At the CEO Fall Meeting in Berlin, I held a presentation on the topic „How Crowdfunding can solve the refugee crisis“. Below you can find a list of Crowdfunding projects which I presented at the conference. I organized them according to the type of need that the project tries to solve.
Which Crowdfunding works best for Refugee Projects?
The four different types of Crowdfunding (Donation-Based, Reward-Based, Equity-Based and Lending-Based Crowdfunding) are not equally relevant in this content, we mostly find donation- and reward-based projects.
Donation-based projects can be found on a number of platforms, such as Betterplace.org or Respekt.net, but also on Whitelabel-Platforms like Wir-bewegen.sh (made by the Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein and Table of Visions). Reward-based projects can be found on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Wemakeit, Startnext or Visionbakery.
Equity-based Crowdfunding for Refugees are not available right now, but we are working on this topic with the platform Refupreneur.eu. However, the platform Bettervest has recently successfully funded an international development project which to some extent can help to alleviate the causes of migration by providing energy and employment in Africa.
In the lending-field, a number of platforms exist for international development, such as Kiva, however there is none which directly caters for refugees.
What are platforms doing for the refugee projects?
Normally, the impact of a specific crowdfunding platform on the success of a project is fairly low – each campaign has to generate its own community. However, the data shows that the refugee projects seem to stimulate each other and lead to more funds for each project. Therefore the platforms have generated a number of activities in order to push the project.
The platform Wemakeit has created its own channel called „We make Humanity“ where they feature projects related to refugees and actively support the projects on the platform.
Kickstarter has partnered with the United Nations Refugee Agency and has raised more than 1.5 million US-Dollars.
Startnext created a competition „Refugees Welcome“ for projects to receive co-funding when launching a successful entrepreneurial idea.
The platform Betterplace allows personal fundraising campaigns on behalf charitable causes. This is not just for refugee projects, but also for other social projects, but it has shown to be quite effective. „Blogger for Refugees“ raised about 130.000 Euros on behalf of other projects.
Food, Health & Basic Needs
- Betterplace has about 180 projects which directly help refugees, both in Germany, Europe and directly in the countries affected by the refugee crisis: https://www.betterplace.org/en/portals/fluechtlinge/projects/list
- My Croation Colleages from Brodoto have successfully raised funds for baby slings for refugees in Greece: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lighten-the-load-of-syrian-mothers
- An example of a private Project to help refugees arriving in Berlin with small campaign sum, but effective personal funding is the following and there are many similar campaigns:
- A Crowdfunding Campaign from last year on Startnext was Cadus, which tried to create sustainable livelihoods for refugees in Rojava, North Syria:
Shelter and Housing
- One of the biggest efforts in providing sustainable housing for refugees is Domo – More than Shelters. The Domo is a new, modular tent which can create a long-term structure for refugee camps. The more than shelters did a reward-based campaign on Startnext (https://socialimpactfinance.startnext.com/morethanshelters), but also raised money from investors who became equity-owners of the company. More than shelters has been very creative in marketing their idea – for instance it was possible to rent the tent for one night n Hamburg and pay any price (http://domo-hotel.morethanshelters.org). Now the company is raising Domo-Tents for refugees in Hamburg as well.
- Jason Buzi is trying to raise 2 billion US-Dollars to buy real estate and create a safe haven for refugees: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/crowdfund-a-new-country-for-refugees#/
- The German Foundation „Seenotreetung für Flüchtlinge“ has twice succesfully raised funds for securing refugees traveling via boat:
- The Lübecker Refugee Council has created a campaign to enable 500 tickets for refugees to continue their travel to Sweden:
- The initiative Train of Hope is collected money for paying travel tickets to Germany:
- Our project Refupreneur.eu wants to help establish equity-crowdfunding projects from refugees in Germany.
- The Kiron University will create an online academy for refugees: https://www.startnext.com/kironuniversity
- The project „GestalterEi“ will create a company that allows refugees and unemployed youth to work together: https://wemakeit.com/projects/integration-fuer-fluechtlinge
- The project „Social Fabric“ creates a sustainable textile company with clothes made by refugees
- Cucula will develop furniture made by refugees: https://www.startnext.com/cucula
- The Bockwerk has not started yet, but has great facebook-campaign: https://www.facebook.com/bockwerk
- The Project „s’isch äben e Mönsch“ (It is a human) is raising funds on Wemakeit to support a refugee choir:
The StübaProjekt on Visionbakery is creating an orchestra with refugees together: http://www.visionbakery.com/stuebacrowd
- The Refugee Movie Workshops are creating movies and documentaries with refugees together:
- The project Skate Create Live took refugees on a longboard tour through Bremen: http://www.visionbakery.com/skate-create-life
- Über den Tellerrand kochen und Heimat im Kochtopf (https://wemakeit.com/projects/heimat-im-kochtopf) are two examples of projects trying to create a cooking book together with refugees and organizing events. A similar project is Okus Doma: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/taste-of-home-a-kitchen-run-by-refugees
- A number of projects are creating movies and documentaries. One fascinating project is Asylland which is trying to create a movie from the perspective of refugees in Germany: https://www.startnext.com/asyland
- The Camoe Magazin is a photography project about refugees and welcome culture in Germany: https://www.startnext.com/cameo
- Familiar Facades wanted to put large posters of refugees on the walls of houses in Berlin: https://www.startnext.com/familiar-facades
If you have other projects that are interesting, then please let me know in the comments!