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JustGiving’s ‘social good’ crowdfunding site Yimby goes live



A new online platform that allows individuals to pledge money to projects that deliver measurable benefits to communities and the wider society has been launched by fundraising website JustGiving.

Yimby, whose name is a positive spin on nimby (‘not in my backyard’), will act as the middle man between socially-orientated projects and the people who want to support them financially.

The company behind the project, JustGiving, has raised £1.6 billion for more than 13,000 charities across the globe since launching in 2001. It takes 5% commission on all donations on its charity-focused site – a feature that it transfers to Yimby, though only for the projects that meet their funding target.

Users have 30 days to hit their targets, but unlike some other crowdfunding sites like Sponsume and Indiegogo, projects on Yimby must hit their target in order to receive the funding. If they don’t, no money changes hands.

Also in contrast to Kickstarter and co, Yimby is a philanthropy-based crowdfunding site. This means donors to its projects won’t receive physical rewards or equity in a business, but instead, will be able to see first-hand the measurable social good their donations have had.

Yimby says all projects are vetted manually to ensure they do indeed deliver social or community benefits, and that users do not have to be part of registered charities.

Research by JustGiving in the run-up to Yimby’s launch suggested as many as 4 million Britons currently play an active role in projects that benefit their local communities.

Planting community gardens (21%), delivering youth and education projects (21%) and funding amateur sports teams (12%) were just some of the ways individuals sought to get involved.

Speaking about its new crowdfunding platform, JustGiving co-founder Zarine Kharas, said, “JustGiving used the internet to revolutionise charitable giving. Our mission is to grow the world of giving and with Yimby, we’re taking this one step further, opening up philanthropy to any individual wanting to start a community project using the power of crowd.”

Although a JustGiving initiative, Yimby received a £50,000 grant from the government ahead of its launch. A beta version of the site was deemed a success, with nearly £250,000 raised at an average of £2,000 per project from 74 donors.

More than 100 projects have so far been successfully funded, including non-league football team Kettering Town, which raised £20,546 from individuals to save the club from bankruptcy in October.

Julia Groves, chair of the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA), spoke positively about Yimby’s launch.

It’s great to see JustGiving, the original British crowdfunder, moving beyond charity donations into funding projects for social good through their new Yimby platform”, she said.

I look forward to seeing how they use their significant experience and klout to help people directly fund projects they feel passionate about. We very much welcome Yimby as one of the newest UKCFA members.”

Along with Yimby, two other crowdfunding platforms, Spacehive and the Community First CrowdMatch Challenge, also launched this week. The former is backed by Ernst & Young and councils from all the London boroughs, and will enable them to “share the cost online of cool stuff”. Meanwhile the latter is supported by the government and a number of social finance firms, with successful projects being eligible for match funding.

Further reading:

Sir David Attenborough launches crowdfunding campaign to save mountain gorillas

Philanthropy is what sustains the charitable sector, not money

Regulator proposes tougher rules for crowdfunding industry

Sir Ronald Cohen: measuring of social investment outcomes a ‘breakthrough’

The Guide to Philanthropy & Giving 2013