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Cauzoom is an online fundraising tool that supports local projects in your community. The website is for groups of people “who want to pool their resources to improve their neighborhoods.”
A newer startup social enterprise, Cauzoom was launched in May of 2011 by Michael Sattler in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michael’s vision is to give nonprofits new opportunities by utilizing the powerful tools that technology brings us.
As their Twitter bio says, “Think Kickstarter + Groupon + saving the world.”
Cauzoom unites for profit businesses with nonprofit organizations in a way that is beneficial to both and entices people to be involved in fundraising. It works like this: a nonprofit posts information about a project they need funds for. A business “sponsors” the project, or “cauz,” by offering a gift card alongside the project. Donors can show their support by purchasing a special offer gift card, which automatically triggers a specific donation to the project, or giving directly to the project. Each project has a specific timeframe to raise the money, creating a little urgency.
Did I mention there is no cost to the nonprofit? Nope. There’s no cost. At all. They just submit their project and help spread the word with some very helpful social tools Cauzoom provides. If enough funds are pledged to make the goal for the campaign by the end of the timeframe, the nonprofit is then paid.
While it’s is an “all or nothing” model, Michael tells me that Cauzoom gives donors the option of contributing their pledged money to the nonprofit despite not making the fundraising goal. Most send the money anyway.
Working in the nonprofit world, I know how hard it is for some nonprofits to raise money. Sometimes, they might need to fund something simple like purchasing self-help books for women in recovery or dog beds for newly acquired shelter dogs.
Unfortunately, not every nonprofit has a development department or even volunteers to do the leg work. It’s also hard to find an online fundraising tool that is tailored to a local (i.e., in the US) nonprofit and doesn’t charge a ton of money. I’ve looked.
Personally, I’m excited to see a company like this. It’s an interesting mix of business and charity.
Could also be a good place to find some holiday presents while also donating to a local cause. (Just saying.)