Crowdfunding

GoFundMe’s Campaign to Pay Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown

On December 22, 2018, the United States’ government shutdown indefinitely. As of writing this, the government has been shutdown for 34 days, making it the longest running government shutdown in United States history. While Senators are still being paid during the halt, roughly 800,000 federal employees don’t get to share in that luck, and have been going without pay for as long as the lapse in government.

In response to this, the people behind the crowdfunding site GoFundMe have set up a campaign to help alleviate the financial burden placed on now-unpaid government workers. As of writing, the campaign has raised $343,629 set to be distributed directly to the employees affected.

“The money raised on this GoFundMe will be distributed to nonprofit organizations across the country that are offering general relief to government workers, including but not limited to, food, counseling, and housing support.” -GoFundMe

The organization plans to release a list of all of the nonprofits that they plan to distribute the funds to, but in the meantime have announced that they are partnering with the nonprofit Direct Impact Fund.

Since the federal workers affected by the government shutdown began missing paychecks, stories have been surfacing about the real world harm that an ambiguous sounding “government shutdown” is having. Stories of government employees close to eviction and struggling to purchase daily essentials are becoming commonplace. While GoFundMe’s campaign won’t pay everyone’s rent or feed every employee for the foreseeable duration, it is good to see the outpour of support for these people who are caught up in a political moment.

So far, a bill has passed the House to open the government back up and the Senate is currently working on a plan of their own. Because of the dense political gridlock surrounding the issue of the shutdown, it isn’t necessarily clear when the government will re-open. But until then, it is important to remember that there are hundreds of thousands of real people being deeply affected by what is currently a political standoff.

You can find the campaign here.

Introducing Climate Fest- a Nonstop, Distributed, Climate Fundraiser

Introducing Climate Fest, a multi-city music festival and live event series to fundraise for the fight against climate change. Climate Fest will be a massive, distributed, indefinitely running, and medium spanning event series that will host live events in cities across the United States- with the intent to expand internationally. Events will range from concerts, lectures, live podcasts, film screenings, food and drink events, comedy shows, and panels and will all act as distributed fundraisers for environmental nonprofits.

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According to a recent report by the United Nations, we only have 12 years to advert catastrophic effects caused by climate change. The report calls for urgent and unprecedented action on climate change, and states that the solutions that we need to pursue are affordable, but progress needs to begin now. In response to this, In Kind is launching the event series with the hopes that the franchise can act as a perpetual fundraiser for climate related solutions.

All gross profits of these events will go to action oriented environmental nonprofits. Specifically, we will be looking for environmental nonprofits that build renewable energy facilities (the Solar Foundation), actively pursue climate action (like cleanup efforts or climate relief), and/or legal funds (the Environmental Defense Fund). We are also open to suggestions from readers as to what charities to partner with, and are actively searching for partners.

The goal for this platform is to create enough events at a frequent enough rate, across the USA and eventually internationally, that we can create a meaningful impact that helps the fight against climate change. In addition to this, we believe that bringing together people who are concerned about climate change in a social setting can facilitate climate action beyond our organization.

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To help us get started, please consider backing our project on Kickstarter. We are set the level of fundraising to $1,000 which can fund a few events, and as a small place for us to get started. We have stretch goals of from $25,000 which will fund 6 guaranteed shows in 3 different cities, and launching with live-streaming to our social platforms, to $1 and $5 million dollars which two guaranteed events in a major US city every weekend and then eventually a small weekend music festival in addition. By leveling support like this, we can start small if we need to, or scale in a sustainable manner.

Festivals have long been a proven means for fundraising, with one of the most prominent examples being Live Aid, which has raised over $100 million since its inception. Since Climate Fest will be distributed over many cities, and will run indefinitely, we think that there is a massive potential to have a real impact on climate fundraising.

If you are a band, podcast, comedian, lecturer, performer or event promoter, etc. and would like to get involved, please email us at contact@inkind.life or reach out to us on our social channels.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to us at contact@inkind.life

To get updates, you can find us at www.climatefest.org or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

$20M Raised To Help Reunite Families Separated at US Border

In a heart wrenching 8 minute audio heard around the world, the sound of children screaming and crying for their families shattered all barriers in the political world. Their sobs and begging were heard by everyone from President Donald Trump, all the way down to US citizens simply scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed.

Charlotte and Dave Willner, a couple who work in Silicon Valley, were just as moved as the rest of the world when they saw a photo capturing the essence of the terror of these children. In the photo, a toddler screams as her mother is arrested and taken away. The face struck home for the couple, because the child looks very much like their own daughter when she is terrified.

They decided to create a Facebook fundraiser to help a single immigrant family reunite with their child. The Willners set the goal amount as $1,500, which they hoped would be enough to pay the bail for one family. The couple felt they had a pretty good chance of meeting the goal with 1,700 friends each on Facebook. What happened next took their breath away.

Source:  CNBC

Source: CNBC

Within just a few days of starting the fundraiser, they had managed to raise more than 5 million dollars. It has become the largest fundraising campaign on Facebook. While there have been some big donations, including from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, the average donation is just $40. They come from citizens who also have seen and heard their own children crying, and responded. People have donated from every single state, Puerto Rico, and even other countries.

All of the money is going to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) based in Texas. RAICES provides lawyers for children and their families, and pays the bonds for those who are currently in jail. The fundraiser couldn't have come at a better time for them. Just a few months ago, they were forced to make the announcement that RAICES would be taking on no new cases due to cuts in government funding. (They still had enough funding to continue old cases.) The money lost totaled $300,000. Their total annual budget is usually under 7,000,000.

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Now, thanks to the 20 million dollars raised, they have enough to help every single family currently caught up in the immigration crisis. They are not only hiring on more lawyers, they are also seeking out psychologists and pediatricians to help treat the PTSD no doubt present in the children from this traumatic event.

On top of the donations, RAICES has also been inundated with offers for volunteer work. People all over the globe are offering to fly to Texas to help give them the support they need. When it has largely been just one admin and the rest lawyers, this is welcome help for the non-profit.

Charlotte and Dave Willner will continue to keep the fundraiser open for as long as there is interest in the campaign. The entire amount raised will be released to RAICES by Facebook some time in mid-July. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

Acts of Kindness: Individual and Institutional

As they say, an act of kindness can truly go a long way. If you are looking for inspiration and to learn more about how people are actively trying to make the world a better place by being more kind and positive, you can always browse through the web to learn more about how people across the world have made headlines…by making a difference!

A good example? A young teenager named Salvador Gomez Colon recently became very sad when he learned about the troublesome living conditions of people who have been hit by the natural disaster that affected Puerto Rico. For this reason, he decided to take action. Salvador decided to start a fundraising campaign on the web, and managed to raise a lot of money, enough to buy over 1400 solar-powered lamps for the people of Puerto Rico, who are still struggling to cope with power shortages.

It’s not only about people: governments and administrations can be kinder too! For example, the city of Los Angeles, in California (USA) recently announced that people will be able to donate some money to the homeless in the local community. This kind and uplifting gesture is one of the many things LA is doing trying to help people without a home or a job, and improve their quality of life.

These are only some of the many positive and uplifting gestures that people do every day across the world. Thankfully, positive thinking transcends religious beliefs, political credos, ethnicities and social status…everyone can be kinder, no matter who they are or where they come from! 

Image source: h080