Ricebowlproject View website

Crowdfunding for Community Benefit

Developer description

Ricebowlproject is the first crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs working on ... More

Editor's review

Published 13 Sep 2011

It’s great to see the crowdfunding model used for the benefit of social and community schemes rather than as a business fundraising exercise and ricebowlproject.com has a pretty comprehensive offering in this arena.

Working on the same principles as an equity hunt, initiators of a project can register and create a profile page detailing their aims both in end-goal and funds required terms. Patrons can then sign up and pledge as much or as little as they want. When the level of funding reaches or exceeds the funding requirement the project can start.

Although a project can be based anywhere in the world initiators must have a US bank account and a US address to qualify and all monetary transactions will be directed through Amazon payments.

The concept uses the “all or nothing” principle which basically means if a project does not reach its required funding level by the time limit set then it doesn’t go ahead and no money is exchanged. This is a common sense approach because a half funded project is likely to fail leading to disappointment and money down the drain.

Anyone looking to initiate a project should make sure that their profile page has enough content and credibility to persuade potential patrons browsing the list to part with their money. Equally as important, patrons need to be completely comfortable that the project they support is viable and that the initiator is capable of delivering. Unlike business equity crowdfunding, the guy looking for the cash retains 100% of the project even after it’s funded and there is no recourse to the site if it fails.

From a security point of view anyone pledging money will have their credit card details taken but no money will be taken until the project hits its funding goal. Although strongly discouraged there is also an option to cancel before this time.

Whilst it’s free to register both as an initiator and a patron, ricebowlproject.com will take a 5% fee from the funds raised and paid over to the project. It should also be noted that 1% of the annual revenue generated by the site has been pledged to The Oceanic Preservation Society.

Conclusion
Crowdfunding for good causes is a great idea and gives people from a wide range of income levels the opportunity to participate in community and social projects either close to home or on the other side of the world.

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