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Social Networking and the Future of Philanthropy and Indie Art

Submitted by on October 5, 2010 – 11:06 am

Social networking sites have revolutionize job hunting, friendships, and video production, and some philanthropists have discovered new ways to connect people, spread awareness for their cause, and raise funds. Check out some of the absolute best of the best websites out there that are helping artists and philanthropists share their work and raise money for their projects.

IndieGoGo: On IndieGoGo, artists and philanthropists can set up profiles for their fundraising efforts and post pictures, video, and a description of how the money will be used. Projects have 120 days or less to raise the money, and even if they don’t meet the fundraising goal, they will still get to keep the amount raised minus a small fee which goes back to running the website. Most successful projects also have incentives for donors like free DVDs, autographs, or IMDB credit.

Kickstarter: Kickstarter has a lot in common with IndieGoGo. Artists, filmmakers, and photographers can post their projects on the website, and they have 90 days to reach their fundraising goal. Unlike IndieGoGo, however, Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing policy. If a project does not meet its goal, then the investors do not pay and the project gets none of the money raised.

Donors Choose: On Donors Choose, teachers can set up a profile and raise money for books, computers, school supplies, or classroom projects. Projects have three months to get their full funding, and if the project doesn’t get the funding it needs, donors can transfer their money to another project, or they can allow Donors Choose or the teacher to pick another project.

Crowdrise: Crowdrise combines the best elements of Facebook with the personal feel of Donors Choose. Users set up an account on Crowdrise and can upload a profile picture, add friends, write on people’s walls, and set up projects. What gives Crowdrise the potential to be really successful, though, is the website’s incentives program. Users can earn 10 points for every dollar donated and every dollar raised for their cause, and they can earn additional points for uploading pictures featuring Crowdrise apparel, answering trivia questions, or participating in other ways on the website. As the tagline reads, “If you don’t give back, no one will like you.”

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