At Tempero we’re big fans of the concept of social capital; the idea that the output of any online community can benefit all of its members, its owner, and in some cases society, if said community is nurtured correctly. Or more conversely: look after your social community and your community will do great stuff.
Never is the idea of social capital more evident than when you take a look at crowdfunding social network Kickstarter. While headline-grabbing Kickstarter pitches often aim to generate funding for wearable tech, video game development, or film-production; and are often pitched by celebrities, the pitches that fly under the media radar are often those with truly altruistic, society-benefiting goals. Here, in no particular order, are five of our favourite Kickstarter campaigns for social good:
1. Hungry Eyes
Pitched by medical volunteers in the rural village of Ollantaytambo, Peru, Hungry Eyes incentivises regular medical checkups for indigenous women and children with the provision of a nutritious breakfast of chocolate porridge, bread, a banana and a glass of milk. In 2010 Hungry Eyes received financial backing of over $1,300; almost double the goal of $750, and the additional funds went towards extra fruit and grain for the project’s beneficiaries. Aside from the feel-good vibes, financiers of the project were also treated to this very weird (paraphrasing) ‘celebration of dance, masculinity and milk‘:
The product of an ‘ongoing relationship between a small group of artists, architects, engineers and builders in the US, and a small rural village in Haiti’, Konbit Shelter is about building beautiful, safe and sustainable homes and community spaces in rural Haiti, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. In January 2013, Konbit Shelter raised over $31k against a $30k goal, allowing them to start work on a third construction, a home for a family of five. In relying on locally resourced materials and labour, Konbit also promotes education in building techniques as well as the local economy and job market.
With the cost of education in the UK at an all-time high, and humanities subjects increasingly a privilege of only the very rich, IF aims to deliver free University humanities courses drawing from no-cost resources such as museums, lectures, galleries, webinars, and academic contributors. The only on-going pitch in our list, IF aims to raise £10k (and is over 25% there with three weeks to go) to fund a pilot Summer School in 2014.
The Circus Project marries some of the world’s most accomplished coaches in circus and theatre arts with homeless and at-risk youth, to produce a groundbreaking performance and to challenge perceptions of marginalised youth. In late 2011, the Circus Project raised just over $2,500 to transform young lives and confront stereotypes.
Undoubtedly the most literally-named of all Kickstarter campaigns, and perhaps the cutest, this isn’t just a ploy to improve our SEO by 1,000%. In October 2011, this campaign raised over $300 against a $50 goal to fund the knitting of blankets to be donated to homeless cats in shelters.
This concludes our five favourite Kickstarter campaigns for social good. Did we miss any out? Let us know your favourite Kickstarters in the comments below.