“I went on a shopping spree in July and spent four million dollars on girls and women,” Maz Kessler says proudly.
As the founder and creative director of Catapult, a start-up nonprofit organization that helps development projects for women and girls get funding, she has every reason to boast. Catapult, a crowdfunding site that insists on transparency and engagement with donors, is one of several organizations changing the world of philanthropy. Launched on the first International Day of the Girl, in October 2012, the start-up has already seen impressive results.
Kessler, whose unconventional career trajectory started when she dropped out of the London School of Economics to join a band in New York City, has been a part of the technology sector since the ’90s. Before founding Catapult, she worked as a technology consultant for nonprofits like Women Deliver. Starting her own organization was the next logical step.
Kessler set out to close the gender gap in development funding. In the conference room of Catapult’s Soho office, she rattles off some startling statistics: teen girls receive only two percent of development funding; women (including teens and young girls) receive only six percent. Of the organizations that focus on women’s issues, one in five is in danger of closing.
“Crowdfunding,” Kessler explains, was the “natural solution. From a philanthropy perspective, it was really the only way to go.”
What the Internet makes possible is what Kessler calls the citizen philanthropist. In the pre-Internet days of philanthropy, organizations reached out to donors for funding, but once they received it, donors might never hear from them again. Donors had no idea where their money went or what, if any, good it did. Even in the early years of the Internet, nonprofits had trouble shaking that model: remember the big, yellow donate button of yore? That was an equally passive mode of philanthropy.
When a potential donor finds their way to Catapult’s site, they can browse projects by subject (e.g. advocacy, innovation, orphans) to find something they are truly interested in supporting. They can find out more in the project overview, but perhaps even more importantly, they can review the project budget and know how much money will be used for supplies, or for training, or for administrative costs.
Organizations, once they have been cleared by Catapult’s vetting process, can submit any kind of project they like. They could ask for funding for an office party, Kessler jokes, but they have to convince donors why their office party deserves to be funded. This forces organizations to use their expertise to curate thoughtful, important projects, but leaves it up to the crowd to decide what gets funded.
Once a project is fully funded (organizations have 150 days to reach their funding goal or their project will be closed) organizations must report back to the donors on the status of the project. Organizations can report as often as they like, but at minimum they must send a photo thank you note when the project is funded, an update at 90 days and another at a year (projects should be accomplished by the end of a year).
The required reporting holds organizations accountable for the promises they make, and it keeps donors involved in the project beyond the moment they clicked that donate button. “We’re looking for civic engagement,” explains Kessler, not just “moving resources.”
Trees, Water & People has used Catapult to get funding for several projects, including one that built dry composting latrines in El Salvador. Megan Maiolo-Heath, their marketing manager, said the organization has had a really good experience with Catapult. All of their projects posted to date have been 100 percent funded.
Maiolo-Heath pointed out that she’s used a lot of crowdfunding platforms, but what is truly impressive about Catapult is the company backing them.
Only nine weeks after launching their website, Catapult secured a partnership with the Gucci campaign Chime for Change, which has celebrity representatives like Beyoncé and Salma Hayek. This June Chime for Change sponsored an impressive benefit concert in London to raise awareness and funds for Catapult projects.
It helped. It was only after the concert that Trees, Water & People got their most expensive project funded. With the 10 thousand they raised on Catapult, they distributed solar-powered lights to families in Honduras without access to electricity.
Maiolo-Heath points out that, while the Catapult platform is still evolving, and they continue to work on the user experience, that tech and the crowdfunding model “is making it easier to reach people you otherwise wouldn’t be able to come into contact with.”
“It’s nice to be able to show a donor exactly how we’re spending their money, [to] upload photos and stories from the field,” Maiolo says. “You don’t get that kind of direct involvement without mail.”
Also of interest as of October 4, 2018 , , ,
The Latest Bing News on:
- Asia’s best private bank for philanthropic services 2023: Julius Baeron March 30, 2023 at 1:59 am
Julius Baer wins the category best for philanthropic services in Asia this year. For starters, the firm doubled the number of philanthropy advisory mandates in 2022.
- Citizens Financial Groupon March 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. engages in the provision of commercial banking services. It operates through the following segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. The Consumer Banking ...
- Billionaire Family Expands First Citizens by Scooping Up Failed Bankson March 28, 2023 at 8:27 am
Holding Jr. has now scooped up at least a dozen failed banks since 2008. The acquisition by First Citizens BancShares Inc. from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. creates a $143 billion loan ...
- First Citizens’ SVB acquisition includes real estate loanson March 27, 2023 at 2:13 pm
First Citizens Bank will assume Silicon Valley Bank’s mortgages and commercial real estate loans as part of its $16.5 billion discounted acquisition of the failed bank from the Federal Deposit ...
- First Citizens shares soar 50% after the bank buys a large chunk of failed Silicon Valley Bankon March 27, 2023 at 1:03 pm
The deal will see First Citizens BancShares purchase around $72 billion of Silicon Valley Bank assets at a discount of $16.5 billion. A further $90 billion in securities and other assets will ...
- Silicon Valley Bank Rises From Dead With First Citizens Acquisitionon March 27, 2023 at 8:15 am
Silicon Valley Bank, once triumphantly dubbed the “financial partner of the innovation economy,” before its recent historic collapse, is being acquired by First Citizens, a legacy banking ...
- First Citizens to acquire Silicon Valley Bankon March 27, 2023 at 6:54 am
First Citizens Bank (Nasdaq: FCNCA) has struck a deal to acquire Silicon Valley Bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement for all deposits and ...
- First Citizens to acquire troubled Silicon Valley Bankon March 27, 2023 at 5:14 am
NEW YORK – North Carolina-based First Citizens will buy Silicon Valley Bank, the tech industry-focused financial institution that collapsed earlier this month, rattling the banking industry and ...
- BADC Invites Nominations for 2023 Citizen of the Year Awardon March 21, 2023 at 12:19 pm
Annual award honors a volunteer who has made significant contributions to the Barrington Area community The Barrington Area Development Council (BADC), the not-for-profit civic organization with a ...
- Philanthropists attend gala dinneron March 20, 2023 at 11:13 am
Pictured at the gala dinner are (from left) Narend and Manitha Singh with Sorisha and Vivian Reddy. Photo: Khethukuthula Xulu Philanthropists from all over KwaZulu-Natal were treated to well-deserved ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”citizen philanthropists” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
The Latest Bing News on:
- DFM and Dubai Chamber launch programme to catapult businesses into IPO trackon March 30, 2023 at 4:16 am
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce have launched a programme to help regional private businesses grow and list on the local bourse, building on the momentum of the ...
- JR Smith: 'I felt like that Sixth Man of the Year was about to catapult me to stardom'on March 29, 2023 at 12:20 pm
We lost to Indiana that year. They were playing really well. I don’t think Lance Stephenson gets enough credit for what he did for that team. His impact on that team was crazy. To win in ...
- Digital Catapult, Ofcom unveil O-RAN testing facilities in the UKon March 29, 2023 at 9:27 am
The new facility provide O-RAN vendors with the opportunity to trial, test and accelerate the development of their products ...
- Digital Catapult and Ofcom open doors to UK Open RAN labon March 29, 2023 at 3:20 am
Technology incubation initiative Digital Catapult has teamed up with UK comms regulator Ofcom on a new ‘commercially-neutral, collaborative environment’ for testing Open RAN solutions.
- Digital Catapult and Ofcom Launch UK Open RAN Testing Facilities – SONIC Labson March 29, 2023 at 2:56 am
Digital Catapult and Ofcom have today opened a new testing facility for Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) technology, which is funded by the UK's Department ...
- The Backyard Ogre Catapulton March 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Today we’ll be setting aside the circuits and solder for a little while in favor of good old fashioned wood and bungee chords to make this backyard catapult. Items needed include nine sections ...
- Dashcam shows car catapult into air after being hit by a detached tire on highwayon March 28, 2023 at 12:19 pm
A Tesla driver captured the moment a pickup truck’s tire detached and hit another car, causing it to fly into the air on a California highway, media outlets reported. Dashcam footage from a Tesla ...
- Stellaris: How to Use a Quantum Catapulton March 24, 2023 at 8:02 am
The Quantum Catapult is one of the cheapest Megastructures that players can construct in Stellaris, and can be used to explore, colonize, or invade. The galaxy is full of mysteries in Stellaris ...
- BlackBerry signs up to $900 million patent deal after sale to Catapult collapseson March 21, 2023 at 8:46 am
BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday it would sell patents, primarily related to its mobile devices, for up to $900 million after the Canadian software company scrapped an earlier deal with Catapult IP ...
- Finc3 Launches Catapult, an Analytics and Reporting Platform to Fuel Amazon 1P Enterpriseon March 21, 2023 at 6:15 am
Finc3, a data-driven marketing agency focused on global marketplace management and consulting, is launching its own proprietary SaaS product, Catapult, a robust e-commerce analytics and reporting ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Catapult” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]