Need some scratch for your community project? FundaGeek (FundaGeek.com) wants to be your source for crowd-sourcing funds on the Internet. Sites like Indie Go Go and Kickstarter are getting more familiar every day with successful crowd-funding of projects and creative products from idea to fruition linking clicks, credit cards and PayPal accounts. FundaGeek was launched with the same basic idea, but its goal is to help community ventures, research projects and inventions.
“Unlike other crowd-funding sites that run projects on the ‘all or nothing’ concept (only receiving the pledges made if your goal amount is reached or exceeded by the end of your campaign period) we only apply that rule to ‘commercial’ projects,” says Cary Harwin, FundaGeek’s president and co-founder. “Projects that are ‘research’ or ‘community support’ receive all the pledges they acquire at the end of their campaign period even if it’s less than their goal amounts.”
FundaGeek has three “Industry Specific Portals” which provide targeted information to crowd-funding for that industry. The first three portals that have been launched are for Inventors, Scientific Research and Community Support. They are presently building one for Software Development.
The company also aims to provide users with the tools to make their campaign successful, assisting with marketing resources, sending campaign coaching, emailing reminders and helping to set up your project. Public libraries, high schools, senior groups, historical societies and community organizations could all benefit. Areas of community support might be construction projects, facilities support, environmental projects, outreach, public awareness, education, transportation, beautification and/or well being.
In the 1960s and 70s, Harwin says he founded and ran a national business management firm assisting hundreds of entrepreneurs. Next he founded his first software publishing company in 1982, and in the early 1990s wrote and self-published two books on online marketing. By 1995, Harwin co-founded his current software publishing company, Catalyst Development (catalyst.com) which he still runs. In 2010, he co-founded FundaGeek, LLC with Daniel D. Gutierrez, the CEO.
“My partner and I have been consulting in technology for over 30 years each and I’ve assisted entrepreneurs trying to fund their ideas for decades and over the last 15 years I’ve volunteered serving as president and chairman of several public charities,” says Harwin. “In all of these experiences I’ve been continually frustrated by the difficulty in obtaining needed funds for these activities. When I discovered the concept of crowd-funding back in the summer of 2010, I was astounded. I recognized how this new funding concept was another example of how the Internet is creatively being used to solve longtime problems that heretofore never had a solution. We became very excited at the thought of making this available to people all around the world.”
One of the more compelling features of FundaGeek is there are no upfront costs. You can build and post a project and run a campaign with little financial risk. If your project fails and no pledges are collected, there is no fee for your attempt. The standard fee is five percent of the pledges that you do receive for a successful project.
If you opt for premium marketing resources, the charges are nine percent of pledges successfully received. And all funds collected and transferred by PayPal are subject to their 2.9 percent fees.
Harwin says that, so far, several college undergraduates have successfully funded research programs and entrepreneurs have acquired seed money for the projects. There is a Miracle League Sports Fields for challenged children that has an exciting project in the community support portal, too. Harwin adds that capturing social media with the campaigns helps the projects grow exponentially.
“Community support is an expansive area that often involves projects on very tight budgets,” says Gutierrez. “As a byproduct of a crowd-funding campaign, there is a huge benefit of expanded, positive, public awareness for your organization or specific project being promoting. FundaGeek hopes to make a difference.”