Crowdsourcing is the current ‘it’ word in the world of business, funding everything from grassroots innovation and art projects to weddings and garage bands. Khaled Hussain (L) and James Beshara decided to use this people power for a good cause and launched Crowdtilt in 2012. This San Francisco-based firm helps people group-fund donations not just for run-of-the-mill parties and events but also for charity. The idea behind this online service came from countless group events, where people often back out of their commitment to contribute to the common kitty.
Crowdtilt ensures that for any fundraiser, everybody who has signed up contributes the money they have pledged and the responsibility to pay doesn’t remain with any one person. There is a ‘tilt’ point set for each fundraiser, which is the minimum amount needed for the money to be released by the company. Crowdtilt managed to raise close to $2 million in its initial round of venture capital funding, with the current total investment in the firm being close to $14 million.
The company has a sure-fire way of ensuring no one gets cold feet at the last minute — donors have to register their card details when they sign up for events. Once each campaign ‘tilts’, the donors’ cards are automatically charged. This ensures that once you have promised to donate money, the campaign will get the amount you pledged. The time limit for each campaign is 30 days, but the company encourages people to campaign for shorter durations for a bigger impact. Crowdtilt has a healthy revenue stream, thanks to the 2.5% service charge it levies on both donors and organisers. The company recently also launched an app for people to start and follow campaigns on the go. Good news for the public, which has used Crowdtilt to fund everything from road repair to a classmate’s education.