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Holiday Gift Giving Turns To Crowdfunding

posted Dec 3, 2014, 12:49 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Dec 3, 2014, 12:50 AM ]
Here’s how it works:

You go online to a crowdfunding site like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

That’s where you'll find people raising money for everything from charities to a winter vacation.

Here in Atlanta, the Emmaus House raises money to provide families with holiday turkeys, and for the first time spokesperson Greg Cole says the non-profit decided toraise money on Indiegogo.

“You got to the crowdfunding site and you can see pictures or video – you can put a human face to it," said Cole. "We’re used to getting solicited all the time whether it’s through mail or telephone or friends and so by doing something that’s a little more creative and a little different it gets people’s attention.”

Cole said collecting money online has helped reach more people.

But some campaigns struggle to get noticed, says Katharine Mobley, a spokesperson with startup crowdfunding site WeCareCard that's looking to make Atlanta its headquarters.

It's a typical platform like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but it puts all of the donated money onto a debit card.
“I’ve even see a local story that was featured on the news and I thought it was so compelling about a very young couple and their sick son,  and I went out on the internet and found that they did have a crowdfunding campaign out there and they didn’t have any money it,” said Mobley.

She said despite the success of some campaigns, fundraisers need to understand how to get donations.

“The biggest challenge in our industry is people think build it and they will come. That does not happen it doesn’t matter in any crowdfunding platform – it does not happen," said Mobley. "You have to have a compelling story, you have to have the social media network and you have to do the outreach. It’s pretty much like doing a traditional fundraising job.”

But there’s another side to crowdfunding, and it has nothing to do with charities.

Natassia Costa is a spokesperson with the California based company

She says the trend of people using crowdfunding to give gifts to friends and loved one has become so popular that it's why was founded.

“What we really do is we focus on the bite-sized campaigns – those everyday activities that you want to do with your family, your friends that can be $20 to $2,000,” said Costa.

Last year New Year’s Eve a group of friends right here in Atlanta raised over $1,000 on to ring in 2014.

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