In Broward County, Fla. Taking Crowdfunding Hyperlocal

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February 28, 2013; Source:Sun Sentinel

NPQ has covered crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, Razoo, and Indiegogo, but now we see a phenomenon of micro-crowdfunding starting to emerge. In Florida’s Broward County, the nonprofit Business for the Arts of Broward has created a new crowdfunding site called to raise money for nonprofit arts group. After getting started with a $75,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has just succeeded in meeting its first target of raising $8,500 for the Master Chorale of South Florida. The money will pay for the organization’s program celebrating its 10th anniversary. By raising the money, the Chorale will also get a matching grant from the Knight Foundation.

It strikes us that local, indigenous crowdfunding platforms might be interesting instruments for capturing local charitable giving in much the same way that a community-based organization like the United Way has captured workplace donations for local charities. Can NPQ Newswire readers give us examples of other local community-based crowdfunding efforts along with a read on how well they are or are not succeeding? And have they needed a “kickstart” major foundation grant, like the one from Knight to, in order to develop traction? —Rick Cohen

  • Amy Krulik

    My organization, the Jewish Relief Agency (, launched a new program called JRAid ( about 18 months ago. Micro-donations are a key component of this volunteer matching effort. Donors can give as little or a much as they like toward a specific project like a minor home repair for a senior, purchasing a new stove for a single mom with a special needs child, etc. Most projects for which we are seeking micro-donations are a few hundred dollars and the average micro-donation is about $25. A few months ago, a client needed help covering the $350 security deposit on her new apartment. She could no longer live in the home she had shared with her second husband of more than 30 years (he had recently passed away) because her step son wanted the house and threw her out. She could cover her rent, but not the security deposit. We posted this micro-donation opportunity on our site and in under a hour had received enough in donations from about 15 individual donors.

    I would like to think that the Philadelphia community is not unique and that communities across the country could make micro-donation programs work for them.

  • Laura Belcher

    As the National Director of, I believe that the platform links the best of a local community driven initiative with a national platform. is expanding nationally and currently serves 14 communities. The goal is to partner with local host organizations, like the Buisness for the Arts of Broward County, that know the local community but provide a common technological platform so that duplication of efforts is minimized. We have seen great interest by donors to support specfic projects posted by organziations, increasing the transparency of how thier gifts would be used and attracting a large percentage of first time donors.