With just over R1 million raised, over 1500 donations, and more than a dozen projects fully funded – Different.org’s vision to be the leading change maker in South Africa is one step closer after its first funding milestone was reached in less than 18 months. Crowdfunding has increasingly become a popular form of funding. Internationally, revenue from crowdfunding is expected to reach $30 billion in 2015. Raising money has clearly become big business but the competition is fierce and people only have so much to give. So what makes Different.org different and why will it rise above other crowdfunding startups?
100% goes to the project
Different.org has two major advantages over nearly all other ‘competitors’. Firstly, Different.org charges nothing to be on their platform. Businesses, including crowdfunding sites, need to create revenue to survive. Most do this through charging commissions on donations which vary anywhere from 3 – 10%, excluding transaction fees. Different.org’s running costs are covered by Different Life, enabling a platform focused on giving 100% of all funds received directly to the projects, including transaction fees.
Multiple funding streams
Different.org also has a unique method for project funding. All of the projects have three potential funding streams: direct donations (credit card, electronic funds transfer), a payroll giving scheme (Give As You Earn), and the Different Donation.
The Different Donation has the potential to be the most impactful in terms of funding. This system allows Different Life policyholders to donate their first and every subsequent anniversary payment to projects on the platform. Every year as Different Life sells policies and policies become one year older, policyholders get their Different.org user wallets credited with one payment which they can donate to a project of their choice. This kind of funding has a compound effect as one year builds upon the next, and with expansion, this system could potentially make millions available each year to NGOs on the platform.
A crowdfunding system that is better than the rest
These two factors combined with Different.org’s stringent vetting process for projects provides a much higher probability of projects getting fully funded. Multiple funding streams, most importantly the Different Donation, provide for a projected funding cycle enabling planning of projects in advance while no valuable and hard fought donations go to commission. The vetting process and the funding model helps instill donor confidence in the platform and the delivery of the projects.
Currently only one project on the system ended without reaching its funding goal. In contrast, an estimated 60% of crowdfunding projects on even the the most well known platforms never get funded. Different.org achieves what very few crowdfunding platforms can, namely sustainable and almost certain funding for projects. Removing the uncertainty and effort required around fundraising for NGOs is a game changer in South Africa and the reason why Different.org thinks it can be the leading change maker in this country.