Crowdfunding efforts engage communities around Georgia, fund 16 new civic initiatives

Crowdfunding efforts engage communities around Georgia, fund 16 new civic initiatives

Crowdfunding for non-profit initiatives is a method often lauded for its ability to effectively raise funds and engage diverse audiences. Research conducted by U.S.-based crowdfunding platform Fundly found that donation crowdfunding already represents a $5.5 billion market worldwide, with that number expected to grow in the coming years.

Although crowdfunding in Georgia is still in its nascent stage, organizations like Orbeliani Georgia are working to develop a donation crowdfunding ecosystem that promotes charitable giving by individuals and allows the public to take ownership of civic initiatives in their communities.

With support from the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program, Orbeliani Georgia announced an open call for civic initiative applications in April 2022, of which sixteen were chosen to be featured on their crowdfunding platform Orbeliani Meti. Once chosen, the representatives of these initiatives participated in a week of training and cooperated with Orbeliani Georgia to construct their campaigns. This included outreach training on developing and disseminating compelling campaign videos, interacting effectively with the media, and recruiting “initiative ambassadors” to increase public awareness.

The 16 initiatives were given 45 days to implement their outreach campaigns and raise at least 30% of the necessary funds through crowdfunding in order to receive match-funding for the remaining funds from the USAID Civil Society Engagement Program – a feat that every initiative was able to successfully achieve!

Orbeliani Georgia’s program director, Mariam Mirotadze, attributes the success of the crowdfunding campaigns to their ability to effectively reach a wider audience. She recalls one particularly successful campaign that raised funds to create a digital space for students at a school in Guria. By recruiting journalist and TV presenter Nino Zautashvili as an ambassador for the initiative, the campaign was able to leverage her wider social media following to bring broader attention to their cause and meet their fundraising goal in just a few weeks.

“Crowdfunding is about so much more than raising funds. When equipped with the proper outreach tools, these campaigns were able to raise awareness about the initiatives and allow people in the community to be involved. This is an important part of creating a responsible and active society,” says Mirotadze.

Upon successful completion of the crowdfunding campaigns for these 16 civic initiatives, Orbeliani Georgia announced a second call for applications in June 2022. Those interested in submitting a proposal can find more information on their website.

Check out the 16 successful initiatives:

  1. A story about good money will fund the Georgian translation of a book that explains complex topics around money and Bitcoin to children.
  2. No one left behind will support the elderly population with mobility issues in Lagodekhi(Kakheti region) by increasing their access to available hot meals at community diners.
  3. Aremare raised funds to better equip an eco-friendly, multi-functional space located 30 minutes outside of Tbilisi that is used for workshops, educational events, and children’s camps.
  4. How did we get here, Def? is an initiative created by youth platform that releases short videos of historians analyzing key “mess-up” moments in history; it aims to encourage youth to reflect on these moments and re-evaluate their significance in a modern context.
  5. Give a future to people with autism will use the raised funds towards equipping two cottages at the National Autism Center that will house a program that teaches life skills to teenagers on the autism spectrum.
  6. Transformation by force of sport aims to promote youth participation in sports and will use the raised funds to offer a free rugby program for children from large and vulnerable families in Tbilisi.
  7. Make education easier and accessible to everyone will help to fund the online education platform, which offers students in Georgia free online courses and educational activities.
  8. Guturi Laboratory seeks to buy necessary equipment for a school laboratory in Guturi village (Guria region) that will allow students to conduct chemistry and physics experiments.
  9. New life for Lagodekhi meteorological station will install two meteorological stations in Lagodekhi protected areas and introduce local students to climate change mitigation efforts through its Young Rangers program.
  10. Social education space Ode will use the raised funds to complete a social education space in Baghdati (Imereti region) that can be used for youth trainings on civic activism, human rights, environmental protection, and more.
  11. Grow the Champion is an initiative focused on promoting healthy lifestyles in youth; it will use the funds to buy athletic training equipment for a school in Tsvirmi village (Upper Svaneti).
  12. Make basic education enjoyable raised funds to better equip a designated learning space for a school in Ghari village in Oni (Racha region), where schoolteacher Nino Chichinadze plans to start a book club for her students.
  13. Digital transformation of Naruja will create a digital space within Naruja public school in Ozurgeti (Guria region) that allows students to incorporate more online activities into the learning process.
  14. At least plant a tree aims to promote botanical biodiversity, increase public awareness of climate change, and promote green spaces in urban areas by planting trees in cities throughout Georgia.
  15. Our space – for a better future plans to use the raised funds to purchase technical equipment for a community space in Martkopi village (Kvemo Kartli region).
  16. Theater for change will purchase technical equipment for an amateur youth theater in Rustavi (Kvemo Kartli region) to promote youth participation in the arts.
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