Girl Scouts and Greece: How To Use Crowdfunding to Make a Point
At the time of writing this, there’s a major stooshie going on about some guy from England who’s set up an Indiegogo page to bail out Greece.
I had assumed that it was tongue in cheek, but the quote from his website in the Guardian suggests that he’s actually serious. I’d go the website itself, but I can’t, because it keeps crashing.
‘I can understand why people might take it as a joke, but crowdfunding can really help because it’s just a case of getting on and doing it’
Whilst this might be a mildly diverting piece of performance art, if he’s really serious then it’s lacking somewhat when it comes to the technicalities of a fundraising campaign. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt though, and assume that he’s well meaning, if somewhat naive.
Compare and contrast: the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, who recently used crowdfunding to fill a gap left when they turned down $100k after the donor placed unacceptable conditions on the acceptance of the gift. Namely, that their gift should not be used to help transgender girls. Indeed, if the charity couldn’t guarantee that, then they should return the money. So after careful consideration, and a calm dignity that is to be applauded, that is exactly what they did. They turned to crowdfunding to help them fund their programme - and gained some damn fine publicity at the same time. Girl Scouts, you see, is for every girl.
I have serious issues with any donor who would seek to ransom a charity like this. This was far from restricted funding, this was the desire to force a transphobic agenda onto young people, against the principles of the organisation. $100k is approximately 25% of their annual fundraising target; so make no mistake, this was a distasteful attempt to use wealth to buy influence over policy.
The useful thing about crowdfunding is that given the right publicity to catch the public mood, you will find your community of support. And it’s satisfying to see that of just now, the Girl Scouts’ campaign is sitting at just under $250k.