Crowdfunding is a democratic form of financing that allows people to direct their money towards projects they consider important, innovative and socially useful.
Each month, we round up some of our favourite crowdfunding initiatives that focus on sustainability, the environment, education, society – all the good stuff – and this is the February 2014 edition.
1. Action For Conservation: Action for Conservation aims to connect young people with nature to secure the future of our planet. It does this by sending selected, inspiring conservation professionals to schools to deliver workshops to teenagers beginning to think about their own futures and prospects. A donation of just £10 will send one child through an Action for Conservation class and with 14 days remaining, the project has received £4,231 of its £4,500 target.
2. Feed 500 Children, free healthy meals for 1 year: Because of funding cuts to children’s centres, this project needs £6,000 to provide healthy meals to over 500 children in impoverished areas of Bath. Its organisers say it will ensure that children in the greatest need can still learn the healthy eating practices they need to ensure that they start school healthy and happy.
3. 3,000 miles by train to lobby for climate action: Students for Sustainability, a group formed in Port Townsend, Washington, wants to raise awareness of climate change across the US. While doing so, it will minimise its carbon footprint by using public transport through 12 states, visiting 55 stops to discuss sustainability at schools. The group, which has been praised by Barack Obama and the US Environmental Protection Agency, needs funding to cover travel and accommodation expenses.
4. Small Business Storm Relief Fund: After some of the worst floods in the UK’s history, the Small Business Storm Relief Fund has been launched to help the firms that have been worst affected.
5. Zero Carbon Food: Backed by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr, Zero Carbon Food aims to use forgotten underground spaces in London to produce food products, using LED lights and hydroponics to minimise its carbon footprint.
6. Little Wild Things: In a similar vein to Action for Conservation, Wild Young Things hopes to encourage children in West Oxfordshire to develop a bond with nature. Holding regular woodland sessions for pre-school children, the project needs funding to help buy a minibus so they can teach more young people the value of their environment.
7. Sailing for Solar: Bringing Workshops to Caribbean Communities: Dr Richard Komp, a solar scientist, is asking for funding to renovate a donated sailboat to become a floating solar hub, enabling him to deliver resources and workshops to communities in the Caribbean that can be enriched by access to sustainable energy.
8. Solar lights for rural areas in Indonesia: This project, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, also wants to use the potential of solar energy to improve the lives of impoverished locals – installing 100 solar light kits to light up rural areas that will otherwise be left in the dark.
9. One in a million: To combat Africa’s poaching crisis, this project wants 1 million people to donate $1 to show they care about the future of critically endangered wildlife.
10. Lusted Road Honey Co. & Humblebee Pollinator Conservatory: As the number of essential natural pollinators – species such as honeybees and butterflies – declines around the world, this farm in Oregon is asking for funding to develop its traditionally kept honeybee hives.