What do you get when you cross a lovable philanthropist-celebrity with a social network just for charity? You get Crowdrise, an edgy, no-apologies fundraising network designed to leverage social networks in support of grassroots activism. And having Edward Norton and his celebrity pals as its face doesn’t hurt this fledgling non-profit one bit.
Crowdrise challenges people to sign up, donate to current causes, or start their own campaign. Users can “win amazing prizes that make perfect re-gifts,” donate “some cash money” directly to supported charities, and earn Crowdrise points for each Vote they receive on their own fundraising campaign. This is an interactive social network of do-gooders, offering a way for people to raise money creatively and get sponsored by the community and their own social networks.
If a user does start her own fundraising campaign, she can access Facebook and other social networks to raise money. But Crowdrise goes beyond social network campaigning – it brings in the whole community, and asks people to vote on the most compelling fundraising campaigns. Each vote gets that particular campaign some points, which lead to more money for that charity as well as prizes for the individual running the campaign.
The idea is solid – it is simple to sign up and start voting, and only takes a minute or two to start your own fundraising campaign (according to Crowdrise, “If it takes you more than a minute to create your Page, you’re probably just a really slow typist”). Members can reach out to their personal social networks as well as the growing Crowdrise community for support. And all proceeds go to a great cause.
However, none of this factors in the celebrity buzz that’s building around Crowdrise. Take a look at some of the top volunteers and fundraisers:
For those of you who don’t get your daily dose of Perez, that’s Kristen Bell, and Will Ferrell with tons of Crowdrise points to their name. The network also has Seth Rogen raising money for Alzheimer’s, Elizabeth Banks working for three admirable causes, and Paul Rudd campaigning for children who stutter.
Crowdrise is only a few months old, and already has nearly 2,000 dedicated members raising money for great causes. The celebrity factor is sure to give this initiative a high profile in the mainstream media, but its organization and implementation are so good that it would’ve no doubt been a success without it. We are looking forward to seeing all the good that comes out of the charitable members of Crowdrise.