Crowdrise: More Refreshing Than a Summer Breeze

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

There is a new crowdfunding site called Crowdrise that I think you should check out. The way that Crowdrise has managed to differentiate itself from the myriad of other crowd-based funding sites such as Kickstarter is not only due to it’s focus on raising money for charity, but also for the way it promotes fun and creative competition. Even the platform’s motto reflects founder Edward Nortons’ personality with the phrase, “If you don’t give back no one will like you.”

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The site claims that you can set up your charity and begin receiving donations within 21 seconds, although the record time is in fact 19 seconds–achieved by the sprinter Usain Bolt. Once you are signed up you can build a profile for your own charity and contribute to campaigns such as Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

When your profile is active you can begin to accumulate CrowdRise Impact Points (CIP) from raising money and getting votes for your campaign. As your amount of CIPs rises you receive a variety of different titles such as Baron, DJ and Tsar. At 150,000 CIPs your charity will receive a valuable spot on the Crowdrise homepage.

Recent Funding

Crowdrise has announced a $23 million dollar raise organized by Fred Wilson and Union Street Ventures. This is a great boost for the Crowdrise charity funding model started by Edward Norton, whose quirky personality shines through this highly successful fundraising platform. The idea for Crowdrise originated in 2009 when Norton and the other co-founders were planning to run a marathon that raised money for Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. The online bespoke platform concept they came up with was so successful that it blew through the original target aim of raising $75k and eventually topped out at $1.2 million.

Courtesy of Crowd Gulu

Courtesy of Crowd Gulu


The site has certainly proved to be popular with people of all ages and has had a large number of odd events hosted on it. A 5-year-old girl from Kansas made an online lemonade stand with all donations going towards world peace. Celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Jimmy Kimmel have also jumped on the Crowdrise bandwagon by putting their own charities on the platform.

It is not all smooth sailing, however, as Crowdrise still suffers from some of the same negative perception issues that faced the other product-oriented crowdfunding platforms. The biggest problem is that many people feel these platforms are simply a form of begging for money and that some of the charities are not legitimate. Despite these assumptions, Crowdrise is still expanding rapidly.

In addition to the announcement of $23 million of financing, it also announced new partnerships with the Boston, Chicago and New York marathons, Red Cross and UNICEF. Crowdrise is also looking to expand its fundraising beyond just non-profits to supporting specific good causes.

Crowdrise deserves a great deal of credit for leading the way in making both raising and donating money efficient. This is likely to create a significant increase in the overall amount of charity given each year because it is so quick and easy. Have you used Crowdrise or other crowdfunding platforms? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below!


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1 Comment

  • Reply April 26, 2014

    Gretchen P.

    I do like this!