March 25, 2013

Seven Crowdfunding Campaigns That Inspired Us: GIG’s Journey Towards Our First Crowdfunding Campaign

Go Inspire Go is proud to present a weekly blog series written by GIG Board Member Connie Chan Wang every week leading up to our 50 Stories in 50 States Indiegogo Campaign launching on April 24. Our goal is to give you a behind-the-scenes look into our world as we prepare for our crowdfunding campaign and to inspire you to join us on this revolution -- this movement to inspire!

By Connie Chan Wang

I’ve always been a believer in the power of storytelling to change the world. I met Go Inspire Go founder Toan Lam while I was at Yahoo! working on a campaign to leverage the power of Yahoo! to inspire people to take positive action. I was so inspired by his story and his work that I wanted to help in any way I could. I’ve been on the Advisory Board of Go Inspire Go for the past two years and am excited to help take the organization to the next level with our upcoming Indiegogo campaign.


As the lead for this campaign, one of the first “assignments” I gave our volunteer team was for each person to share their favorite successful crowdfunding campaign. This list of seven crowdfunding campaigns has been our guiding light ever since.



1. BAYCAT: The Show Must Go On!

  • BAYCAT is a nonprofit led by the amazing Villy Wang that educates, empowers and employs underserved youth in the digital media arts. When all of their students’ laptops were stolen last year, they started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 to replace them and they raised over $51k.
  • We were inspired by the incredible work they do, their passion for the community and the urgency with which they went about stirring people to action.

  • 2. You Inspire - Launch Nonprofit Movement

  • YouInspire is a nonprofit that features videos of survivors and those currently facing serious medical challenges who wish to share their stories of hope, support, and inspiration. They met their goal of $20k.
  • This campaign first caught our attention because their organization includes the word “inspire”. Turns out we’re kindred spirits as they’re also using the power of storytelling and media to make a positive impact.

  • 3. SoundOven, Youth Media in Action

  • This campaign was started by students of the advanced music production class at the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School in Albuquerque, NM. After one of their fellow students died in her father’s arms after a heroin overdose, they raised over $10k to create an album of original hip-hop aimed at educating teens about the dangers of heroin.
  • The visual look behind the scenes and touching personal stories shared throughout this campaign really drew us in.

  • 4. All Together Now

  • All Together Now is a project launched by StoryLab, an amazing incubator using story power to create, connect, and bring our best to bear on social challenges.
  • This campaign raised nearly double their goal of $7k and has been one of our guiding lights because, like us, they also use the power of storytelling to solve social problems. We particularly loved how simple their campaign was and that they provided regular updates to their donors all with a personal touch.

  • 5. Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes Album

  • Vari-Colored Songs is an album of songs written to Langston Hughes’ poetry, Haitian folk songs and original compositions. Leyla set out to raise $5k and ended up raising $20k to create this album.
  • We loved this campaign because of Leyla’s musical talent, her authentic voice and beautifully shot video.

  • 6. Boosted Boards - The World’s Lightest Electric Vehicle

  • Boosted Boards launched on Kickstarter with an electric longboard.
  • What inspired us about this campaign is that they aren’t just selling an electric vehicle, they sold a revolution. They found that the reason most people don’t take public transportation is because most public transport ends over a mile away from their destination. Boosted Boards solves the problem by giving you a 12 lb electric vehicle via a longboard. So you’re not just buying a longboard, you’re saving the planet (looking really cool while doing it).

  • 7. Misfit Shine: an elegant, wireless activity tracker

  • Misfit Shine is an elegant, all-metal activity tracker that you can sync with your smartphone just by placing it on your phone screen. They raised over $840k towards a $100k goal. Wow.
  • Not only is this a really cool product, we were hooked by the founder’s story and their visually stunning video.

  • This is the 3rd post in our “Journey Towards Our First Crowdfunding Campaign” blog series.

  • Check out our 1st Post Behind the Scenes 5050 Post
  • Check out our 2nd Post Meet Our Fearless Leader

    April 24 is the big launch date on Indiegogo. Until then, we’ll be blogging every week about what we’re doing to get there. Next week, we’ll introduce you to the volunteer team making it all happen.

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