BEIJING (Dec. 19, 2013) – Global Environmental Institute (GEI) released China’s first manual for nonprofit crowdfunding, entitled Crowdfunding Sustainable Development in China in December at Beijing’s Swanport Cafe.
GEI’s program officers introduced the concept of crowdfunding, its fast rise in the nonprofit world, and ways to initiate a campaign or project. The experience sharing came from the GEI team’s own results conducting its pilot crowdfunding project at the Fengtongzhai Honey Cooperative, created after the April Ya’an earthquake.
Over 20 people participated the sharing session, with background ranging from different types of NGOs to media to social enterprises. Participants had discussions on the feasibility of crowdfunding for NGOs in China along with other topics. They expressed optimism over crowdfunding’s fundraising capabilities and cause awareness building. GEI’s next step is to find interested parties to support further research and training activities in the crowdfunding area.
Crowdfunding is a new funding mechanism to enable a collective effort among individuals. Within a matter of a few years, the term crowdfunding has become a household term in North America and Europe. From the beginning of 2013, GEI initiated research on the global development of crowdfunding and its potential in supporting sustainable development initiatives in China. From late April to early June, GEI also ran two crowdfunding campaign simultaneously on Demo Hour and Indiegogo as an effort to help “Rebuild the Fengtongzhai Honey Cooperative” in Baoxing, Sichuan. 170 backers from at least nine countries across the world participated in the campaign. Our campaign met the crowdfunding goals, and helped local farmers to rebuild through bee keeping after the earthquake.
GEI has then crystalized the crowdfunding research and project experiences into a crowdfunding manual, Crowdfunding Sustainable Development in China.We included a step-by-step guide for crowdfunding, presented an in-depth analysis of the GEI pilot project, and also supplied multiple crowdfunding “blueprints” for sustainable development. Our hope and expectation is that this manual will inspire and help others to use crowdfunding as a new mechanism to constructively confront China’s environmental challenges by engaging local communities and the general public.