StreetSmart Australia CEO Adam Robinson came across the emerging crowdfunding site KickStarter in the USA several years ago. He immediately saw the potential for the idea to be harnessed for good, and in particular- be an innovative way to fund local, grassroots projects that help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
Even though we have raised over $3 million to fund 845 small-scale local projects by running our successful national events (DineSmart and CafeSmart), Adam knew that this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the need for funds for local community-based organisations.
So now we are launching our own crowdfunding website ‘Projects’.
We want to build a community of supporters who see the benefit of supporting the smaller, independent not-for-profits. These organisations are out there on the front line, often operating on tiny budgets and too small to raise a crowd themselves, but find it hard to connect to donors.”“We are now taking StreetSmart’s fundraising online”, Adam said. “The new ‘Projects’ platform enables us to directly connect donors with community organisations that need support right now.
On the flip-side, we know that the community wants to support this work but they find it hard to know how to do this. Therefore, we are making it easier for people to find them and help out directly.
StreetSmart is staying true to its roots and focussing the ‘Projects’ site to assist smaller charities, social enterprises and organisations that help people who are homeless or at risk.
Adam added: “You may ask why have we launched our own crowdfunding site? Well, when we set off on this journey there were no Australian sites aimed at supporting community based organisations, and we believe with our track record of helping fund 845 projects over 10 years we were best placed to launch such a site. Having our own site means we can work with organisations we have a close relationship with, help them be successful and bring our StreetSmart community to help fund their priority needs. We are also able to hand on 100% of the donations to the projects.”
“To be a success we need our StreetSmart community to get active, donate to these projects and spread the word through the social web. The principal of small donations adding up to impact our community stands true so even if you can only donate a small amount it all counts. We are also looking for community feedback – tell us what you think of the new site and your ideas.”
To help spread the word you can download a press release and send it to anyone you think would be interested.
We have been lucky to have the help of many people in getting to this point. A special thanks to our funders The Kimberley Foundation, the RE Ross Trust and Margaret Kirby, without whom ‘Projects’ just wouldn’t exist. Our thanks also to Geeta Buttery and our volunteers including Simon Bristow, Robbie Dinte, Michael Casha, Jill Gustav-Marston and Steve Maidment who have all contributed to the Projects launch.