So, today I turned 30 and so I thought I should provide a little update on where I got to with my ‘before I’m 30’ challenge that I blogged about it my last post…
Over the last 10 days, I’ve tried out a number of crowd-funding / donation platforms and contributed $25-$30ish to the following:
- Affordable Sanitary Pads for 1500 Ugandan Girls through Global Giving
- Rowena Ocden’s Group from the Phillipines through Kiva
- Two Kickstarter projects – New Work City and What Took You So Long to find Camel Cheese?
- Nathanael Boehm’s book My Exodus through Fundbreak
- A direct donation to support the fabulous Radiolab show (which is one of my favourite podcasts)
A couple of quick reflections…. Fundbreak and Kickstarter are my favourite models. I love the creative blurbs, videos and rewards that project creators have come up with. I think they create a connection between the creators and backers and allow backers to get a strong sense of what they’re contributing to and really feel part of the project. Both sites are beautiful and easy to use (which always helps).
I actually found searching for a project to fund on Kiva quite difficult. I was simply overwhelmed by the volume of available projects and the similarity between many of them. There is a comprehensive search functionality but there are just so many to select from… I would have liked to fund a ‘green’ project but unfortunately there weren’t any projects available. Also, the loan I funded had already been pre-disbursed (which means that the funding from Kiva supporters is used to backfill the loan)… I understand that this is probably a necessary part of how the micro-finance industry (and Kiva) needs to work but, in my opinion, it does tend to diminish the connection between the funding recipient and the donors. And maybe it’s not feasible given the volume of loans on the Kiva site, but it would be great to see more stories featured about the recipients and the impact that the loans will have.