Crowdfunding for non-profit initiatives is a method often lauded for its ability to effectively raise funds and engage diverse audiences. Research conducted by U.S.-based crowdfunding platform Fundly found that donation crowdfunding already represents a $5.5 billion market worldwide, with that number expected to grow in the coming years.
As the use of crowdfunding initiatives in Georgia continues to expand, organizations like Orbeliani Georgia are working to develop a donation crowdfunding ecosystem that promotes charitable giving by individuals and allows the public to take ownership of civic initiatives in their communities.
With support from the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program, Orbeliani Georgia announced an open call for civic initiative applications in April 2022 and selected sixteen initiatives to be featured on the crowdfunding platform Orbeliani Meti. The representatives of the chosen initiatives participated in a week of training and cooperated with Orbeliani Georgia to construct their campaigns. This included outreach training on developing and disseminating compelling campaign videos, interacting effectively with the media, and recruiting “initiative ambassadors” to increase public awareness.
The 16 initiatives were then given 45 days to implement their outreach campaigns and raise at least 30% of the necessary funds through crowdfunding to receive match-funding for the remaining funds from the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program – a feat that every initiative was able to successfully achieve!
With a wide array of activities and topics spanning from environmental protection efforts to the creation of innovative education spaces and encouragement of youth participation in sports and the arts, the funded initiatives will also be implemented by a diverse cohort of both formal and informal civic actors. Some campaigns, like the project ‘Make Education Easier and Accessible to Everyone’, which was instituted by the Center for Development and Democracy and aims to fund the further expansion of a free online education platform for students, were initiated by established civic groups hoping to make a wider impact throughout the country. Others, like the ‘No One Left Behind’ project, originated when one woman noticed that members of the elderly community in her city were having difficulties physically accessing hot meals at the community diner, prompting her to mobilize other residents and create a localized solution.
Mariam Mirotadze, Program Director at Orbeliani Georgia, noted that, “Crowdfunding is about so much more than raising funds. With the proper outreach tools, these campaigns were able to raise awareness about the initiatives and allow people in the community to be involved. This is an important part of creating a responsible and active society.”
Upon successful completion of the crowdfunding campaigns for these 16 civic initiatives, Orbeliani Georgia announced a second call for applications in June 2022. More information about the call can be found on their website.
You can find a the full list of funded initiatives here.