The digital age has borne witness to an upward trend in "crowdfunding models", models that are posited on the financial support of a project or organization through collective donor support and voluntary micropayments. Crowdfunding has emerged on the entrepreneurial scene as the optimal way for fledgling ideas, independent projects, and start-up companies to attain investment and come to fruition.
A paradigm shift in the world of finance, crowdfunding has also revolutionized the face of philanthropy. The crowdfunding model has been gaining momentum in the nonprofit sector, as it serves as a funding mechanism for grassroots organizations that need to get traction. By receiving and leveraging small contributions from a broad mix of donors, nonprofits seek to use small dollars to aggregate into a powerful force for change.
This past week, I had the chance to interview Claudio Blunschi, initiator of CV-4D. A self-taught social entrepreneur, Claudio is deeply passionate about the internet, online marketing, and crowdfunding. [url=http://www.cv-4d.org/]CV-4D[/url] is an online funding platform that aims to connect entrepreneurs with a socially conscious audience, and encourage the exchange of ideas and the funding for philanthropic efforts. CV-4D has featured Givology has one of its partners, and we look forward to working with them in the coming months!
[b]How did you come up with the concept of CV-4D?[/b]
It started about five years ago with the idea for a website where companies can crowd-source ideas, and low-income visionaries could tap their unused potential by participating in idea contests and helping develop innovative products or services. But at that point it was simply a business idea and I thought there's not enough return, just lots of work. So I let it go. Then, in 2012 the idea bubbled up again and I realized that this project can be much more than a business – it can really be a way to change the world.
The project jumped to another level with the idea of an integrated online currency combined with the Seven-percent-rule – community members must donate at least 7% of their earned credits toward causes of their choosing.
These ideas came together by mixing what I was curious about, what I experienced and what was missing – and the result was a tool to make my life better, easier and more fun.
The only comparable business, which I was involved in and is also part of CV-4D, is market research – an effective way for consumers and companies to improve products and services.
The other ingredients or experiences were marketing, script-writing, science, the desire to create, and not being able to find a suitable job with my existing CV.
[i]Claudio Blunschi, Initiator of CV-4D[/i]
[b]What inspires you to work with CV-4D? [/b]
Essentially, its enormous potential for our future. CV-4D can be a kick starter for lots and lots of positive chain reactions eventually creating a better future for all. And this I want to see, in real-time.
[b]What do you love most about working with CV-4D?[/b]
CV-4D keeps changing the way I live and providing me with interesting opportunities almost every day.
[b]Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?[/b]
Last year I came across Goethe's suggestion, "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." And I have to admit that trying to live by that quote has done a lot for me.
[b]What are some of the ideas that you have in mind to promote charities and social entrepreneurship?[/b]
We aim to promote these organizations and intiatives by shining a light on how and why they do good, and by giving them the opportunity to reach an interested audience. We also offer incentives to further encourage people to contribute. Plus, every donation and initiative will be viewable on a virtual world map so users can track the positive changes created through their support.
In addition to promoting the activities and values of people and organizations who tackle the tough challenges, we want to support them in their search for collaborators and resources.
[b]What makes CV-4D different from other websites that focus on charitable giving? [/b]
We focus more on the experience and benefits for donors: What are their concerns, what do they want in return, and what are the motivations behind giving. Then, we integrate giving into the process of doing stuff online – thus users also create positive change in passing.
[b]What are your focus priorities for 2013?[/b]
To receive responses to the project and find people and organizations with similar goals, to connect and pursue this idea together. We are also building an initial prototype, and working out technical and regulatory complexities.
[b]What are your hopes for the future of CV-4D?[/b]
That we can realize our goals and promote positive change. The very best-case scenario would be that CV-4D transforms so many lives that we could somehow empirically prove that doing good actually enhances one's chances of success in life. And this would mean that we, also as a business… We're good.
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