I was just finishing up school and had the room in my house so I sent in my application. When Candie arrived at my house and I saw how little she was, I figured she would be a piece of cake… boy was I in for it. Three hours later, this maniac of a pit bull was still doing laps through my house and around my back yard at about 100 miles per hour. I began to think this might be a very temporary foster. When she finally settled down (the next day) I noticed scabs all over her little body and I noticed her
incessant itching. Candie had been rescued from the Orange County shelter three months earlier with horrendous mange. Her previous foster told me that the day she picked Candie up, Candie’s hair was falling out in clumps on her floor. Candie was hairless from her head to where her back legs began. To make matters worse, she had what appeared to be two extremely deep open cigarette burns on her front legs. Her previous foster told me that Candie was completely shut down or a month after picking her up from the shelter but eventually came around. Now Candie was removed from the first loving home she had ever had and was thrown into yet another unfamiliar home. She was crazy and did not seem to have any attachment to me for the first two months but hen began to come around. Right when it seemed like she was getting comfortable, the vet confirmed that she had overcome the mange, things were looking good for Candie until the vet came back in the room and diagnosed her with elbow dysplasia. Her little legs would tremble uncontrollably, and she would limp after playing with her foster brother and friends. It was so sad to see because she is such a happy little dog that has no idea what she has overcome and had no idea that she now had an even longer path to recovery.

Fast forward a couple more months. Candie went back for more x-rays now that her growth plates were done developing and she showed mild elbow dysplasia in only one elbow and the vet said as long as her weight is managed and she is trained not to jump (which will take a small miracle) she will not need surgery — at least not yet. After about a two month break from adoption events Candie and I went back to the normal weekend routine, only this time, the usually happy and energetic Candie began hiding from me every Saturday morning after I loaded her bed and crate in the car. Once at the events she began trembling and drooling and barking at dogs that came by her crate, which was very strange for Candie because she usually gets along with all dogs and even cats. She made it pretty apparent she thought she had found her forever home and did not appreciate my bringing her to
adoption events. I guess sometimes people pick their pets and sometimes pets pick their people. A week ago Candie became a permanent member of my family. She loves playing in the yard with her big brother and then fighting with him for the closest snuggling position on the couch and bed. Not to mention, she demands weekly massages as we watch tv. I love having a little hell raiser running around the house and Keyser, my other dog, loves having a constant companion (although I think sometimes he could do without some of her puppy energy). Candie, Keyser, and I look forward to a very long adventurous life together.”

Founder Ashley Greenspan says that if she could give advice to anyone starting a nonprofit she’d encourage you all to be organized, make sure that all the proper paperwork is in place and know who to trust and who not to trust.  

They are always looking for more foster homes, volunteers and any monetary donations so give if you can.  

And finally, a big thank you to all the people who make this great work possible, particularly staff members Phil Baily, Vero Najera, Heather Strand and Crystal Christensen, all the foster homes, volunteers and four legged friends!


children_starsonearthfundStars on Earth Fund is an organization which was established in 2009 after founder, Narelle Payne, spent some time volunteering in a rural school in India that she found to be in desperate need of resources. We are  a young organization with strong intention to reach out to as many schools worldwide as possible. There is a desperate need for basic resources and infrastructure in the developing world. We know that only through education can we break the cycle of poverty.