Monthly Archives: June 2013

Finding the Best Crowdfunding Platform

By: Gina Mason/June 14, 2013

Crowdfunding: the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their resources, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

Crowdfunding is the latest trend in the fundraising world and is a practice that is growing at an exponential rate. Today, people are using crowdfunding platforms to help raise money for almost anything. From financing movies and start-up businesses to fundraising for charities, pageants or good causes, crowdfunding is going to have a huge impact on the way organizations structure their fundraising tactics. The possibilities are endless with crowdfunding and people are flocking to these easy-to-use sites to begin collecting donations from people not only in their inner circle but from all over the world. Even our own media news network, The Giving Carpet embodies the crowdfunding spirit by virtually connecting fans directly to their favorite celebrity’s charity to donate.

Now, some may question the validity of crowdfunding but according to the Crowdfunding Industry Report, nearly $2.7 billion dollars was raised through the use of crowdfunding platforms in 2012. With numbers like that, I don’t think crowdfunding is going anywhere anytime soon.

But with so many crowdfunding sites popping up daily, it may be difficult to decipher which one is best for you or your organization.  It is important to understand the differences between the two basic models of crowdfunding in order to find the best platform to use. The first model is donation-based crowdfunding. This model is ideal for nonprofits; charities or good causes (i.e. helping a sick person pay for medical bills) looking to raise some money based on pure donations. In return for donations, some sites ask that the person or organization gives something back like a thank you card or a keychain.  The second model is investment-based crowdfunding, in which people are investing in your project or business in hopes to gain some kind of financial return. Both types of crowdfunding can be successful and below are a few different (and reputable) sites that may be useful depending on the type of fundraising you are looking to do.


Kickstarter is one of the most well-known crowdfunding sites out there. It is a donation-based funding site that is best suited for people looking to raise money for arts-based projects, not so much businesses or charitable organizations.  It is very common to find musicians, artists and journalists on this site looking to find people to donate to their projects. Recently, Kickstarter launched a hugely successful campaign to fund the Veronica Mars movie. Through the site, fans of the Veronica Mars TV show raised almost five million dollars so that the producers could have enough money to fund the long-awaited movie.   


GoFundMe is a great site for events or charitable causes and is rapidly becoming one of the most used crowdfunding sites.  Their easy-to-use site allows you to create a charity page with photos, links and enables users to share their page with their social media followers. This site features a variety of donation pages including from personal finance funding to raising money for clubs or sports teams.


When looking to expand you possible donors to an international level, Indiegogo  is a great resource for reaching a broad audience. This site is a donation-based platform for almost any type fundraising campaign. Similar to GoFundMe, this site includes donation pages for personal finance needs, charities, music and more (the only exception is that this site is not for business startups).


Crowdrise is another great resource for charities and causes. This donation-based site attracts a lot of people who are looking to help others and donate towards inspiring and meaningful causes. Crowdrise also has a unique feature that tracks each member’s charitable impact as they donate.  



If you are looking for funds for a business venture, Crowdfunder is a great site for you. This site incorporates donation and investment based crowdfunding for small businesses, social sites, tech start-ups and more. It has an innovative feature called CROWDFUNDx which connects local investors with local entrepreneurs both online and offline.


Crowdfuding is a great way for people to get involved with charities and an innovative twist on traditional fundraising. Long gone are the days of car washes and bake sales. We are living in a virtual world and just like online shopping, online funding is going to be the next big thing in fundraising. Whether you are trying to raise money for a cause or gain some extra capital for your business, crowdfunding platforms can be a great tool to help you fundraise. I hope you found this post to be helpful and best of luck to those who embark on a crowdfunding journey. Happy Funding!   

I welcome any comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

How To Respond To Donors When They Say “No” or “I Don’t Know”

Author: MJ Pedone June 10, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to take “no” for an answer. Long are gone of the days where I had to accept that dreaded word when I was rejected in my ploy. But I do believe that rejection is a big issue for most especially when it comes to donor requests. I know I want to shout from the rooftop and do the happy dance when my sponsors say yes so why shouldn’t you?

Here are a few questions to ask the donors who are unsure.

1. Is there additional information I can provide that will assist you with making a decision?

2. Does the timing of my request have anything to do with your decision?  Is there a better time of the year to ask and do you or your organization follow a philanthropy schedule?

3. Can I provide any of our organizations documents in order to help with your decision?

What to say when your potential donor has had a bad experience with your organization.

1. I’m sorry to hear that. With your permission, I would like look into this situation and find out why this happened?

2. That is why I am here today in order to prevent this from happening again, Can you provide suggestions on what we should do differently?

3. Is there anything I can do to make this up to you? I really want to make this up to you.

What to say when you realize the person you are speaking with is not the ultimate decision maker.

1. I sense that you are reluctant. Is there someone else we should include in our next conversation?

2. Is there additional information I should share with anyone else?

3. I sense that you make decisions with others aka your wife, husband, or financial adviser. Can we schedule a meeting for all of us to meet?

How to deal with an emphatic “No!”

1. I hear that you aren’t interested. Would you mind telling me why?

2. I’m disappointed to hear that and I want to do a good job for our organization. Is there anything we could do better so that you might be interested in our cause at another time?

3. Is this your final decision or may I contact you in 6 to 12 months? With your permission, I would like to send you updates that would keep you informed on what our organization is doing.

The good news is that reluctance is informational and certainly a great way to find out the facts. If you hear the same thing over and over, it is time to make major changes in your organization and strategy. When you hear Yes, you leave richer and when you hear No, you leave smarter. Either way, you win and should still do the happy dance.

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Matt Kemp Hits a PR Homerun

Author: Gina Mason – Publicist – Indra Public Relations

Growing up as a San Francisco Giants fan, it’s hard for me to admit when someone from (our sworn enemy) the LA. Dodgers organization does something right. However, in a situation like this, I will gladly tip my black and orange baseball cap and give a standing ovation to Dodgers outfielder, Matt Kemp for his touching act of kindness.

A few weeks ago when the Dodgers visited AT&T Park to play my beloved Giants, Matt Kemp went out of his way to speak to Joshua Jones, a terminally ill Dodger fan who bravely sported his Dodger pride in hostile enemy territory.  After the game, Kemp went over to sign a quick autograph for the wheelchair-bound fan and was told of Joshua’s grim prognosis of having only 90 days to live due to inoperable spinal tumors. Clearly moved by Joshua’s story, Kemp immediately ripped off his number 27 jersey, hat and cleats for the gravely ill boy to have as a keepsake.  Click here to watch the video of Joshua on the field with Kemp: 

Apparently, Joshua’s story stuck with Kemp and he decided that giving him a jersey was not enough. So to take it a step further, Kemp decided to fly Joshua and his family down to Los Angeles and give Joshua a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the guest of honor, Joshua watched batting practice on the field while getting the chance to meet the entire Dodgers team as well as the Angels’ young baseball prodigy, Mike Trout.

Now, some critics may say that this act was a PR ploy to get some good publicity for the (as of late) highly scrutinized Dodgers organization. Kemp especially, has been taking some heat lately for his lackluster play and has been in need of a way to get back into the good graces of the Dodger nation. However, I feel that this type of generosity goes beyond media attention and publicity and I truly believe that Kemp did this out of the goodness of his heart.  Kemp went above and beyond by paying out of his own pocket for Joshua and his family to fly to LA and setting up an incredible experience. This is NOT something that your average baseball player would do to get some good press and we can only hope that more professional athletes follow in Kemp’s footsteps by helping fans in need. 

Matt Kemp clearly took a page out the late, great Jackie Robinson’s book that once said, a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. I am absolutely certain that Matt Kemp made a positive impact on Joshua Jackson’s life and the entire Jackson family will cherish those memories forever.  At Indra Public Relations, I get to work with so many great athletes who make a difference in the lives of others but to me, I found this gesture to be incredibly impactful.

Here’s to you, Matt Kemp! You are an All Star in my book!

If you have any great stories or comments like this one, please feel free to send them to us and if you like what you read, be social and share.